Googler Spotlight: Self-writing code engineer

Our engineers work on all kinds of interesting projects, from Gmail to data centers to self-driving cars. We spoke to software engineer Taylor Santo, who developed our latest innovation, self-writing code.

How did the idea for self-writing code come to you?

I have a friend who works on the self-driving car project and he’s always bragging about how easy it is to commute when the car does the work for him. One day, it occurred to me— it’s one thing to save your effort and energy on the commute to work, but it would really be awesome to save your effort and energy while you’re AT work. 

How did you go about actually creating the self-writing code program?

It was pretty simple to write actually. I just put a function within a function, a loop within a loop, copy-and-pasted a few times and bingo, I was done.

How has this innovation changed the way you work?

It’s been great now that I’m not spending my time at my desk programming. I have plenty of time to collaborate with teammates, attend talks and events on campus, go for a workout at the gym or try out a new cafe. Google always encourages employees to have a full life outside of the office and now I have tremendous work-life balance. Plus, self-writing code has really freed me up to pursue my favorite personal hobby— coding.

Aren’t you worried that you’ve just programmed yourself out of a job?

Well no I...ummm...oh, man. Wow, I really coded myself into a corner here, didn’t I? Oh well, I guess that just means I’ll have to put my coding hat back on and come up with another innovation!

To learn more about our self-writing code project, please visit: If you’re interested in what software engineers at Google ACTUALLY do, please visit to learn more.
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