How to get a job at Google

The interview process at Google has become legendary, and many people are curious about what it takes to get a job there. William Poundstone explains the secret to getting through the interview process there. Here’s an example of one question:

What is the single hardest question they ask you when interviewing at Google?

“What number comes next in this sequence: 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66…?”

This question is hard because you either see the “trick” or you don’t. Nothing you learned in school is likely to help. Try spelling out the numbers—you’ll see that they are in order of the number of letters in the word. “Sixty-six” has eight letters, so the next number must have nine. One possible answer is “ninety-six.”

Poundstone goes on to explain what Google is looking for in interview answers and the type of people, extremely bright extroverts, that Google wants. Your thought process is just as important as your answer. Read the whole article and see if you might fit in.

Salaries keep rising for tech jobs

The stories are getting interesting again about what technology companies are willing to do to find qualified tech workers. Engineers in particular are seeing salary offer rise considerably. In the late 1990s we saw the dot com boom drive the frothy growth in salaries. This time around, giants like Google and Facebook are the big drivers. There’s just so much competition for qualified workers, and this is particularly true in Silicon Valley.

The other driver is a new wave of innovation that’s being driven by cloud computing. You have all sorts of companies pushing the envelope on what is possible now that we have the tremendous resource of the cloud. You have companies like Amazon offering server space for incredible prices, and then you have Apple linking up all of their devices through the cloud. When you take a photo on your phone, it now shows up in iCloud and is then accessible from your Mac. But it’s not just the big companies getting in on the act. Startups are popping up every day to take advantage of these trends.

All of this results in an excellent job market if you’re an IT worker or an engineer. It’s another reason why you can never go wrong learning technical skills, and it’s a field that many should consider if they’re looking to be retrained after losing a job. If you have base math skills, this might be an area you should strongly consider.

In the 1990s, the dot com bubble burst and many tech workers found themselves looking for work. Of course the business cycle is still an issue, and the current frenzy will probably abate a bit, but now the foundation for technology workers is very strong, and the level of innovation seems to be accelerating. So long term job security in this area is probably a safe assumption. Salaries might level off, but the need for tech workers seems to be something we can all count on for the future.

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