Etterra ,

I wish I could be an inept and glassy-eyed boss.

1984 OP ,
@1984@lemmy.today avatar

Haha yeah some days it sounds pretty good. :)

nyakojiru ,
@nyakojiru@lemmy.dbzer0.com avatar

Only Google? Management is forged on that mostly

luca ,

Sounds like they're still wearing Google Glass.

charonn0 ,
@charonn0@startrek.website avatar

The Verge reported that CEO Sundar Pichai defended the layoffs and claimed that workers sometimes reach out to express gratitude for the cuts. “And I just want to clarify that, through these changes, people feel it on the ground and sometimes people write back and say, ‘Thank you for simplifying.’ Sometimes we have a complicated, duplicative structure,” he said, per the Verge.

Chalmers: People send thank you's for lay offs?

Pichai: Yes.

Chalmers: May I see one?

Pichai: No.

jballs ,

Yeah that whole line smells like pure bullshit. I've never seen anyone be grateful for having their coworkers laid off.

Grippler ,

We had a coworker that got fired a while back, man that was a relief for the entire department. That person was absolutely toxic to work with, or even near.

sukhmel ,

That's true, but if you had some 5–10% of co-workers so toxic that everyone was relieved to have them fired, things do look grim for your company in terms of morale

SolarMech ,

That is different than for layoffs, which generally is less about rooting out toxic people and more about lowering costs. And people know it usually.

That said, anyone causing trouble for management or viewed as not pulling their weight will be the first on the list since management won't have to justify firing them.

merc ,

Fired and laid off are different. The people who were laid off weren't let go because they were a drag on their teams or their departments, but because theoretically the company didn't have enough work for them.

merc ,

I can imagine it, but just a few really awful people. Google, like any company, will have some extreme right-wingers working for it. And, working for Google tends to go with big egos. I can imagine some dude looking at his stock options thinking "yes, all those useless people were holding down the value of my options, now that they're gone I'm going to be rich".

ChaoticEntropy ,
@ChaoticEntropy@feddit.uk avatar

"This is a conversation I could imagine happening if I spoke to my employees directly, and that's as good as an actual conversation."

SolarMech ,

Expect this from corporate and political types alike.

sundray ,
@sundray@lemmus.org avatar
  1. Who writes an email directly to the CEO of their company, and
  2. Who would that email have to be from for the CEO to actually bother reading it?

I'm guessing it's not your rank-and-file type "people".

Natanael ,

Managers from unaffected departments who are glad they have less internal competition. And that's pretty much it.

stoly ,

Certainly only certain people have email addresses that can even send to his inbox. Everyone else would be blocked.

AFC1886VCC ,

No mother it's just the simplification

Delta_V ,

"a lot of people are saying" = the voices in my head are telling me

stoly ,

This is what happens when entitled business bros take over. The sort of person who is uninterested in tech but is interested in quarterly bonuses will be inept and glassy eyed.

jballs ,

I feel like the editor that wrote the headline missed the main point of the article. The headline makes the article sound like there are a bunch of dumb and boring middle managers at Google. The actual article has nothing to do with people's direct bosses or even their bosses' bosses. The article was about how Google execs are ruining the company to appease the shareholders. Best quote from the article is:

“We get that execs are excited about Google’s future,” another question reportedly said. “Why should we be excited, when we might get laid off and not be around to share in that future? If we lose our jobs and equity grants, it’s cold comfort that Google is succeeding off our hard work, and we don’t get rewarded for it, but you do.”

1984 OP ,
@1984@lemmy.today avatar

It's the same everywhere. Companies will kick people out when they want to. Any talk of family or loyalty is extreamly manipulative.

No_Ones_Slick_Like_Gaston ,

Can't think why just can't open contractor positions and keep things honest.
"This is a year contract " great, pick if that's your path and move on when it's over.

Potatos_are_not_friends ,

You're right. Google employs over 140k people.

If the average team is 8-10 people, this article is kinda complaining about 10000+ people being shitty at their jobs.

When really, middle managers are also part of the same worker class.

PriorityMotif ,
@PriorityMotif@lemmy.world avatar

AI will replace middle management.

sundray ,
@sundray@lemmus.org avatar

But who will the VPs yell at? It's no fun bitching out a robot.

fruitycoder ,

Kicking the robots just won't grant them the same pleasure as kicking the serfs I bet. Worse yet might make the inevitable thought "maybe I'm bad at this" might get harder to dismiss it with automata following orders near perfectly.

