Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Google Lays Off Python Team

Sarah Perez (Reddit):

Ahead of Google’s annual I/O developer conference in May, the tech giant has laid off staff across key teams like Flutter, Dart, Python and others, according to reports from affected employees shared on social media.


in addition to contributing to upstream python, we

  • maintained a stable version of python within google, and made sure that everything in the monorepo worked with it. in my time on the team we moved from 2.7 to 3.6, then incrementally to 3.11, each update taking months to over a year because the rule at google is if you check any code in, you are responsible for every single breakage it causes
  • maintained tools to keep thousands of third party packages constantly updated from their open source versions, with patch queues for the ones that needed google-specific changes
  • had highly customised versions of tools like pylint and black, targeted to google’s style guide and overall codebase


we also acted as a help desk of sorts for python users at google, helping troubleshoot tricky issues, and point newcomers in the right direction. plus we worked with a lot of other teams, including the machine learning and AI teams, the colaboratory and IDE teams, teams like protobuf that integrated with and generated python bindings, teams like google cloud who wanted to offer python runtimes to their customers, teams like youtube who had an unusually large system built in python and needed to do extraordinary things to keep it performant and maintainable.

It seems like important work and that this team’s experience will be hard to replace.

HT News Desk (via Hacker News):

The company plans to set up a new team in Munich, Germany which would act as “cheaper” labour, the report claimed.


The US Python team reportedly had less than ten members and managed most parts of Google’s Python ecosystem, stability of Python at Google, updated with thousands of third-party packages and developed a type-checker.

Thomas Wouters (via Hacker News):

It’s a tough day when everyone you work with directly, including your manager, is laid off -- excuse me, “had their roles reduced”, and you’re asked to onboard their replacements, people told to take those very same roles just in a different country who are not any happier about it.


Update (2024-05-03): Jennifer Elias (via Hacker News):

Just ahead of its blowout first-quarter earnings report on April 25, Google laid off at least 200 employees from its “Core” teams, in a reorganization that will include moving some roles to India and Mexico, CNBC has learned.

The Core unit is responsible for building the technical foundation behind the company’s flagship products and for protecting users’ online safety, according to Google’s website. Core teams include key technical units from information technology, its Python developer team, technical infrastructure, security foundation, app platforms, core developers, and various engineering roles.

Dare Obasanjo:

Treating core IT infrastructure teams as a cost center you outsource to cheaper countries is what you expect from IBM or a dying bricks and mortar business not a big tech that made $23.6 billion in profit last quarter

John Nack:

That was the final resting place of the staff of Nik Software, a $200m+ acquisition of world-class imaging talent that Google relocated (specifically to induce attrition) and then reassigned to <checks notes> Roomcycler. 😑🔫

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