Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Tour of Googleplex East

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the and-on-your-left dept.

Google 109

An anonymous reader writes "In Googleplex East: Search And The City, IWeek has posted a visual tour of the search giant's NYC HQ, complete with the requisite massage room, candy machine, and funky cafeteria. (There are even — surprise — work areas.) A companion story argues that New York City has reemerged as a tech center, citing the access to the Big Apple's media as a powerful pull for Web 2.0 companies. It also argues that NY's business community is more important these days to startups than Silicon Valley's deep pool of talent. Do you buy this thesis? Isn't it really unimportant these days where you work, geographically?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Big Wow (5, Insightful)

Subbynet (905560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050664)

Ok ok, I've had enough... Who cares if Google provides candy machines? This is not news, and many companies have these facilities (and more) available to staff.

Yeah (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18050796)

Amen.

Seriously, what good is a tour of Google's facilities without Oompa-Loompas?

Re:Big Wow (4, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051576)

Not my company. Every year I get striped of more and more benefits. My insurance premium goes up and it's coverage goes down. Raises seem to get smaller and bonuses are smaller if they happen at all. Google goes far beyond what normal companies do. While they don't provide the best of everything, they do a lot of stuff 95% of companies don't. I think you're just pissed off because you probably applied at Google and got rejected. :P

Re:Big Wow (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053502)

hahah ... we must be working at the same company :)

Re:Big Wow (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055446)

Not my company. Every year I get striped of more and more benefits. My insurance premium goes up and it's coverage goes down. Raises seem to get smaller and bonuses are smaller if they happen at all.


Try having a "real" job (ie not tech related)! I work as a car mechanic... we get no respect unless a friends car is acting up, hazardous working environment (chemicals), 1 week vacation (if I stay 15yrs I get 2 weeks!!!), no retirement (401k etc), weak health related benefits (flex), zero paid sick days, 4 paid days off all year (Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and I think Easter), 1 bereavement day etc etc etc. Quit your bitching, enjoy your comfy chair and go back to work. ;)

Re:Big Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052964)

Are you talking about those last century vending machines stuffed with same old boring corn & potato chips?

yes, we have them. In one of the biggest financial firms of wall street. But you know what? They suck, because just y'day, I lost my 3 fucking quarters in one of them, because it would not push out those goddamned chips enough.

Seriously, I am tired of "what's new here?". Visit one of the google offices for fuck sake. Its now only what all facilities they have, its also how usable and accessible it is to the employees.

And that massage chair!!? OMFG! Now, you can not beat that unless your company provides your own personal masturbator.

Especially... (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054136)

If the rest of the facility looks like Rober Propst's [wikipedia.org] worst nightmare. I don't care how much goddamned sushi and free candy you stuff down my gullet if I have to work in a gunmetal-grey, quarter-wall cube farm with unfinished ceilings and flourescent lighting. Oh, but I get a communal razor scooter to get to the bathroom!

Yeah, uhm, thanks but no. It must look great to a 20-something who has never worked anywhere else and for whom free Red Bull sounds like a genuine perq, but that "don't be evil" bear is pretty discordant standing in the middle of an environment that most adults recognize as the absolute most abusively evil standard in existence.

If this was Fark, I'd half expect a Photoshop contest to include medievally-garbed Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda to be pasted in with dancing fauna and falling chains.

Re:Big Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054970)

Who cares if Google provides candy machines?
Ever since two of our engineers left to work at Google, my boss does. So I'm glad to see these stories...I just forward them on to him. I've had 3 raises this year (no joke). People in this area are really scared that all this "Google is the ideal job" hype will mean that everyone else will only be able to hire the people Google rejects. I'd never want to work there personally (I prefer working at smaller companies), but my boss doesn't know that. So anything I can do to make him think that he's competing with Google to keep me as an employee generally only helps to make my life better.

