Showing posts from 2009

Details, part 2

Editing As promised, this is part 2 of the details of what I do at Google, on Wave - and that is working on the editor.That is, the part that you type in / interact with when you're entering information on the page. When you compose an email, you're using an editor, when you modify a Word Document or write an SMS, you're using an editor. Likewise, when you create a wave and start typing, you're using an editor I help write (there are a few of us who work on it). So, what does someone working on the editor actually do?
Editing concern #1: Features Wave uses a rich-text editor, which means we support font styles (e.g. bold, italic, coloured, sized, ..) plus allowing links, indentation, bullets, videos, images, ...etc. There are a few missing (tables, numbered lists, ...) so one thing we do is keep adding features as the are needed or seem useful.
Editing concern #2: Usability Which leads nicely to another big part, getting the editor to work how people think it will. A simple…


I've realised that I've never actually said exactly what I'm doing here in Sydney, so thought I'd spend a few blog updates explaining it. So far, I've probably explained to the point of "I work for Google, coding for Google Wave", time to elaborate. Since I've started, my job in the team comprises mainly of two sections - Client and Editor - so I'll describe them both, starting this post with Client.
What is a Client? In the Wave world, a 'Wave client' is something you use to view waves. For example, if you use Outlook or Gmail to view emails, these are both mail clients. As Google develops Google Wave, with it we have which, if you have an account, you can visit to log in and view/edit all you waves. This is our wave client - a website that shows waves.
What is involved in making the Google web client? Websites are becoming more and more complex these days, building of a number of technologies - in particular: - HTML is a langu…


So, it definitely has been a while since the last update, although I had always expected that due to the last bullet point in this list. In brief, what I've been occupying myself with includes:Mid September was mostly filled with work, mainly just increasing the stability of what I've been working on so people can use it for longer without it breaking...
Near the end of September, everyone from Google visited the Hunter Valley for three days! They put us up at some vineyard/golf-course/retreat type place, some of the time was having meetings and mingling with the rest of the office, but there was also time for a pub trivia night, a wine blending & cooking classes lunch, a poker tournament (2nd place out of 30 or so!) and even laser clay pigeon shooting. An enjoyable 3 days, for sure. Driving up was also interesting, as it was on the day of the massive dust storm, so the entire way was red and dusty...
Even closer to the end of September, I was lucky enough to visit Adelaide …

Awesome week & Lombard pics

I figured I just had to update this week after realising on thursday that I have it pretty nicely here in Sydney currently. What happened thursday, you ask? started the day before with all Googlers receiving an army camo shirt and cap, and Thursday was paintball day!All of the engineers had an off-site, which included six games of paintball against the others in the office - including my boss! This resulted in lots of paint, spent paintballs, and even a shot to the neck from my new gf of a month, Katie - impressive bruises all around (which I still have!).

No, the more fun part came walking back into work AFTER paintball. Yes, I walked to work at 5:30 pm, in sneakers, a tshirt and tracksuit pants, listening to my mpp3 player and wearing a scarf so my welt was hidden. Why, you ask? Well, I had some stuff I wanted to finish early, but thursday is also they day where they have free beer and wine, plus free food after, and during which a few people from the office play board-games…


As promised, some pictures from my recent trip to Mountain View (MtV), California.
First off, a picture of what most of MtV looks like - I went for a long walk the second weekend I was there, and for about 2 or 3 hours, the entire trip looked like this:

Why would I walk for 3 hours, you say? Well, I needed the exercise (you don't get much in California, and with the food they serve, I feel I must have gained some weight...), but also guitars are much cheaper over there, I managed to pick up this! (A seven-string Ibanez 7321, have meant to get one for such a long time, finally I have one, and a coffin-shaped case to keep it in, which was fun getting through customs...)

Next up, what better to do with a group of programmers in the hub of Silicon Valley than visit all the geeky tech places, starting with NASA Ames:
As well as Apple headquarters:
and nVidia (plus yahoo, Xerox, facebook and a few others not pictured):
Nearby to work is also a tech museum, with a bunch things important in the…

Text-only view

Firstly, I apologise for the lack of images - I've been unable to get my photos from my phone onto the work laptop I'm using here in the states, so the images will have to wait until I get back to Sydney before appearing here (but rest assured, they'll get here!)

Secondly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Emily, Gran and Dad for their respective birthdays on the 3rd, 7th and 9th this month - I'm sorry that I couldn't be in Adelaide for the weekend, but I hope it was fun!

Now, to update you all on how the last few weeks have gone - it's been crazy but amazing! So, I arrived in the US on Friday 22nd, and by that afternoon (US time, so effectively saturday morning) I was at the Googleplex! But not just at the Googleplex, I was actually setting up a machine, and within a few hours, writing code at the Googleplex. This trend continued into friday night, then started again for most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday - it was rather surreal, a bunch of us in a small visitors' area, ma…


Really quick update - the project I'm on at work has just been announced, so I can talk about it now! And hopefully will also be free more to enjoy and update you about my trip here to California, more shortly!


