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As a Google Engineer I challenge this stereotype

From what I have seen, the more senior engineers become, the less arrogant they tend to be

There are exceptions

But for the most part they have an increased knowledge of the vastness of the unknown and an appreciation for risks and tradeoffs

As a result they tend not to trend toward overconfidence and arrogant bragging as much as they are cautious in their projections and avoid absolutes

That having been said, the comic is funny
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34 comments
 
For some reason the comic isn't loading /o: not sure if it's just me?
 
Yes, though that could mean it was just my computer since I was on my old laptop and now am on my phone
 
Almost always the case that truly impressive people feel no need to tell you how impressive they are.
 
I'd tend to agree that the senior engineers are very humble. Back in my support days at the Goog, the ones we found most amusing were the brand new engineers who were used to being the best, most brilliant people in their small ponds. Google humbles their own real quick.
 
"There are exceptions"

Your not pointing a finger, right? :-D 
 
Only made very nice experiences with Google peeps IRL and online 
 
I vote that this is the reason the engineer is no longer with Google and is now working in Dilbert's crappy office ;)
 
Engineers can be evolved without being arrogant. 
 
Here's the problem, YOU don't get to determine if you are arrogant or not, the people around you get to make that assessment. If you think you can simply "flip that bit" and not be arrogant because YOU say so, then you are indeed guilty as charged.

There is a culture problem at Google, many of the employees tend to think everyone wants to be like them, or that the world would be a much better place, if everyone would just do things "the Google way". It's an ivory tower mentality, where people from the plex tense to look down on "the little people".
 
The people who suddenly decided to turn off google/ig did not come off quite so humble.  That decision reduced my google use by a large factor.
 
+Michael Gray fair point. And I am expressing my perception of coworker engineers.

I have worked with some real gems at previous companies.

I know when I am working with an "I'm surrounded by idiots" individual that is truly arrogant

I am merely expressing my perception (with disclosed bias)
 
Granted some engineers.  Sometimes the engineers become a real PHB (pointy haired boss).  I'm sitting here at my desk wishing I had hardware to work on and the product clock is ticking.  I do realize that it was a business decision to limit production until some bug could get worked out.
 
I think you're missing the point, many people see google as an arrogant company. Since it's a technology company the "google engineer" role was used "google hr administrator" or "google accounts receivable specialist" doesn't quite capture the "essence" of the brand the way engineer does.


 
I agree with what +Michael Gray said, and would actually expand on it by saying that Silicon Valley - and the tech industry by and large - comes off to many people as insular, elitist, and arrogant. Ergo, Scott Adams' Google reference is probably not as much an indictment of the company as it is one of Silicon Valley culture in general.
 
Indeed. Scott Adams hit a nerve. 
 
+Richard Hay didn't mean to imply you were offended, clearly you weren't.  Sorry if it came across that way.  
 
Well look at the tweet that one PR lady sent about going to Africa

She became international news with 140 characters
 
I didn't think there were many senior engineers at Google or should I say, engineers over the age of 40.  I have found that Google does not hire many folks over that age.
 
There is a whole group of Greygler engineers that are typically 50+
 
Interesting.  Google, like several other social media companies, have a poor reputation in the Valley for hiring folks over 40+. Many colleagues I have spoken with have also found this to be the case. So I ask you, when was the last time you have seen a new employee over 40 hired by Google? 

And for those you know professionally outside of Google, I challenge you to ask them what they have heard of Google's hiring practices for those over 40+.
 
Well in my group there are at least 10 engineers (out of 100 or so) who are greyglers. They were all hired at 40+. Most of the engineers are not new hires right out of college.

To get experienced engineers who have the needed expertise often brings in candidates that have a decade or more of engineering background.

This often means candidates that are over 40. I am 42 myself. Though I was 36 when I was hired.

 
10% of a population is not exactly a large number.  The fact that they were hired at 40+ is in itself unusual for Google.  Perhaps your group is the exception to the rule... 

I have colleagues from LLNL who have 20+ years of experience developing HPTC systems and advance IM systems and who have experienced wasted time at the hands of  Google and other social media companies.  Yes, they are over 40 and have interviewed multiple times at Google. 

