Joining Google

Starting next month, I’ll be a Googler.

To my great surprise, I’ve been at SitePen two and a half years. It has been nothing short of wonderful which may explain why it doesn’t feel like it has been that long. When I look back at what we’ve accomplished it’s also surprising that we’ve been able to do all if it in such a short timeframe. Between the huge client projects and re-building Dojo from the ground up, it has been busy bordering on nutty.

It already makes me sad to leave behind working with the SitePen crew, many of whom I helped to hire in and who I count among my closest friends. But I won’t be entirely gone. I’ll still be contributing to Dojo in my new role, if less frequently. Not that it’ll slow the project down any. Pete, Bill, Adam, and Tom have Dojo well in hand and have been driving things forward at a furious rate. Dojo has always been a team effort, and I’m excited about the improvements coming in 1.3. I’ve gotten a dis-proportionate amount of the credit over the years (and not enough of the blame), and as Dojo evolves from here it will continue to be because companies like SitePen, Uxebu, AOL, and IBM have all been able to contribute to make it happen and that leaders like Pete Higgins have stepped up to lead and teach and learn with the community. My deepest thanks go to Dylan and SitePen for having let me be a part of that process on a daily basis for the last couple of years.

So what could possibly pry me away from such a sweet, sweet gig at SitePen?

In a word, Chrome.

Three years after many of my friends joined Google, the appeal of getting to fix the “web as platform” problem from the inside has finally proven irresistible. There’s much to do, and the WebKit platform seems like the best shot that we have (collectively) at forging a future that’s not just open, but also markedly better. At SitePen I’ve had the chance to make the web a better place through Dojo. At Google I’ll have a chance to do it from the browser itself.

To the friends I’m leaving, it was a privilege to work with you. To the friends I’m joining, thanks for your trust and faith.


  1. sri varadarajan
    Posted November 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Surprise! Good luck @ Google, Alex.
    Hope you can help get Chrome to us Mac users :)

  2. Posted November 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    hey Sri!

    The work to get Chrome working on OS X is being done in the open:

    Right now there’s a “TestShell” app which fires up a single WebView without any of the Chrome-ish UI or the multi-process system. In short, it’s the guts but not the things that make Chrome Chrome.


  3. Posted November 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Alex – I mean Googler Alex!

  4. Posted November 23, 2008 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Alex! We’re all really looking forward to working with you.

  5. Posted November 23, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Congrats, Alex, and keep up the good work! It was a pleasure working with you via the Zend Framework project, and I hope that the relationship continues with you at Google! Now, go fix the web, dammit!

  6. Posted November 23, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff! You now have the shortest commute to the office of anyone I know.

  7. Posted November 23, 2008 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Congrats, Alex,

    You’ve been a tireless advocate of the open and rich web, and an insightful observer of what’s been holding us back. That you’ll have a hand in the next generation of browsers makes me happy and gives me hope.

    All the best!

  8. Posted November 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Working on a browser is fun. I hope you have fun at Google!

  9. Posted November 23, 2008 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh I get it. You waited for me to leave Google and join Mozilla and then thought:

    1. I can not join Google as Dion isn’t there
    2. I need to make Chrome kick arse to destroy Firefox


    In all seriousness. Congrats mate. Google is lucky to have you.



  10. Posted November 23, 2008 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Welcome aboard! Another reason to visit the mothership up north…

  11. Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    This is a 10x event, Galex! Be kind to Google, they’re really nice people!

    I remember when we discussed Google salaries at a DD in May, and you said that they usually got it about right with experience. So what are you going to do with all that money? :)


  12. Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to work with you! :)


  13. Posted November 24, 2008 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Congrats, it was an honor to work with you at SitePen, and it will be great to have you working on the browser with the experience you have.

  14. Patrick Corcoran
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Alex. That’s great news.

  15. Posted November 24, 2008 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Really interesting move – I wish you luck! If you are able to contribute as much in chrome as to Dojo (in such a short time period), Chrome’s future will look even more interesting.

  16. Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Congrats, dude–go kick some browser ass!

  17. Posted November 24, 2008 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! hope that we will keep working together and that you’ll help to put the browser fights to rest soon ;)

  18. Posted November 24, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This is exciting news!

  19. Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Hey, congratulations on the move, Alex. You’re definitely in good hands, at least. Wouldn’t want you working on Internet Explorer or something. Don’t encourage them! And, uh, yeah, how about that Linux build? Thanks to you and yours for the amazing framework and for getting it into the right hands. I wish you the best of successes.

  20. Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Congrats Alex!

    Josh: What Alex already said. The Linux port is being done in the open and you can check out the progress yourself. The test shell is also working on Linux and the developers are hard at work with finishing that part before they move on to the chrome of chrome and the multiprocess parts.

  21. Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Excellent News! Looking forward to working with you.


  22. Posted November 24, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink


  23. Posted November 24, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Congrats, Alex! Looking forward to the progress you’ll be making on Chrome.

  24. Posted November 24, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Congratuations, man!

  25. Posted November 24, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! I wish you all the best in your new position. They are lucky to have you!

  26. Posted November 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Alex! Google is lucky to have you.

  27. Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Alex!

  28. Joel Webber
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Alex, and a hearty welcome from the GWT team!

  29. Posted November 25, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    looking forward to getting you up to the SF office once you’ve done your time in mountain view :)

  30. Posted December 1, 2008 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Congratulation Alex. All the best in your new position.

  31. Tim
    Posted December 11, 2008 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Congratulations Alex. Good luck for the new job @ Google.

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] another Google recruiting note, the process worked well and Alex Russell is joining the Chrome team. Congrats to both Google and Alex on the move. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with […]

  2. By tecosystems » links for 2008-11-24 on November 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    […] Joining Google | Continuing Intermittent Incoherency an interesting hire for the Chrome team (tags: google chrome dojo alexrussell hire) […]

  3. By Dylan Schiemann » Blog Archive » Thankful on November 27, 2008 at 9:24 am

    […] few people have asked me privately if I am upset that Alex is joining Google. The short answer is, absolutely not. Alex has been hacking on WebKit and Gears for a while now, […]

  4. By NCZOnline - What are web standards? on November 27, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    […] HTML 5 specification to get done in 2022 won’t push the web forward. Getting smart guys like Alex working on browsers […]