Re:Big Wow (1)

Keiseth (1064792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18057428)

Amazing how well it works as an advertising device though. You bring in a machine and put some cheap candy in it and people are flocking all over to sign up with you, proclaiming you God. Don't get me wrong! I like Google. But it's amazing how easy it is to draw such attention. "Whoa," you'd think, "They give out free candy. BEST JOB EVER." Too good to be true, I'm positive. Check the fine print and search for some clause that requires you to sell your soul.

Re:Big Wow (1)

enomar (601942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18060986)

Free food is just icing on the cake at Google. If they took the food away, it would still be the number 1 place to work.

They could lower salaries and take away all of the fringe benefits and it would still be a great place to work. The people and the culture are simply awesome.

On top of that, the environment is carefully crafted so that you're at your most productive. I checked production code in on my first day! If you like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting things done, Google is the place for you.

emacs vs. vi (1)

timgoh0 (781057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050676)

Glad to know that there's some diversity in editors in their offices [informationweek.com] . Wonder if there's an ed(1) advocate on that whiteboard by now.

Why the tour (3, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050684)

Can't they just search for what they want to see?

Re:Why the tour (1)

bhsx (458600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051284)

I love this one:
http://www.informationweek.com/galleries/showImage .jhtml?galleryID=4&imageID=4 [informationweek.com]
WTF is that? The Ameribear? The Don't-Be-Evil-Ameribear? The Beargle? Smokey the Beargle? Smoogle, the Don't-Be-Evil Ameribear?
It Boogles the mind! :)

Re:Why the tour (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18061380)

I think it's the creepy and unsettling bear...

I would not want to work in that office space.

unimpressed (4, Insightful)

avdp (22065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050686)

I was rather unimpressed with the pictures I saw. OK, so free snacks (debatable if that's good or bad) but personally I find that work environment rather poor. Some big warehouse with waist high cubicle walls. Oh boy, sounds great until you've actually worked in one such cubicle farm. No thank you. I'll buy my own snacks.

Re:unimpressed (5, Funny)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050722)

AVDP? This is your boss. This is the last time I'm going to tell you to stay out of my office and off my computer to look at that geeky site. You've got work [mcdonalds.com] to do, we're getting low on McMuffins. And for the last time, I don't care how good it is at google [google.com] .

Re:unimpressed (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051534)

Geez, mods, go get a sense of humor, huh? I was just kidding. The guy just sounded a little jealous is all. Sounds like someone needs another latte.

Re:unimpressed (1)

natrius (642724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054854)

Life comes at you fast. [lifecomesatyoufast.com]

Re:unimpressed (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051082)

Ditto, that was pretty disappointing, it all looked pretty poor and unoriginal, where are Mountain View's paper-free toilets?

Re:unimpressed (1)

markild (862998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051340)

Erwin: He doesn't know how to use the three seashells!

Re:unimpressed (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18057198)

Class. Pure class. +1 Awesome reference.

Re:unimpressed (1)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051172)

Are you kidding? This place would be ideal for me.

I'm just not so sure they'd approve my 40% personal work thesis "The Google altered-effects". Basically, 10% of my time would be spent smokin' blunts in the gaming area. Another 10% at the masseuse, broken up by a sporadic 15% allotment of time for the snack bars and mini-kitchens. That leaves me a whole 5% to Google strange terms like "hyperbolic colonoscopy" and "nude ascii games" to see what the results would be. Purely for strict marketing purposes only, of course.

Just like the Romans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18050692)

"complete with the requisite massage room, candy machine, and funky cafeteria."

Panem et circenses, anyone? Distract the employees from Google's latest evil schemes with free food and play?

That being said, I would kill for their sushi station :'(

Re:Just like the Romans (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050744)

I hope they don't have one of these. [straightdope.com]

Re:Just like the Romans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18050746)

Also interesting: the "don't be evil" statue. It seems so cynical (as if it's laughing at you, like it's an inside joke by the top management...) considering google's latest ethically questionable actions...

Does it matter where you work? (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050724)

I work from home=I make my own PB&J's
I work at an office=Someone else makes my PB&J's

FTW!

