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Madhusudan C.S
Works at Google
Attended University of California, Irvine
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So, you all (hopefully) saw my photos yesterday; if you didn't, you may have seen the media coverage about my employer, Google Australia, installing 2 monorail carriages in our new office space yesterday (e.g. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/google-installs-monorail-carriages-in-its-office-20131009-2v7fl.html)

Now! For those of you who don't know, confession (and story!) time: this was my fault.

At Google, we have (like most large companies do) an internal ticketing system for keeping track of jobs for our building management team ('Facilities', or 'REWS'). This system is usually populated with requests like, you know, 'the door on level X isn't working properly' or 'the pinball machine isn't working' or 'you know what would be awesome? An electric keyboard. We don't have one, can you buy us one please?' or whatever (all real, recent examples, which all got 'fixed').

Sometimes, though, this ticket system is abused by idiots* trying to be funny.

One such example of this was at the start of this year, when one particular idiot† submitted a ticket into this system pointing out that the NSW and Sydney governments had finally announced their long-anticipated plan to remove and scrap Sydney's defunct, expensive-but-useless monorail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Monorail — a classic 'white elephant'). At the time, Google Australia had spread from one office building in Pyrmont to two, and there were rumours of a third coming soon, so this idiot suggested that maybe Google should buy the monorail and install it between the three buildings in a loop, because we're lazy and besides how cool would it be to have a monorail.

Everyone had a chuckle at this lame joke, and then that was it, until a particularly awesome member of our Facilities team, Alecia, replied to the ticket, giving an hilarious and clever feasibility study as to why purchasing the monorail would be a bad plan (and yes, it did include the phrase "more of a Shelbyville idea"). This reply (which I wish I could share with you, but if nothing else it's filled with Google in-jokes and wouldn't make sense to you all) elevated my stupid facilities ticket into legendary status, where it did the rounds of Google and after about a week I think the whole company had seen it.

Joke dies down, everyone's happy. Until about 3 months ago.

About 3 months ago, Alecia sent me an IM saying "Are you free for a meeting now? And by meeting, I mean 'road trip'." Naturally, I was. I arrived at Alecia's desk (Alecia: "I love that I say 'road trip' and you just turn up without asking what it is."), and we head off. Eventually I ask what we're actually doing, and another colleague who was in on the plan tells me: "Monorail shopping!"

Sure enough, Alecia takes us out to a junkyard near the airport, and we all help choose which two monorail carriages we want to purchase and install as meeting rooms in One Darling Island, our new workspace in Sydney (the aforementioned rumoured third building).

Eventually, this brings us to what happened yesterday. After an months of Herculean logistics (and, I'm quite sure, horrifying expense; the SMH article linked above estimates the costs of the installation at $250,000, though I have no idea if that's accurate), yesterday our 2 monorail carriages were brought to the office, and very carefully (I heard tell that the '20cm of clearance' figure in the SMH article was actually an OVER-estimate) lifted into place, where they will become 3 meeting rooms (each carriage will be its own room, and then there will be another casual meeting area at the back)‡. HOW COOL IS THAT??!?

Anyway, check out the linked article - the timelapse footage isn't brilliant, but it will give you an idea of the logistics involved (we actually took some footage of our own, hopefully I can share that with you soon).

So: next time I tell you (as I regularly do) that working at Google is like working at Wonka's Chocolate Factory: remember, I once made a stupid joke about buying a monorail, and MY COMPANY DID IT FOR ME. I bet not many of you can say that§.


* generally, me.
† specifically, me.
‡ you, all being nerds, will be delighted to know that the meeting rooms are to be named "Brockway", "Ogdenville", and "North Haverbrook".
§ my guess: zero.
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Madhusudan C.S

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Congratulations to the 1,192 students accepted for our 2013 Google Summer of Code! It was tough for the 177 mentoring organizations to choose from the huge number of applications we received - 5,999 proposals from 4,144 students - and we want to thank everyone who applied. 

