One year, 365 days, 12 months, 1/10th of a decade… Looking back & forward.

This morning I woke up to the following email in my inbox:

Dear Krista,

Congratulations! You have been at Google for 365 days, 1/10th of a decade, >3.15 x 1010 milliseconds, 20% of a lustrum or 0.001 of a millennium and today is your 1st Google Birthday :)
A big Thank You for all your contributions over the past 12 months. Why not take 60 seconds to recall your first Google year and enjoy a swift walk down recent memory lane enjoying all you have achieved in this time.
Happy Birthday!

So, in that spirit, here are some of my reflections on my first 365 days, 1/10th of a decade, etc at Google.

1. Where did the last year go? The pace of life/work/innovation around here is insane. I find it really hard to believe a year has already gone by.

2. On that same line of thought, what have I actually accomplished in the past year? On the one hand, I think I’ve made good progress in some of the areas I was brought in to run. On the other, there are still big holes to fill and mindset to shift. Contrasting achievements and holes side by side is an interesting exercise to put things in perspective.

3. As mentioned in my 6 month look-back post, the people I’m surrounded by are still really smart. It’s a challenge every day to keep up and not put my foot in my mouth.

4. I’ve learned a ton. When I think about where I was at just one year ago compared to now I’m amazed. In just one year I’ve picked up more technical skills then I ever thought I would have (not to be confused with saying I’m technical… I’m a far from it). I never imagined I’d be suggesting javascript code to my developers and QA-ing staging environments to ensure said code is firing correctly. Of course, I’m still one of the least technical people at Google, but I’m making progress.

5. Spam, code breaks, faulty implementations – they happen to everyone. It’s how you react/fix/message/cover that makes all the difference.

6. Making data easily accessible for consumption is the best way to keep it top of mind. Dashboards and spreadsheets (pulling from APIs) are great tools to keep senior stakeholders informed and interested.

7. Test everything. HiPPOs (highest paid person’s opinion) exist everywhere, but data doesn’t lie. Working towards a test first culture is not easy but can save you a lot of time and frustration later by understanding the impact prior to launching something new.

8. Building cross-functional relationships is one of the most important ways to invest time and energy into moving a project forward. The biggest successes I’ve had in the past year have come from working on projects with engineering, web dev, sales, and support.

9. Saying ‘No’ or ‘Not yet’ or ‘I don’t know’ is hard. Really hard. Especially when it is to senior stakeholders. Don’t make a habit of it, but also don’t say yes just to impress. If it’s a no or not yet, you’ll most likely cause more issue in the long run by saying yes just to please someone in the short term.

10. Prioritization is really important. Make it clear from the outset what your top priorities are for the quarter/project/etc and when things come up that are outside of that list point to it and say ‘not yet’ or ‘if it’s really important we’ll need to re-prioritize the quarters tasks’

11. http://webanalystsoftheworldunite.tumblr.com/ makes my day, consistently (ok this is semi-unrelated but did come about in the past year).

12. Finally, I’m incredibly blessed to work at a place like Google. In just my first year at here I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world to speak on behalf of the Google Analytics product, train regional marketing teams, and work on cross-functional (and cross-timezone) projects with huge impact potential. Work has taken me to India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, the UK, and Ireland (so far). If you know me, you’ll know how much I enjoy traveling and experiencing the world. I’m really thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to see all of these places on the premise of work. I’m one lucky gal.

Excited to see what the future will bring.

  1. Congrats! Sounds like you’re having the time of your life!

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