073 – Googling with Eric Hennigan

073 – Googling with Eric Hennigan

Googling with Eric Hennigan

To be educated is to have knowledge and to be able to do something with it.
— Eric Hennigan

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Eric Hennigan and Steve Kurti

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • Have you ever wanted to work at Google?
  • Does Google really have a climbing wall at the office?
  • How important is practical programming experience if you want to work at Google?

Eric HenniganToday on the Table Top Inventing podcast we are talking to a Googler*. If you are curious about some of the things you’ve read about Google, their employees, and the amenities at the office, stay tuned.

On the interview, Eric Hennigan and I had such a great conversation that we went over time. So we added some bonus interview footage at the end. Don’t miss it.

After college, Eric worked for the US Navy as a programmer. That experience convinced him to sharpen his skills as a programmer, and he went back for a PhD in Computer Science from UC Irvine. Along the way he discovered the best students are actually self-taught.

Eric has worked at several companies as a programmer, including Zodiac Aerospace, but currently he is a coder for Google. He doesn’t say much about his duties as a YouTube ad wrangler, but his views on getting a great education are priceless.

Every time I talk to Eric I learn something new. He is just full of excellent insights and thinks deeply about life and learning.

For the last month or two, we’ve been talking about our Resonance Innovation Fellowship, but we’re closing registration on that soon. However if you have students destined to be a programmer or engineer like Eric, stop by the Table Top Inventing website (ttinvent.com) and learn more about Inventor Camp this summer. Inventor Camp is not your typical summer camp. Students actually learn more in 4 days at camp than in weeks during school, but they don’t even know they are learning because it’s so much fun.

The future can always be read by those who create it!



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Guest Bio

Eric works as a software engineer because he enjoys talking to computers in their own language. He also enjoys explaining what he’s learned, helping other’s to benefit from his own experience. He’s very interested in automation, applying lessons taken from cybernetics and human psychology to software development. He enjoys working in software because there are always new languages, new techniques, and new technologies to learn and use.

Eric holds B.S. degrees in Applied Mathematics and Physics from UCLA, and a PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Irvine. He enjoys communicating what he’s learned to others and even acted as Instructor of Record for UCI and Cal State Fullerton while still a graduate student. Despite his formal education, he recommends self-study as a path to skills improvement.

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Additional Notes

Connect with Eric:

Mentioned in the Episode:

Eric’s Google Hangout with Debby’s CIS Class (December 2015)

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Inspirational Quote

“I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress genius because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.” — John Taylor Gatto

About Teachers

Books and the Internet have made a huge impact on my life, giving me material my real teachers never had.

Something Eric Made Recently:

Bookshelves. Made of pipe, glass, two-track railing, Edison lights, and a water valve re-purposed into a dimmer switch.

Something Eric Learned Recently:

Google’s infrastructure.

Text Transcript Coming Soon!

The classroom with its deadlines and schedules doesn’t give you the time to deeply reflect and internalize the knowledge.  The fact that we have a paper [degree] doesn’t mean we thought about it at night and internalized it… and I have the opposite experience where people who don’t have the paper are really good at solving problems.”  –Eric Hennigan


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