Saturday 4 March 2023

Signing off from Google

Cameron at Google

It's been a great three years at Google. So many opportunities to do something meaningful, to learn, to be impactful.

Chromebook requirements team

It's been an exciting journey maturing requirements management, traceability, testing. It's enabling chromebooks to scale. We have a talented team - I'm looking forward to hearing continued great things from you.

Cross-Google requirements engineering folks

It's been wonderful to see the cross-pollination of ideas between projects. We have learned from your collective wisdom. Will be great to see this continue.

ChromeOS in general

I've worked 1:1 with many hundreds of you, polishing requirements and documentation, and have been very proud of what we have achieved together. Keep up the good work.

Chromebook Docs & Training team

How far we've come in lifting our processes and tools and documentation quality. Still plenty to do. Great to have your expertise to realize the future challenges.

Sydney Chromebook team

Thanks for your encouragement, for your personal face-to-face friendships, for being my lunch buddies, for your collaboration in developing requirements.

Google Tech Writing community

I'm going to really miss tapping into such a depth of wisdom embodied within Google's tech writing community. I'm particularly disappointed to be leaving just as a cross-Google tech writing initiative is kicking off. It will be great fun and has great goals. I'm now extra-hopeful that some of you will collaborate externally, so us Ex-Googlers can join in. I hang out in The Good Docs Project.

Green AU team

We have such a great opportunity to amplify Green ideas through Google, and to bring international Googler Green ideas and technology to Australia.
And Australia is ideally positioned to become an international leader in Green energy, something we can tap into and amplify within Google.
I’m hopeful my future employment is in this green space, and I get to work with you again from the outside.

Geo folks

Great to see folks embracing that:
  1. We have a misaligned mapping problem due to hacks which ignore tectonic plate motion.
  2. The problem is solvable, with easy quick wins, starting with storing coordinates in a static datum.
I look forward to hearing progress in this area.

Why leave?

Google’s been forced to realign priorities and is cutting 12,000 roles “across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions”. My Sydney team is one of those targeted.

Would I come back?

  • Yes. I've met so many interesting, genuine and passionate people in Google, thinking bigger than just their day jobs.
  • Yes. Google provides great opportunities to amplify personal contributions to the world.
  • Yes. It's hard to beat Google's great lunches.

What's left for Google to get better at?

  • We're good, but sometimes we should remind ourselves that awesomeness exists outside of Google too. It's worth looking.
  • Maybe collaborate more. Yes, it costs more in the short term, but it's usually worth it for the long term play.
  • Maybe ask if our internal initiatives can help the world, as well as just Googlers. There's usually a good business case.
  • And if really brave, read Praveen Seshadri’s essay The maze is in the mouse.

What's next for me?

  • There are some wicked challenges in the Green space, and Australia has the opportunity to become a green energy leader. I'd love to apply my skills here.
  • We've been maturing the tech writing disciple within The Good Docs Project. It would be nice to continue this.
  • And I'm open to picking up in the Geospatial Business Analysis, or Systems Engineering spaces again too.
Cameron Shorter,
Senior Technical Writer, Google's ChromeOS Platforms

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