Google Makes Me Hate Technology

Learning new stuff when it comes to tech, is one of the few things that makes me happy in life. I spend a good deal of time learning how to automate tasks that would normally be a manual calendar event. Automation is actually quite easy with the amount of tools we have available. Large, open source, projects or personal coding exercises solves most of these quite easily. If you visit my main site, you’ll find many examples of tasks or projects where things are automated.

Having worked at Google for nearly a decade and a half now, I’ve watched this company change significantly. Google had always been a place where ideas thrive, personal projects are encouraged, and the access to information is a quick search away. This is sadly not the case any longer.

It seems that every time I want to do something simple or get access to an arbitary piece of data, there’s a 300 page doc that needs to be read, approvals upon approvals needed, massive libraries of permissions requests, systems that didn’t exist last week that serve to only over-complicate things, or processes that exist only to add extra steps.

I’m honestly getting really tired of it all. Every day is an exercise in frustration, to the point where I simply don’t have the energy or motivation to do the layers dance. There are projects on my plate right now that could be automated at home in maybe a few minutes, but at work it takes reading a few novels and learning five new systems. I’ve had “automate ___” on my to-do list for months now, but having the time or the patience to deal with the excessive horseshit simply isn’t worth it. So for now, they just sit on my calendar as a reminder to run them manually or go through whatever nonsense is needed to complete the task. It’s easier just to do it manually for 30 minutes a day forever than do the Google layer dance.

It’s sad for so many reasons. It’s an environment where creativity and learning simply doesn’t exist any longer. This used to be a place where the curious would thrive. Now it’s just an unforgiving red tape monster.

I’ve always been someone at work that people go to for answers. Usually I’m pretty helpful to the point of writing the code for them or teaching them the answer. Even if I have a lot of tasks that day, I’ll still take time out to help someone. Allowing a coworker to be more productive, at the sacrifice of a few minutes, is well worth the investment. Lately, my attitude has changed.

Simple questions turn into a slog through layer upon layer of horseshit. We both become frustrated and lose a significant amount of time during the journey. A simple task to help someone stuck has now become a waste of time for us. Maybe a potential solution is somewhere down the road, but the amount of time it takes to get there has become 10x. Now I need to prioritize and vet the request as if they’re a customer and not a peer.

That’s what you get with this new culture and the massive amount of unnecessary bullshit. I don’t think this is what Google originally meant with “10x.”