Why did I leave Google? A thread.

This thread is going to include quotes from Wired's "Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech" because I'm not a professional writer https://t.co/XD417wVHiU
When I joined Google, I fell in love with the company immediately. I was excited to come to work, not just for the technical challenges, but because I really felt I was making a difference and working for the good guys.
I spent 20% of my week working on an app that helped people find lost loved ones after natural disasters. I spent more free time speaking to students about technology and diversity. For an entire school year, I taught CS classes twice a week at a local low income high school.
The company was open. We had a weekly meeting called TGIF where anyone in the company could ask questions of, and raise concerns with, the execs. We got real answers.
At the time, Rachel Whetstone was a VP at Google and you knew when she answered your question at TGIF, you were going to get an honest and sincere answer with a clear plan to fix things and no excuses. Rachel Whetstone left Google in 2015.
In 2017, Google bid for Project Maven, a contract with the US Government that would incorporate AI into drones. "When Google won the Maven contract in late September, the company opted not to say anything at all—even to its own employees."
I joined Google because we were the good guys. Building AI for weapons isn't a good guy thing. So they didn't tell us.
In 2018, it came out that Google had been planning to relaunch in China with censored search, a project known as Dragonfly.

"The engine would blacklist search terms like 'human rights' and 'student protest,' and would produce government-controlled results for 'air quality.' "
This project was kept secret internally as well. Can't let the employees know we're not the good guys.
In 2018, it came out that "a woman who worked for Google had accused Android cofounder Andy Rubin of coercing her to perform oral sex in a hotel room". Rubin had been let go with a $90 million severance package.
The company's goodbye email included:

"I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next. With Android he created something truly remarkable — with a billion-plus happy users."

different source for this one: https://t.co/y3Mc8sHxRo
"After Mr. Rubin left, the company invested millions of dollars in his next venture."

There's some controversy over the payout and if it was necessary or not. But there's no two sides to investing in his next company. He sexually assaulted an employee and we continued to work with him.
"The story didn't stop at Rubin. Another high-performing executive, Amit Singhal, the former head of Google Search, was given a multimillion-dollar exit package after a female employee accused him of groping her at an off-site work event."
"A third, Richard DeVaul, allegedly told a female job candidate that he was in a polyamorous relationship during her interview and invited her to meet him at Burning Man, where he asked if he could give her a massage."
DeVaul was not fired.
The coverups surprised me as much as the sexual assault and harassment. We didn't do stuff like this here. We hired good people and didn't let people get away with stuff like this. We cared about making a safe environment for women, just look at all our diversity initiatives.
And we definitely didn't cover it up. But we had hidden Project Maven and Dragonfly from employees, why not this?
Again and again, we asked the execs for answers. The answers became less sincere. Questions were dodged. We were given corp speak and sometimes actual lies.
On November 1, 2018 I walked out with twenty thousand other employees around the world. In New York, there were so many of us I couldn't get anywhere near close enough to hear the speakers.
That week, I and a few other female engineers were invited to a meeting with a VP of my org. One woman talked about how she felt confident coming out of the walkout. That she felt the company had really come together and she was so proud to be at Google.
We all disagreed. Later in the meeting, it came out that she was not an engineer but was actually part of HR.
In December 2018, one of the walkout organizers, Meredith Whitaker "was told she would have to leave the Google Cloud organization, where she had worked for three years."
Another organizer, Claire Stapleton, "was told that her role at YouTube would be “restructured” and she would lose half her reports and responsibilities."
They held a retaliation sit in in New York where we listened to their stories and the anonymized stories of others who had experienced retaliation.
This was the last straw for me. After Dragonfly and Maven, I no longer trusted the company to make ethical decisions.
After many reports of sexual harassment and assault by VPs with high exit packages, I no longer believed we had employees' best interests in mind, especially those of minorities.
And after the retaliation faced by walkout organizers, I no longer believed I could do anything about it.
I set my LinkedIn to "open to offers" the day the retaliation stories were published. I started interviewing soon after and submitted my resignation in July.
I have so much love for what Google used to be and that's why I stayed for so long. Maybe they can be that again, but I'm not going to work for a company I don't believe in while I wait to find out.
I ended that in a good spot but there's a few things I forgot to mention so tacking them onto the end
I want to be clear how obvious the retaliation was in the case of Claire Stapleton. She was literally told she would be demoted. After bringing in a lawyer, the decision was reversed. Because it was reversed, Google says she was never demoted.
According to a Google spokesperson “To reiterate, we don’t tolerate retaliation. Our employee relations team did a thorough investigation of her claims and found no evidence of retaliation."

