Lessons learned, 10 years after moving to the US to join Google

It’s exactly 10 years since my first day at Google. What I’ve learnt:

Same story, but as a Twitter thread
  1. In 2011 there was a career path for me, but I had to leave Chile to find it.
  2. There is a career path outside management: At Google I discovered that software engineers could keep moving forward without the need to become a manager.
  3. There are jobs that combine passions with skills: I wasn’t the best SWE at Google, but someone saw my passions and skills, and invited me to join Developer Relations.
  4. Know your strengths: Taking the Clifton StrengthsFinder test changed how I viewed myself. The results made sense, and gave me a way to communicate to others and myself who I was and what I could do.
  5. Know what you want to do: If I had to summarize the 3 things that have motivated me the most throughout life it’s Travel, Storytelling, and Analyzing Data. DevRel was the perfect fit for me.
  6. Choose a manager that values your strengths: You won’t always have a choice of who your next manager will be, but make sure to establish as early as possible what your strengths are and what you want to do.
  7. There is life outside Google: After almost 10 years at Google with 13 different managers, I finally had enough. I used all I had learned to find my new home at Snowflake, and it has proven to be the right choice.
  8. Making mistakes is ok: I’ve made people feel uncomfortable. I’ve missed deadlines. I should have replied to more emails and messages than I have. Hopefully my contributions have been bigger than my mistakes, and I’m grateful for everyone that has forgiven me.
  9. Learn from your own mistakes and shortcomings. Have empathy for those that are still learning from their own.
  10. Showing up and building relationships is more important than a plan: I never planned to move to the US, join Google, nor DevRel, nor Snowflake. All these happened thanks to friends that I made along the way. I’m grateful to them for opening doors and inviting me to join.
  11. Pay it forward. Open doors. Share what you learned. Understand that everyone has different strengths. Forgive.

Data Cloud Advocate at Snowflake ❄️. Originally from Chile, now in San Francisco and around the world. Previously at Google. Let’s talk data.