Google wants Australian engineers, more girls

Google loves Australian tech talent but wants to attract more female engineers, according to Alan Noble, the company's local engineering director, who pointed out that Sydney-based developers created Google Maps.

Google loves Australian tech talent but wants to attract more female engineers, according to Alan Noble, the company's local engineering director, who pointed out that Sydney-based developers created Google Maps.

Speaking in a panel session at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Borderless World Conference in Sydney today, Noble said Google has one of the most distributed engineering departments of any company in the world -- because it doesn't expect all its employees to work out of California.

"We came [to Sydney] because we recognise that not everyone who is a bright engineer wants to work in Mountain View, California (Google's HQ). The fact of the matter is that we need to go where the talent is and the talent is in Sydney, it is in Beijing, it is in Tokyo and it is in Trondheim, Norway -- as it turns out.

"We love Australian software development and engineering talent. In fact, Google Maps, which is now the world's number one maps Web site was developed right here in Sydney Australia -- that is just one of the many innovations I hope to see coming out of Google Australia," Noble said.

G'day Google
Noble also admitted that Google has been trying to entice Australians that have moved overseas, to come home. One initiative he described was called G'day Google, which was held in California and attracted around 200 Australian engineers who are now based in the US.

"I believe we need to appeal to the expat Australian community. G'day Google was our first attempt to create some awareness that there are some exciting opportunities back in Australia," said Noble, who is Australian but lived in California for 16 years before coming back to work in Sydney for the search giant.

Girls in IT
Google is also looking for more female engineers, according to Noble, who believes they are particularly good at working with social networking-type applications, which are currently all the rage.

"The new generation of Web based applications are highly collaborative. Social networking applications and social sharing applications -- these are precisely the type of highly connected applications where we need female engineers.

"I find it ironic that as IT is evolving to this new model of Web based applications, we find ourselves with a shortage of female engineers," said Noble.