He shrugged and said, without any sense of irony whatsoever, "I don't really know how to handle exceptions. I find it easier to just write code without any bugs in it."
Exceptions != bugs, as anyone who has programmed to a database connection would know. Not saying your friend isn't much better than I am, but there are a lot of areas where exceptions are part of the normal dialog between program units.
I know several people at Google, many at Microsoft, and many in other companies. The guys at Google are generally pretty good, but no better than MSFT or Amazon, both of whom value degrees much less than Google does.