Searched by Google

22 Apr 2013 - 11:05:50 in Alumni
Skills in software development springboard for success

Michael Mudge thought it could have been a hoax when a Google recruiter contacted him after seeing his profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn, but his suspicions were unfounded. The Victoria University of Wellington computing graduate has taken up a position with Google in San Francisco after being headhunted by the owners of the world’s biggest search engine.

Michael initially studied Engineering at Victoria but switched to Computer Science three years into the four year degree. “Although computing is part of the Bachelor of Science degree, there’s a very close relationship between the Science and Engineering faculties at Victoria, so making the swap was easy.”

He went on to complete an Honours degree in Computer Science and enjoyed being involved in cutting-edge research. His topic was in the area of artificial intelligence where he set out to develop algorithms that would make the process of optimisation to evaluate functions simpler and more efficient.Michael became one of a select group of scholars to achieve First Class Honours in Computer Science.

Regarded as a technical maestro, Michael worked as a web developer and a software engineer for several up-and-coming companies after graduating. When Google came calling, he wasn’t immediately available but the company kept in touch and a rigorous round of interviews began in July last year. It culminated in a visit to San Francisco for five-hour long sessions with Google staff.

“It was challenging—I had to write code in front of them and answer questions about my thought processes and problem-solving techniques.” He passed with flying colours and has joined other new recruits from around the world as a Google software engineer and developer.Michael, who is nearly 25, says working for Google is a dream come true. “They’re the best. For a recent graduate, it’s as good as you can get.”

Michael attributes his success to motivation and going the extra mile. “If you want to be good you have to push yourself to succeed, and not just in one area. When you see high achievers, they are well developed people, excelling across a number of fields.”