10 November 2005

Now that I have had time to consider my reactions, I will write down, what was my experience in Dublin, when I went for a on-site interview for a job in Google. First of all, I had to sign an NDA before entering the office, so I can not tell you about anything that I learnt there. Still this is a huge post, to save my first impression, so that I can look back on it in the future (like tomorrow morning) and see how naive I was. :)

The first thing I noticed after arrival to Dublin was that the highway from the airport to the city was under repair. I was lucky though as I arrive at night and there was almost no traffic. The highway looked strange compared to highways in Belgium, Germany or UK - it had all those strange twists and turns and splits and merges - it looked like the highway was build adapting it into the space between other roads and buildings, like it was some kind of a country road. Oh and that driving on the left side - freaks me out every time.

After I arrived to the hotel and checked in, I discovered that executive suites of 3 star hotel look much like regular suites of five star hotels I've been accommodated earlier in my life. One more fun fact found me soon - the power plugs are all wrong :) When I was in UK some time ago, all homes that I went to used usual EU type plugs, so this was the first time I saw a UK plug in action. Needing power (a computer geek always needs power) I searched for a solution. I thought that I found one, when in the bathroom I found three round holes marked "for shavers only". I responded - "but this is an emergency" and tried to plug my notebook in anyway. Unfortunately they have thought about that - shaver plugs are thinner and just a tiny bit closer, so the regular power plug does not fit in shaver socket. Damn! Oh well, then I'll have to sleep.

Next morning I walked around the area of Google EU Headquarters scouting the surroundings. I found that the building, where the headquarters are, is still under construction - I am sure Google advised the builders on some minor adjustments ;). Just across the street there is a large block of residential houses. Small residential houses. I've seen apartments bigger then some of those houses. I also found several nice apartment houses: from the common "windows that Cappuletti will not climb trough" to modern housing with large windows and modern decor. I also saw the first backyard street in my life - a street less then half a meter wide between two lines of backyards. Diverse life. And that was only one neighbourhood - less then 5 minutes from Google office.

After the interviews were over, I planned to go to see the city center. Unfortunately looking on the map of the city did not provide any clue to discovering any such place. No central building, no central square, no central monument or park. Nothing - just a maze of streets. Well, I hit the maze. What I saw was a flood of people, just like in Riga on Friday night (it was Friday). The difference was that because of the lack of clear centre, the mass of people floated in a larger area. I noticed lots of very special shops that would have not survived in Riga (belt buckle shop?) and a general lack of big supermarkets that we are used to here. Also the people seam to be much more ignorant to traffic rules - it is easy to see people streaming across a street despite a red streetlight.

I can also touch a bit on food, as I tried the food in hotel and in a local fast-food place. Well, the situation in Ireland is much more positive towards fast-food. In Latvia the regular food is both much better and a bit cheaper then fast-food. In Ireland the quality level of regular food seams similar to the fast-food while the price of fast-food is lower. I rated the quality by the taste of meat, where perfect meat is from a wild animal shot in a forest and prepared straight without any additives, and worst meat is slice of fast-food hamburger meat with all the salt and additives they put there. Of course I couldn't get a clear sample within my short stay, but I tried to be as objective as I could.

The conclusion? In my mind, moving from Riga to Dublin will be a downgrade in life quality. Google's offer must be good enough to compensate this, if they want me in. We'll see soon enough. I should have the answer before next week.

P.S. The level of spam in my mail has reached 11 000 per month. Yay! :P


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dublin is expensive. Make sure you also take that into consideration of you accept the job.

U didn't see any terrorists? :p

10 November, 2005 03:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Ireland 2000-2001 and visited Dublin several times. I think Dublin is a fantastic city - small enough get around in on foot, but stil large enough to offer plenty of variety.

As another comment mentions, Dublin and Ireland in general isn't exactly cheap. I come from Denmark and found the prices in Ireland to be only slightly lover than here. I don't know how the change from pounds to euro have affected this.

When I was in Ireland the housing situation in Dublin was a bit problematic, but I guess Google would help you get set up.

The Dublin city centre can be a bit difficault to place - there is no grand square you can call the absolute center. Grafton Street is the main shopping street and the Temple Bar area is the number one spot for pubs and night clubs.

In general the Irish are very friendly people and very easy to communicate with - especially if you meet over a pint of Guinness ;)

I know I wouldn't say no if Google offered me an interesting job in Ireland :)

10 November, 2005 03:41  
Blogger Aigarius said...

Yes, I forgot about the cost of living. I have estimated the cost to be 3-4 times bigger then in Latvia, but that is just by comparing the food, clothing and electronic prices and factoring in the base price and value added price. I still need to do a proper cost analysis with all factors involved.

10 November, 2005 03:51  
Blogger lenkun said...

So how did you do on your interview with Google? Have they offered you the position yet? I heard they are quite picky in hiring and only hires the best, which means you must be very talented. Good luck!

10 November, 2005 19:56  
Anonymous Sean said...

Not a lot of use now, but you can generally jam european plugs into the UK sockets. You just need to shove something into the earth pin to open up the live/neutral covers.

10 November, 2005 21:40  
Blogger Aigarius said...

Lenkun: after re-reading the NDA, I am not sure whether I will be allowed to say here that I got a proposal (if/when I will get one), but it cann't stop me from announcing my move to Dublin and you will be able to draw some conclusions from that :D

11 November, 2005 06:45  
Anonymous N.R. said...

in a short while google will own everything, so you are on the right path. good luck(or should i say "googluck?")

11 November, 2005 13:18  

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