My Tour of the Googleplex

GoogleplexToday I got to knock off another one of those “bucket list” items of things to do before I die.  Today I got to tour the Google campus as I attended the final Google OpenSocial Hackathon before it goes live at the end of this month.  I truly learned the creativity of Google as I attended this event.  It started, when I was asked to wait in the lobby for my escort into the Hackathon.  I was asked to “have one of the free juice bottles” over by the wall, and “have a seat in the massage chair”.  It was no ordinary massage chair either – it was a full body massage chair!

From that point on I felt like I was receiving the royal treatment.  Brad Feld would be proud of Google, as even their bathrooms make you feel as though you are receiving the royal treatment, from the heated toilet seats, to the bidet (no I didn’t use it – well, it was broken), to the literature on the walls to read and keep your mind “invigorated”.

As I was there, I had the privilege to meet with my cousin who works on the Google Caja (pronounced, “caha”, btw) team.  He took me to lunch in their gourmet cafeteria, where I had the best lunch I think I’ve ever had in my life, in a cafeteria lunch room!  All the food was prepared by professional chefs, and the cafeteria we attended was only one of the many cafeterias or restaurants they have around campus.  While there, we even got to see a Serge sighting – my cousin had to point him out to me, as he just looked like any of the other engineers there, t-shirt, jeans, messy hair.  Evidently, with as large as Google is this was only the second or third time my cousin had seen Serge Brinn there.

All scattered throughout the Google campus are things just like this.  There are scooters as well as Segways provided throughout campus for employees to get around quickly.  I’ve never seen so many Prius’s in my life, as Google evidently gives a $5,000 credit if you buy one.  Near ever door were bike racks, filled to the brim with bikes, something I haven’t even seen in Utah where things are usually fairly close together.

All around campus there were “mini-bars”, stocked full with drinks, cereal, snacks, food, and whatever you might need to munch on as you work hard for the company.  My wife keeps asking me why I don’t work for Google.  I don’t think she really wants me to though, because if I did, I don’t think I’d ever come home!

With such royal treatment from Google, as even just a visitor they got my attention.  While I run my own business, if I were any of the other developers attending that OpenSocial hackathon I would definitely be thinking how I could get a job at Google.  Google brands itself even down to its headquarters as a place for Engineers, and a place you could live your life around.

While there I met some really great people – I’ll talk more about that, and the hackathon tomorrow as I finish up the hackathon.  Let’s just say Facebook has got some serious competition to contend with now.  Let’s just hope, with the support they have from the developer community, that they can keep up.

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