Meet Software Engineer for Firebase’s Upcoming Product #MeetFirebase


[MUSIC PLAYING] DOUG STEVENSON: Hey, everybody. Welcome to “Meet
Firebase,” the show where you get to meet
the Googlers that make Firebase happen. On the show with me
today is Tina Liang. [APPLAUSE] [CHEERING] Tina, thanks for
joining me on the show. TINA LIANG: Thanks
for having me. DOUG STEVENSON: So, Tina,
I’m excited to have you on the show. What team are you on? TINA LIANG: Well,
I joined Firebase as part of Cloud
Functions, and then I transitioned onto
a new team who– we’re working on a product
that hasn’t been released yet. DOUG STEVENSON: OK, OK. So this is kind of a secret,
hush-hush thing right now? TINA LIANG: [LAUGHS]
Sort of hush-hush, yeah. Some people might know about it. If you know, you know. If you don’t– DOUG STEVENSON: OK. TINA LIANG: –you’ll
find out soon. DOUG STEVENSON: OK. Well, I’m going
to guess everyone who’s watching this
right now does not know, but can you give
us kind of a hint? Like, what kind of problems
are you trying to solve here? Because Firebase has
a lot of things– TINA LIANG: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON:
–under its umbrella. So what else is– what’s
missing that could be worked on? TINA LIANG: Firebase
has a lot of products that solve a lot of use
cases, and what we’ve seen is that a lot of– some of
these use cases are very common, so a lot of developers have
the same uses for our products, and they like to use them in
conjunction with each other. So our product is trying
to bring those use cases to the developers
in a more accessible way. So some way that’s easy for them
to implement without actually having to do it from
scratch every single time for every developer
who needs to use that. DOUG STEVENSON: OK, OK. So it sounds like– so Firebase
is already pretty easy to use, but what you’re
saying is we’re trying to make it even easier
for some common use cases? TINA LIANG: Yes. DOUG STEVENSON: OK. TINA LIANG: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: So I’m excited
to see how much time that saves people. It sounds like something
that could be very helpful. TINA LIANG: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: So
I’m kind of curious. How did you end up landing
into the Cloud Functions team? I’m curious to know, because
everyone has a little bit of a different story. TINA LIANG: So my story begins
with the engineering residency program. It’s a one year program that
Google offers for people who just got out of college. There’s eight weeks of training,
and during the eight weeks of training you
essentially learn what you would learn in two days
through Noogler orientation, but it’s spread out
over eight weeks, so you get to go much more
into depth for each topic that you cover in
Noogler orientation. DOUG STEVENSON: So
Noogler orientation, what does that, for people
who don’t know at home? TINA LIANG: So
Noogler orientation is the orientation that every
new Googler goes through. DOUG STEVENSON: Ah,
Noogler is new Googler? OK. TINA LIANG: Yes. We cover all of those
topics, but in eight weeks, instead of two days. And we have people who are
experts in those fields come in and give us talks. We also go through
a lot of things that the Noogler orientation
doesn’t go through, such as how to reach
out to your managers if you’re having issues
or how to find resources that you need in Google. So just a lot of things
about how to navigate Google, because Google is
such a big company, and there’s so many things
that you have to learn. They tried to condense
into like eight weeks just by throwing all of
that information at you. DOUG STEVENSON:
Is that something you have to apply for? Like, how do you get
into that program? TINA LIANG: There is
an application process. I did not go through
the application process. I was actually flagged
through my interviews as a candidate who would be a
good fit for the engineering residency program. DOUG STEVENSON: So interviews–
you interviewed at Google? TINA LIANG: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: And then
someone said, oh, you would be a good fit for
engineering residency? So– TINA LIANG: I’ve heard of people
going in through both ways. DOUG STEVENSON: OK. Interesting. TINA LIANG: I don’t know what
they’re doing these days. But it seems to be getting
really, really popular, so I’m very happy for it. So one last thing that I can say
about the engineering residency program that I really enjoy
is just the mentorship that you get as
part of the program. So when you start your
rotations, the 4 and 1/2 month rotations, you’re matched with
a mentor and a second mentor on the team. And they essentially
help you scope and complete your project
over the 4 and 1/2 months. Actually, interestingly
