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B.Battulga: Mongolians have every good characteristic of Asians and Europeans

Trans. by B.DULGUUN

 The following is an interview with senior software engineer at Google B.Battulga, highlighting Mongolia’s IT sector, during a short return to Mongolia to organize a meeting with Google Development Group (GDG).

Last week, he organized the meeting where over 100 people attended. Most of the attendees were Mongolian IT amateurs who spoke with B.Battulga’s colleagues from Google about their work.

 It was reported that you came to Mongolia to introduce GDG. Can you tell us more about this?

 GDG, abbreviation for Google Developers Group, is a gathering for software developers who aren’t related to Google. Basically, it’s a meeting with young people interested in technology. Google supports GDG by some sort of means such as organizing meetings and helping with code inputs. Currently, there are 5,000 software developers in the world. GDG Ulaanbaatar Group was unofficially established two years ago in Ulaanbaatar. This time, we’re working to officially register software developers who joined two years ago.

 What did you accomplish through the meeting?

 I met with people who will be organizing GDG meetings in the future and people who are interested in GDG. We discussed about some of the issues Mongolian software engineers are facing and ways to resolve them.

 Why is joining GDG beneficial for young Mongolian IT specialists?

 Despite all of them being based in Mongolia, communication between Mongolian IT developers is very poor. These young people will be able to frequently meet up and resolve even small issues by joining GDG. I consider this as an advantage.

 Can you share why you decided to work for Google?

 When I had just graduated from university, Google was selected as the most desirable company to work for in both America and South Korea for a couple of years. My initial application and examination was for Google. To attract software engineers, the company visits schools and teaches students about how to fill out application forms for jobs at Google. I found out it was possible to enter by taking examinations when they visited my school.

 Google has many departments. Which department do you work at and what does your work consist of?

 I work at the search engine system sector. I used to work in the search engine system’s web ranking, where I developed algorithms for ranking the first ten websites that would come out through the search engine. I also worked on search engines that show all sorts of information in summarized form. At the moment, I’m working on a program that predicts user’s next action and provides services accordingly. I worked at Google’s Seoul Office but I recently started working for a different section within the search engine system and had to transfer to the U.S. Office.

 How many employees does Google have and how many of them are software engineers?

 I’m not sure about the total number of employees. There are probably some ten thousands of employees but almost half of them are software engineers.

 What is your rank among software engineers?

 I guess a bit higher than the middle rank.

 Is there any other Mongolians working at Google?

 Apart from me, there aren’t any full-time Mongolian engineers. There were several students who worked for short periods of time.

What is the main criterion for getting promoted at Google?

People vying for promotions are tested twice a year. This examination is taken by selected engineers and committee, not by directors. The examination board checks on people who submitted requests for a promotion and decides who to promote. The main criterion evaluates their leadership, how much they’ve contributed to the company, and how useful their product is to consumers.

 In a previous interview, you briefly mentioned that software engineers in your company are unique from other company workers. Can you clarify on this?

 Other companies have many procedures and stages such as planning and designing when producing products. It can be said that our company doesn’t have so many procedures. Engineers work on every stage and procedure from production to distribution to consumers.

 Can you tell us about opportunities on getting employed at Google? Can Mongolians aspiring to work for Google give the examinations directly?

First, they have to write out their profile and strong points and send it to the company. If they pass, they must give an interview via phone call. If they also pass this stage, they can come to the company and take an exam. It’s possible to give the exam from Mongolia. Students of the National University of Mongolia and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology were informed about this.

 How connected are you with fellow Mongolians working in major IT companies such as Apple and Samsung?

I keep in touch with them. Though we don’t meet often, whenever we meet, we discuss about various topics including Mongolian IT development, difficulties [Mongolian] companies are facing, and opportunities for improving Mongolia’s IT sector. I think cooperating and communicating with Mongolians working abroad is an opportunity to mutually help each other and share information.

 What would it take to improve Mongolia’s IT sector?

At the moment, it’s impossible to say. Mongolia has the key foundation for developing its IT sector. Generally, there isn’t an obstacle preventing IT sector from developing.

 Since you work with the best young people from all countries, you must notice their strengths and weaknesses. Compared to foreigners, what are the strengths of Mongolians?

Europeans focus on individual capabilities so it’s common for individuals to be skilled. Asians are superior with their team work skills. Mongolians, on the other hand, are different from both Europeans and Asians. What I mean to say is that it seems Mongolians possess both of these strengths.

 At Google, software engineers of which nation are more skilled?

Overall, it’s hard to find competent software engineers. For instance, when I was working in South Korea, we had to do many interviews to find good software engineers. Even though the population is almost 50 million, it was difficult. Excellent IT companies are being established in America because the ones considered as the best from billions of people in China and India are moving to America. Software engineers of these two countries are followed by European software engineers. The best IT companies are situated in America because the best people selected from three billion people are gathered there.

 It seems that we aren’t aware of how influential the mobile revolution is to our lives. How long do you think the mobile revolution will go on?

Any type of change flows fastest in its initial stage. The change will not stop and as it gradually evolves, it will no longer affect people’s lives. I’d like to mention that the mobile revolution is currently in its middle stage of transition. The transition will probably begin to slow down in pace after some time.

 Although it’s commendable that Mongolian language was put to Google Translate, it is inadequate. In the future, will it be upgraded and improved?

It probably will be. Google Translate will have to expand its information data somehow to improve languages included in the program. The quality will improve if more input data is inserted.

 Thank you for speaking to us. Will you be coming to Mongolia for GDG meetings in the future?

Generally, I do have plans to do so. I want to cooperate on especially working closely and supporting students and IT developers.

Source: Undesnii Shuudan

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=12243

Posted by on Oct 23 2014. Filed under Prime Interview. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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