Monday, February 28, 2022

Meeting Mike Burrows


In late 2005 I joined Google. The interviews took a surprising long time, which is a tale for another time. Today I want to tell a story that happened in one of my first weeks on campus.

In the main building was an impressive staircase going up to the second floor. Somewhere near the top was a spacious office. A very important engineer worked there. I checked the name on the door and realized I knew him: he had been a grad student from the UK who had spent some time visiting our research group (the Amoeba project) at CWI in Amsterdam in the early '90s.

Happy to find someone I knew long ago, one day I knocked on the door and introduced myself. Yes, he remembered me too, but my delight was soon over. Not only was Python the bane of Mike's existence at Google (he detested everything that wasn't C++), but the one memory from his stay in Amsterdam that stood out was about a time I had given him a ride across town on the back of my bike: "Worst ride of my life."