Geography unimportant? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050760)

Isn't it really unimportant these days where you work, geographically?
Please tell me where you live, where traffic, weather, and cost of living are non-issues.

Pass...but thanks anyway. (4, Interesting)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050782)

Meh - I'm only an accountant in a relatively small business, but I've got a more spacious work area than any of the cube farmers at Google. We don't have a games room, but when the clock strikes Beer O'Clock on a Friday, the recycle bins become wickets, there's already a crease made from duct tape in the main office, and even the MD joins the weekly cricket match, brewski in hand.

It's great that they're trying, but once you're in the several thousand employee range, you've lost any genuinely communal feeling amongst the staff, and personally I find the attempts to be relaxed and groovy a bit forced in those corporate environments.

Re:Pass...but thanks anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18051214)

you really should get a girlfriend to go home to

Re:Pass...but thanks anyway. (1)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052364)

you really should get a girlfriend to go home to
I have one. She's teaching a class while I'm having drinks on Friday afternoons. Beer O'Clock only happens on Fridays. Thanks for your concern, though!

Looks like a creche (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18050798)

Do Googles employees really want to be treated like 5 year olds in some big, colorful playpen?

I find it patronizing and vaguely insulting.

These people are supposed to be adults, aren't they?

Re:Looks like a creche (3, Interesting)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051302)

Last year there was a big dustup at Microsoft when management briefly stopped providing clean towels in the locker room to save costs. When Google meets Mr. Entropy, as all organizations eventually do, the cute little benefits will either go away or be rationed to the Beautiful People, ie. middle management and above.

Re:Looks like a creche (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055308)

These people are supposed to be adults, aren't they?
Not really. They hire 'em young, and indoctrinate them into the cult. That's not just Google, same goes for Microsoft and even, back in the day, IBM (with employees singing company songs first thing in the morning). Remember, these people are nerds who live largely inside their heads really don't want to have to pay attention to the real world, so a company that coddles them and lets them focus on coding plus some "fun" can seem like an ideal setup.

Re:Looks like a creche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18055600)

I would! I wouldn't say "treated like a 5 year old", but yeah, I'd prefer this environment to most businesses I've seen. I don't like cubicles, but with a bunch of other nerds around me, I think I could deal. I've been in totally souless companies where they make a big thing of dress codes, having people "behave in a businesslike fashion" etc... the employees at one place like this RUSHED the doors at 4:59-5:00, and nearly ran each other down in the parking lot trying to get out first. I don't want a serious and mature environment; when I'm coding I don't really care where I am, when I'm not coding and want to kick back, having a fun work environment would work out better than a drab one where I have to leave to relax. If I could go into work, have fun some, work some, and have any work-related supplies easily available (as opposed to having to fill out a 27B-6 to get some pens and paper or whatever..) it'd be ideal.

          This is not for everyone of course. There are people, including some nerds, who do want to "climb the corporate ladder" or the like, and I don't think they'd fit in that great at a place like Google. Other companies like Microsoft have significant internal competition where people can prove themselves competitively and climb the ladder if they want.

Re:Looks like a creche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18060904)

Google looks for people that can be serious without wearing a suit and tie. The colorful walls are part of Google's way to ingrain that in the culture.

Talent and geography (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050832)

re: "...argues that NY's business community is more important these days to startups than Silicon Valley's deep pool of talent. Do you buy this thesis? Isn't it really unimportant these days where you work, geographically?"

I think we already covered this yesterday.....

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/16/165925 0 [slashdot.org]

Re:Talent and geography (1)

doom (14564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18050890)

DreadfulGrape wrote:

re: "...argues that NY's business community is more important these days to startups than Silicon Valley's deep pool of talent. Do you buy this thesis? "

What I think is that the east coast businesses have been living in terror at the thought that the center of the economy might move out from under them and head west, so this is something of a "whistling in the dark"/"tell them what they want to hear" story.

