My journey from small town kid to Google developer relations

Growing up in Canada’s Chocolate Town

I grew up in a small town in Canada in the province of New Brunswick. New Brunswick is quite rural, roughly about 95% trees and the largest city is around 90,000 people.

St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada
Source: Wikipedia

From shy introvert to the ACM ICPC World Programming Finals

My life as a competitive programmer

Top of the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel at the 2003 world programming finals (I’m on the right).

My first attempt at Google

In the Spring of 2005, I had competed in the world programming finals twice and I was graduating from my Masters degree and trying to figure out what to do next. I knew I could get a job locally, but I felt like that would be too comfortable, I wanted to push myself and do something different.

See you in a few years Google, and hello PhD

Stanford University and founding a company

In January 2010, I started as a Postdoc at Stanford University’s medical school. My PhD had been focused on designing models and software for solving large data integration problems with semi-automated systems. There’s a lot of data in biomedical research, so that’s where I came in.

Failing miserably as a founder

Becoming an SEO ninja

Becoming the busiest unemployed man in the Bay Area

After 7 years of the ups and downs that come with running a startup, especially one that was kind of always in the grinding it out phase, I was ready for something different. I didn’t feel like I was really learning anything new and although we were cashflow positive we were also extremely resource strapped, making it hard to really expand the business.

What’s developer relations?

She explained to me that developer relations is the engineering function at Google that builds all the resources for third-party developers to build on Google platforms and that it involves engineering, working on open source, writing, speaking, educating, and working with internal engineering and product to make sure we are building the right things to best serve the community.

Me with my parents at Google HQ.



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Sean Falconer

Sean Falconer


Google Developer Relations — BizComms — All opinions are mine and mine alone.