Just kidding of course they will just blame the devs or personify the AGI making it to blame it.

PriorityMotif ,
@PriorityMotif@lemmy.world avatar

We'll just replace them with robots to bitch at the other robots.

asdfasdfasdf ,

IMO one thing I think should be made into law is that if a company grants unvested equity, everything granted will automatically vest when you get laid off.

If you decide to quit before they vest, I understand that those grants should be forfeited. If you get fired for not doing your job, I also get forfeiting them.

But if the company lays you off, that's on their side, so I think the opposite (automatic vesting) should be guaranteed by law.

SoleInvictus ,
@SoleInvictus@lemmy.world avatar

I had to verify the current situation in the United States is what you stated because it's intuitively so wrong. I can't believe an employer can set terms for compensation and, through no fault of the employee, legally prevent that employee from completing those terms.

Land of the free!

coffee_with_cream ,

Yeah, my company just re-organized their shares and reset my vesting schedule after 5 years. And are trying to get rid of me.

asdfasdfasdf ,

Reset the schedule for shares they already granted you? Or for future grants?

coffee_with_cream ,

Ones they already granted me

moormaan ,

Do you have a signed agreement with them on the original schedule? I don't think it's legal for them to unilaterally change that agreement.

sukhmel ,

Don't know anything about their case, but an acquaintance of mine works for a company that got bought and their vests just evaporated the moment the company changed hands ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

moormaan ,

Ouch

WarmApplePieShrek ,

Illegal. Sue them.

sukhmel ,

I wonder if that depends on the jurisdiction, but I'll ask if that's possible

psychothumbs ,

This is why companies should be run by their workers. Even places that start out with a good culture get taken over by the business school blob whose only job is to get promoted and loot the company.

jelloeater85 ,
@jelloeater85@lemmy.world avatar

There are some folks that know both how to run a business well and are passionate about the technology, but they are rare unfortunately. More common in smaller organizations at least.

sebinspace ,

They’re common in small orgs. Once you go public and the only thing that matters is the quarterly bottom line, you almost have no choice but to replace them with people whose only though is “make number go up”

EnderMB ,

This has been a huge problem for Google for several years now. Under Sundar, Google implemented several regressive "un-Google" policies like Unregretted Attrition (URA) to reduce worker numbers, shifting responsibility to managers and senior leadership to determine technical vision, and promoting people who are solely focused on "empire building" over delivering the best products. The result is a management-heavy structure where policies like "put AI in everything" and "display more ads" are likely to be a business driver over making the best products.

Clent ,

From the article:

“And I just want to clarify that, through these changes, people feel it on the ground and sometimes people write back and say, ‘Thank you for simplifying.’ Sometimes we have a complicated, duplicative structure”

Employees think leadership is out of touch. This statement from the CEO proves this problem exists and starts at the top.

wabafee ,
@wabafee@lemmy.world avatar

To be fair most of them are likely wearing glasses. 😏

Squire1039 ,
@Squire1039@lemm.ee avatar
laughterlaughter ,

Fuck Scott Adams.

fne8w2ah ,

A good example of a bottom-feeding boomer who went batshit insane.

stoly ,

This makes me so sad, I really enjoyed the comic for years and years. Then he had to go and open his fucking mouth and ruin the entire thing. Now I feel a twinge of disgust rather than delight when I see a reference of him.

TheSealStartedIt ,

Not sure if I want to know, but what did he say? I'm out of the loop..

Edit: just found the comment with context from TwilightVulpine below..

stoly ,

Yep. Not just "I took an Ambian", this was full on loon.

Olhonestjim ,

Behind the Bastards did an entire takedown on Scott. Dude has never had it together. He can't imagine himself as anything but the smartest person in any room, then he got rich off Dilbert, which only confirmed it. He views all human interaction as an opportunity to impose his views on others while never changing his mind. He blames other races for every inconvenience he has ever experienced. Trump and COVID then sent him into full fascist lunacy.

KevonLooney ,

He blames other races for every inconvenience he has ever experienced

For those who haven't listened to it, this is not an exaggeration. He blamed diversity initiatives for being fired. It was actually just the company going down the tubes.

