Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama made an impressive showing at the Googleplex on Wednesday, joking about the casual attire of the audience and correctly answering a standard Google engineering interview question.
Asked by Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt what the most efficient way to sort a million 32-bit integers is, Obama said the wrong way would be the "bubble sort method," which is a basic but inefficient method for sorting numbers. "You answered the question correctly," Schmidt said.
"He's fresh, he's new, there's something about him that's Google-like," Nicole Resz, a 26-year-old who works in Google's advertising department, gushed to Reuters.
"I've never seen so many people at a Google event. We've had everybody, we've had Mikhail Gorbachev," she said.
Googlers have also hosted Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, and Ron Paul in Mountain View, Calif., according to the Google Public Policy Blog.
Obama hit on some topics that are of interest to the techie crowd, including support for: Net neutrality ("The Internet is perhaps the most open network in history. We have to keep it that way."); expanding high-speed broadband; and freeing up wireless spectrum. He also said he would provide citizens better visibility into the workings of government and promised to appoint the country's first chief technology officer.
And he showed his humorous side, quipping as he looked at all the T-shirts in the audience: "It's good to see Google is maintaining its strict dress code."
His fireside chat with Schmidt is on YouTube.