Google visiting in South Africa

Just got an email from our Computer Science Department


Google besoek ons Dinsdag 12:00.

Translated from Afrikaans:

Google is visiting us Tuesday 12:00.


At least it’s someone from Google, don’t know who exactly, but none-the-less. Cool.

Microsoft also visited our University (Stellenbosch Uni) earlier in the year. Trying to find people to recruit.

Moving countries is probably the biggest reason why people don’t want to go work for these big companies. I have commented on this issue on Charl van Niekerk’s blog before. He was the only person from South Africa to do the Google Summer Of Code this year (2007).
Basically I said that the Summer of Code’s timing isn’t right for South African Universities Timetables. Also, I said that Google should email all the Universities in the country to get more info and spread the word, they went one up on that and are visiting us instead!

As an aside, personally, I think MXit is becoming the Google of South Africa, in its own way. In the fact that they have to handle largehuge scale instant messenging and data transfers in real time. And what seems to be the largest single instant messenger this side of China!

Google Offices in Africa

Google opened its first office in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Kenya, earlier this year.
Google is opening up some offices in South Africa too. Don’t know much about it though. But it doesn’t look technical yet. [1]
Amazon has offices in South Africa, Cape Town, with developers too. (Jerith is someone who works there.)

Here’s the proposed agenda, any questions you all want to know? Let me know, I’ll ask them.
I could maybe write something on my site about the meeting when it’s done for those interested.

Google University Meeting Agenda

1. Introductions
1. Introductions from University
2. Introductions from Google
2. Overview from Google
1. Google overview
2. New Africa office overview
3. University Programs overview
4. Growth and opportunities in Africa and worldwide
5. New Initiatives

3. Overview of Google Programs
1. Google Apps
2. Open Source
3. Summer of Code

4.Questions and Answers
1. Google and University discuss
5. Next Steps
1. Determine best point of contact within University and Google
2. Best method of communication going forward
3. Discussion

Other topics to discuss

• Understanding the various departments / degree programs offered pertaining to ICT
– (e.g. Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Informatics? Multiple programs?)
– What is the curriculum for each of these departments?
– Is the curriculum standard or is it customizable for each student?
– Are there different specializations or tracks of study within these courses?
– Would it be possible for us to obtain an actual course list?

• Student Statistics
– demographics
a. What is the ratio of male to female students university-wide?
b. By ICT department…
c. What is the general age of most incoming students?
d. How would you characterize the ethnic diversity of your university?
e. What is the total number of students enrolled in each of the aforementioned ICT

f. Where do most of your students come from? (both in terms of which high schools and regionally within the country)
g. What is the percentage of international students? From which countries do they hail?
h. What is the ratio of incoming students from urban vs rural areas?
– matriculation
i. What is the graduation rate? (both university-wide and for each of the ICT departments)
j. What do students do after graduation?
k. Who are considered the favorite employers among the ICT student body?
l. What is the employment rate among graduating students?
m. What percentage of students go on for additional education?
n. What percentage of graduating students stay in the field of ICT / engineering?

• Academic Calendar
– when do classes begin?
– when are exams held?
– when do students graduate?


  1. Jt Said,

    August 22, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

    How can i get in touch with you Def? no email links 🙁
    Hay, leaving comments are OK,
    Or use this About/Contact page

  2. Your Group of Web AddiCT(s); Said,

    August 23, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    What the Googlers should have for lunch in Cape Town…

    Word-of-mouse tells me that Google are visiting the Universities in Cape Town and its beautiful surrounds. What better way for them to enjoy Cape TOwn than with a Cape TOwn lunch in between all the meetings than by having a Gatsby
    What is a Gatsby? T…

  3. James Said,

    August 24, 2007 @ 12:49 am

    Interesting article!

    Definately shows google recognizes our talent!
    I wonder if they recruited anyone :]
    Hay, Thanks.
    They have one person employed in SA (and one in Kenya so far). But it’s just a sales office for now in SA!
    Kenya seems to be the first place where they want to have a development place for Africa.

  4. Al Said,

    January 9, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

    I attended. Very dissapointing. They sent 3 chicks from their PR department to visit CS departments at our universities. Needless to say they are clueless when it comes to detail about the actual positions available at google. I am more interested in the kind of research and projects I can work on at google than the perks involved when working for google. Next time, send an engineer along to give us some usefull info…

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