Friday, January 28, 2011

Insightfulness and the Whole YouTube and Google Thing

It's incredibly early in the morning, which logically means I'm up incredibly late at night. Happy birthday to me, by the way. I'm feeling particularly insightful and inspired at the moment, having just watched Primer, a truly stunning film about time travel, and understood it well enough on my first time through to finally solve a programming problem that has been at the back of my mind for several months now. I've got a really unique idea for a project that may change the face of programming. At this point it's all very hush-hush, since, though my mind has proven that it should work, I really can't say anything about it till I put my skills where my mouth is and prove that it actually does. All I can really say is that it's tremendously exciting.

Anyway, what's with this whole YouTube thing? Well, as you almost certainly already know, I posted a video giving a critique of the YouTube home page layout, which was noticed independently by a couple of Google employees, one apparently a recruiter, the other a software engineer. I received requests for my CV from both of these, and had a long and quite pleasant phone conversation with the engineer about where I might possibly fit in at either Google or YouTube, and what it's like to work for these companies in general.

At this point it's all just fun and games, really, and the terrifying thrill of being noticed by a giant is even enough for now. I've received no official word yet on whether I have an interview or anything like that, but I certainly hope so, as I doubt there's any pair of companies in the world that I would love more to work for, or that are more deserving of my interest. If hired, I'll likely end up doing an internship over the summer, during which time I would strive to be as deserving as possible of a full-time position.

I spoke quite briefly on the phone yesterday evening with a YouTube employee who also asked about my interests and how I might see myself fitting in there. He seemed distracted, and I think perhaps he wasn't taking me very seriously, though this may have had something to do with the fact that I had difficulty hearing him and had to fumble a bit to get anything said properly. That aside, he seemed vaguely concerned about the fact that my cumulative GPA is only 3.25 on a 4-point scale, but I look at it this way:

If my studies were 100% engaging, I would have a 4.0. The missing 0.75 grade points account for just shy of 20% of a perfect score. Making the reasonable assumptions that I spend an equal amount of time on engaging schoolwork as engaging personal work, and that I only work on engaging things, I conclude that around 20% of my time and effort that would otherwise be spent on school is actually spent on other projects. Coincidentally, 20% is also the amount of time that a Google software engineer is expected to spend on personal development work. Hm.

I may not be a model student, but I am actually a damn good worker, especially when it comes to such a workplace as Google or YouTube, about which I've heard only good things, firsthand and otherwise. I can only hope that one of these companies figures out how valuable I could be to them, and snatches me up before I go waste my skills doing unimportant things that don't drive me to excel. I need a challenging environment, pressure, and brilliant people to make me perform consistently at that level.

Anyway, we'll see where it goes. At the very least, I got a bunch more views and subscribers, and there's nothing wrong with that. And who knows? This time in a year or two I could be somewhere quite new.

♥ Why

1 comment:

  1. I have an acquaintance who's a recruiter for a large company, and he is suspicious of anyone with a 4.0 for the very reasons you just listed. I'm surprised the YouTube employee felt that way.

    Your success on YouTube (or AT YouTube/Google) seems inevitable to me. Your thoughts are so relateable and well-thought out; I really enjoy your videos. Like you said, a lot of the "success" other people have had is because of chance. It's just a matter of time before someone runs across one of your videos.

    ...not that you needed anyone to tell you all of that, you obviously have great insight on YouTube. :) Still, I hope maybe I encouraged you a little bit.

    Good luck, keep doing what you love!