That actually sounds like a good Dilbert plotline for a throw away character, maybe named "Scott the vague racist".

Tramort ,

Scott Adams is a complete piece of shit

TwilightVulpine ,

I didn't know what this was about. I found this that can serve as context for others unaware: https://www.npr.org/2023/02/26/1159580425/newspapers-have-dropped-the-dilbert-comic-strip-after-a-racist-rant-by-its-creat

[...] Adams urged white people "to get the hell away from Black people" during a racist rant on his online video program last week, during which he labeled Black people a "hate group."

On his video show last week, the 65 year old said he had been identifying as Black "because I like to be on the winning team," and that he used to help the Black community. Adams said the results of the Rasmussen poll changed his mind.

"It turns out that nearly half of that team doesn't think I'm okay to be white," he said, adding that he would re-identify as white. "I'm going to back off from being helpful to Black America because it doesn't seem like it pays off," he said. "I get called a racist. That's the only outcome. It makes no sense to help Black Americans if you're white. It's over. Don't even think it's worth trying."

This is not the first time Adams' strip has been dropped. Last year, The San Francisco Chronicle and 76 other newspapers published by Lee Enterprises reportedly dropped Dilbert after Adams introduced his first Black character. Quinn noted that the move was "apparently to poke fun at 'woke' culture and the LGBTQ community."

Tramort ,

Thanks for that. I should have included some context.

xantoxis ,

You don't have to contextualize everything you say, it's fine. Sometimes people gotta look it up, and in this case, they did.

Asafum ,

Well go figure... Rasmussen polls have been seen to drift with a rightward bias over the last decade or so. In the early 2000s they were the gold standard, but eventually they started with the political manipulation bullshit by wording their polls in a biased way.

More than likely whatever poll this asshat read about was one of those manipulative ones that was created to serve a specific political purpose to help Republicans.

TwilightVulpine ,

The whole "it's okay to be white" thing is a dogwhistle to begin with. It might seem benign, if weirdly unprompted without context. The issue is that among some groups this is often followed up with accusing black movements and immigrants of wanting to get rid of white people, rather than just seeking equality, which is done to fuel racism. This is why a lot of black people might be suspicious of that statement. Nevermind that not agreeing with it might simply mean unsure rather than against.

This whole thing is a roundabout rhetorical play to bait people who are more afraid of being accused of being racist, you know, because racism is bad, than understand that racism has a whole history, that black people have good reasons to be wary of people who are a little too proud of being white. But detached white people might be fooled by a superficial read of "why is it okay to be you but not okay to be me, maybe you are the racist".

If anything he proved that he is exactly the kind of white guy that black people might be worried about. He doesn't care about them unless he's on the "winning team" and gets a reward for it.

KevonLooney ,

See, the thing is it's totally fine to be proud of being white. You can be proud of your family, region, native country, language, whatever. Plenty of people go visit where their family is from.

The problem is dummies (who actually know nothing about their heritage) thinking skin color means you're better than someone. That's probably caused by a lack of information about heritage. Especially in the US, black people are like 25% white. That means a lot of Southern white people have black relatives.

merc ,

it’s totally fine to be proud of being white

Why would anybody be proud of their skin colour?

If you think of yourself as Scottish and are proud of Scottish culture and things Scots have done, that's one thing. Especially if you think you were raised with Scottish culture and it shaped who you are today. Same with pride in a religion, or a family, or who knows what. But, pride in a skin colour is ridiculous.

flathead ,

Quick! Somebody order more pizza and ping pong tables...

postmateDumbass ,

VR ping pong can be played from cubicles, or VR cubicles in a Matrix style bioenergy plant

flathead ,

Great idea! Here's a starbucks gift voucher for your initiative! Now if we can just figure out how to simulate pizza....

postmateDumbass ,

There is Almost Pizza

EncryptKeeper ,

Or a Skynut-style ejaculate-powered-robot testicle gas station bioenergy plant even.

sukhmel ,

I heard 9^th of February is world pizza day, so… makes total sense

flathead ,

Every day is pizza day here!!! That's what makes us a "Great Place to Work" (GPTW^TM^)

Would you care for a chair massage?

sukhmel ,

Thanks, my chair is doing good as it is

hades ,

[...] Sundar Pichai defended the layoffs and claimed that workers sometimes reach out to express gratitude for the cuts.

