Google Hires Mars Rover Driver (And He’s Very Concerned About Evil)
Google has hired NASA Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell, saying he will be working on “high-reliability” software.
We’re happy to welcome Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell to Google! He’ll be working on high-reliability software: goo.gl/6MbJH
— Life at Google (@googlejobs) February 15, 2013
Maxwell announced the news himself in a Google+ post on Saturday in which he called Google “perhaps my favorite company — not perfect, as no company (or person) can be, but very very good.”
“They’re also famous for their employee perks, which will be nice, but there was something that was far more important to me,” he added. “Google’s company mantra, as you might know, is ‘Don’t be evil.’ So both times I interviewed there, I asked every single person I talked to — a couple of dozen people in total — this question: ‘Is that ‘Don’t be evil’ stuff just something they worry about at the higher levels and not part of your life, or does it filter down to you?'”
Every person he talked to, he says, had a story when they had to choose between doing something that would make Google more money (but be evil) and something that would make the company less money (but not be evil), and that everyone chose the “non-evil” path every time. According to Maxwell’s account, these Googlers were always supported, or even rewarded for their choices.
Maxwell continued, “And I said to myself, these are people with integrity and a company with integrity — a company that has made sure to bake that integrity into its very DNA, all the way down to their lowest-level engineers, as insurance that it will keep itself honest (And there’s more: for example, they’ve encrypted user data and made it off-limits even to their own employees without several layers of authorization — and they’ve done it quietly, not for publicity, just because it’s the right thing to do.) This is a place I want to be. This is a place where I will feel at home.”
Maxwell starts his job at Google on March 4th.