I suppose that since this is my first post, I should write a little bit about myself; I’m twenty years old, in my third (and final) year of a Computer Science degree at the University of Manchester, and I’m passionate about sport (specifically karate and bouldering at the moment) and being a software engineer.
I’ve been out of the country for the past four months while I was doing a Summer Internship at Google Munich, so it’s great to be back in Manchester; especially since I get to see all of my friends again.
I guess since I’ve only been in Manchester for a total of four days now, there’s not too much to write about in that regard, but lots of cool stuff happened in Germany, so you can hear about that instead.
I’ve wanted to become a ‘Googler’ for a long time now, so when I heard that I had been offered an internship over the summer, I was super excited! When you apply for an internship at Google, you have to apply to a specific region (this was EMEA – Europe, Middle East and Africa, for me), and you can be hired into any office in that region. London is a large engineering office for Google, and being based in the UK, I assumed I’d be matched with a team there. I was certainly surprised when I got a call asking if I’d like to intern in Munich!
I figured that despite speaking practically no German, and having never lived abroad, working in Deutschland for a Summer would be too good of an opportunity to miss. I was told that the project I was working on was secret, and I’d be programming in Java, which also sounded good to me.
Finding accommodation in Munich is really hard, it’s a very desirable place to live, and house prices are sky-rocketing. Thankfully, after only around half an hour of searching, I found a landlady on a website for English speakers living in Germany who was willing to let me rent.
The house turned out to be twenty minutes on the U-bahn (the subway) from the centre of Munich (which is where the Google office is). It was also really near the Isar, which is the river running through Munich; perfect for running/cycling down, or just relaxing with a beer!
There were about twenty other interns in the Munich office, which is maybe around one intern per team. The Google website describes the Munich office as having ‘more than the number of known moons in our solar system’ Googlers in it, but I disagree, there are probably around ‘the number of possible states of a nine bit binary number’ 😉
My project was really cool. I was in a team working on Google accounts and their associated infrastructure, and I got to work with lots of the tech that Google is most famous for, including running Map Reduce jobs on many, many machines, using Spanner (a super cool database), and much more stuff that’s still internal. Perhaps the best bit for me was working every day with people who are quite possibly the best software engineers I’ve ever met, having them review my code, show me best practices, and just having a blast with them!
Amongst my team, bouldering was a favoured activity outside of work. Twice a week, five of us would head down to Boulderwelt before work to spend a few hours there. Bouldering is like climbing, except you never go above ~4 meters, and there are very thick mats below you so it’s kind of safe(ish) to fall off at any point. One reason it’s popular within the office, is that it’s really good at relieving lower back pain from sitting at a desk for too long, which is a problem that lots of software engineers have to deal with.
I think there’s far too much cool stuff that happened in my internship to properly give justice to in a single blog post. Working there was beyond amazing, it’s such a shame I had to leave! However, coming back to university is always super fun too, and I’m sure third year will keep me very well occupied!
Chrome’s seventh birthday cake was by far the best birthday cake I’ve ever seen (and eaten)!
I plan on updating this blog once a month or so, stay tuned!