We have heard from others who actually work at Google that there is an unstated and inherent discrimination against tech workers over the age of 40.  And it actually shows in some of the Products and how Customers and Partners are handled - again with arrogance.

Google's recruiters have also shown an incredible level of arrogance with little ability to spot talent outside their narrow field of knowledge. 

Perception is reality and frankly IMHO, the Dilbert 'toon provides a fairly accurate view.
 
+Jim Lola  "Google's recruiters have also shown an incredible level of arrogance"
- #verified . I remember reading an article written by a (former) one who said that LinkedIn was useless to her because as far she was concerned if she hadn't heard of your work you were nobody.

OTOH, the economics of recruiting/talent acquisition at Google are different from those at other companies. Given the company's position in the industry, working for them is like playing in the #NFL , and they do have their pick of people (not to mention a lot of weeding out to do in the hiring process). It's easy to see how that would result in an apparently arrogant attitude.
 
+Judah Richardson “Given the company's position in the industry, working for them is like playing in the #NFL.”  Perhaps at one time that was the case but given all this foolishness w/ the NSA spying scandal (either Google knew about it or they were fooled) and their inability to protect again Chinese hackers, I would say that they are more like the Canadian Football League (not to disparage the Canadians).

Experienced Tech folks are an interesting lot.  Many do not like abusive behavior and as such, Google is not the “darling company” to work for.  When a potential employer does not treat a candidate as a professional and with integrity, it reflects on the company.

Creativity and innovation can be found in many other companies and in fact, if you check out places like the Hacker Dojo you will find older tech folks tinkering and working on ideas that are inspired from their own imagination.  The trick there is to keep the “Idea Squirrels” at bay especially being so close in proximity to Google, Cisco, and others who have lost a lot of that imagination and creativity.
Debby P
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As someone with 20 years of tech experience, and degrees in CS and Psychology, I wonder why nobody has mentioned that perception is extremely important in how others relate to you; that concept of "fake it until you make it".  Even my mentioning my background, experience and education here, gives a perceived level of credibility (although I've already given my secret away) :).

Inside I am very humble and even to a degree insecure as I believe that most people feel when working with incredibly smart, talented, creative people every day, and an avalanche of endless technologies to know.  You just can't help it; yet showing that humility you get eaten alive in tech.

I know it's advantageous to come across as experienced, knowledgeable, and perhaps a little arrogant and thus I use that in my interactions with others although sparingly, and try to use it without being patronizing.  You wouldn't go into an interview with humility; they wouldn't be very impressed and you would be less likely to get a job.

When working with others it's good to show some degree of humility, but in general if you carry yourself as confident in your skills, other people will see you as such.  You need to back up what you know to a degree, but your perceived credibility and confidence go a long way in diverting attention to any mistakes you make.

"Arrogance", when used wisely, can be very useful and strategic.  What some people perceive as "arrogant" others see as "confidence".  Understanding behavior and consequences of behaviors and how they are perceived, is also very advantageous.

When I go to interviews I bring in demos of my work, some of my strongest examples, carry myself with (feigned) confidence, and have a well rehearsed spiel about what I can offer.  Taking up time doing this not only leaves a good impression, but it allows interviewers to be freed from the difficult task of coming up with all of the leads on questions.

It also allows me to direct the flow of much of the interview and to avoid the interviewers from having time to bring up questions that I might not be prepared for.  I eat up the interview time showing my strengths and avoiding showing my weaknesses.  I might not be the best tech in the world, but I do feel I have a good grasp on how to use what I know about people to my advantage, and I can easily learn things on the job if needed.

I go into job interviews having already read the job description, and having my demo prepared to showcase examples of anything listed in the job description.  I use keywords from the job descriptions as notes to make sure I covered everything.  So far this has seemed to work well for me. 

Thoughts?
 
The old play in the Mae West line.

"Technical Expertise is half what you know and half what they think you know"
Debby P
 
Funny. :) I have been told I look like Mae West..maybe I'm channeling her. :D
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