Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Googler for a Day

    Work has brought a co-worker and I out to San Francisco to visit the Google offices here.  We're attending the Google Wave Summit, getting to meet with and get to know people we have been communicating with over the Google Wave forums for months now.  In support of this effort, Google is really pulling out all the stops.

    One thing Google does well is support their people.  The perks of working for Google are near legendary!  Google is a company which truly believes that seeing to the welfare of its people will lead to a better product.  So, today, I got to be a Googler for a day, and man, it was great.

    As we arrived at the Google offices, I noticed people climbing the stairs from the cafeteria carrying heaping plates of fruit and other tasty but healthy morsels.  Such were provided for us in out "Tech Talk" room.  The Tech Talk room is meeting/class-room with telepresence capabilities.  Google is live-streaming the talks over Ustream to anyone that wishes to participate remotely.  The talks will be posted to YouTube later next week and they are chock-full of Wavey goodness.

    As lunch arrived, we were all invited down to the cafeteria.  We climbed the steps down to the second floor, walked around a corner and were ushered into a feast.  Tasty treats of all varieties, from sushi to chicken breasts in sauces to sandwiches were offered up, with health labels on each denoting how good it was for you.  The view out of the cafeteria overlooks the Bay Bridge (pictured to the right) out onto Treasure Island and is truly magnificent.  Nice backdrop to enjoy a nice sandwich and some sushi by.

    While in the cafeteria, I was struck by the feeling that I was a middle schooler getting to visit where the big kids go to school.  The cafeteria was packed with Googlers, all dressed in what I'm coming to realize must be San Francisco business casual (dark jeans with a t-shirt).  All of them looked determined, cool and young, and I was left feeling like a gawking kid, carrying my lunch tray, wondering where to sit.  I almost bust out laughing at the absurdity of the situation.  Here I am, older than most of them, established with a family, feeling like I was 12.  Truly a priceless experience, one to be savored for its uniqueness.

    After lunch, a few of us did a little exploring and came across this priceless gem.  At the head of the slide was a sign reminding anyone that took the slide down to the first floor that this was indeed a work area, please be quiet while you descend.  Who on earth would think to put a slide in over the set of steps is either mad or a genius, I'm not sure which.  I'm sad to say that I didn't slide down, but maybe I'll leave that for tomorrow.

    So, all in all, a great first day at Google's San Francisco office.  We learned a lot about Wave but even more about what it must be like to work at Google.


    rls03 said...

    So cool Mike....looking forward to tomorrow's summary.