Amid media reports that Alphabet-owned Google has laid off its entire Python team in a bid to cut costs by hiring cheap labour outside the United States, a social media post by a former Google engineer who was recently shown the door has gone viral on social media.

Matt Hu, the former employee, took to LinkedIn to describe the night he came to know about his layoff, along with his manager and other members of his team.

He has been working as a software engineer at Google for the past two years and holds an H-1B visa. 

Hu, who hails from China, said that he cooked a meal at home with his girlfriend and they watched TV together on that night.

Further, he added that he had sensed a problem as soon as he opened his laptop.

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“I went downstairs and opened up my laptop. That was 21:00. I got a weird email saying ‘Your Cloudtop StopInstance operation has begun’ and I suddenly recalled I just had the cloudtop maintenance a few days back, it couldn’t be a scheduled task, there is definitely something bad happening. I even ‘Momaed’ (Google’s internal search engine) ‘what stopinstance means’ and I did get the results from the website, so I chose not to believe I was leaving the company,” said Hu. 

He described that time as “the longest five minutes in my life”.

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Hu added that he was shocked to see that he lost access to multiple sites and had a “forced laptop reboot”.

He had also received an email saying “Notice regarding your employment”, by which he realised that his “watch at Google is over”.

After that Matt Hu messaged his coworkers and learnt that some other members were also laid off.

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Hands were shaking

“While I was drafting a farewell (basically an advertising) email to people under my skip manager, I received another email from my direct manager. He got laid off too, together with the TL at our neighbor team,” he wrote in the post.

“As he wrote, ‘my hands are shaking as I write this email’, my hands were shaking too while reading. He’s been at Google for almost 13 years, he founded our team from the first line of code, built everything from scratches, now he had to say goodbye to his baby, with limited corp access except Gmail. I replied to the email instantly, and suddenly the whole team showed up, people were around at night, surprised by this sudden but devastating change. We all know what it means to our team,” the former employee said.

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Published: 29 Apr 2024, 09:12 PM IST