Re:Talent and geography (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051130)

Yeah - whistling past the graveyard - my very thought

Re:Talent and geography (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051408)

What I think is that the east coast businesses have been living in terror at the thought that the center of the economy might move out from under them and head west, so this is something of a "whistling in the dark"/"tell them what they want to hear" story.

Except that I know more people in tech who are having difficulty finding well paying jobs in the Bay Area than in the East. It seems that *everyone* wants to be out in the Bay Area, so the job market is much more cutthroat and competitive. Besides, if businesses do move out in droves, the price of space will go down. Causing new businesses or different companies to move in. It's a natural economic cycle.

As far as the "economy moving west" argument, it's been said for, oh, the past 50 years or so. Somehow, the East Coast cities aren't exactly abandoned. NYC is still a gateway for a lot of immigrants who start smaller business. Then their children or grandchildren may move out to NJ or even head further West. The business community is thriving, though much more ethnic. And the businesses are somewhat different. In tech, biomedical research, engineering/architecture, financial modeling, and production of content. Silicon Valley is more into software application and hardware development it would seem.

Basically, both places are awesome in different ways.

-b.

Re:Talent and geography (1)

doom (14564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054838)

Basically, both places are awesome in different ways.

Not a point that I disagree with, really, but it doesn't change the fact that I think the East fears the West...

If I'm sounding annoyed about it, it's because the East is still in control of a large chunk of the newsmedia (and isn't doing all that great a job, either, cf. Judith Miller formerly of the New York Times), and whenever possible they run snarky stories about how Google doesn't really know what they're doing, isn't managing to stay "not evil", and so on.

Re:Talent and geography (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18056532)

Not a point that I disagree with, really, but it doesn't change the fact that I think the East fears the West...

I don't think so. The east has Wall St. Unless you've worked there, you (not you, you, but people in general) will probably underestimate the tech talent that resides on Wall St.*

* - I use the term Wall St. loosely, since nowadays it refers to most of lower Manhattan as well as the Jersey City water front.

Re:Talent and geography (1)

stephentyrone (664894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18058474)

The east still owns the big chunk of the news media because there has yet to be a newspaper worth reading produced west of Washington DC. I agree that the NYT et al leave a lot to be desired at times, but come on: LA times? Good once a week, if you're lucky. SF chronicle? Worthless rag. I'd almost prefer to read USA Today. I'd buy the NYT or WSJ at $10 before I would buy a west coast paper for $1.

Re:Talent and geography (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052806)

t also argues that NY's business community is more important these days to startups than Silicon Valley's deep pool of talent. Do you buy this thesis?
I get four to six people contacting me every day for work in New York City. Unfortunately, all of the emails are broken English. Not exactly the best way to entice someone to work for your company.

If communication is a problem in most companies, I can only imagine what it would be like when my co-workers don't even speak English. It brings back nightmares of my work on XML integrations with Ameriquest. *shudder*

Re:Talent and geography (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053216)

I get four to six people contacting me every day for work in New York City. Unfortunately, all of the emails are broken English. Not exactly the best way to entice someone to work for your company.

NYC and NJ have a high proportion of immigrants. That's what makes the place fun; it can also make it infuriating at times. But they're mostly hardworking people busting their b@lls to get somewhere, often interesting and a joy to work with.

-b.

Low walled workspaces (4, Interesting)

CaroKann (795685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051042)

Judging from he workspace pictures, it appears Google subscribes to the idea that cubicles without high walls promote communication and interworking among employees. Of course, this is at the expense of privacy, peace and quiet, and for some people, stress relief.
After working in both settings, I have to say that I prefer low walled cubicles. High walled cubicles create a claustrophobic, catacomb-like environment. Low walled cubicles create a friendlier work floor, and it is easier to have impromptu meetings in the cubicle hallways when people can spread out and still see each other.

Re:Low walled workspaces (4, Insightful)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051420)

I guess I'm old fashioned. Or maybe just a bit antisocial. But my preferred work space is a real office with a door that, though usually open, can be closed when I need some "focus time", or locked when I'm away and don't want my stuff messed with. A work space that's well enough isolated that I can listen to music without headphones and not bother anyone. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since I've had that luxury.