Additionally, during the walkout, Google was working to remove workplace protections for organizing converted activity over work email. This was not in response to the walkout but rather in response to a lawsuit filed by a fired right wing employee.
But there's no excuse for trying to remove workplace protections for employees. A good reason for that does not exist.

More from Tech

A brief analysis and comparison of the CSS for Twitter's PWA vs Twitter's legacy desktop website. The difference is dramatic and I'll touch on some reasons why.

Legacy site *downloads* ~630 KB CSS per theme and writing direction.

6,769 rules
9,252 selectors
16.7k declarations
3,370 unique declarations
44 media queries
36 unique colors
50 unique background colors
46 unique font sizes
39 unique z-indices


PWA *incrementally generates* ~30 KB CSS that handles all themes and writing directions.

735 rules
740 selectors
757 declarations
730 unique declarations
0 media queries
11 unique colors
32 unique background colors
15 unique font sizes
7 unique z-indices


The legacy site's CSS is what happens when hundreds of people directly write CSS over many years. Specificity wars, redundancy, a house of cards that can't be fixed. The result is extremely inefficient and error-prone styling that punishes users and developers.

The PWA's CSS is generated on-demand by a JS framework that manages styles and outputs "atomic CSS". The framework can enforce strict constraints and perform optimisations, which is why the CSS is so much smaller and safer. Style conflicts and unbounded CSS growth are avoided.
Ok, I’ve told this story a few times, but maybe never here. Here we go. 🧵👇

I was about 6. I was in the car with my mother. We were driving a few hours from home to go to Orlando. My parents were letting me audition for a tv show. It would end up being my first job. I was very excited. But, in the meantime we drove and listened to Rush’s show.

There was some sort of trivia question they posed to the audience. I don’t remember what the riddle was, but I remember I knew the answer right away. It was phrased in this way that was somehow just simpler to see from a kid’s perspective. The answer was CAROUSEL. I was elated.

My mother was THRILLED. She insisted that we call Into the show using her “for emergencies only” giant cell phone. It was this phone:

I called in. The phone rang for a while, but someone answered. It was an impatient-sounding dude. The screener. I said I had the trivia answer. He wasn’t charmed, I could hear him rolling his eyes. He asked me what it was. I told him. “Please hold.”
What an amazing presentation! Loved how @ravidharamshi77 brilliantly started off with global macros & capital markets, and then gradually migrated to Indian equities, summing up his thesis for a bull market case!

@MadhusudanKela @VQIndia @sameervq

My key learnings: ⬇️⬇️⬇️

First, the BEAR case:

1. Bitcoin has surpassed all the bubbles of the last 45 years in extent that includes Gold, Nikkei, dotcom bubble.

2. Cyclically adjusted PE ratio for S&P 500 almost at 1929 (The Great Depression) peaks, at highest levels except the dotcom crisis in 2000.

3. World market cap to GDP ratio presently at 124% vs last 5 years average of 92% & last 10 years average of 85%.
US market cap to GDP nearing 200%.

4. Bitcoin (as an asset class) has moved to the 3rd place in terms of price gains in preceding 3 years before peak (900%); 1st was Tulip bubble in 17th century (rising 2200%).

You May Also Like

Great article from @AsheSchow. I lived thru the 'Satanic Panic' of the 1980's/early 1990's asking myself "Has eveyrbody lost their GODDAMN MINDS?!"

The 3 big things that made the 1980's/early 1990's surreal for me.

1) Satanic Panic - satanism in the day cares ahhhh!

2) "Repressed memory" syndrome

3) Facilitated Communication [FC]

All 3 led to massive abuse.

"Therapists" -and I use the term to describe these quacks loosely - would hypnotize people & convince they they were 'reliving' past memories of Mom & Dad killing babies in Satanic rituals in the basement while they were growing up.

Other 'therapists' would badger kids until they invented stories about watching alligators eat babies dropped into a lake from a hot air balloon. Kids would deny anything happened for hours until the therapist 'broke through' and 'found' the 'truth'.

FC was a movement that started with the claim severely handicapped individuals were able to 'type' legible sentences & communicate if a 'helper' guided their hands over a keyboard.