"It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week."

1984 OP ,
@1984@lemmy.today avatar

Those workers are kissing ass to make their careers.

Sundar is a complete idiot if he believes what those guys say. And he probably doesn't, but it sounds good to the press I guess.

TSG_Asmodeus ,
@TSG_Asmodeus@lemmy.world avatar

Managers are also 'workers' according to people like this guy, so they're the ones saying thanks (because they are kissing ass.)

xantoxis ,

Even the press isn't fooled. Sundar isn't fooled. The other employees aren't fooled. We, the outside observers, aren't fooled. You have to wonder what the point of all this was.

ReallyActuallyFrankenstein ,

Yeah, I thought his clueless reaction not only didn't dispel but just confirmed the problem.

He's in a bubble, clueless that Google is now staffed by up-managing promo-seekers and not people who care about solving problems in a "googly" way like it was 10 years ago. His toadying to Wall Street and corporate culture shift did that, and now he doesn't even notice that people are telling him what he wants to hear and complimenting his policies even when they don't work.

merc ,

Google employs, what, hundreds of thosuands of people now? All of them have stock options, many are millionaires from their Google stock. They also have big egos, and are often engineers (i.e. not very empathetic).

I can imagine a few people not caring about co-workers they never met being let go, and believing management's story that they were letting go people who weren't needed and were just a drag on the company. Some, especially right-wingers, probably look at their options, see the share price going up, and are happy about the layoffs. They mistakenly believe it wouldn't happen to them because they're much more valuable, and they see themselves more as Google stockholders rather than employees.

Still, a competent CEO knows that those kinds of employees are terrible for the culture of the organization. Rather than admitting that some employees like it their fellow employees are let go, he'd be smarter to say "it's tough for us because we're a family, so nobody likes it when we have to lay people off, but sometimes business realities make it necessary."

stoly ,

LOL I bet he believes that.

namewok ,

The problem will disappear by hiring more third worlders and increasing diversity... lol

Lemminary ,

Says the three day-old account with net negative votes on a handful of comments. But tell us more about how Apple customers will be calling people "poors".

namewok ,

Nice profile diving

TheBat ,
@TheBat@lemmy.world avatar

I'll do some pro-life diving in your mum

namewok ,

Saaar

Holyginz ,

You must be new to the internet. Someone makes a stupid remark or claim like yours you check their profile to see if they are actually stupid or trolling or likely both.

Lemminary ,

Am I wrong? If I'm gonna reply to someone saying stupid shit you bet your ass I'm gonna find out more about them first

datendefekt ,
@datendefekt@lemmy.ml avatar

Who could've imagined that Google is becoming just as mediocre and boring as any other large corporation. What a surprise!

ObviouslyNotBanana ,
@ObviouslyNotBanana@lemmy.world avatar

When times are tough
Work environment gets rough

I guess.

Deceptichum ,
@Deceptichum@kbin.social avatar

Tough times create rough workplaces, rough workplaces create strong employees, strong employees create unions, unions create better workplaces.

TheBat ,
@TheBat@lemmy.world avatar

When times are tough

Work environment gets rough

Delete stuff from prod

To keep things interesting enough

prole ,
@prole@sh.itjust.works avatar

Oof. The syllable count... Well I guess they're not paying you to be a poet.

not_again ,

Burma Shave

Reverendender ,
@Reverendender@sh.itjust.works avatar

It's happening at my company right now. We just merged. I got a taste of power, performed well, then got written up for spending too much time on my power project. Now they have neutered any power I had, and I'm a glorified babysitter and messenger. The hunt now begins in earnest.

Crackhappy ,
@Crackhappy@lemmy.world avatar

Good luck.

UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT ,

Damn that sucks. I've been laid off before, and I was lucky enough to have a bunch of references and ins at other jobs right away.

Just keep making friends and building marketable skills on the company dime, is what I am doing anyway

Reverendender ,
@Reverendender@sh.itjust.works avatar

Yes, I'm in no danger of being fired it doesn't seem. I've been there 6 years and have an enormous amount of knowledge of our product and operations. And it was just a 'verbal counseling' (which is written down, sent to HR, and added to your record; totally verbal though). So I'll just keep on project managing timelines and crap, and collecting my Pacheck. But now I have like 8 months of successful product management under my belt to add to the resume

UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT ,

I thought the same thing at 5 years, and everyone I heard from said it was a mistake to lay me off. Last I heard, my responsibilities were being split up between 3 people. On top of that I found out I was getting underpaid, so I was a good deal on top of that :p

Anyway despite all that, I still wasn't part of whatever vision upper management had going forward, so they gave me a sweet severance and sent me on my way. I'm not mad, but it's definitely made me careful not to expect my job to be safe.