Re:Low walled workspaces (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051496)

Low cubicle walls also make it harder to do things you're not supposed to do at work.

Low grade Masturbation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18055296)

Like play with yourself.

Re:Low walled workspaces (1)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18061366)

If you believe that you have obviously never worked in a large environment. Places that have droves of people in a wide open area will have one slacker bring down half the department to show them a flash cartoon/youtube video.

Productivity (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053674)

Low walled cubicles create a friendlier work floor, and it is easier to have impromptu meetings in the cubicle hallways

That's great if your work productivity improves by having frequent impromptu meetings. It very well might for some jobs, but for many others in IT it's a real productivity wreck.

Re:Low walled workspaces (1)

LauraW (662560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18056702)

Judging from he workspace pictures, it appears Google subscribes to the idea that cubicles without high walls promote communication and interworking among employees.

Yes. That's probably my #1 annoyance about working here. Almost nobody has a private office; it's all shared offices and big, shared cubicles, often with low walls. I think some of it is just because we're growing so quickly we're often out of space, but there's also the idea that it promotes collaboration. And of course the founders were grad students, who often work in crowded environments.

If you have a popular office- or cube-mate, it can be very distracting. I had private offices or cubes at my last few jobs, and it took me a while to get used to this environment. I've started listening to my iPod a lot when it gets noisy. But I figure that if this is the most annoying thing about my job, I'm doing pretty well.

NYC is great for tech workers (2, Informative)

Thanatos (15980) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051076)

It may not matter where you work once you get the job, but if you want to find a tech job, there's just so much opportunity in the NYC area. I guess living here isn't for everyone, but I haven't looked back since I moved out 8 years ago.

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051312)

It may not matter where you work once you get the job, but if you want to find a tech job, there's just so much opportunity in the NYC area

There's also a lot of biotech and pharma out in NJ - North Jersey and the New Brunswick area especially. And Rutgers in NJ has a good (and inexpensive for residents) engineering and science program. If you want to live in the "city" in NJ, you can still live in Hoboken which is 5 min. by subway away from NYC (though the scene in parts of town at night is a bit too "frathousey" for my tastes).

-b.

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (1)

Do You Smell That (932346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051650)

NYC is a haven for programmers who don't mind (or enjoy, I guess) working in the financial industry. Many massive investment firms, and the thousands of software companies that support them, operate largely out of NYC. My situation's the exact reverse of yours... I haven't stopped looking forward to getting out of here since I arrived... but damn, the opportunities here make it so tough to leave.

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053068)

well said. Finding a nice well-paying job in NYC has never been a problem for me. But (my) problem is that 90% of them is in financial sector. For a lot of people I know, its very appealing. But not for me. I have wall street firms. For them, technology dept is nothing but a big expenditure, and they treat techies like it. If you are not in business side of work, you are nobody in these financial firms. And some of these business users can be really nasty and snobbish towards tech - technology is just supporting their business.

In short, if you want to work on cutting edge technology and satisfy the nerd/geek in you, don't bother looking at NYC. But if you are the type who wants to move from technology to business (finance of course), and don't mind second rate treatment meanwhile, NYC can be heaven.

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053114)

Typo correction - Second line should read "I hate wall street firms."

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (2, Informative)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053264)

But (my) problem is that 90% of them is in financial sector.

Only if you look at the big "known" firms. There are plenty of architecture/engineering companies, construction, design, and biomedical stuff in NYC and NJ. Also, don't discount NJ. You can even live in NYC and reverse commute if you really feel the need to.

-b.

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (1)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18061390)

And you would have a hell of a time affording it. (reverse commuting) Most tech people want to work with other tech people, otherwise they tend to be treated as a step above a secretary.

Re:NYC is great for tech workers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18056570)

For them, technology dept is nothing but a big expenditure, and they treat techies like it.

