Here are a few more answers to common questions:
- I'm still going to be working at Google in my same position, and with the same team. Six (though soon to be five) of my most intelligent and devious team members, plus a handful of other security engineers, work in the Zurich office, so I will be in excellent company.
- I don't speak German. Though standard German is taught in schools, in Zurich, they actually speak Zurich German, which is a dialect of Swiss German. Swiss German has its own pronunciation, many different words, its own grammar, and many native Germans have difficulty understanding it. Given that it's not a written language and only spoken in Switzerland, putting a lot of effort into learning it doesn't make a lot of economic sense. I do want to learn another language, so I'm trying to learn French, which is also a native language, spoken in many more places, and well, sounds prettier (more on this later). Luckily, English is spoken by many, so I should be fine regardless.
- I still have lots of boring and important things to figure out, like finding an apartment and getting a phone, but I'll do it when I get out there.
- The official plan is to return after a year, which is how long my work assignment lasts. A lot can happen in a year though, so anything is possible :)