19 Jan 2005 pcolijn   » (Journeyer)

Noogling

I've officially survived more than a week at Google, and here's what I've got to show for it:

I'm officially a "Noogler"

My cube-mate apparently wore hers home the day we got them. Mine's still at the office :)

Flex Hours

So I guess flex hours were partially rescinded at Niti, based on PlaNit. Wow. Times change, eh? I was definitely one of the "baddies" when I was there, typically showing up between noon and 1. But I often worked until 2am, and I liked it that way, and it made me happy to sleep until 11:30.

Now, you might read that and think either:

  • I worked insanely hard and killed myself at Niti.
  • I'm so insanely stupid that it took me a billion years to get anything done at Niti.
In fact, neither of these is true (well, there's evidence that I'm insanely stupid, but it didn't take me a billion years to do stuff at Niti). It's just that I found that during the day at Niti, I wasn't all that productive. I talked to people, helped people with their problems, they helped with mine, I made espresso, played foosball, etc. At night, when nobody was around, I could just blast through the bugs (and espresso) like nobody's business. I guess the same effect could have been acheived by showing up insanely early, but I just can't think very well before 11 or so. I tried going to bed early and getting up early in Waterloo for a while, and it just didn't work for me...

At Google there are flex hours too, although almost everybody is in by 11 so you feel a bit odd showing up much later. The funny thing is people were still there tonight when I left at 12:30. Typical silicon valley hardcore-ness I guess. I've taken to showering there (which makes sense, since I cycle in) thus avoiding the 4 to 1 person to shower bottleneck at our home in the morning, giving me a few more minutes of sweet, sweet unconsciousness :)

Proprietary software

So the last few days I've been dealing with a binary-only shared library provided by a certain software vendor. All I have is the header, a PDF doc, and a .so. But this particular software vendor is particularly evil, in that their header file blatantly lies. It lies by telling you some functions want a foo * instead of a foo **, and your stuff is segfaulting all over the place until you objdump the .so to look at the asm and realise it's dereferencing twice. (I became very intimately familiar with objdump during my training; it's a life saver).

And then there's the PDF API docs, which also blatantly lie, by telling you stuff like "If you pass in a foo ** here, we'll point it to something valid with some stuff in it." No you won't, you liars, you'll just leave it as NULL. I mean the least you can do if you're going to release a binary-only .so is have some decent docs and accurate headers.

Fortunately, I've managed to work around most of this crud and should be ready for my first code review tomorrow. My first checkin will involve no less than 5 languages. Fun stuff.

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