Except Goldman Sachs [gs.com] . No, I'm serious. Yes, I work there. Goldman is a technology company that happens to do business. If you like smaller companies, DE Shaw & Co. [deshaw.com] is the place to be in Manhattan as far as technology oriented financial companies go. Good luck getting in.

It DOES matter where you live (4, Insightful)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051102)

It really does matter. On paper, two very geographically diverse places could be equivalent (infrastructure, cost of living, commute, etc) however, having a certain talent pool and mindset is a HUUUUUUGE advantage. I've lived all around the country in various "hotspots" and I can say without a doubt that by simply living in the Bay Area, I felt so much more creative and productive. You are always surrounded by driven people, creative people, people with ideas, people that aren't afraid to just go for is (ie, not work that 9-5 job). I miss that feeling and I shall be heading back there as soon as I possibly can.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

newdorkcity (1003772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051350)

While NYC's media may be increasing the depth of the talent pool here, no one should expect that the culture - specifically in the media space - is adjusting at the same pace. IMHO the media here are slow to adapt, flying by the seat of their pants in terms of making the transition, marginally in denial about the whole thing and largely technologically illiterate. Agencies can't decide whether they want to hire a designer or a developer; something I experience first hand often when I am approached about a development job and then shortly thereafter asked to provide design samples. Whaaaa? Sure, there' a chance you can have it both ways as an agency, but you better be prepared to pay through the nose and sacrifice on one end or the other if you are seeking those with equal left/right brain distribution. My opinion is that media here simply doesn't get it yet. They don't even understand the process yet. At least in the Bay Area your chances of working with pro's are significantly greater. That said, there's no substitute for NYC.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051458)

IMHO the media here are slow to adapt, flying by the seat of their pants in terms of making the transition, marginally in denial about the whole thing and largely technologically illiterate.

To some extent, technological illiteracy is a *good* thing for the market for techies. After all, it makes consultants necessary to provide constructive advice and to educate businesspeople on matters of technology. If everyone was equally technologically literate, tech knowledge wouldn't be a valuable commodity that people actually *pay* for, and where would most of us be? Sleeping in the gutter?

Sure, there' a chance you can have it both ways as an agency, but you better be prepared to pay through the nose and sacrifice on one end or the other if you are seeking those with equal left/right brain distribution.

And pay well they do if they can find someone who can solve their tech problems. It's also not a matter of tech illiteracy entirely - there are lot of people who make good money in NYC who simply don't want to be bothered with tech problems and would rather pay an outside consultant or employee to solve them.

-b.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

newdorkcity (1003772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051556)

Understood. However I'd rather make a little less money than deal with people who seem incapable o making decisions, even when provided with ample information with which to do so. Not arguing though, I agree with you. Just stating a personal pet-peeve.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051606)

However I'd rather make a little less money than deal with people who seem incapable o making decisions, even when provided with ample information with which to do so.

There's also the 'perfectionist' type that will want to switch systems and technologies every 6 months just to try the 'latest and greatest.' They're not incapable of making decisions, they just enjoy trying new things all the time. Again, ultimately, more $$$ in the pockets of the engineers and techies.

-b.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

newdorkcity (1003772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051730)

Unfortunately for me, those aren't the types I'm referring to.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (2, Interesting)

arudloff (564805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051378)

You can surround yourself with creative go getters anywhere in the country -- at half the cost, I might add. Just follow the birds of a feather mantra.

For us, it's been Orlando. Similar climate (72 degrees avg. temp) and a huge talent pool. UCF is the 6th largest student population and has a big focus on engineering/it/digital media. There is tons of money for investing, and a seriously cheap cost of living. The disney influence only adds to the creative pool and offers a ton of designers looking for contract work.

I can't imagine trying to bootstrap an idea on the we$t coast.
 

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051784)

There certainly is the cost of living to deal with out on the west coast. That's why I'm doing a quick recovery stint in Atlanta.

I agree but disagree with your "birds of a feather" statement. I've always taken pride in the fact I've been able to surround myself with entrepreneurial and creative people, no matter where I am. However, some places it happens just by walking down the street and getting coffee (ie, 85% of the population is like-minded) or other times you have to make an active search for such people (a mere 7% of the population thinking similarly).

