In this episode, I interview Jon Sharkey, a software engineer from Google about the engineering behind the Waze application. We also talk about how project teams work at Google, specifically what the workflow looks like, tips on project management and everyday communication tools John uses as well as tools used at Google.
Here are the key points discussed on the Engineering behind Waze:
- Waze is a GPS-based mobile app that you run on your phone to get directions like any other GPS.
- What makes Waze different is that it has many unique features built into it that other apps don’t have, like e.g. you can report accidents, traffic problems, and traffic jams. You also get points by reporting accidents, and you can advance to a higher level on the app as you start accumulating points.
- Some of the most popular ways of communicating with teams at Google is of course through Google docs, emails, and face to face communication.
- It’s good to disconnect from all the everyday distractions every now and again, especially when you need to remain focused on something specific.
- Google is very accommodating and measures you more on your output, rather than your input.
- Waze is working on a new product called Waze Carpool. This is an app that you will use if you are trying to share a ride with someone else in your area. This app is trying to encourage people to share a ride to and from work by paying the driver a small fee, which is less than you would spend on fuel. Payment is set in advance based on distance. When the ride is over, Carpool transfers it from rider to driver. The idea behind this is to minimize traffic, help the environment and save users money. There is also an option where drivers can offer the rides for free.
- With regards to project workflow Google’s Buganizer is used to track the tasks that need to get done in 2-week sprint periods (a ton more on this in the episode).
More in this episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Jon will give you some productivity hacks that you can use in your engineering career.
About Jon Sharkey
Jon Sharkey grew up in Canada, where he learned how to make video games in his parents’ basement, got CS degree, and worked for various video game and app companies before working at Google. He’s also worked as a software engineer at Facebook and Reddit.
Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology, you are going to be left behind. – Philip Green
Books mentioned in this session include:
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of FE, PE, or SE exam preparations. Use promo code COACH for 20% discount at PPI2Pass.com/coach.
What are your thoughts on the engineering behind Waze?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on your project workflow process.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success