Crunching The Culture of Google Lecture in Jordan

25 Aug, 2008

google olympics08_closing_logo-

Speaking during “Culture of Google Life Inside, and How to Apply?” Lecture which was held in Amman, Jordan last week, Husni Khuffash  Google Country Business Development Manager, UAE,  said that Google’s official  answer  to whether they will open an engineering office in Amman or not, is that Google  does not comment on rumors and when they decide to open an office in the region, they will inform every body. He also said that UAE Googlers will  move to a new Dubai office  after mid September. Google also has an office in Egypt, But as I said before that Amman will be the location of the engineering office, as multiple sources has told me.

The event had huge application from people who wanted to attend, but due to the limited space only 150 people attended.

Husni was the sole  speaker in the lecture, where he presented Google’s philosophy and work culture to the crowed.
Husni Khuffash  Google Country Business Development Manager, UAE
Fortune magazine called Google the best working place environment, which is also shared by Opera Winfry according to Husni, where he displayed a video of Opera show regarding this matter.

Husni displayed many adverts for Google, all the people on them were actual Google employees. He cited an example of the loyalty Googlers have to Google, where every on in its Mountain View  Silicon Valley’s  head quarter around 5,000 agreed to go out in the rain to record a video advert for Google.

Husni said that Google received 1 million CV last year, in which they hired a couple of thousands.

Husni  also showed many videos displaying the luxury Googlers enjoy in its head quarter in Mountain View in  Silicon valley and its regional HQ in Dublin, Ireland. Where Googlers can bring their dogs to work, enjoy free gym, a wide rang of food choices. and access to many nice toys among other things.  Husni said that  Google wants to make the work place for its employees feels like home. He also said googlers work less hours but produce more.

One of the interesting things he mentioned is that Silicon valley Googlers are invited to eat free food in San Francisco, CA, USA and Arabic food is served to them once a month.

Google inside out

Husni will email me the links to some of the videos he showed during the event, and I will post them when they arrive. Mean while I picked this one after a fast search on Youtube (Note: I did not see the video since my net speed is down, but this video has 124,890 on Youtube Update: here are the Videos:





I asked him whether these facilities which are available at Google HQ and Ireland branch, would be also available in Middle East office, he said the office in Dubai will reflect the Google life style and culture.

Moreover  he said that Google offers many benefits to its works worldwide, such as free gym membership, and 50% subsidy to learn a new language.

Husni mentioned odd things about Google “inspiring” work environment where he said Dublin HQ had a pajama day and in other offices the ugly dress contest, but these days were optional to Google’s employees to participate in. Which is funny in my opinion, and my take is that the conventional business dress code of a the formal tie uniform should be abolished to any type of dress as long it is neat and covering the body in a respectful manner:) .

Husin mentioned how he got to work with Google. In which around 4, 000 applied to his position, but he was head hunted, and they chose him for many reasons. He said they looked at his experience, his education, and entrepreneurship spirit and social activities he did during his life. He also added that his work in the a restaurant during university was also a helpful factor, that  showed that he sets plans on early stages and has been working hard to achieve his goals.

You can look his linked in profile here.  and here is an interview with Husni that dates to 2004 when he was Regional Manager for Maktoob.com.

Husni said he left online business few years ago and started a small consultancy firm for several industries in Dubai, but he joined Google because he has a passion for what it is doing, and for the online industry.

Husni also touched in his own work experience with Google, he said he used to work for 14 hours a day, but the HR called him and told him “you have been working too hard” and gave him a vacation and told him you only work 8 hours a day. This is unfortunately not a common practice among Jordanian IT companies.

Every new employee at Google has to go through a series of interviews before joining. In an answer to how Google would keep the ego of their employees down, he answered that every new employees that joins after the person is smarter than him/her, so it is impossible to be the smartest.

When asked whether Googles’ founders share the (humbleness ) of Google’s employees, he mentioned this: After having few weeks experience with personal secretaries which was suggested to them by the Google’s CEO, they told him they do not want to have secretaries and asked him to transfer them to other departments inside Google. He also said that they have a culture of sharing and participate with many employees activities for example they get their daily meals in the office with the employees at the restaurants Google Plex. I also remember reading that they go to work with very normal cars. But in my opinion, there is nothing wrong in buying luxury things as long the persons earnings are from legitimate means.

Husni said that Google chose allot  students from around the world for its internship program every year, and they do not have a quota for any country, they simply chose the best CV. Moreover they also have Google Ambassador program for students.

As for Google’s philosophy he said Google first focus in the user, and everything will follow (like business model) among other remarks, he also said Google believes in “do business with no evil”.

He also said that Google is an engineering company, and they never relax because they know that somewhere out there in the world there are two engineers developing the next big thing.

The lecture was organized by IEEE Gold and Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE).

To apply to Google jobs go to here .

Note: I had few pics of this event, but unfortunately someone corrupted the memory card 🙁

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  1. Ramy Eid  |  August 25th, 2008 at 5:31 PM #

    this is some of the lecture’s audience opinions

    http://groups.google.com/group/geex/browse_thread/thread/8da5c8d0c6342692#

  2. john smith  |  August 26th, 2008 at 12:43 AM #

    nice article

  3. Gaith Saqer  |  August 28th, 2008 at 1:53 AM #

    Ramy thank you, u r a smart guy, why u did not also link this post to ur group?

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