When Google was hiring in 1999-2000, I was wondering why they were looking for Algorithm as major focus. They were hiring professionals who were strong with Algorithms, Programming Languages and Computer Architecture, something that I considered as basic stuff when in my college days. But then later, @ some point of time when I got into work, I started finding that foundations are harder to learn than the stuff that comes new.
It is always some new technology or new terminologies that people talk about in many of the community talks or meetings. It is normal to use technical jargon's to show off that someone knows something, but it is very hard to show off that someone knows basics. It is either proven by practical implementation on situations, or even in day to day life when you resolve a situation. Google looks for those kinds of people who are naturally talented in building stuff, destroying barriers and who goes beyond what is required. These are the people who are strong in their foundations. Foundations are most essential when it comes to building something big, especially something as big as Google.
This is one of the major reasons of Google's success. Bravo guys! Really good planning...