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Sometimes “everyone” isn’t really everyone. Like when people say that everyone is on the Internet, because for each person that can get online, there are two that can’t.


This quote introduced the final round task for this year’s edition of Hash Code, an original programming competition organized by Google France for students and industry professionals. Teams of contestants were presented with wind data at different altitudes and a challenge: put together an algorithm to guide a fleet of Project Loon balloons, adjusting their altitude in order to optimize the Internet coverage of select areas around the world — all within six hours.

So how did this all come about? Hash Code began in 2014 as an initiative to build strong relationships between engineers in Google Paris and students and industry professionals across France. What started as a two-day, onsite competition for 200 contestants in 2014 grew to a two-part competition involving 1,500 participants this year.

The first stage of Hash Code 2015 was an online qualification round where 1,500 participants competed against each other in teams of two to four, optimizing the layout and resource allocation in a Google data center. Special “hubs” were formed at 17 different universities and engineering schools where students came together and competed side by side, adding to the competitive spirit of the round.

The top scoring teams were then invited to compete in the final round which took place over two days the Google office in Paris. The first day introduced participants to engineering at Google France through a series of tech talks highlighting the global impact of projects being developed in the office, including Cardboard and YouTube Trends. Later in the evening teams participated in a test round themed around pizza slicing optimization, and accompanied by generous amount of real-life sample instances of the subject matter.


The final task statement was released the next morning, leaving the participants six hours to demonstrate their programming and algorithmic skills. When the submission deadline passed, the jury tallied the final scores while the participants heard from a panel of Google engineers about their career paths to Google.


Congratulations to the winning team, ENS Ulm 1, which was comprised of students from CNAM, École normale supérieure, and Télécom ParisTech. Universities represented in the top 10 teams also included: École normale supérieure de Lyon, Ecole Polytechnique, ENSTA ParisTech, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Université Paris Denis Diderot and Université Pierre et Marie Curie. You can see a full list of results here.


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Registration for the 12th annual Code Jam is now open! This year, the competition is adding a new track to the contest that’s designed to give students more real life examples of the work they would be doing as engineers. The new track, Distributed Code Jam (DCJ), will consist of algorithmic problems that are similar to the original Code Jam. But in order to solve for them, competitors will be required to program in a distributed environment.


According to Onufry Wojtaszczyk, a Google Software Engineer and one of the main creators behind DCJ, this new track will challenge experienced engineers and help teach students the skills they’ll need to work at a company like Google.

“Most of my programming skills before I joined Google came from programming contests, and it served me really well at Google. However, the one thing that programming contests didn’t prepare me for were the distributed computations that become obvious once you work at Google for a while. At the scale Google and other web companies operate, doing the work on a single computer, however powerful, becomes infeasible, and you have to learn to deal with spreading the work across multiple machines,” said Wojtaszczyk.


In order to participate in the new track, students will need to register for and qualify for Code Jam Round 3. DCJ will give an opportunity for 10 lucky finalists to make their way to the Code Jam finals, which will be held in Seattle, WA, USA this year. Finalists can win up to $3,000 USD and a chance to be named the first ever Distributed Code Jam champion!

Students of all programming levels are encouraged to participate. Registration for Code Jam is open from now until April 11th. To learn more, visit g.co/codejam.

Posted by Shawn Dye, University Programs

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Google’s office in Wroclaw, Poland is one of Europe’s most dynamic workplaces, due to it’s strategic geographical location, offering service and support to some of Europe's most advanced and fastest growing markets, including: Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy. Meet Damir Agovic a university graduate, who started his Google career working as an Associate Account Strategist in the SMB Global Customer Experience team in Wroclaw, Poland. Why not take your first step towards a Google career by checking out our current positions in the SMB Sales and Global Customer Experience teams, here: google.com/students/emea

Describe yourself in keywords.

Football, traveling, current affairs, sweet tooth, new media.

Tell us a bit about your path to Google?

I’m originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo), but I’ve lived half of my life in the Czech Republic. I earned a dual degree from the American University in BiH, Bosnia and the State University of New York.

Right out of university, Google seemed like the right choice for me, as it offered me the chance to work at a pioneering company in the online world, that is constantly setting new standards. I also knew that joining Google meant I’d be working in an environment where I would have a high quality work life — the company is often rated the best employer, globally. I felt reassured when applying and accepting a Google position that I’d be working with like minded colleagues, as the Google’s Wroclaw office in Poland is filled with people from all walks of life, different backgrounds and cultures — I fit right in.