Hmmm...Orlando, huh? I may have to look into that. ;)

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18061408)

Orlando has one of the most bland culture scenes I have ever witnessed. Part of the draw that the bay area has is the diversity and overall "scene" not just the techies.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18053918)

Having lived in Orlando for over twenty years, I feel compelled to pipe in here. Orlando is not and never will be comparable to the Bay City Area, and that is not merely a matter of opinion. For starters, technically speaking the aggregate weather may say it is 72 for Orlando, but the numbers are the numbers, and the reality is quite something else; IT IS HOT! Sweltering! The average doesn't take into account the crushing humidity 90% of the year, nor the cloudy days that never seem to end. Eight out of ten days are overcast in Central Florida -- often sans rain. This is not a guesstimate. It has a gloomy effect. Sort of anticlimactic without the rain. But don't get me wrong...during the summertime months, count on rain everyday at 4 pm. Not enough to cool things off -- just enough to make things extra muggy!

The landscape Orlando presently has on offer is the real issue. This is comprised of little more than scabby stripmalls (many, many, stripmalls!), an overabundance of car lots, congested highways, and rubble strewn vacant lots with signs depicting some soon-to-be plywood nirvana (condos!) with a pseudo Ivy-league name, like the Wellsey, or the Ivy...The charming little neighborhoods have also been blighted by the sudden surge in BIG and NEW that has swept the nation, the beautifully built original Florida-style homes being crowded out by Hummer-loving fans of BIGNESS. It is sad. Yes, there are nice bits here and there in Orlando, but they are very spread out.

I also beg to argue on the cost of living in Orlando - Orlando has been consistently listed in the over-priced real estate market top 10. In fact, I think it was number four, last time I checked. It really is not cheap. The apartment where I live has belatedly jumped on the housing hysteria by hiking the rent 150$ this year. Quite a jump!

Did I mention the violent crime rate in Central Florida? Check the stats on that sometime.

As for talent pool -- this is subjective, to be fair, but I will say, you are still in the deep South, and there is an element that is inherent to this climate that is anything but enlightened or articulate, let alone, talented or inventive. I genuinely wish there was this pool you refer to. I myself thrive on competition, but I find this town uniquely lackluster and almost devoid of the element you speak of. In fact, I would say the number one draw (or drawl, depending on what part of Orlando you're from) is the no state tax, the misnomer about it being the sunshine state (see above) and the fact that you have the beach about a half hour away, but are far enough inland that the hurricanes might only get near enough to scrape the roof of your house, or uproot the 100 year old oak in your front lawn.

People who have lived here a long time, and witnessed the gradual degradation of what was never a great town to begin with, really lament the small town aesthetic that Orlando once had. There's a transient nature to the landscape nowadays; the restaurant that you proposed to your girl in ten years back has probably been a tanning salon, computer repair shop and tatoo parlor in the time since. I suppose there is an audience for this...but I find it mystifying.

So, why do I live here then? Another can of worms altogether, but suffice to say, familiarity can have a very impeding effect sometimes.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051432)

You are always surrounded by driven people, creative people, people with ideas, people that aren't afraid to just go for is (ie, not work that 9-5 job).


....or you COULD live elsewhere and find a boss that knows how to hire inspired staff. At our shop, the boss kinda tends to spoil us... Days off when we want, rides to work, snacks at work, lunches at his cost... The best part is he'll let us "get our geek on"; we're allowed free rein as long as the work is done, results are produced, and he's kept in the loop as far as any changes made. Result? He's got a bunch of geeks that love their jobs, work hard, feel inspired, and stay 'til long after most would.

I can honestly say I love my job.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051550)

...or you COULD live elsewhere and find a boss that knows how to hire inspired staff.

Work isn't your whole life, only around 1/3 of it. You want to be able to meet inspired, interesting people outside of work, too.

-b.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051912)

You want to be able to meet inspired, interesting people outside of work, too.


