On Thursday night, Google’s former svp/product management Jonathan Rosenberg was in London with chairman Eric Schmidt to promote their new book “How Google Works.” During a Q&A at the University of London, Rosenberg said he once had to give a speech in front of a room full of Rhodes scholars (about 70 people receive the scholarship each year). He offered them all jobs at Google right there on the spot – and even comped their airfare to San Francisco. A few of them actually took up the offer.
The fact that Google is willing to hire an entire room of bright people, sight unseen, tells you how desperately the company needs smart workers.
If, on the off chance, you’re not a Rhodes scholar, Schmidt had some more down-to-earth advice. Google really needs data analytics people and folks who have studied statistics in college, he said.
Big data – how to create it, manipulate it, and put it to good use – is one of those areas in which Google is really enthusiastic about.
And then Rosenberg said something really interesting. If you want to work at Google, make sure you can use MatLab, he said.
We had never heard of MatLab, so we asked Rosenberg afterward what it was. For the uninitiated, MatLab lets developers code and arrange data and algorithms so that results are visual. (Yes, it’s complicated). The key here is that data is produced visually or graphically, rather than in a spreadsheet. Here is an example:
This is a Matlab surface 3-D plot of a two-dimensional unnormalized sinc function (obviously!). We got it from Wikipedia.
The point is that being a master of statistics is probably your best way in to Google right now. Rosenberg told Business Insider after the event: “My quote about statistics that I didn’t use [last night] but often do is, ‘Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it the samurai.'”