Google Engineers Take Offense To Dilbert On Arrogance

Dec 30, 2013 • 7:56 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

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See that Dilbert cartoon about Google engineers on the 27th, if not, here it is above.

As you can see, it conveys a stereotype that Google engineers are arrogant. Truthfully, many engineers come off as arrogant, so I doubt it is just a Google engineer stereotype.

That being said, Richard Hay from Google shared it on Google+ and said this stereotype is mostly false when it comes to Google engineers. He wrote:

As a Google Engineer I challenge this stereotype

From what I have seen, the more senior engineers become, the less arrogant they tend to be

There are exceptions

But for the most part they have an increased knowledge of the vastness of the unknown and an appreciation for risks and tradeoffs

As a result they tend not to trend toward overconfidence and arrogant bragging as much as they are cautious in their projections and avoid absolutes

That having been said, the comic is funny

As an outside, what do you think?

Forum discussion at Google+.

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12/30/2013 01:01 pm

Barry, I have always felt that Google products are engineered by engineers for engineers.

Cygnus SEO

12/30/2013 01:10 pm

I think the joke is a fairly accurate representation of some of the lower end engineers I've met and their perceived value.


12/30/2013 01:22 pm

They aren't arrogant, they just, "have an increased knowledge of the vastness of the unknown". If you all weren't so stupid, you would appreciate the risks and tradeoffs. I'm off to sip my passed-through-a-Vietnamese coffee while reading Proust as obviously as possible.


12/30/2013 01:23 pm

Ha, through a Vietnamese weasel...'s still strange, but a lot more so if I leave out the small mammal.


12/30/2013 02:01 pm

Dilbert is sometimes so accurate that the jokes are painfully funny.

Alexander Hemedinger

12/30/2013 02:20 pm

Who doesn't love Dilbert? Awesome strip!


12/30/2013 03:40 pm

wait, when did we start calling programmers engineers?

Michael Martinez

12/30/2013 09:30 pm

How arrogant!

Richard Hay

12/30/2013 10:33 pm

I did not say I was offended. Just that my personal experience runs counter to the core message of the cartoon. However clearly Scott Adams is tapping into a vein of popular perception based on some of the responses to my original post and on this blog post derived from it. Must have hit a nerve.

troy redington

12/30/2013 11:21 pm

Yet another stretched headline from Barry. :)

Barry Schwartz

12/30/2013 11:24 pm

I didn't say Richard was offended. :) It is just a title.


12/31/2013 01:25 am

If anyone believes a Google engineer is arrogant, just have him or her look at the SERPS. The lack of small businesses shown should bring them back down to Earth, but maybe it will just make them more arrogant because they achieved their goals? A better way to bring them off their clouds would be to have them take the daily ride on the Google bus in San Fransisco. All jokes aside, there are arrogant people in any large company.

PM Fiorini

12/31/2013 04:14 pm

Funny! Great cartoon. Thanks Barry!

Schwartz Barry

12/31/2013 06:36 pm

"It is just a title." Worst response ever. That doesn't justify lying about his reaction.

Barry Schwartz

12/31/2013 06:37 pm

It wasn't what he said but other comments in the thread.


01/01/2014 01:12 am

C'mon it's Dilbert were supposed to have fun and laugh. Got to love the pointy haired boss and his arrogance.


01/01/2014 01:20 am

PS. Google is kind of arrogant.Do no evil, were here for everyone,SURE.

Gracious Store

01/01/2014 03:22 am

Generally many professionals and intellectuals are stereotyped to be arrogant, depending who is interacting with them. Haven said that there is a very fine line between arrogance and confidence, and often very difficult to differentiate the two.

Stephanie Grey

02/18/2014 04:52 pm

Maybe they are not arrogant though? Maybe they just have no sense of humor or social competence? That could be misconstrued as arrogance.

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