Google Seeking Arabic-Speaking Engineers

    October 17, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer, said something elegant about investing in the company’s core business both in and out of the U.S.  It seems the man’s far from a liar, as a manager has now followed up with a call for Arabic-speaking engineers.

We’ve all heard about Google’s struggles in China, and the company’s had problems in other regions, too.  But the Middle East and North Africa almost never get mentioned, and on the Official Google Blog, Ahmad Hamzawi explains, "The reality is that in many countries across Middle East and North Africa (MENA) there is only single-digit Internet penetration rate."

So Google’s just going to woo this population from the ground up.  Hamzawi continues, "As more Arabic speaking people come online — the vast majority via mobile phones — our team wants to help provide effective and useful products in their native language. . . .  We want to build tools to make content creation even easier for our Arabic-speaking users, encouraging them to connect, share and interact with each other, and with other users around the world."

This represents a huge opportunity for growth, and a particularly important one since Google’s sort of maxing out its popularity in many other areas.  As an added bonus: Google may be able to apply whatever it learns about the MENA region’s mobile market to the same sector in English-speaking countries.

Look for a lot of developments in Arabic, then, as it’s not every job opening at Google that becomes the focus of a 900-word blog entry.