As I sit here to put pen to paper on this post, I’m overwhelmed by all sorts of emotions. Sadness, excitement, fear, gratitude, and so much more. The past 6.5 years have been some of the best, and some of the most trying of my work life, but one thing is for sure, it is damn hard to leave Google.
Sure, there’s the free food, the onsite amenities such as gyms, micro-kitchens, massages, and all those creature comforts that I’ve become so used to. There’s the business class international flights and nice hotels that budgets allow me to have when I travel (which I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of on behalf of Google). But it’s the scale of the work and the people I’ve been fortunate to do it with that I will miss the most.
I look back to where I was when I first joined Google and it seems like a lifetime ago. True story: my Google career peaked in month 3 of my short tenure when I had a project earn such high praise it was sent all the way up the chain to Larry Page. It was called the ‘Simple Homepage Test’, but we all called it the SHT test for short. That one project set the tone for the remainder of my time on the Enterprise team (now the Gsuite team) and set me up for much of the success I’ve had internally and externally since then by giving me a platform to build an optimization program on and evangelize about.
Fast forward to 4.5 years ago when I joined the Google Analytics team. I said back then that I’d landed my dream job, building educational materials and advocating on behalf of our users. To this day, I still refer to this role as my dream job. It’s been everything I talked about in that initial post, and so much more. I’ve had the opportunity to write and film 5 Google Analytics Academy courses teaching users about the very beginnings of GA all the way through the most advanced use cases and implementation tactics using Google Tag Manager. I built out multiple YouTube video series to advocate for all of our measurement suite products via Deep-dive trainings and Quick Tips. Louis Gray and I even had a digital marketing YouTube TV-style show called Measure Matters to discuss the latest and greatest in the measurement space. Most recently, I built out a series of ‘Mini-courses’ to cover Google Analytics for Firebase, Google Optimize, and Google Tag Manager and launched those alongside our longer form content on the Analytics Academy site:
This is only a subset of the material I’ve been fortunate enough to work on over the past 4.5 years. I lost count of the number of videos or amount of views all of this adds up to. It’s safe to say it’s a couple hundred videos with millions of end users who have viewed them. It’s actually crazy to write that… millions of people. But it’s true – Google Analytics, and the suite of tools we’ve built around it over the past several years, are the most widely used analytics tools in the world, on about 70% of websites worldwide. Touching even a small percentage of those users has been a humbling and very exciting experience for me that I’ll never forget.
But back to the people. I would never have accomplished all of this had it not been for so many awesome people along the way. The Academy team who helped edit and direct a lot of the course content, the video team that spent far too many hours watching me goof off, mess up, and occasionally film something passable. My advocacy partners in crime: Louis Gray, Daniel Waisberg, and Adam Singer. The GA product management team whom I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 years embedded in – one of my favorite (and most challenging) times at Google as we had constant conversations over scalability, feasibility, benefit to Google, and ultimately, what was going to make the best product for our users. The GA engineering teams that put up with me as I learned all about the backend workings of Google Analytics and Firebase while they patiently waited for me to get it so we could move on to building cool features. Paul Muret for finding the headcount to initially bring me onto the Google Analytics team. The managers, mentors, and allies I’ve had along the way. I am so thankful for every one of these people, and will miss them dearly.
What’s next? Where do I go from here? We’ll see soon enough. For now, I’d like to take time to reflect on what a wonderful journey this chapter has been.
So with that, I’ll leave you with a few fun photos from the past several years – fond memories I’ll always cherish:
The OG ‘GA Social’ team (Kelly, me, Breen, Jocelyn)
From our first GA social event: Scotch tasting!
Deep-dive training on the Firebase Analytics launch with Fontaine and Scott
Take your Parents to Work Day – My parent’s favorite day of the year
Behind the scenes. So much time spent in this studio with my awesome video team.
The cool Google wall that served as the backdrop for so many of my earlier recordings
Another GA Social: Whiskey and a baked goods Bakeoff
GA360 Suite launch (we were taking this rocket ship to outer space! At 4am!)
Analytics Education team outing (can you call it an outing when it’s the bar essentially in our backyard??)
Filming (or rather, goofing off while attempting to film) Google Analytics for Beginners.
After finishing the Google Tag Manager Analytics Academy course. We were deliriously goofy by this point. More Cowbell! (so cute they all wore those shirts to cheer me on!)
My first Hangout on Air with Adam Singer just weeks after joining the Google Analytics team
Some of the gang at my going away happy hour in Mountain View
The Googleplex. So long from the Android desert garden! It’s been a hell of a ride!