Meet Reto Strobl, an engineering manager at Google Zurich

Meet Reto Strobl, an engineering manager at Google Zurich

We sat down with Reto Strobl, an engineering manager at Google Zurich, about how he fell in love with computer science, why he likes being a Googler and what he enjoys about Google Zurich.

How did you get involved in computer science?

Reto: I got into computer science in college after a friend told me about algorithms—that writing a good one was like solving a riddle. I ended up getting a master’s in computer science at ETH Zurich, with specializations in computer vision, cryptography and system engineering. I worked at IBM while getting my PhD, and I built a content management system at a friend’s startup. Then I came to Google eight years ago. I wanted to work here as soon as I heard Google was coming to Switzerland.

What do you do here at Google Zurich?

Reto: I’m an engineering manager for AdWords for Video. I manage a team of 20+ engineers and collaborate with test engineers and UX designers. I also do a lot of hands-on development. I built this team more than a year ago and AdWords for Video has grown exponentially since we started.

What is your favorite thing about your team and other Googlers?

Reto: I love working with such great people. The Googlers on my team are extremely dedicated and collaborative. I guess that’s the norm at Google, of course, but I can’t help but be struck by it every day I work with my team. It’s also pretty fun to see bloggers writing about a technology you’ve worked on—especially as traffic rises. Our teams get to have a huge impact.

Teammates, impact...what else is great about working in Zurich?

Reto: Zurich is home to a lot of Googlers. There’s a critical mass here with lots of fascinating people to get to know. Additionally, the location is great. It’s 50 minutes to skiing by train, and we have easy access to 12 of the world’s finest mountains. It’s quite bike-friendly and lots of Zooglers bike to work.

Ok, but working in Zurich can’t be all great all the time, right?

Reto: True, we do have to work across time zones and sometimes have to travel to the HQ in Mountain View. Travel can be challenging for anyone, especially if you have a family. But I see the cross-country collaboration as a great chance to meet people from around the world and incorporate their perspectives and ideas into my work. And, although it’s not the Alps, I’ll admit the skiing in California is pretty good.

Related stories

Zurich: Google Home Video Contest entry

Zurich: Google Home Video Contest entry

Go inside Google Zurich, from your first Google Map search, to lunch with Damian, a ...

See more

Working at Google Zurich

Working at Google Zurich

Meet some of the team at Google’s European Engineering Center. Get the scoop on the ...

See more

Do Cool Things That Matter

Do Cool Things That Matter

Googlers solve complex problems everyday in the name of our core mission to organize the ...

See more

gTech Software Engineering

gTech Software Engineering

Google software engineers are more than just the sum of their parts, and no one ...

See more

S.O.S.: When disaster strikes, Raquel and Crisis Response answer the call

S.O.S.: When disaster strikes, Raquel and Crisis Response answer the call

When disaster strikes, Software Engineer Raquel Romano and the Google Crisis Response team spring into ...

See more

The road to Omega: John Wilkes discusses computer science research and the future of Google infrastructure

The road to Omega: John Wilkes discusses computer science research and the future of Google infrastructure

Operating at a global scale presents some amazing challenges. To find solutions, Google recruits computer ...

See more

Googlers at Google I/O

Googlers at Google I/O

How do you define a word like "Googley"? Hear the answer directly from Googlers at ...

See more

Going green for good

Going green for good

We want people to feel good about using Google products. One way we try to ...

See more

Meet Andrew Swerdlow, a privacy analysis engineer

Meet Andrew Swerdlow, a privacy analysis engineer

Which is tougher: innovating on the bleeding edge of privacy technology or summiting the highest ...

See more

Why I'm leaving Harvard

Why I'm leaving Harvard

When he left academia to join Google full time, Matt Welsh explained that the allure ...

See more

Google's switch to the next wave of networking

Google's switch to the next wave of networking

Urs Hölzle details our adoption of the new, open-source infrastructure technology OpenFlow in this article ...

See more

A network’s first lesson in machine learning

A network’s first lesson in machine learning

Google researchers teamed up with Stanford University computer scientists to build a "deep learning" neural ...

See more

The front lines: Yvette and Sean on fighting the war on bugs

The front lines: Yvette and Sean on fighting the war on bugs

People depend on Google Maps every day to get them where they need to go. ...

See more

Speed of dreams

Speed of dreams

Astro Teller (yes, that is his real name) shares how Google bets big on the ...

See more

Google: Scale changes everything

Google: Scale changes everything

Forbes digs into what it means to organize the world’s information to make it universally ...

See more

Google’s 8-point plan to build a better boss

Google’s 8-point plan to build a better boss

Good managers matter. We proved it. This New York Times article details how we analyzed ...

See more

Exploring the world's art museums from home

Exploring the world's art museums from home

Googler Amit Sood chats with CBS This Morning about his work on Google Art Project, ...

See more

Whoa, Google has designers

Whoa, Google has designers

Googler Jon Wiley, User Experience Designer, gave this presentation on our visual refresh during UX ...

See more

Site reliability engineers: the "world's most intense pit crew"

Site reliability engineers: the "world's most intense pit crew"

Site reliability engineer (SRE) Andrew Widdowson likens Google to a race car going 100mph - ...

See more

Search engineering at Google

Search engineering at Google

Hear from the engineers that work on the product that’s been there since our beginning: ...

See more

Route to 2015

Route to 2015

We’ve helped revolutionize the advertising world. But really, we’re just getting started. Dennis Woodside shares ...

See more

The Google Gospel of Speed

The Google Gospel of Speed

"Speed isn’t just a feature, it’s the feature." So says Urs Hoelzle, head of our ...

See more

Google web grows in city

Google web grows in city

"Many of the most talented and creative engineers and scientists in our field of computer ...

See more