April 9th, 2010 | Published in Google Student Blog
Hi again. It's me, Caitlin. Back for another episode of "Caitlin Talks to an Engineer." This time I interviewed Stefan, a Software Engineer in Test in our London office. Remember - if your'e interested in becoming an engineer at Google, visit www.google.com/students. We're still looking for talented students to fill positions around the globe!
Caitlin: So, Stefan--how long have you been at Google?
Stefan: Two and a half years.
Stefan: Two and a half years.
C: What are you working on currently?
S: I'm a Software Engineer in Test with London's engineering productivity team. Our goal is to make development and testing easier and faster for mobile applications. We adapt and set up tools, frameworks and test result reporting for applications including YouTube, Google Maps for Mobile and various Android features. In fact, I'm getting ready to do some testing on the Google Voice for Android app. Previously, my job focused on converting Google's build system to run on Windows and mobile platforms so developers could build things faster and more reliably. I really enjoy writing code, and build tools are quite interesting. Plus, the developers are great to work with!
C: Do you find lots of bugs?
S: We find bugs occasionally, but since we aren't a manual test team it's not our main job. We're there to write better testing tools that actually preempt bugs, reducing the need for time-consuming manual testing later on. We want to have a shorter feedback loop.
C: What is a great gadget or application that you would recommend to us non-techies?
S: Well, this isn't exactly a gadget, but a good mobile internet connection really makes life a lot easier. 3G and WiFi are big growth markets--services are improving and technology is getting cheaper all the time.
C: And you can now get a signal underground in some cities. That's really cool.
S: Yeah, but I wouldn't want that capability in London. Can you imagine what the Tube would be like with people chatting on their phones all the time? Personally, I think Londoners should have data connections, but no voice :). Think of the commute!
C: That's a very good point! So, what do you do when you're not being a software engineer in test?
S: I love sports: swimming, running and cycling--I cycle around the parks with a bunch of other London Googlers. Recently, I’ve felt the need for even more speed, so I'm also trying to get my driver’s license! I haven't actually started practical lessons yet...I'm just getting ready to open the theory books, so we’ll see how this goes.
C: Good luck! Finally, please put on your philosophy hat for this next question: What would you do if you didn't have to work?
S: I'd probably still do my job for much of the time -- I really like it! I'd also spend a bunch of time doing more sports and coming up with new ideas and topics to read up on. I'm sure I'd find lots of interesting things to learn about.
C: You'd be a student of life.
S: Now who's being philosophical!
C: Fair enough. Thanks for talking with me, Stefan!
S: Anytime, Caitlin!