Many technologists continue to aspire to work at Google. The tech giant offers a combination of cutting-edge projects (including quantum computing) and great pay, which allow it to source pretty much any kind of talent it needs. But what kinds of skills and roles is it actually looking to fill?
One key thing to note: Although cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and quantum computing get the bulk of buzz and attention, companies such as Google have a much more pressing need for technologists who’ve mastered the fundamentals—best software-development practices, programming languages such as Java, and so on. That’s good news for many technologists out there, because it means that a grasp of those fundamentals can land you a solid gig just as surely as knowing how to build a quantum computer that actually works.
In order to figure out which skills Google wants, we turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Here’s what it told us about Google’s hiring over the past 30 days:
Given the ubiquity of Python throughout the tech world (it’s used for everything from data analytics to artificial intelligence, sometimes overshadowing specialized languages in those categories, such as R), it’s no surprise that Google would desire technologists familiar with it. Java is also a no-brainer, as it forms the core of Google’s mobile efforts.
What’s interesting is the presence of Objective-C, which is Apple’s older language for iOS and macOS development. Why is Google looking for technologists experienced in it, and not in Swift, Apple’s newer language? If we had to guess, we’d say that Google maintains some kind of legacy Objective-C codebase that must be maintained.
It’s also surprising that Kotlin didn’t make this list, despite Google’s aggressive attempts to push the language as the future of Android. Perhaps that will change in coming months; despite its buzz, Kotlin still lags far behind Java (which it’s angling to eventually replace) with regard to market-share.
Based on this list, it’s also clear that Google is looking for technologists who can handle pretty much every aspect of the software lifecycle, from development to A/B testing and debugging. If you’re interested in building any kind of software, let this serve as a reminder that it always pays to know as much as possible about all aspects of software development, even if you don’t intend on specializing in a particular area such as QA. That kind of generalized knowledge will make you a much more effective team member.
In a similar vein, it’s clear from the past 30 days of Google job postings that the company is looking for developers, engineers, and product managers:
It is worth noting how this list has changed somewhat since May, when there weren't nearly so many managers high-up on the list. Perhaps many Google teams are shifting their focus more to the medium- and long-term projects in the pipeline.
Between the occupations and the skills listings, it’s also clear that Google is on the hunt for experts in UI and UX. The company updates its products regularly; its apps and websites will certainly get another design polish sometime in the near future. If you’re interested in design at Google, you’ll need to become very familiar with Google’s Material Design, its special design language.