2 Year Anniversaries
I just recently celebrated my 2 year anniversary working at Google. It's really quite amazing to contrast 2 years at Google with my 2 year anniversaries at my previous employers. Both quite a difference in where I am personally, and where the companies were.
My first job out of college was with Salix Technologies. Prior to my arrival, Salix had been doing very well doing contract work, but they had this idea on how to turn their contract work into a product. 2 years into my job at Salix would be June of 2000. Salix had been sold to Tellabs in April and I'm suddenly fully vested on my stock options and worrying about taxes I didn't even know existed before. Personally, I had worked with an exception team and had a deep understanding of our product. I would spend the next year explaining (and re-explaining) how the system worked to new Tellabs engineers before being laid off nearly a year later.
After Salix, I went to work at another startup company (what would eventually be known as Hillcrest Labs) as employee #11. 2 years into this job would be May 2002. Things weren't nearly as good as at Salix. First problem: the internet bubble had burst which made being a startup company quite a challenge. Second Problem: 9/11 was still fresh in everyones mind which made the market (for everything!) quite uncertain. Personally I was happy with my job. Even though I was the youngest person on staff (which would last for a couple more years), I was working with (and learning from) older and more experienced engineers.
2 years at Google is totally different than either of those other experiences. Google is a big company, has been around for a bit, and isn't going anywhere. I am working on a product (Android) that is in the news every day. I've built and launched a product that was covered on national TV news on launch day. Personally, I'm on a team of experienced engineers doing cool things and having fun doing it. And instead of learning from more senior engineers, I am the more senior engineer (yes, it is as scary as it sounds).