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Ask HN Googlers: would you invite a fellow geek to visit the Googleplex?
51 points by phaser on Sept 3, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments
i am a self taught programmer from chile who founded a few startups and needs nothing but a friendly googler who can vouch for me so i can visit the googleplex. since i was growing up in santiago i used to read about silicon valley in magazines and one of my dreams has always been to visit and see the real atmosphere.

i hope a friendly googler read this message and i promise to show up at time, be cool and not cause trouble.

Isn't it just an office block?

I'm in radio and people frequently want to visit radio stations - they have this image of a fun, glamorous, star-studded workplace where anything goes.

They're usually pretty disappointed when they see the sales office, the programming office, a tatty kitchen and a tiny, basic studio in a broom cupboard.

Surely Google is the same - it's acquired a legendary status, but it's just... well, an office, like you go to work in every day. I'm sure there are more interesting places to visit in California.

As a Googler, yeah, basically this. I mean it's a better office complex than where ninety percent or more of people work, and I am thankful for that and suitably appreciative. But, it's not a theme park. The only genuinely fun thing for me there is the free arcade, and I suppose some people would say the sports fields.

Interesting. I've never been to MTV, but as a Googler who frequently volunteers to give tours for school/university groups in the NYC office, I'm thrilled by how wowed the visitors are at our office space.

Perhaps we Googlers start to take for granted some of the things that really are quite extraordinary - like the 150ft to food policy, the pieces of historical computing machinery that are kept around, the guest chefs that visit, the artworks that have been commissioned, the fact that we hold regular 'espresso office hours' and occasional mixology classes, and even the corporate essentials that Google really pulls off, like the Tech Stops, phone rooms, visitor badging system and video conferencing setup. Even though it's 'just an office space', it isn't like any other, and getting to see it as a potential future employee can be pretty motivational.

True. Also, I'm more wowed by offices that aren't MTV. The density of cool is a lot higher at e.g. Santa Monica or SF (and NYC, I presume, though I've never been).

There are the parts of the Googleplex that are kind of fun and sometimes serve as a weird tourist-y attraction (parts of the main quad, the infamous slide, various Google Earth machines, lots of other stuff), and the rest of the content of the buildings is definitely just boring offices and some cafes.

I've only been to the Googleplex like three times, but I think it's fun to go visit at least a few times. Past that, it just becomes a place with desks to work at and some free food.

I'd like to see the new Google climbing wall :)

Can't help with that (not a Googler), but you should at least put your contact info in your profile...

I'm a Googler and would be glad to show you around one afternoon. Shoot me an e-mail (address is in my profile) and tell me a little more about yourself and we can work out the details.

(Edit: También hablo Español si te hace sentir más cómodo.)

Well, you can always apply for a job there, study for your phone interviews, and get invited, plane ticket and all. Heck, you might even get a job out of it ;)

You could always just show up and walk around the outside of the campus, take a picture of the colorful Google bikes and the Android mascots for the various releases.

There are usually lots of Google employees getting some sunlight in the surrounding park.

I'm not sure what you'd see inside the buildings. I worked as a consultant for the previous owner, Silicon Graphics/SGI, during the first dot-com boom, and they were neat architecture, but still just office buildings.

I think if you plan a whole trip out to Silicon Valley for the atmosphere, you might be kind of disappointed.

I had the same expectation that you had. But when I went there, it was an anti-climax. Maybe something cool is happening behind the closed doors there. But just walking around is nothing special.


What happen with the capital letters?

Well, I for one never knew I was spelled with a capital I until someone pointed it out, ;).

As for style, it depends. When I'm chatting on irc, I tend to forgo capitalisation out of laziness. On more formal communications, like commenting here and emails, things are better.

As for why the OP doesn't use it, I don't know. Broken shift-key perhaps?

I used to do this (all lower case everywhere) in all electronic forms (email, SMS, notes to self.) This seemed to change when I got an iPhone, and it started auto-capitalising my sentences and I's. Now it sometimes actually annoys me to see it done the lazy way - I don't know what I've become!

It's quite a common stylistic thing. I know a number of people who use it, including my highly literate, Philosophy & Literature grad, professionally trained secretary, Convent educated mother.

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