Visiting the Googleplex for the Geo Developers Day
I visited the Googleplex yesterday for the Geo Developers Conference. They invited me to attend because of the work we are doing with our map mashups. When I got there, I was surprised to see a giant poster of MiamiBeach411 in a gallery of sites they were featuring. I felt like a proud dad.
Google is by far the coolest place in the world to work. I would not hesitate to stop what I am doing and go to work for them. Here are some perks they offer their employees:
They also allow employees to bring their dogs to work, wear whatever they feel comfortable in, and insist the engineers follow an 80/20 rule; which means 20% of your time should be spent working on personal projects.
The Geo Developers Day started with a tour of the Google campus. I saw some really cool things. In the lobby, projected onto the wall are search queries currently being entered into Google. Just beyond the lobby, there is a giant whiteboard labeled “Google’s Master Plan.” It had a large flowchart where lots of people have written ideas on. I almost choked when I saw someone had written “Levitation” on the board, but our tour guide told me not to believe everything I read. There were also lots of toys, lava lamps, and photographs taken by Google employees on the walls.
After the tour, we had a delicious lunch served in the courtyard.
After lunch, we moved inside for a presentation to discuss the new features with Google Maps and Google Earth.
I was blown away when (Google’s co-founders) Sergey Brin, Larry Paige and (CEO) Eric Schmidt entered the room. I did not expect to see them. Our tour guide had just mentioned that although she had been working at Google for a year, she had only seen Sergey and Larry once. This was going to be a big day.
It was inspiring be around the Google team. Just as the Walt Disney Company has recruited employees that are geared toward customer service, Google has done something similar. They have hired a group of smart people that believe in the company’s philosophy to do no evil.
During the conference, there were no sarcastic remarks. There was no rolling of the eyes when an attendee asked a hard question. The presenters were gracious and excited to hear our feedback.
After the conference, there was a reception and dinner. They had a jazz band playing. It was nice to see a Google engineer walk downstairs after a long day of coding to follow his 80/20 rule and jam with the band.
For me, visiting the Googleplex was a dream come true. I felt like Charlie visiting Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Thank you Google and the Maps team for hosting a wonderful day.
Update: I made a short video of the after party.
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