Jeff Dean was one of Google’s earliest employees, joining the company in 1999 after graduating with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington three years earlier. Since then he has been a prominent figure in Google’s growth, being the one who has designed and implemented many of the distributed computing infrastructure that supports most of the company’s products. Today Dean and his team are mainly responsible for helping Google shift into becoming a primarily artificial intelligence company.
Dean’s Evolution Within Google
When Jeff Dean first joined Google, the company was much smaller and his main role was to build one of their first advertising systems. He then spent four to five years working on the crawling, indexing and search systems used on Google queries. From there he moved to working on building the software infrastructure that Google uses to store and process large data sets. Which eventually brought him to his more recent role as working on machine learning systems.
An Average Day in the Life
It is only recently that Dean has took on a management role, which has been the most interest and new learning experience for him during his day to day work life. Also given his broad history at the company, having worked on so many different aspects, he spends a fair amount of time a day going through emails to get a sense of what is going on with the different projects he used to be a part of. In addition to emails and management responsibilities, Dean has a few technical projects going on at any given time that he devotes a good part of his day too along with scattered meetings and design reviews.
How Does Google Stay Nimble Given Its Huge Size
Ever since Dean has been with Google, the company has doubled its employee size every single year. Given that the company is always in a constant state of growth, they have gotten very good at continuously adapting themselves to fit their doubled size every year. What he believes has helped in the growing process is that Google continuously branches out into different areas independent of what the rest of Google is working on. This way each branch works independently and does not interfere with the whole, enabling them to scale efficiently with minimal communication.