Google Kirkland Is Hiring, and Other Highlights from the Company’s Northwest Birthplace

This morning I checked my e-mail, powered by Google, and then used Google Maps to find my way to the Google Kirkland open house. It reminded me a little bit of the scene in “Being John Malkovich” when Malkovich, the actor, finds a portal into his own brain and sees that everyone looks like him and says nothing but, “Malkovich, Malkovich.” OK, I guess the analogy would fit better if I also worked for Google and uttered “Google, Google” all day—but that might even happen sometime, if Google’s pace of hiring keeps up. (Just kidding.)

Engineering and site director Scott Silver, who’s been on the job since June (succeeding Peter Wilson, who left the company), introduced the new Kirkland facility, which has been officially open since August 31 and employs more than 350 people in a unified campus setting. He gave a little history of Google’s Kirkland operation—the first office was at Carillon Point in 2004, Google’s first major presence in the Northwest—and how it has grown and contributed to the company’s products. Google Talk, which does Internet telephony and instant messaging, was born and raised in Kirkland, for instance.

Other areas of focus for the Kirkland office include:

—Search: Webmaster tools, and instant indexing for real-time news.

—Advertising: AdPlanner (see below), AdWords Opportunities (helping advertisers optimize search ads), Google Analytics, and Campaign Insights (a new service released last week that’s around making brand ads more effective).

—Applications: Google Talk, Google Talk Video (within Gmail), Google Maps (including a new application for directions on mobile phones), the Chrome Web browser, YouTube video clips, and Google Sync (for synchronizing your mobile phone).

—Infrastructure: system and corporate billing software for supporting applications at huge scales.

Silver, a former Amazon and Netscape veteran, said he’s “quite proud of what we’ve done here, and immensely happy to come to this day,” and to be able to say Google is here to “create great products and find great engineers.”

I followed up with Silver afterwards, and he confirmed Google Kirkland is actively hiring software engineers, but he didn’t say how many positions are open at the moment. He said his team is doing hundreds of interviews per month, “and we’d love to do more.” I asked him about the 800-pound gorilla down the road, Microsoft, and whether Google is recruiting much talent from … Next Page »

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