BearOfaTime ,

Last time I was laid off it started with "we need to really nail down the docs for these systems".

No one ever gives you extra time for documentation.

Like you, my responsibilities were split between 2 or 3 people.

I'll never again do documentation that well. Fuck 'em. That's not true - I will, for myself.

UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT ,

Yeah I can't feel good about that kind of stuff anymore (it's the same thing in my field with IaC - Infrastructure as Code). Even if I agree that these are good ideas, it all comes down to being able to treat workers like interchangeable cogs rather than people who can amass knowledge and expertise over time.

Then the dream: that you could sell an entire skeleton of a company with none of the old workers clinging to the bones, and another team of replaceable workers could just slot themselves in place and start making money for investors!

I'm not sure it'll ever get that extreme, but it's not ethics that is blocking it from happening, but material reality.

So yeah, fuck the docs.

BearOfaTime ,

I hadn't considered the impact of IaC type things, but I can see bean counters thinking "well it's documented, so any monkey will do", without being able to quantify to lost time/opportunity cost when people have to fumble through.

In my case, I'm always thinking ahead, trying to see the ways our imperfect systems are going to be a problem, and at least consider high-level options for those things, or for directional change we may see.

I don't make any plans, just some notes, in case any of those questions come up.

Someone unfamiliar with these systems will be in "fix" mode all the time, trying determine why something doesn't work, and reading through docs trying to comprehend things.

fruitycoder ,

I'm a big fan towards pushing for IaC and configuration as code too. What you have to do is also push for policy as code and finops too keep the managers and power point pushers on their toes too. At least it's seemed to engender some empathy from some for me.

UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT ,

An interesting proposition, and one I'll be thinking about for sure. Sadly we probably won't ever get "VC as Code" hah so none of us are safe

fruitycoder ,

The crypto space is convinced they are that. ICOs instead of IPOs. DAOs instead of boards of investors. Etc.

SolarMech ,

Those are really stupid managers.

If you don't have docs it's a tough competition between having your more knowledgeable devs re-explaining what they know X times to X new hires, or letting new devs figure it out on their own which is both costly in terms of their time and more importantly, risky as hell.

Bad managers love risk though. Since it usually is a choice between speed now and risk later, it only blows up in your face later, and quite spectacularly, and everyone looks like heroes while they are putting fires out on overtime.

That said good managers probably don't tolerate that shit from bad managers under them and can sniff out a firefighter culture pretty quick.

I guess what I meant to say was, managers that value doc do exist. If they really do, they'll let you know.

BearOfaTime ,

I've watched entire teams of people with 15+ years at a company get decimated. All firedwith made-up BS. From director level down.

All because a bean counter told senior management they weren't firing enough people (their firing stats were below some metric).

Maybe that's because, somehow, you did a good job hiring and on boarding people?

stevehobbes ,

Not for nothing, it doesn’t sound so successful.

Working with people is a very core skill. You suggest that this came out of the blue - but I would bet that there were a lot of missed signals on the way. Escalating straight to verbal warnings and demotion in role or responsibility means you’re missing something very fundamental in what wasn’t working or was missed.

SlopppyEngineer ,

A few years ago the MBA suits took over from the nerds and it became inevitable.

UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT ,

I'm not sure the nerds ever really had the best intentions, so were probably really easy to buy off

psivchaz ,

TBH I don't get why people criticize selling out as if they wouldn't do it, too. I don't want to sit and amass wealth indefinitely, if I have a company and someone comes along and offers "retire rich forever" money, I'm taking it and fucking off to somewhere fun. Especially if we're talking billions, no one will ever hear my name again.

BigFatNips ,

[Thread, post or comment was deleted by the author]

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  • valek879 ,

    It seems as though you underestimate the appeal of billions of dollars. It's not just the ability to never have to work again. Or power, prestige or any other nonsense. Or even just having tons of money. It's not greed that makes it appealing.

