Here’s something interesting that I didn’t know about Google:

There is, by and large, only one code base at Google. This has many advantages. Most obvious is that it is really easy to look at and contribute to code in other projects without having to talk to anyone, get special permissions or fill out forms in triplicate. That is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Having one codebase means that there is a very high degree of code sharing. Need to base 64 encode/decode something? No problem, there is a standard Google routine for that. Found a bug? Just fix it and check it in after getting it code reviewed by a documented owner. One of the reasons that environments like Perl, Python, C#, Java, etc. flourish is that they have large and well through out libraries of useful code. For a variety of reasons, C++ has never had this. (I could theorize but that would be off topic.) Google has solved this problem by building up a large library of well documented and easy to integrate code. This not only lowers the bar for new projects but makes it easy to switch projects as you don’t have to learn new conventions.

This explains why Google has been hiring so many programming all-stars, and why those people want to work there in the first place. If you know that the brilliant things you design at the library level will be integrated into projects all over the company, it’s a pretty powerful incentive to come on board.