Google Sandbox Tensor Flow Event

Social Diversity

Created on: April 15, 2018

Updated on: April 15, 2018

The invitation process

Early on in February, I received a newsletter email from UKBlackTech and as I read I noticed that there was a new event called Google Sandbox and this was being held at Google’s headquarters. I decided to apply for the event and a few weeks later I received an email informing me that I had been accepted.

Check in

On Friday 23rd March I attended the first Google Sandbox event at the Google Head Office. On arrival, I waited downstairs with the other applicants whilst we checked in and it was a good time to network and socialise and inform them about my web development services skills

On completion of check-in we moved to the meet and greet area upstairs. This was a lavish and lush area in which there were complimentary drinks on show.

Whilst I was there I bumped in to Abbi and the rest of the poctech attendees here and it was nice to see that we were well represented.

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Meet and greet

Meanwhile, there were a number of Google employees who were planted around the room; some were in uniform others were not, they were very nice, friendly people and I got chatting to one who was describing what his role was at Google.

Whilst I was there I was constantly thinking in the back of my head is this a recruitment event or a technology event.

During the application process, there were two optional streams that you could choose; there was an innovation stream and a workshop stream. I chose the workshop stream and this was a web development services, tensor flow workshop. This was marketed as an AI product that I would be interested in and it could help to drive small business adoption.

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Moments of confusion

We were ushered in to the first seminar / presentation and this was marketed as an introduction. However, it became clear that this appeared to be a pitch for new talent. This was initially confusing because I was under the impression that the entire event was about software web development services. 

During the presentation, the director of engineering spoke about how he had failed his first interview at Google in 2011. After working at a few financial institutions, he found himself reapplying for a role at Google. I wasn’t sure what to think about this because a few years ago Google wasn’t an organisation that I could consider working for. This is because they wouldn’t want to recruit someone who looks like me or speaks like me.

This presentation was jarring because there was no mention as to whether the organisation was using this as a platform to recruit people or whether the intention of the event was to demonstrate the Google sandbox and the web development services it could offer.

The Tensor Flow workshop

The next part of the evening consisted of the workshops that we were assigned and we were divided in to our respective groups.

The workshop that I had attended had a number of prerequisites before we attended. I had already downloaded the software and I had installed it on my laptop. However, I had serious problems trying to get the shared directory up and running.

This was because the documentation was inadequate in my view because it had assumed that all of our machines had compromised the kernel security.

Let me explain, I use sudo to override the security and permissions to make directories etc. The shared directory had been created with the incorrect permissions. This meant that the software could not be invoked because the software needed access to certain critical parts of the kernel.
As I mentioned before the documentation made no provision for this and as a result I could not complete the 1st tutorial.

Running out of time

There were 3 tutorials that needed to be completed within a short space of time. I then asked the Googler whether the 2nd tutorial was predicated on the first and I received blank looks and my question was not answered. Meanwhile you will be pleased to know that I completed the 2nd tutorial successfully.

As you can imagine there were lots of questions to be asked. The questions were answered very professionally and the Googlers took their time to make sure that we understood how the web development services software worked. Sadly, we couldn’t complete the 3rd tutorial but this wasn’t an issue.

Authenticity and Care

Time was swiftly marching on and we moved on to the last talk of the evening. This presentation was about authenticity and care.

As you may know our values here at Ormrepo are sincerely targeted to a sense of integrity of purpose, it was interesting to see that Google had made an attempt to bring this issue in to the forefront.

There are a lot of organisations that discuss these soft skills and their workers on the front line do not exhibit these skills in their everyday dealings with people.

The Tensor web development services flow workshop is a prime example of a workshop that was specialised and the hosts were not that adept to resolving simple problems on the fly. Who knows perhaps they are better suited to crunching algorithms as opposed to interacting with people on a daily basis?

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Emotional intelligence as an afterthought

This was a prime example of how emotional intelligence appears to be an afterthought and not as an intrinsic part of the recruitment process.

Afterwards, we moved in to the meet and greet area and I spoke to a few participants about whether they knew anyone who had applied for a programming position at Google.

Recruitment processes

Their responses were that the recruitment process was at best horrific and brutal and it consisted of never ending algorithms.

Well, all I can say is that I am sure that they get the best people for their jobs. Time will tell whether the social skills are up to par because from what I saw that evening, it left a lot to be desired.

The promotional literature for Google Sandbox mentioned that they were going to provide food and drinks.

Food and drink in miniscule portions

The finger food was served by waiters who were walking up and down the room. The food portions were so small they couldn’t even satisfy a mouse never mind human beings!

The drinks were located on the far side of the room, I am sure that this was a deliberate act. I was parched that evening and I did not like the fact that I had to interrupt my networking efforts to go and get a drink. That night I was so energised in my networking efforts that I did not get a drink.

I was quite shocked that a huge web development services organisation like Google was extremely mean with food and drinks. This could have been handled a lot better; the drinks could have been given to the same waiters and passed around like the finger food.

The evening was very jarring to say the least and I couldn’t help but think that this workshop was a thinly veiled attempt at recruiting the so called “best talent” out of diverse participants.

I left the Google Sandbox event that day feeling very dejected and I kept thinking if they treat their visitors like this what would it be like to work for Google.

Stay tuned for more info from other tech meet-ups from www.ormrepo.co.uk/blogs. The link also provides information about the web development services we offer.