    It's the security. The safety if knowing you'll never have to worry about food or housing. That your parents and family will be well taken care of. Your children will be able to have it all, that you've set them up for success and they won't have to struggle. It's knowing that your best friend who was diagnosed with cancer will have the best care available, wherever that may be in the world, and won't have to worry about food or housing or anything else while getting better.

    You're either too young to understand or are lacking in empathy.

    I'm not saying being a billionaire isn't inherently immoral. But the reason people take payouts like that are not solely down to greed.

    psivchaz ,

    I don't quite understand. Are you saying it's immoral to sell a business? Is it retiring that's immoral? I didn't say that everyone secretly anything, I just don't understand why the hate.

    Look, there's no such thing as an ethical billionaire. I get that, and fully believe it. But I don't get why people think "selling out" is a thing when it's often basically short hand for "retiring and letting someone else make the money."

    GigglyBobble ,

    It's not immoral to sell a business but anybody who actually has or even founded one and has an intact moral compass would not sell in a way you described.

    You have a responsibility for your customers and employees and you don't just throw it into the dumpster like that because money isn't everything.

    sukhmel ,

    You're kinda right but is there really a way to tell if someone who's buying your business is going to do good or bad (except when selling to M$)?

    Psyduck_world ,

    I am old enough to remember that Apple was the pirate of Silicon Valley, and then it became the most “cooperation” company in the industry. Then it’s Google then there will be a next one. It’s probably inevitable for any company to go this route.

    TheBat ,
    @TheBat@lemmy.world avatar

    It's cute that you think any new corporation of that calibre will be born in near future. It will get bought out before that happens

    UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT ,

    It be the age of pirates no morrre? Arr... :C

    prole ,
    @prole@sh.itjust.works avatar

    Unregulated capitalism ruins everything if given enough time.

    ShepherdPie ,

    It's a well travelled path for any company in the tech sphere. Start out as a disruptor and breath of fresh air in a stagnant industry and then slowly crank the dial toward enshittification over time hoping that the reputation you previously built will keep your customer base from jumping ship too quickly.

    Aceticon ,

    They've long been quite mediocre judging by the incredible long hours of those working there and shit quality of basically any technical framework they put out.

    They have shoved tons of resources into some things (such as Android) and thus at times succeeded (though usually they don't), but in terms of quality from a technical point of view (i.e. software design, technical architecture) their stuff looks like it was hammered together by a bunch of junior devs.

    Lucky timing followed by some smart strategical decisions (and, seemingly, lots of money together with a throw everything at the wall and see what sticks management strategy) are what made Google, not excellence.

    psivchaz ,

    It's unfair to discount Google's early days. They DID have technical excellence. Search was leagues better than the competition. Gmail was an amazing leap from other providers. Android started as trash but improved rapidly. The Nexus line of phones was amazing. Google Maps was a huge improvement over what else existed. They did a lot right.

    I can't pinpoint exactly when the fall started. Was it when Pichai became CEO? When they removed "don't be evil?" I remember a speech Pichai gave where he talked about "more wood behind fewer arrows" as why they were getting rid of employee child projects, so maybe it was that.

    chunkystyles ,

    Android started as trash

    It started off by beating the pants off of iOS in terms of features, but was not nearly as polished.

    Definitely not trash. But also not polished for the masses.

    BearOfaTime ,

    And they acquired it in the first place.

    To their credit (or at least the Android team), they quickly moved it from Linux-on-a-handheld to a real thing.

    Android still isn't as polished as iOS, but it's a far more capable system.

    And that's good. iOS has it's place, as does Android.

    baltakatei ,
    @baltakatei@sopuli.xyz avatar

    I can't pinpoint exactly when the fall started.

    In my opinion, it was when anti-trust laws did not trigger upon Google acquiring YouTube because Google Video couldn't compete. That meant it was open season on start-ups that otherwise might have grown to kill Google or other big tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft.

    TwilightVulpine ,

    Oh yeah, I even forgot Google Video used to be a thing.

    baltakatei ,
    @baltakatei@sopuli.xyz avatar

    See List of mergers and acquisitions by Alphabet for the graveyard list. Sorting by Price helps. Some other notable companies that Google acquired rather than compete with:

    • Nest Labs (home automation)
    • DropCam (home automation)
    • DoubleClick (advertisement)
    • FitBit (wearables)
    • Waze (GPS navigation)
    • Skybox Imaging (satellite mapping)
    • Like.com (shopping)
    • Meebo (social network)
    • GrandCentral (VOIP)
    • Picasa (photographry)
    • Tenor (GIF search)
    • PhotoMath (LLM; became Bard)
    merc ,

    Gmail was an amazing leap from other providers.

