Working at Google as a Cloud Software Engineer

Working at Google as a Cloud Software Engineer


My name is Kelly Harrington. I’m a software engineer within
Google’s Security and Privacy. I work on a team called Safe Browsing, and we run on a large fleet of virtual
machines that we use to scan the internet and determine if a given site is
hosting dangerous content or not. You know, when you think about what
it takes to scan the entire internet, that is really Google-scale technical work. Being able to impact that many users,
it’s a really powerful thing. You know, it’s one thing to think
about how would I secure myself or then how do I secure my family members or my friends at different levels of technical expertise, but then you think about, you know, there
could be people from different cultures or maybe they’re using a device
that has very little memory, and how do you make the best
use of that memory to secure them. No matter what you do, there’s always something new
happening, some new challenge that you have to face, and nothing you do is ever going to be good enough because there’s always someone who might
be trying to undo what you’re doing, and so it’s a big challenge, but it’s
also part of the fun of the role. Security and Privacy is a huge priority at Google,
and I think it should be a huge priority everywhere, because you want users to trust you. Our leaders think that’s hugely important. We’re part of technical infrastructure which is
basically the building blocks that Google is built on, and so that’s part of the Cloud organization because
of the protections that we provide Cloud customers. So for example, Safe Browsing, Cloud customers can use the APIs to protect
their users from visiting dangerous links because there’s a lot of opportunities in Cloud for things
to go wrong, and that’s where security people come in because we make things go right. One of the wonderful things about
being an engineer at Google is that there’s already an answer to a lot of questions, so a lot of technical challenges of, you know, what software should I use for this,
or what language or what library should I use, are kind of answered for you by all of the
resources and the other teams at Google, where that’s really their mission. So it makes it a lot easier to build complex things on top
of it because a lot of that work’s already done for you. Other Googlers that work on Safe
Browsing, I mean, they’re brilliant. It’s just so great to work with these people, just because
they all have such a deep knowledge of the domain, and not everyone comes in with that. That’s something that’s really built up over time. One thing that’s important to know
about Security and Privacy is that even if you don’t have a background knowledge, it’s really an area where there’s a lot of
opportunities to pick up that knowledge, and it’s really an area that’s so up and coming, that everyone has to read these things to
stay on top of what’s going on in the world. You really have room to kind
of grow into it if you want to. So I think there are a lot of opportunities
at Google for career growth, both for people who might be completely new
to the industry or coming out of undergrad, and then also for established people to come in because, you know, there’s always teams
and opportunities for leadership at Google. I came to Google straight out of undergrad,
and now I’m a TL (technical lead), and I’m able to have a real voice in
the decisions that my team makes, and so it’s a big difference, but it’s felt really natural, and I’ve had a lot of support to kind
of come into my own as an engineer. I think Google is a great place to do security work because there’s just so many
different things that need securing. We’re a company that has hardware, we have software, we have every sort of different project you can imagine, and every single project comes
with its own security challenges. It’s just some place where I can
never imagine myself getting bored. There’s always something new and interesting going on,
and you get to be right up there close as it happens.

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