Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm Saying Goodbye to London

Where to next?

Mountain View in sunny California!

Following this year's Google I/O, I'll be relocating to the home of the giant dessert sculpture garden, where I've been given the opportunity to take on the role of Tech Lead for the global Android Developer Relations team.

It's a chance for me to focus on some more strategic ideas and to work more closely with the core Android engineering team. It's a challenge I'm really looking forward to.

I've spent the last 6 years in London - the last 2 working here at Google - and it's been an amazing experience. I'll be leaving the Android developers of EMEA in the very capable hands of Nick ButcherRichard Hyndman, and Robert Rhode - and I'll still visit, I'm particularly looking forward to this year's round of Google Developer Days.

I'm still working at Google, and I'm still part of the Android team, so being based in Mountain View I'll have the opportunity to meet and work with some of our North American Android devs - so be sure to say hi if you're coming to Google I/O this year.

The move is still some months away, but in the mean time here are some of the things I will (and won't) miss about London, and what I'm looking forward to in California.

Things I'll Miss About London
  • World class theatre, restaurants, and concerts all at my door step.
  • Living in close proximity to the rest of Europe.
  • Proper bacon and real cheddar cheese.
  • Seasons (particularly Spring and Autumn).
  • The awesome Android developers I've worked with over the last 2 years.
  • Full English breakfasts.
Things I Won't Miss About London
  • Commuting for an hour every morning, and again every evening.
  • The Victoria line and South West Trains.
  • Hearing my neighbor snoring.
  • Driving in London.
  • Black pudding.
Things I'm Looking Forward to in California
  • Fruit that tastes like fruit.
  • Living on the West coast (the best coast).
  • Living in close proximity to an ocean.
  • Living in close proximity to the rest of the US.
  • Wide roads and cheap(er) petrol gas. 
  • American breakfasts.


  1. Anonymous4:07 pm BST


  2. Anonymous4:30 pm BST


  3. sweet don't worry we have breakfasts like that here in the states, also we have all you can eat breakfast buffets!!

  4. Anonymous5:08 pm BST

    "Hearing my neighbor snoring." Just give 'em a nudge or go and sleep on the sofa. Best of luck.

  5. It ain't that bad with the new Victoria Line trains! Although I'm surprised you dared driving here.

  6. Well done :) am very jealous!

  7. Congratulations! Epic win!

  8. Good Luck, Reto. Hopefully meet you again at Google events :)

  9. Congrats Reto, and keep up the good work!

  10. Anonymous1:46 am BST

    Welcome to Mountain View. I know, you're not here for a few months. I just happen to write to official visitor center for the city of Mountain View. Check it out:

  11. "Living close to an ocean"? England is surrounded by water. I think the difference will be spending less than 2 hours commuting to a beachand actually being able to sit on sand, not pebbles.

  12. California is so great, you'll love it!

  13. Anonymous6:50 am BST

    I am a stay at home mom and a professional dancer. I also have several degrees in the arts and run my own business. I am from the Wash. DC area and I have lived in NYC for the past 12 years. My hubby works for Google in NYC and we are considering heading to London (debating between that and Cali) for the next couple of years. We can go either place. I have always been on the East Coast (though briefly in the mid west for 7 years as a kid- born in Chicago suburbs and lived in Dallas for 6 years) but never the W. Coast. I lived in Italy and Spain both in my early 20s and vowed to live abroad again...and raise my family there. We now have 2 young children 2 and 4 and would like to have more. Looks like this is our op to head abroad and raise/have our kids abroad, travel and educate them. Plus, my hubby loves Google and I can take my work anywhere. Anything you can share about living In London regarding working for Google. He is not in your group though, so I am looking more for generalities. Is there a Google culture/lifestyle sort of like there is in Cali- Google campus, so many offices there etc. For Instance in the DC area where I grew up, everything is gov't based ... even the Google that is located in Reston VA (my home town)..they focus on lobbying. Anyway, anything you can add to what you have already expressed through your very helpful blog post would be appreciated!!

    Oh... and congrats on your move! We are considering the West Coast for the sun...but appreciate our seasons here in NYC...Hence LONDON...

  14. @Anonymous It might be easier if you ping me directly -- your husband can get my work email easily enough, feel free to get in touch :)

    Generally speaking, Google in London is more similar to Google New York than Mountain View. We're all based across 4 floors in two buildings (across the road from each other) in central London.

  15. Anonymous2:43 pm BST

    @Reto Meier! We will definitely be in touch. Your post was VERY helpful. I just Googled ;) a few things around living in London and Google and your blog came up! Helped with our pros/cons list :) Thank you so much for posting and sharing your story. I write a blog as well and post news and other things on a website I have for a business I run and sometime I don't know if anyone is even reading the material or who or how it will affect others. This was just a reminder to me that our voices are so important and we have so much to share with others and we must do that :) because we never know how greatly we could help someone or shape a major decision! Thanks again for sharing your voice and the interesting post...many are listening! Looking forward to more dialog!