    Gmail really wasn't any better than Hotmail at first, it was just that they gave you a huge (at the time) amount of storage, when Hotmail users regularly had to delete old mail or attachments.

    Reverendender ,
    @Reverendender@sh.itjust.works avatar

    What's a technical architecture? Serious question.

    Aceticon ,

    Coding standards, library standards (stuff like naming conventions), software development processes, higher level software design concerns (for example, take in account the need for change in the future as part of a software design), design libraries taking in account extrenal concerns (say, how 3rd parties actually work with them) and so on.

    It's basically the next level from software design, which in turns is the next level from coding.

    The most senior position one can have in the technical career track in programming is Technical Architect.

    As far as I can tell, Google doesn't really have any of those (or they're not at all good at their job).

    RedstoneValley ,

    Having a dedicated technical architect who hovers above the dev team handing architectural decisions down is also not always seen as an ideal construct in software development.

    HobbitFoot ,

    It isn't ideal because it slows the project down, which may be good if it reduces technical debt.

    doubletwist ,

    If you have a technical architect who does that then they are just bad at their job, but that doesn't invalidate the importance such a position can have (if done right) in a large software development company.

    BearOfaTime ,

    They probably do, but with how expansive they are, the massive variety of acquisitions, and not being clairvoyant, it's gotta be like herding cats.

    I've worked in tech companies (systems management, telecom, etc) and in conventional businesses (manufacturing, distributing, production, reselling, banking, etc).

    The arch teams in conventional business are more structured, formalized, as their remit is to ensure infrastructure is stable, predictable, and to practically eliminate risk.

    The tech companies have arch teams whose focus is interoperability between business units, high communication, maximize utilization, etc. Risk is still a concern, but it's not primary (unless you fuck up). Tech orgs are about flexibility.

    stoly ,

    Notable: Google Home can no longer set timers and does not understand what "stop playing" means. It's basically only usable for asking for music to be played since it has declined so heavily.

    WhiteOakBayou ,

    I just tried to reproduce your comment. Google home set a timer for me and play/paused my TV (chromecast with google tv) I don't have streaming music to test it on. I do agree that the quality of Google home has gotten terrible though. It takes a lot more prompting to do simple things and has stopped some scheduling tasks as far as I can tell.

    stoly ,

    When I ask it to set a timer, it tells me that it doesn't understand me. If I ask it to stop playing, it tells me that it doesn't understand me. I have to just say "stop". It also used to transfer whatever you were listening to between speakers, but cannot understand me anymore if I ask for that.

    BearOfaTime ,

    "Becoming"?

    "Don't be evil". Not-evil people don't need to say such things.

    Also, any large organization is a shit show, regardless of what it's organized for. It's the nature of humanity.

    A (former) boss used to say "if you have 3 employees you have nine problems".

    xantoxis ,

    They famously threw out "Don't be evil" when they formed Alphabet, a move that was, I have to admit, surprisingly honest of them.

    postmateDumbass ,

    It was a Warrant Canary

    merc ,

    “Don’t be evil”. Not-evil people don’t need to say such things.

    That was a reference to Microsoft. They were on trial / convicted for abusing their monopoly in awful ways to screw over any potential competitors, and making the experience terrible for Microsoft users. As bad as Google might be today, they're nowhere near as bad as Microsoft was. And, in the early years, they were definitely the anti-Microsoft in the tech world.

    stoly ,

    It became this in approximately 2009 - 2010, around when the founders left and the business bros took over. We've been seeing the slow decline since then, though it may be accelerating now.

    Chocrates ,

    I loved Google for so long, but they have really lost it. I switched back to Firefox last year as a meek sign of protest. My work still uses Gmail and my personal email is still Gmail, it's gonna be rough to extricate myself. My fucking phone number is Google voice

    stoly ,

    Yep. Gmail is the final piece for me. Everything else has been migrated at this point.

    I will keep YouTube sadly. Sad because it’s Google.

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