Impressions of My First Googleplex Visit

I have to admit that I don’t really get down to Mountain View all that much and because of that, I’ve never made the stop in at Google and their Googleplex. I’ve heard people rave and rave about it, but seeing the corporate headquarters of any company is not a high item on my “to do before I die” list. Even still, it’s always interesting to see where the most powerful internet company calls home during the work day.
The first thing that struck me about arriving at Google was the fact that there is no security guard to the whole complex. Where some companies feel that you need to be secretly escorted in to their hallowed halls, Google doesn’t seem to see the need for this. This leads in to an open an expansive campus that has a great many lawns between the buildings. They have benches out amongst the greenery which seems to do a great job inviting people to sit out and enjoy the sun once in awhile. Of course, the entire campus is slathered in wifi, so you could probably work outside if you felt the need. Although this isn’t completely necessary as it seems that all the cubicles inside the building get bathed in a great deal of radiant light. The fluorescent green of most offices is not to be found here.
Entering the particular building where BarCampAfrica was being held greeting us with this constantly scrolling list that is being projected overhead. It takes a second, but you quickly realize that it’s all the search terms that people are entering. This by itself is worth the price of admission. Watching the physical realization of data flowing like this is mesmerizing. About the only thing I can compare it to is flying over the Sahara. It’s vast and in actually empty, but it consumes you with its vastness nonetheless.
As for the interior of the building, it’s a lot like the exterior. There is nothing about the Google campus this is going to win any design awards. I wasn’t impressed with any of the aesthetics. What I was impressed with was the livability of the whole thing. The fact that you could spend days on end here without feeling trapped goes a long way to show why Google has risen to the top of the heap. Plus, it seems that whatever their employees want as far as technology, they get. I saw some of the craziest multi-screen setups I’ve ever seen. And of course instead of having a normal outlet for your laptop in the conference room, they have all known laptop maker connectors in there, so you don’t have to bring it with you. Very handy.
Then of course we get to the food. Damn. Those workers are going to get super fat if they don’t watch it. I know I would. The vending machines are free. All the sodas, juices, and coffees are free. Even the Mighty Leaf Tea is free. Then of course there is the actual food which we got a sample of during the conference. It’s delicious and quite healthy overall. They know how to treat people properly to keep them on the campus and productive.
It’s a shame that they’re so damned far from San Francisco. If they were even half the distance, I’d really consider a job with them. A few of the Goolgers that I talked to were putting out feelers to see if some people at the conference were looking for jobs. They are after all just now ramping up their Africa operations, so why not pull from a ready talent pool? Smarty folks doing smart things there. Who knows if there is ‘evil’ lurking under the hood somewhere, but from where I was sitting, it all looked mighty fine.
Impressions of My First Googleplex Visit

3 Replies to “Impressions of My First Googleplex Visit”

  1. Hey man, you should have let me know you’d be on campus and we could have met up. You know we have an SF office too right? Which is just as cool, plus it has views of the Bay Bridge. Of course, it’s a lot smaller than the Googleplex.

    1. Honestly, I completely forgot to mention it. That and I was there on Saturday as well as the fact that from 8 to 20, we were swamped with this whole conference thing.

      We were impressed though, as you saw with my post. If you know of any jobs for someone fluent in four languages, conversational in three, and basic skills in two more, let me know. I happen to live with someone who very much likes the Google.

    2. I sent an email to Google Press asking if it was possible to visit Googleplex and got a no for an answer. I supose you must be lucky enough to know someone who works there in order to get a tour around the place (or actually work there hehehe).

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

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