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Latest Google layoffs hit the Flutter and Python groups

A large Google logo at a trade fair.

Getty Images | Alexander Koerner

Another day, another round of Google layoffs. TechCrunch reports the company has axed people across development teams like the Flutter, Dart, and Python groups. Google confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch, but didn’t say how many people were affected.

Flutter is Google’s write-once, run-anywhere development kit. Flutter apps can work on Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, and the Flutter UI and rendering engine, included with every app, translates everything to the OS layer. It’s much like programming a game for Unity or Unreal but for app development. Flutter apps are written in the Dart programming language, which is also getting hit with layoffs. Google Smart Displays run a Flutter-native operating system called “Fuchsia,” which was hit with layoffs last year. Plans to do anything meaningful with that project seem to have cooled down.

Any hits to the Flutter team ought to terrify a lot of people since many businesses are built on Flutter, and well, you all know Google’s reputation for killing products. A product manager for Flutter said that the layoffs affected “a LOT of teams” but that “Flutter and Dart were not affected any more or less than others.

The “Python” team is an internal toolchain group for the Python programming language and apparently included members of Python’s steering council. Thomas Wouters, one of the remaining Python team members who is left to pick up the pieces, posted to Mastodon, “It’s a tough day when everyone you work with directly, including your manager, is laid off—excuse me, ‘had their roles reduced,’ and you’re asked to onboard their replacements, people told to take those very same roles just in a different country who are not any happier about it.” In California, which requires advanced notice of layoffs for companies with more than 100 employees, Google’s filings show 50 layoffs in the state.

After rounds of layoffs through 2023, Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised 2024 would continue to see additional cuts. In the earnings report from last week, the company’s year-over-year headcount was down 10,000 people to 180,895.

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