enough, the project that I did with Cloud
Functions became– it became like the first
proof of concept for the thing that I’m working on now. DOUG STEVENSON: Oh, really? OK. TINA LIANG: Yeah, yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: So it all
ties together, you work? TINA LIANG: It all does, yeah. Like, I started out here,
and then I came back to here. DOUG STEVENSON: Outside
of work, what do you do? What are your hobbies? TINA LIANG: Currently, I am also
a lifeguard at the Chinatown YMCA. I like it because I feel
like you’re learning– or I get to keep up to date with
a lot of skills that I think are very important,
and that otherwise– DOUG STEVENSON:
Such as swimming? TINA LIANG: Swimming, Yes. DOUG STEVENSON: And
what else is there? [LAUGHTER] TINA LIANG: So you
get CPR certified, so CPR and just basic first aid. So knowing how to recognize
signs and symptoms of very common illnesses that
some people can encounter. DOUG STEVENSON: So the idea is
to learn what those look like, and then that would help you
protect people who might have problems in a pool environment? TINA LIANG: Yeah. I mean, being a
lifeguard, normally you’re not saving people all
the time, or I would hope you’re not saving people. DOUG STEVENSON: Yeah, it’s
not like “Baywatch,” right? TINA LIANG: Yeah. So the more common scenarios
that you will encounter are just people who
have swam too hard and maybe they’re
short of breath, so maybe they have
asthma, or just maybe they fell and scraped
themselves, stuff like that. DOUG STEVENSON: I see. TINA LIANG: It’s also a great
place to work on soft skills. DOUG STEVENSON: Oh, really? TINA LIANG: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: So it’s not just
blowing a whistle and telling– TINA LIANG: [LAUGHS] DOUG STEVENSON: –people to
stop running at the pool? There’s more to it than that? TINA LIANG: That works
for kids, generally. Adults are a little tricky. DOUG STEVENSON: OK, yeah. So what kind of things do
you run into at the pool? Like, where do you– how do
you have to work with people, so to speak? TINA LIANG: Oh, man. Some swimmers are
very particular about their exercise. And so I’ve had situations
where some swimmers will just call me over and be like,
hey, this guy in my lane is swimming too slow. And it’s just like, how
do you deal with that? Because it’s not really
my place to be like, I don’t think you
belong in the fast lane. You should move over
to the other lane. But at the other side,
you’ve got this like patron who very clearly wants the guy
to move over to a slower lane, so it’s just like– DOUG STEVENSON: I see. I see. So keeping some
order at the pool and making sure everyone is
sort of satisfied with their– TINA LIANG: Yeah, being
a mediator, I guess. DOUG STEVENSON: So what
else are you interested in? What are you doing these days? TINA LIANG: So I
am actually part of a program called Why Corps. It is a program for young
professionals in the Bay Area who want to make or want
to feel like they’re making social impact. So maybe you’ve been interested
in volunteering or working with nonprofits, or
you strongly believe in a cause such as fixing
homelessness in the Bay Area or literacy for all,
stuff like that. DOUG STEVENSON: So
social programs? TINA LIANG: Yeah,
social impact programs. And so they gather a bunch
of young professionals. We bring the skills that we’re
using in our day-to-day careers to these nonprofits
who otherwise probably wouldn’t be able to have access
to these sorts of skills. DOUG STEVENSON: OK. TINA LIANG: I feel like I’m also
learning a lot of skills, too. Part of being in this
program is like learning how to fundraise for
your organization, so that’s been an interesting– DOUG STEVENSON: Oh, fundraising. Yeah. TINA LIANG: Fundraising is– DOUG STEVENSON: That’s a
special skill, isn’t it? TINA LIANG: Yeah. [CHUCKLES] Not very well versed
in it, so it’s been a ride, but it’s been fun. And it’s like, learning
about nonprofits has been very interesting. DOUG STEVENSON:
Sounds like you’re working on some
interesting stuff, and I hope we’ll get to see
an announcement about that at the Firebase Summit
coming up pretty soon. TINA LIANG: I hope so too. DOUG STEVENSON: OK, yeah. No promises, right? But– TINA LIANG: No promises, but– DOUG STEVENSON: But there
will be some new stuff to see? TINA LIANG: Many wishes. DOUG STEVENSON:
So– well, thanks for being on the show, Tina. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING] It was a pleasure having you. TINA LIANG: Thank you. DOUG STEVENSON: And
thank you for tuning in. Be sure to subscribe right
here to the Firebase channel on YouTube to get
more video content, more meet Firebase, ask
Firebase, and other video tutorials. And I’ll see you here next time.

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