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How does Google control its masses?

Mark Mzyk | February 7, 2008

What is Google’s development process?

I think that would be an interesting question to know the answer to.

I’ve talked once about Google’s rapid growth. Now Google Blogoscoped has given a visual to Google’s size as a company in terms of employees. The link may take awhile to fully load.

For some perspective, the company I work for would fit on the first three and a half lines of the graphic. And with that small number of employees we’re struggling to figure out our development process and how to keep quality consistently high.

How does Google manage it? I’ve never heard if they use agile development or not. You always hear about what great offices they have and the great perks they give, but that doesn’t actually tell us anything about how Google operates.

I wonder what the threshold is for becoming an intractably large corporation that moves slowly simply because of size? 16,000+ employees must be approaching that number. At what point does Google morph into a Microsoft? Or do they somehow figure it out and manage to remain quick and nimble and remind us of a 37signals as opposed to an IBM?

What’s your opinion?