On Thursday we visited the Google campus. Instead of the usual meeting room discussion, we were met with essentially a recruiting pitch. We got to see how great the benefits were for Google employees, got some tips on what to put into a resume, and got to see the cool sights around Google.
Here is one of the Google Street View cars (see photo), which are only a part of the Google Street View fleet. As well as cars, Google uses catamarans, bikes, and even people on foot to capture the street, trail and coast views for the Maps site. As well as outdoor views, Google is starting to capture indoor views such as malls and museums. This will allow you to check out exhibits at museums that you may never be able to go to.
Google names the versions of its Android operating system after alphabetic desserts (see right). The first two were just Alpha and Beta. This sculpture is for the current version, Android 6.0 (codename Marshmallow). It is not yet in the sculpture garden with the others, but in the main Googleplex area. In the sculpture garden, there are sculptures representing the 10 named previous versions of Android, Cupcake, through Lollipop.
As a company, Google tries to keep a fun and relaxing atmosphere for its workers and we definitely got that feeling from our time there. They offer free lunch to all employees, as well as mini kitchens that have snacks and drinks that anyone can have. The outdoor areas on the campus have many whimsical sculptures (such as the dinosaur pictured). When we toured the YouTube building, we got to see the gaming area with a driving simulator and various game consoles and the slide to get from the third to second floor. Unfortunately, we were unable to ride it for liability reasons. In addition to these more unusual benefits, the YouTube teams work in very open space that encourages collaboration. Also there are exactly as many memes as you would expect.