Students will now enter the community bonding period where they will get to know their mentors and prepare for the program by reading documentation, hanging out in the IRC channel and familiarizing themselves with their new community before beginning their actual coding in June.

If you are interested in learning more about the 177 organizations that the students will be working with during the summer or important dates, please visit the program website.

We look forward to an exciting and productive summer of coding.
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Madhusudan C.S

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We are excited to announce the mentoring organizations that have been accepted for this year’s Google Summer of Code program. It was tough, but after reviewing 417 applications, we have chosen 177 open source projects, of which 40 are new to Google Summer of Code. You can visit our Google Summer of Code 2013 program website for a complete list of the accepted projects.

Over the next 14 days students interested in applying for the Google Summer of Code 2013 program can learn more about the 177 accepted open source projects before the student application period begins on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 19:00 UTC.

Each organization has compiled an Ideas Page that students will want to review carefully and consider how they might be able to contribute to the project. Some of the most successful proposals have been completely new ideas submitted by students, so if you don’t see a project on the Ideas Page that appeals to you, don’t be afraid to suggest a new idea to the organization.There are points of contact listed for each organization on their Ideas Page so that students can contact the organization directly to discuss a new proposal. All organizations list their preferred method of communication on the organization homepage, available on the Google Summer of Code program website. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Congratulations to all of our future mentoring organizations! We look forward to working with all of you during this exciting 9th year of Google Summer of Code!
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We've just announced that we plan to hold Google Summer of Code 2013!

Historically, Google Summer of Code has brought together nearly 6,000 students with over 300 open source projects to create millions of lines of code. We’re looking for mentors and students to join us in making 2013 the best Summer of Code yet!

The Google Summer of Code program is designed to encourage student participation in open source development. Kicking off in 2005, the program has several goals:

• Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
• Provide students in Computer Science and related fields the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits during the summer
• Give students more exposure to real-world software development scenarios (e.g., distributed development, software licensing questions, mailing-list etiquette, etc.) 
• Get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all
• Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers

We’ll be offering successful student contributors a 5,000 USD stipend, enabling them to focus on their coding projects for three months. This program is done completely online. Students and mentors from more than 100 countries have participated in past years.

Google will accept applications from open source projects from March 18–March 29, 2013. Student applications will be accepted from April 22–May 3, 2013.

Find full details on requirements for participating, including how to apply and info on the all-important t-shirt at http://www.google-melange.com. We hope you'll consider participating as a student, mentor, or organization, or just spreading the word about this great program!
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Have him in circles
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Madhusudan C.S

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Launch day, and we are live! Brand new product, new website, and everything is now public. :)
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Madhusudan C.S

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This visualization of Tolkien's works, IMO, is seriously the definition of awesomeness! (via +HackerNews)

Character mentions visualization of "The Lord of the Rings" is esp. awesome. It very clearly shows how the story alternates between the adventures of Frodo and Sam, and the rest of the Fellowship after they get separated.
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Madhusudan C.S

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Upvote, upvote, upvote! We want this!
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Have him in circles
990 people
ARun CH's profile photo
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 9 - present
  • Google
    Software Engineering Intern, 2012 - 2012
  • Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay
    Research Assistant, 2009 - 2011
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Geek, Programmer, Pythonista, FOSS enthusiast, evangelist and contributor: Melange developer, Ph.D. aspirant, interested in Computer Science research, building systems like compilers, distributed systems, operating systems and any such thing that can be classified as a low-level system, opinionated about programming languages, crazy about cars and air-planes, addicted to coffee, choosy in watching movies, loves Bangalore and Southern California, extremely slow reader and never reads anything cover-to-cover but on the other hand reads a lot of online news/content and Computer Science publications.
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  • University of California, Irvine
    Computer Science, 2011 - 2013
  • BMS College of Engineering - Visvesvaraya Technological University
    Information Science and Engineering, 2005 - 2009
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