Google Mountain View Tour
Google San Francisco office also known as Googleplex is located in Mountain View. We reached from L.A to Google San Francisco office about 7 hours driving. In this post, you will read my observations and also some of my research about Googleplex.
Google Mountain View Office
Birkan Icacan –Turkish Googler- accompanied us for the Google experience. He is working on technical product management in Google Apps teams and basically aim to increase usability of product and reach more people. Personally, I feel lucky to have such a talent Google with 4 years work experience.
First of all, I need to admit that Google Campus is such a huge facility. There is no plaza, sky towers but the area is extremely large. The distance between buildings are quite far and buildings are almost unique design, hard to identify all these are owned by same company. As a result of this complex structure of area, Googleplex name as given. If you ever been Google Ireland Office, this is amazingly bigger than Dublin. Meanwhile, unlike Google’s largest office is not known Mountain View, however Google New York Office nearly 270.000 square meters.
In this area where Google’s San Francisco exist now,was previously owned by Silicon Graphics (produces high-performance computing solutions, including computer hardware). Sadly, SGI went bankruptcy.
Google MountainView Office was built in 2004 and it has a large park called Charleston Park (20.000 square meters)
You can see many colorful, lovely bikes all around. All Google offices has at least one bike as a part of their decoration. However Birkan said that it is not about decoration, it is a way of transportation which makes easier to switch between buildings. It makes sense… Literally, it should be very time consuming by walking one to another to catch for meetings though. Google bike idea was originally came from the need of transportation for Googleplex.
Googleplex campus facilities
Googleplex is the Google’s heart. Main decisions are taken in here at campus. Product development, engineering and recent technologies of Google is designed in here by employees. It may seem more boring than any other Google offices. For example, when you compare with Los Angeles Google office in Venice Beach, where the surf board parking place exists and incredible fun environment with super terrace located with one of the best cities in the world. Oh yes, definitely unfair ! My point is that Dublin, Istanbul or L.A offices has more client supported teams which actually effects the environment as well. Dublin has engineering building but still here is different. Like, Google Glass project initiated in here, so you can imagine the vision of MountainView.
As standard facilities of Google such as piano, free washing machines, 2 small pools, a beach volleyball area, 18 cafeterias, large variety of meal including vegan exists. There is a replica model of the first space shuttle launch and it’s a dinosaur skeleton in the park. Visitor Center Beta, welcomes its visitors where you find a nap pod, wide-angle Google maps and so on forth.
Life at Google Headquarter
I also had a chance to listen Birkan’s San Francisco experience after he done with Dublin .
He enjoys the weather of California, after rainy and cloudy days in Dublin, here has plenty of sunshine. He mentioned that most of Googlers live in Mountain View. High demand of housing increased area’s rents incredibly high. 2 bedrooms flat has $4500 / mo. Same standard of flat in Hollywood is half cheaper.
He is using employee shuttle service of Google from his home. Shuttle bus has many offers including wifi, restroom etc.. He feels like soccer coach bus. Unfortunately, he gets up 7.30 every morning (Friday is bit tolerance) and he reaches to Googleplex after a hour and half bus experience. For those who wondering to have a job in Google Mountain View, check the link below. As far as I understand from Birkan, San Francisco has highly competitive job market with a very good education background of young professionals and smart people. It is not impossible but not easy either. There are more than 70 Turkish Googlers are working at Google HQ, why not you will be one of them?