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Goodbye Google, thanks for the ride!

July 4, 2021

Tags: Work Experience

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Noogler

I started learning programming on my own in the summer of 2012, one year before starting my integrated Master’s at the University of Porto. In the next summer, in 2013, the movie The Internship came out, and with it started my dream of some day working at Google. I always thought this was an impossible dream, but through preserverance, work and a bit of luck, I managed to achieve it.

In 2016 I did my first internship in London, followed by a second one in Mountain View which led to a full-time position in Munich which I started in 2018. Since then, I became a Senior Software Engineer and a Tech Lead for a talented group of people that made me better every single day. I’m still amazed at how much I learned and grew over this period: I learned how to write proper software and how to solve difficult problems, I learned how to contribute as a small part of a huge machine and I learned how to lead others toward a common goal in an effective way.

Others may have different experiences, but I absolutely loved my time at Google! Sure, it isn’t a startup anymore and there’s more bureocracy than one would prefer, but for a 150k+ person company, it moves surprisingly well and is still very much bottom-up in solving problems (at least in my team). Even as a “Noogler”, being able to chime in with ideas and see them come to fruition at the scale we operate is incredible, and there’s nothing like the feeling of having millions of users even for the smallest of our projects. It’s simply mindblowing…

Despite my love for Google, which will certainly last for many years, one question has been looming on my mind almost since I started working full-time: “what’s next?”. Am I going to be chasing the next promotion or work on larger and larger projects forever, or do I want something different? What about startups? What about working on other areas?

I always felt like this question came from my past brief experience as “CEO” which made me want more of that constant pressure and challenge, so startups have been a tempting thought all along. I’ve been extremely curious about the experience of working with a smaller but focused team, solving an ambiguous problem without knowing its solution, all while navigating the survival pressure that comes with the lack of stability startups tend to have. I knew I wanted to try this at some point, so I constantly asked myself when would be the right time to do it.

With the forced change in perspective caused by the pandemic and after a lot of thinking, I’ve finally decided to take the leap, leave Google and join an exciting young startup in Porto (Replai). This was an extremely difficult decision, as I love Google and the team I worked with. Although I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved and what’s on the roadmap, it is time for me to try something new and learn how to “swim” again. I’m extremely excited to join Replai, a team with a few familiar faces, and see how much we can achieve together!

Next week will be my last working at Google and I’ll join Replai later this month.

So long Google, thanks for all the memories, fun and obviously the delicious food :)

July 4, 2021

Tags: Work Experience

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