Visiting Google

One hour from now, I will be starting a day of interviews at Google's Mountain View headquarters. Needless to say, my phone interview with David Hanson on July 21st went well; he only asked one dumb question (how to perform a topological sort) and Google was clearly convinced that further phone interviews would be pointless. It will be interesting to see who I end up interviewing; I'm not sure how much they were paying attention when I pointed out that I work in algorithms first, and in security only when necessary.

That said, I very nearly decided not to visit Mountain View at all. Google's NDA -- which I have not yet signed, but will be signing before 10AM this morning -- requires that "Confidential Information" not be disclosed, but casts its net unusually wide; moreover, whereas most NDAs provide some mechanism for itemizing what information is confidential, Google provides nothing of the sort. Does Google consider "confidential and/or proprietary" the fact that I have interviews starting at 10AM and finishing at 3:45PM? What about the fact that I have been instructed to attend Building 41 upon my arrival, that I will be speaking at first with Chris Van Groningen, that Google paid $770.54 for my round trip flight between YVR and SFO, or that after driving a Chevrolet Impala from the airport to Mountain View I've decided that I really hate American cars? I can't see why disclosing any of these would matter to Google, but all of them could be covered by the NDA as written. For that matter, the NDA is explicit that I won't be allowed to "4.(a) issue or release any articles, advertising, publicity or other material relating to this Agreement (including the fact that a meeting or discussion has taken place between the parties) or mentioning or implying the name of Google" -- but in a remarkable oversight, it says nothing about articles which have already been issued or released at the time that the Agreement is entered into.

And now it's time for me to take the shuttle to Google and sign that pesky NDA. I'm sure that you'll understand if I never write any more about Google here again.

Posted at 2006-08-07 16:00 | Permanent link | Comments
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