The Engineer Who Developed Google Now

#5 Baris Gultekin, 38 - Product Management Director, Android
Barış Gültekin, the engineer who developed Google Now, a sort of "personal assistant" for users, imagines a future in which mobile phones "will work" for us and will give us useful information without having to ask for it. Considered to be a rival to Siri, an application by Apple for the iOS operating system which responds to the questions of users and gives recommendations, Google Now is focused on helping in the management of daily tasks, as well as offering travel information and tips on leisure activities such as sports and movies.

He was the co-founder and product leader of Google Now, an intelligent, cross-platform assistant that gives you information you need when you need it. He was interested in building a mobile product, which used the increasingly powerful sensors of smartphones, such as location, to understand the user and connect them with all the related, publicly available information to proactively provide assistance. He met with Andrew Kirmse, who shares the same passion and interest. He was the engineering director for Google Maps for Mobile at the time, and he was working on analyzing location history. They decided to craft a project plan and present it to Marissa Mayer. The project officially got started.

Initially, they had 2 engineers working part time. After obtaining Marissa's support, the team grew to 8. After lots of brainstorming sessions, they built 3 iterations, starting with analyzing users' commutes and slowly adding other use cases such as calendar integration and events.

In early 2012, Larry Page asked Android and Search teams to build a predictive assistant, and they happened to have built a version of it already. So, with Andy Rubin's support, they joined the Android team, received lots of design touches from Android UI design team and launched the product at Google IO on June 27, 2012.

He led search ads automation efforts; built Opportunity Center, Keywordless Ads (Dynamic Search Ads), a new Keyword Tool. Gültekin received Google’s Founder’s Award (for Google’s #1 top achievement) and 3 Google’s Executive Management Group Awards (for top 10 achievements of each year). After graduating from Bogazici University, Gültekin received a master’s degree in Engineering from the Electrical Engineering Department, Cornell University and has an MBA degree from Stanford University.


Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07