It's official! My workplace has just been declared the #1 place to work in Australia!
Now, it's hard to say whether this is true, as I've really only worked at one place (well..maybe two if you count SAAB), but it is rather nice. The food is still excellent, we now have a new pool table, and I'm starting to enjoy the flexible working hours - recently I picked up some flu going around (NOT swine flu) and have been able to take a few days off, doing some work from home.

In the meantime, I've found out I get a three week trip to the US (providing the aforementioned flu thing doesn't get out of control)! All new fulltimers get to visit the homebase in mountain view for some training. Which means I'm out of sydney from 22nd May - 12th June, but also that I get to check out the famed Googleplex, complete with numerous cafes and even ball pit! I'll try to remember to take plenty of pictures. Apologies in advance to all those with birthdays in early June that I&…

Happy Easter!

Just a really quick update to say thanks to all those people I met up with in Adelaide over the easter weekend, twas a good (albeit busy) weekend. And to those I didn't see, apologies - the four days filled up faster than I had thought. I hope you all had a great weekend, and I might be back in Adelaide next long weekend (early June).

Until then, the next while will probably be rather busy again, so just a warning that responses from me may be a bit slow, but I'm still here! It'll all make sense eventually, I swear, but I can't tell you when :p

new Office()

(Apologies for the bad programmer joke in the title)
So, as promised, news this week from Sydney is all about the move to the new office in Pyrmont. It's a bit longer walk in every morning, but I don't mind it mainly because this is what it looks like - Firstly, our actual office. I'm on the sixth floor...that's right, there seem to be only five. Because mine is the small one up the very top, complete with balcony outside and large actual cafe, and the best views in the place! If you're wondering what the view is like, here's one taken from  just outside the building, with a view similar to that out the window near my desk or out the balcony at the cafe. Notice the nice coat-hangery thing:
Now, it's true that I've been working quite late recently, apologies for being hard to get in contact with. After this week things should settle down a bit, but even now, working late isn't all that bad due to actual dinners served at work, plus the following view wh…

Moving (and shaking?)

To start with, just letting everyone know that yes, I did go hypoglycemic at work, but received some glucagon quickly and am now back to normal, and have arranged a slight insulin adjustment with a local specialist who I'm seeing again in a month.

But on to happier things - firstly, Kensington. It just so happens that my place here is within walking (and hearing) distance of the SCG, which was rather fortunate as on saturday the Sound Relief concert was held there, so saturday involved waking up at noon with Coldplay coming through the window, and having dinner to the sounds of Jet. Then sunday came complete with amazing sunset:
We also move Google office this weekend, to the new location on the pyrmont side of Darling Harbour - but with views of the bridge, I am told. I haven't seen it yet, but things to look forwards to include a huge cafe kitchen (as in, actual chefs on staff i believe), themed rooms like the treehouse library (although, the theme near me is apparently 'd…


Really short update, just to say something excellent arrived in the mail:

Pegasi merchandise! Not bad quality if I may say so myself :) Nothing else too interesting happening over here, more from me when it does. I hope all is well for the two or three people reading this :p

Another day at the office...

Ok, firstly:I was not responsible for Gmail going down worldwide
I was also nowhere near Castlereagh street when it started falling apartJust thought I'd clear those two up :)

Thanks to everyone who's emailed/chatted/sms'd/commented/facebooked etc. to me over the last few weeks! I apologise if I've been slow replying, things are still a bit busy around here but thankfully that's starting to ease.
So much so that I even made Jam scones and pancakes last sunday:
As you can see, unfortunately I only realised after making the batter that the frypan wasn't non-stick, so instead had to improvise a bit with a pan.

But the food here is certainly going well - lunch at Google monday to friday, and dinner around town or in my large kitchen. All I need now is some sort of exercise or I might come back from sydney a bit bigger :(

It must be said, the sydney-cbd lifestyle certainly does take a bit of adjusting too. If I had to sum it up in one word, I'd say: corporate. People …

The new place

Ok, so here goes, a brief pictorial overview of my situation in Sydney, starting with my new place (appearing mood-lit at night). My place is the window above the one with the light on:Next up is the view from the kitchen window. Just to the right of centre in the picture you can see Sydney's centrepoint tower, and between here and there is trees:
From the back balcony, you can see a local golf-course. There is also a nice view out my bedroom window...I'm not sure what town that is, but again, lots of green in the view:
Next up is where I'm working - the Google office I'm in is 11 floors up in this building, on the corner of Market st and Sussex st. Right now, I also sit at a desk right at the corner of the two side visible in this shot, so I get a pretty good view:
As it happens, just to the right of my screen, I can see pretty much this (just a bit smaller due to being 11 floors in the air...) - which happens to be the sydney aquarium to the right, the national maritime…

It's back!

After a long thesis-finishing hiatus, including a relocation to NSW, the codemonkey blog is back!

Now that I have net access, and am starting to settle down into the working-life routine, I hope to keep this updated with what's happening here in sydneyland. Stay tuned!