The Founders Society Spotlight: Klayton Killough, 2016

Photo of Klayton Killough, Class of 2016
Crooms Affiliation: Alumni
Founders Class:
  • Class 3 - FY2021-2022
Crooms Graduating Year:

An Interview with The Founders Society member Klayton Killough, Class of 2016

Question 1: What have you done since graduating from Crooms?
I went straight to UCF to study computer science for 4 years. In my second semester, I started interning at Northrop Grumman and worked for the rest of my time in college. I also took one summer off to work at Amazon and get a certificate in cyber security. The year before I graduated, Google reached out to me; after an intensive interview process, I received a conditional offer from them. Because of the pandemic, I started working with them remotely, and moved to Seattle to start working in the office in January 2022.

Question 2: Are you now going into the office full time?
Effectively yes. While I have the option to keep a hybrid schedule, I feel like I want to make up for a year of being fully remote, so I try to go into the office almost every day.

Question 3: Did you have an internship while you were at Crooms? Did it prepare you to have an internship while in college?
Yes. In my junior year at Crooms AoIT, I landed an internship at Next Horizon - a local computer repair shop in Sanford. I was an IT Technician Intern, which built on the A+ class I took at Crooms. While there’s not a ton of overlap between IT repair and software engineering, this was a big help in learning how to manage work and school at the same time.

Question 4: Did you know you wanted to go directly into software engineering after leaving Crooms?
When I graduated, I was still debating between game design vs. software engineering. As much as I love games, being able to go beyond game design sounded like the correct choice at the time.

Question 5: I imagine the work environment at Northrop Grumman feels like it might be worlds away from a game design environment. How did you feel as an intern there?
I remembered the job shadow trips we took at Crooms to Cubic. It was definitely very serious, given it focuses on the defense industry. However, there is a similar level of seriousness that I felt while working at Next Horizon trying to help people recover their data, given for some that is their livelihood.

Question 6: How did that internship with Northrop help you with your job at Google?
The biggest advantage was it gave me day-in day-out experience working in Java. When it came time in college to build an app, I knew that Java was my home language while others were trying coding in a realistic environment for the first time. Once I had Northrop AND Amazon under my belt – which included years of experience AND learning how to work at a tech company – that’s when Google came knocking.

Question 7: What does your day-to-day look like?
I work on Google Maps. My team is the one that returns the best route back when you ask Google for directions to a location. Generally, I would say I spend 20% of the time coding and 80% of the time in meetings or doing technical writing. It is very easy to change a few things and have a huge impact.

Question 8: How does it feel to have the ability to make that real impact?
A job at Google has been my guiding light. As you can probably find in my Crooms senior interview video, I wanted to work on something with a wide impact that would benefit a lot of people. It can be nerve-racking at times, but that just makes me consider the impacts of my work even more. I am also reminded of my own impact because I actually use Google Maps daily.

Question 9: What does your career trajectory look like?
I’ve now been at Google for 3 years. My responsibilities have increased, and I certainly see that continuing, and there is definitely room for mobility within the company.

Question 10: What are one or two trends in industry that get you really excited?
Even when I was back at Crooms with the Oculus, virtual reality has been a huge fascination for me. The world seems to be moving more towards and augmented reality workspace, which also really excites me. Apple’s newly announced AR device is a prime example of this trying to blend work and play and get people used to the virtual elements. It seems like a step in the right direction, as long as we keep researching the technology to make it more accessible to everyone.

Question 11: Do you have any advice for current Croomies?
We have an advantage coming from Crooms AoIT, even if you don’t go into work related to technology. The certificates help some people. The opportunity to get internships helps build work experience. But most importantly, the world is becoming increasingly technical. Whether or not you get a job in technology or just develop a decent understanding of new technology, having that understanding will give you a leg up on others who are not as comfortable with this new pace of rapid change.

Updated: November 2023, summarized for length and clarity

The Founders Society was established in 2011 to recognize the Crooms AoIT Alumni Association's most generous benefactors. These individuals, couples, or companies have made significant one-time contributions during our capital fundraising periods for the advancement of Crooms AoIT. Society members are sending a message that philanthropic support of Crooms AoIT and the current student body is vital to our alma mater's future success. Their financial support is changing lives and helps promote a culture of community support and involvement. To learn more about The Founders Society visit

Share this