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Google wraps up Flutter, Dart, and Python teams; sudden job loss leaves employees in shock
Layoff
Photo courtesy: Unsplash

Google wraps up Flutter, Dart, and Python teams; sudden job loss leaves employees in shock

| @indiablooms | 01 May 2024, 06:44 am

Google has terminated employees from various technology teams, such as Flutter, Dart, and Python, among others, media reports said.

The news came to light as affected employees took to social media to share their sudden job loss and its profound impact on their lives.

The company confirmed these job cuts to Tech Crunch, attributing them to organizational restructuring plans.

“As we’ve said, we’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” Google spokesperson Alex Garcia-Kummert told TechCrunch.

The company clarified that the layoffs were not across the entire company, contrary to some reports.

A spokesperson described them as organizational restructurings, which are typical in the course of business. Affected employees will have the opportunity to apply for other available positions within Google.

“To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023 and into 2024, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, remove layers, and align their resources to their biggest product priorities.

"Through this, we’re simplifying our structures to give employees more opportunity to work on our most innovative and important advances and our biggest company priorities, while reducing bureaucracy and layers.”

Reports from multiple sources indicated that the layoffs have severely impacted teams responsible for critical projects and technologies.

A project manager from the Flutter and Dart teams wrote on X (formerly twitter) that "a LOT of teams" were affected and "lots of great projects lost people”.

However, Google argues that Flutter and Dart teams were not disproportionately affected compared to others.

The layoffs also affected the Python team, which was responsible for the management of internal Python runtimes, toolchains, and contributions to open-source Python. According to a commenter on Hacker News, despite its vital role, this team has operated with fewer than 10 members for years.

Allegedly, the cuts to the Python team were aimed at "reducing" existing roles to establish a new team in Munich, Germany, by Python according to Steering Council member Thomas Wouters.

Wouters noted on Mastodon that many colleagues, including managers, had their roles reduced and were asked to assist in onboarding their replacements. Some employees were reportedly asked to assume similar roles in a different country.

Google asserted that the layoffs were not widespread across the entire company but rather part of reorganizational changes typical in business operations.

Affected employees will have the opportunity to apply for other available positions within the company.

Google has also committed to providing support, including outplacement services and severance packages in accordance with local regulations.

Google employee recounts layoff news shock

For the past two years, Matt Hu has been employed as a Software Engineer at Google. Originally from China, he resides in the US on an H-1B visa. Recounting his experience, Hu said that he and his girlfriend cooked a large meal at home and enjoyed watching TV together before he prepared to conduct an interview as an interviewer. However, upon opening his laptop, he immediately detected an issue.

"I went downstairs and opened up my laptop. That was 21:00. I got a weird email saying 'You 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," he said, describing the time as "the longest five minutes in my life,"

 

In a shocking revelation, Hu realised he lost access to multiple sites and had a "forced laptop reboot.”

He added that an email entered his inbox saying "Notice regarding your employment", which made him realise that his "watch at Google is over."

In another post, the former Google employee shared that he messaged coworkers and understood that some other teammates were also laid off. "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 said.

"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 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 techie said in his post.

Hu said that after analysing the layoff, he realised that half the team got fired. He added, "One coworker posted a picture taken from our company rooftop -- no, from Google's rooftop, and I almost cried out. My manager is one of the most professional managers I ever worked with, this morning when more people realized what has happened last night, my manager replied in the thread: 'I am not your manager anymore, but if I was, I would like to say calm down and look forward, take as much rest as you need, and move forward.'"

Ending the post, he wrote, "And I am moving forward, we are all moving forward."

He also appended a screenshot of the subject of the email with hashtags indicating that he was laid off from the Python team.

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