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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Googleplex



The other day, I was driving through the South Bay, when it occurred to me that I was only a few miles away from Mountain View, so I decided to check out the Google campus.





When you arrive on campus, you know immediately where you are.





The little green guy you see on the photo in front of the building (actually that thing is pretty large) represents the Android operating system that Google has been working on for a while. The "phone" leaning between the giant Android guy and the giant cupcake, is, of course, the Nexus One, the newest Google phone, released exclusively through Google's website, not through the major phone US carriers.



It was a holiday week-end, so there was not a lot of people around.



Even though I didn't have an invitation (the campus is closed to the public, unless you are expressly invited or escorted by a Google employee), I decided to park my car in the visitor parking lot and see if I could get a few pics of the Android guy before someone calls security ;)



If you're gonna park your car on campus, be sure to pick the right spot.



There is this ^



that one for the lucky few ^



or even this one ^ (but I only spotted one of those, next to the main campus).





Clearly, you don't need to drive around campus, even though it's pretty spread-out. As far as I can tell by the number of bikes laying around unlocked, it looks like to get from one building to the next, you would just hop on a bike, and leave it at your destination when you get there. To get back to your original starting point, grab another bike and do the same thing in reverse.

I could be wrong about that but I believe the row of Priuses I noticed on the side of the blue building are also for employees' use.



Do you need a haircut? No need to leave the campus, the haircut comes to you (and it's free, too). I understand they also have laundry facilities, dry cleaning, a gym, a couple of pools, an excellent cafeteria with food I can only dream about (sigh), all free to Google employees.





I'm guessing behind these windows is where all the magic happens? Part of it, maybe? (Notice the cameras sticking out from the top of the building.)



This ^(above) is a replica of the Nexus One. It is as tall as a person, and the screen is animated, exactly like a real Nexus One phone. You get the sense that the company is real proud of it.

You know I *had* to peek inside, right? ;) Bad idea on my part, though. No sooner did I finish taking this (terrible) picture, that a security guy had appeared right right in front of my face, and was asking me nicely but firmly to get off the premises.

I did, of course. But I took a couple more pictures on my way out, which I hope you'll enjoy.



There is a lot of information out there about Google, the campus, the culture, so I'm not even gonna try to summarize it here.



Google it! :)



Don't get the wrong idea though, despite the perks, and the impression that the campus is a big playground, the employees do work very hard indeed.



Anyway, I just wanted to post up these few pics.



Click on the photos to enlarge them.



Wish I could see the inside ;) Maybe some day.



Enjoy!


http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2007.06-field-notes-advanced-search/

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10 Comments:

Blogger Patty said...

I bet that's a very interesting place to visit. Looks like it's also very large. Thanks for sharing.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Voix said...

What awesome pictures! I am SO jealous that you got to snoop around.

11:36 AM  
Blogger claude said...

Visite très Intéressante, Tomate Farcie !
Est-ce qu'il y a une prison sur le campus Google pour les intrus!!!

11:25 PM  
Blogger v辰原 said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

2:44 AM  
Blogger AphotoAday said...

Hey, you got some really cool shots before getting booted out of there... Maybe you remember that I got booted out of Google a while back too -- I made it all the way across the campus before they either spotted me or someone turned me in... "No, I don't have a badge"... Oh, I knew I was going to get caught...

3:21 AM  
Blogger geneline said...

Ensemble très intéressant ! mais on reste frustré de ne pas savoir comment "ça' s'est terminé!

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Excellent reporting and photos of the place!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Dolce said...

Les perks sont definitivement impressionnants meme si ca travaille dur !

10:37 AM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

@ Patty : You're welcome, thanks for visiting!

@ Voix: don't be jealeous, I wasn't there very long, and you see everything I saw on these pics ;)

@ Claude: Une prison pour les intrus, euh, non, car il en faudrait une tres grande! J'imagine que je ne dois pas etre la seule ;)

@ Don: I do remember your post very well indeed. Actually, I wanted to link it for this post. I remember the "piggy back" picture. I was doing fine as long as I was walking through, but the minute the camera came out, that's when the security guard appeared. They'll leave you alone if you're walking outside but if you start poking your nose and looking in (with a camera, to boot) that's when they get a little suspicious. I don't blame them. I'll say this, though, the security guard was a nice guy, said "finish taking your picture, then please get out." I got tossed out of Microsoft for taking a picture of the sign and the security guy wasn't that nice at all :/ but maybe that's because they don't want any repeats

1:31 PM  
Blogger Tomate Farcie said...

@ Geneline: Well, that was it, that *was* the end. The minute the security guy said to get out, I said sure thing, walked back to my car the way I came in and left promptly. The guy was gracious enough to let me have a few pics on my way out, what more do I want? IMO, never overstay your welcome anywhere and never, EVER, EVER, argue with security guys ;)

@ Brad: Thanks for the compliment! Coming from you and Don, it really is quite the compliment.

@ Dolce: Je suis d'accord, surtout la bouffe. Remarque le Campus est tellement isole la bas, qu'il fallait bien construire un environnement dans lequel ils peuvent bosser non-stop.

1:40 PM  

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