The Internship

Michał ‘mina86’ Nazarewicz | 7 października 2013

Due to my current position, I’ve been asked about The Internship several times. Having very low expectations about that title, I’d actually been avoiding it and thus were unable to comment. I have a very special place for watching films that I don’t expect to be good though — a plane. Here I am, flying to Pittsburgh, and those are some of my thoughts.

Most importantly, apart from being filmed at Google Mountain View campus and with some of the Google employees starring in it, the film has very little to do with Google. This should not be a surprise though. In particular, it does not show how Google internships work. I should know, I host an intern. In no particular order:

  • It’s perfectly fine to go for a beer with your boss. I do it all the time. In fact, a customary way of saying goodbye to an intern is going out with the team.
  • It’s perfectly fine to date a fellow Googler or be married to one for that matter. The usual caveats apply, like you shouldn’t date your manager or report. If in doubt, ask HR and they’ll figure something out.
  • Yes, food in cafeterias and µkitchens is free. Working at Google you may in fact get so used to it, that you’ll end up taking a ‘free’ fruit in Starbucks.
  • You actually can take food home but be reasonable about it. Some offices offers plastic containers during dinner so one can take a hot meal home. Moreover, noöne will mind if you take a snack every now and then. Mountain View campus also serves lunch on weekends.
  • Googlers are not such introverts so as to being unable to talk.
  • I may be stating the obvious, but there’s no ‘winner team’ and each intern is evaluated individually. It wouldn’t make sense any other way. In fact, interns are not teamed up together nor given tasks to work on their own (i.e. without Googler’s help).
  • This again may be obvious, but for the sake of completeness, interns never work on such broad variety of subjects. Writing an app, tech support and finding clients? No one would be able to all of do that. Interns are given a specific task in a scope of the team they are in.
  • You don’t take a full big GBus to take a few people to a restaurant. But yes, something like GBus does exists, and it’s a shuttle service taking Googlers to and from offices in Bay Area. And they are awesome — convenient and even have WiFi.
  • Yes, the terms Noogler and Googly, as well as, Noogler’s hats and TGIFs are all real. Even though the last one does not take place on Fridays in all offices. There are also other terms. The two I can recall from the top of my head are: Zoogler — Googler working at the Zürich office — and Spoogler — spouse of a Googler. Their usage varies; some people don’t particularly like them.

Other then that, the film wasn’t really funny, but the story had a few highlights, like that fact that you won’t get a job at Google if you are a jerk.

Women in tech

The last thing that may be worth mentioning is the fact that unfortunately, there aren’t so many women working at Google (or at least not in all offices). This is a problem in the whole tech industry. In my class at high school, girls were outnumbered two to one (and that was considered a low ratio). At the university, among almost two hundred students in my semester, there were three girls.

If you are woman interested in science or technology (which is probably not my usual reading audience) go for it, and don’t get morons discourage you. If you are already studying computer science, here are some programs that may help you:

  • Outreachy helps people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software get involved.’ It is hosted on GNOME’s website, but is not GNOME-specific.
  • Etsy Hacker Grants organised by Hacker School.