Why did you choose to go work at the Google office in Wroclaw, Poland?

The geographical location of Poland was very appealing to me, as it’s very close and well connected to other major cities, such as: Prague, Berlin, Warsaw and Vienna. I’ve also found Wroclaw to be a very beautiful place to live. The city is not too small, or too big, rather it has a perfect mix of a young vibrant atmosphere, with great potential and history.

The Google Wroclaw office is very cozy and offers some great features like the office gym and a game room. Since I arrived, I’ve also seen lots of growth take place — as the facilities have expanded and several new teams have opened up — I’ve seen the emergence of more and more opportunities for career development.


What makes the Wroclaw office different from any other Google office?

There is a very family-like atmosphere and the attitude is very positive. There are many people from all over the world here, and everyone contributes in their own way to the culture of this office. The Wroclaw office is smaller than say the Dublin office, which makes it easy to make new friends and contacts.

How does working in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) team give you opportunities for personal and professional development?

By engaging with customers on a regular basis, I’ve gained immense knowledge in the field of online marketing and how this matters for small and medium businesses. The DACH (Deutschland, Austria & Switzerland) market is also, in comparison to other markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, very advanced and sophisticated, which means that SMBs are relatively large corporations and advanced advertising agencies.

I’ve also learned a lot about how different teams within Google function from an operational side and gained first-hand experience in managing stakeholders, as I’ve had the opportunity to co-manage short and long term projects that have had direct impact on the business.

Google encourages internal mobility and is known for enabling its employees to find what’s right for them. The opportunities are definitely there, you just have to find what’s right for you!

What do you like most about your job?

The people I work with — this is Google’s biggest asset.

What does a typical workday look like?

8:45AM: Start off the day with breakfast and coffee.
9AM: Get into the swing of things. Go through my inbox and respond to client calls and emails.
1PM: Lunch time. Have lunch with my colleagues/friends. When I’ve time to spare, I squeeze in a game of FIFA, pool, or a massage :)
2PM: Back to work. I spend some more time contacting our clients, and then I usually go for meetings regarding projects and roles I am working on.
6PM: Call it a day! Sometimes I go to play football with the Google team or stop by the gym.


What makes a person a good match to join the SMB Global Customer Experience team?

In my opinion, the ideal person should have a very customer-centric approach and a passion for new technologies, online-advertising and self-development. They should also have strong communication skills, an interest in working directly with clients, have a self-starter attitude and sharp analytical skills.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I love traveling and exploring new places, either near Wroclaw, or by traveling to different continents. I’m also a big sports fan, so whenever I can, I try to follow as much of it as possible.

What advice would you give a student candidate interested to apply for SMB Global Customer Experience team?

First of all, it’s important to be genuinely interested in the roles that SMB Customer Experience team has to offer, not just to become part of Google as a whole. I would also suggest that you come up with a list of your skills and experiences that you would bring to the team and which would help you succeed in the organization. Make sure you are fully aware of what the role entails and prepare your interviews accordingly.

Good luck with your application!

Whether it’s developing new business strategies, providing online marketing consultancy, selling a great advertising solution to our clients or bringing products to market, there are plenty of graduate opportunities at Google that don’t involve algorithms. Take your first step towards a Google career, by checking out our opportuntiies here: google.com/students/emea

Posted by Nicole Zwaaneveld, EMEA University Programs 

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Over the past month, we've been showcasing the amazing work of some of Google’s Student Programs Alumni in their communities. In the final installment of the Black History Month Student Tribute series we are catching up with Michael who participated in the 2010 BOLD Internship Program and went on to be elected as a Councilman for the city of Stockton, California.

What’s one thing about you that many people do not know?
My email address in high school was “lovetobball247@aol.com”! This is a tough question. I feel like J. Cole when he said, “Share my life with strangers who know me better than I know myself.” I tell my story so many times, I’m not even sure what people don’t know!

Since you’ve graduated from the BOLD internship program, what have you been up to?
As a BOLD intern, I learned about project management, how to interact with others and the importance of transparency and communication. I immediately put these skills to work as an intern in the White House and during my time studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. The summer after, I co-founded the Summer Success and Leadership Academy at the University of the Pacific and designed a week long residential experience for 50 Stockton students. During my senior year at Stanford, I received my bachelor’s degree with honors, my master’s degree in Policy, Organizational and Leadership studies, and decided to run for city council in my hometown of Stockton.

