About 2,000 of Google’s 20,000-strong worldwide workforce spend their day at the company’s huge office building in Chelsea. Between 700 and 800 of those Google New Yorkers are engineers.
What, exactly, are they up to?
Engineering director Craig Nevill-Manning tells us New York’s engineers work together with Mountain View engineers on almost everything Google (GOOG) does, including search and user-interfaces.
But Craig said there are some Google products that either originated out of New York, or are continually developed there. These include:
- Google Finance
- Google Health
- Google Checkout
- Google Maps
- Google Docs
- DoubleClick Ad Exchange
- Google Big Table
Of all the product built and run out of New York, the one consumers are most familiar with is Google Maps.
That’s fitting, because Craig tells us if Google hadn’t opened a New York office in 2003, Google Maps wouldn’t exist — or it at least wouldn’t be the product it is today.
The service was originally the work of Dan Egnor, an independent, New York-based developer who submitted it as an entry into a 2002 Google contest. After Dan won the competition, Craig says Google “flew him out to California and wined and dined and gave him a talk. We gave him an offer and said come work for Google.”
Dan said no. Why? Because he didn’t want to leave New York. Not for Northern California, anyway.
Google eventually hired Dan after Craig finally opened an engineering outpost in Google’s New York office in April 2003. (To do that, Craig first had to convince Google’s sceptical cofounders he could somehow find Google-worthy engineers in the city.) Dan’s competition winning project became Google Local, which eventually became Google Maps.
Don’t miss our tour of Google New York: Scooters, Slides, And Legos — Oh My!