Since graduation, I’ve been featured in a documentary, True Son, that was screened at Google and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. As a Councilman, I have been able to to equip our officers with body cameras and establish an Office of Violence Prevention in partnership with the Police Chief. I have also been able to start literacy programs with the Housing Authority, pass “Ban the Box” legislation to give ex-offenders the chance to apply for jobs for which they qualify, open the first bank in my district in 50 years and I have increased philanthropic support for my district.


You’re a Stockton City Councilman. Was that always something you wanted to do?
Absolutely not. I view it more as a calling, as I was motivated by the murder of my cousin to go back and do my best to use the considerable blessings I had been given to improve my community.

You inspire a lot of your peers but who inspires you?
Mostly local people and luminaries from my past. My mom, aunt and grandmother inspire me and continue to inspire me. They are three single women who are not well educated, yet have done a phenomenal job. Historically, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth have inspired me because they drove change despite facing so many more obstacles than we face today. Marian Wright Edelman inspires me, too, as do the original Freedom Riders. Finally, people in Stockton who are doing amazing things despite extraordinary challenges inspire me.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to others?
“The greatest of you shall be the servant of all,” said Jesus and I agree. Giving back is not a choice but a necessity because we all exist in this ecosystem together and the principle of Ubuntu is so true - “I only am when we all are.”


Posted by Shawn Dye, University Programs Team

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Internal mobility is one of the great ways that Googlers can develop and grow their careers. Meet Julia Arndt a German university graduate, who started her Google career learning and working in the SMB Sales team and has now gone on to work with the world’s top advertisers. Take your first step towards a Google career, by checking out our Associate Account Strategist positions in the SMB Sales and Global Customer Experience teams, here: google.com/students/emea

Tell us about your path to Google?

I’m from Naumburg, a very small town situated two hours South of Berlin near Leipzig. I studied International Management in Bremen and Marseille; followed by a Masters degree in Management and Marketing. Before graduating, I had already signed my contract with Google and joined the SMB team at the end of 2011.


Give us a brief overview of your career at Google, so far?

I started at Google as an Associate Account Strategist on the Sales team, working with small and medium sized businesses (SMB). This was a strategic, consultative sales role where I liaised directly with advertisers regarding their online marketing strategy. I advised clients on how to optimize their Adwords accounts and how they can further develop their online marketing activities with Google’s cost-effective, targeted and attractive products and solutions — in order to grow their business and increase their profit. I see sales as a consulting job, with a better work-life balance.

After one year, I moved roles within SMB, to join the Agency Program; where I worked for 1.5 years. In this role, I managed a portfolio of agencies where I helped grow their clients' accounts by discussing online strategies and advising them on new products and features. Generally, each account strategist manages a portfolio of 5-10 agencies, who in turn can have up to 90 clients.

I’ve recently started a new position as an Incubator Account Strategist on the SMB Solutions team, for which I’ve had to relocate to Google’s Global Headquarters, in the United States. I work with clients to test and get feedback on products before they are fully launched.


How did your two and a half years experience on the SMB team help you being successful in your current job?

It was very helpful to start on the SMB Sales team. This experience helped me get to know Google’s products inside and out and become confident to talk about them to all of our different clients. If I had not had the SMB experience, I would have missed out on a lot of key learnings, such as how to react in different situations and how to handle customer inquiries.

Time management, efficiency and organization are also key learnings of the job, as these are vital skills needed in order to achieve the three-months target, which is set for all Account Strategists. Furthermore, I gained incredible online marketing knowledge, as well as knowledge about the competitive landscape.

What skills are helpful when aiming to enter Google?

Languages — At the Dublin office, Google’s European headquarters, we have Googlers from almost 70 different countries. Speaking English is therefore essential and having knowledge of other languages is always helpful. I personally speak French, English and German fluently.

Leadership — The ability to manage projects is very important. Googlers are expected to learn very quickly how to organize their own workload and other projects that they might support on the side.

Communication — People that would like to apply for this position should be communicative and able to express themselves well when talking to clients on a daily basis. This does not mean that everyone at Google is super outgoing and talkative, but it is crucial to be self-confident and sharp.


What did you like about living in Dublin, Ireland?

I really like Dublin. As it’s the capital of Ireland, it has a lot of cultural activities to offer, such as concerts, theatres and shopping. Dublin airport with its low budget airlines is also only a 20 min cab ride from the office.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

One of the big advantages of working for Google is all the facilities we have. In my free time and sometimes during the work day, I go to the gym, which happens 4 - 5 times per week. I do a lot of weight training, I visit classes such as Tai Bo and Pilates or do cardio training like running at the beach.

What do you like most about your job?

I think everyone at Google would give the same answer: the people. Googlers are very smart people with great ideas. Not only do they have different backgrounds and can tell incredible stories, but they are super open and helpful, which is unique in a work environment.

Whether it’s developing new business strategies, providing online marketing consultancy, selling a great advertising solution to our clients or bringing products to market, there are plenty of graduate opportunities at Google that don’t involve algorithms. Take your first step towards a Google career, by checking out our opportunities here: google.com/students/emea

Posted by Nicole Zwaaneveld, University Programs

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We’re continuing our student tribute in honor of Black History Month and showcasing Maurita, a Sophomore at Spelman College and Google Student Ambassador.

Tell us one really interesting fact about you?

I used to live in Italy for 2 & ½ years!

How were you introduced to Computer Science and what prompted you to study it in College?

I was introduced to Computer Science when I was twelve years old living in Rome, Italy. I spent a lot of time on the computer playing games like Neopets when I lived there. On Neopets, users connected with each other through “Guilds”. After joining a few of them I realized I wanted to make my own. However, once I made them, no one would join. I started browsing through multiple guilds to see what theirs had that mine didn’t. This was how I discovered HTML/CSS, Adobe Photoshop, and Computer Science. After teaching myself how to code and do some graphic design I was able to get over 100+ members to join my Guild.


How are you helping others who are interested in Computer Science?

As a Google Student Ambassador (GSA) for Spelman one of the first events I held was a social for the Spelman College Computer Science major’s where our freshman Spelman Sisters each received between 1-2 upperclassmen Spelman Sisters. The point of the event was to connect freshman with upperclassmen and for the upperclassmen to act as their mentor. If the freshman needed help understanding complex computer science concepts or just a new friend who could help guide them through the transition into college, the upperclassmen would assist them. I believe that Computer Science is a very challenging major/field, and as a freshman it can be an overwhelming experience, especially since it’s not a topic learned in great detail before college.

If you were given $1,000,000 to help others, how would you use the money?

I would establish as many computer labs for K-12 graders as possible. I would create these labs in poorer areas that don’t have the resources to fund a fully functioning computer lab. I would also give money to the American public education to change/improve what is taught in the Computer Science classes. I believe that if you know how to code, do graphic design, or effectively use a computer to gain knowledge, you can do anything your heart desires. They could use their creative and critical thinking skills to build android/ios apps or even websites. According to Time Magazine, “Even if students wanted to dive into programming [Java], the course is only offered in 10% of American high schools”. Without being given the education to dream bigger, students are also not given the opportunity to think outside of the box.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to others?

Life is a difficult and beautiful journey with obstacles that may seem insurmountable at the time. I believe that giving back causes a positive chain reaction, inspiring people to overcome the hardships that they are faced with, and enjoy the moments that take their breaths away. By giving back, you’re not only spreading positive energy that can turn an individuals day or life around, but you’re also giving someone the ability to do the same for another.


Posted by Melanie Lazare, Student Outreach team

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog.)

The 2015 Google Science Fair starts today! To learn more about entry details, prizes and more tune in to today’s Hangout at 2pm EST and follow along on Google+.

Science is about observing and experimenting. It’s about exploring unanswered questions, solving problems through curiosity, learning as you go and always trying again.

That’s the spirit behind the fifth annual Google Science Fair, kicking off today. Together with LEGO Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic, we’re calling on all young researchers, explorers, builders, technologists and inventors to try something ambitious. Something imaginative, or maybe even unimaginable. Something that might just change the world around us.


From now through May 18, students around the world ages 13-18 can submit projects online across all scientific fields, from biology to computer science to anthropology and everything in between. Prizes include $100,000 in scholarships and classroom grants from Scientific American and Google, a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos, an opportunity to visit LEGO designers at their Denmark headquarters, and the chance to tour Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship at their Mojave Air and Spaceport. This year we’re also introducing an award to recognize an Inspiring Educator, as well as a Community Impact Award honoring a project that addresses an environmental or health challenge.

It’s only through trying something that we can get somewhere. Flashlights required batteries, then Ann Makosinski tried the heat of her hand. His grandfather would wander out of bed at night, until Kenneth Shinozuka tried a wearable sensor. The power supply was constantly unstable in her Indian village, so Harine Ravichandran tried to build a different kind of regulator. Previous Science Fair winners have blown us away with their ideas. Now it’s your turn.

Big ideas that have the potential to make a big impact often start from something small. Something that makes you curious. Something you love, you’re good at, and want to try.

So ... what will you try?

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google for Education team