Funny, I've never had a problem there, either. I just go to where the creative tend to collect. You'll find 'em in bookstores, indy music stores and bars, all around. We're also a short hop from Austin - "The Live Music Capitol of the World" - and there's NO shortage of inspiration on the scene there, either. South by Southwest gets bigger every year, and has even spawned local offshoots.

As a military brat, I noticed this never seemed to be a problem wherever we went. You can find creativity everywhere.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052768)

You are not understanding the scale of the original poster's comment. In the Bay Area, pretty much everyone is scheming. You don't even need to go to some concert or record store here -- try the gas station, try the supermarket, try the senior citizen's club.

Do you not understand how that atmosphere could foster geek inititive?

Compare it to language immersion in another country. Sure, you could always learn a language out of a book in the US -- find a local who could teach you a bit more. It's certainly possible to seek that out in any big city. But nothing will teach you a language faster than actually living in the country of its origin, surrounded by the language literally from wake to sleep.

Take my example. I majored in English. I work as an editor by day. Before living in San Francisco (Sacramento, then Tokyo), I spent my free time writing short stories and the like. Nowadays, I have somehow ditched those ambitions; I spend most nights with Ruby on Rails. Even my job, as a regular pen-to-paper editor, requires web development with ColdFusion. How did this happen?

Chew on that when you consider what the original poster (chia monkey) meant.

Very well stated (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054178)

That was very well stated. Just by BEING around all that in your daily life, you can't help but pick up that creative vibe. It's all around you every minute of every day of your life. There's no trapsing down to the coffee shop to be around creative people....they're everywhere. I can't think of one party that I went to where there WASN'T someone creative, an entrepreneur of some sort, and I didn't get engaged in some sort of conversation of how we could better some new technology or business process.

I've spent far too many hours trying to explain to friends or family members what that all means to me in life. "You can find creative people anywhere" is the common response. Well yeah, sure I can. I'm sure I could a surfer in Kansas too. I'd much rather walk down the street where nearly everyone has something to contribute than I would to have to spend time to get to a certain destination to find (hopefully) the same people.

Re:It DOES matter where you live (1)

danpritts (54685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18056988)

that's the truth.

I live in Ann Arbor, MI.

Ann Arbor is a great town, and has a reasonably good tech talent pool, and a major research university with a strong engineering school, CS department, and "school of information". We're essentially part of the metro detroit area, and as such, the entire economy here is going down the tubes courtesy of the auto industry (and unfortunately, the Pfizer research lab here is closing too). The place just isn't vibrant like i've experienced when I visit the coasts.

Even before the auto industry crash, we got no respect. Try finding venture capital for a tech company based in Michigan (one with a half-decent idea, even).

I love the place but I really doubt my wife and I will be here in 10 years.

Fillmore, Playboy, Googleplex (2, Funny)

pythiane (1003082) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051118)

From the point of view of the pop-culture imagination, is it as though Googleplex(es) are to our time and set what the Fillmores and Playboy Mansions were to those of the 1960s and 1970s?

Yes, it matters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18051138)

Let me explain this to you.

1) You can work from home ("telecommute", I hear they call it) to a certain extent, but if you happen to be on a team of Humans it is in fact important to be face-to-face frequently. Not all human contact (outside of sex) is counter productive.

2) You can move to Silicon Valley (or Mountain View), right next to your high-tech overlords. But in fact not everybody chooses to move there. This geographic dispersal of Humans is one reason why Wal-Mart has been successful beyond two locations.

3) Places like Google are aggressively hiring. In fact they have been nearly doubling in size each year. AND they are very picky. So it stands to reason that it they want to keep hiring the best and brightest, they have to go where the people are.

Me, I wish they would open a cafeteria in my kitchen. I have no snacks within arms reach, and nobody, not even the Democrat-controlled congress is doing a damn thing about it.

Geographic location. (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051280)

Isn't it really unimportant these days where you work, geographically?

Um, no. A lot of business is still done face-to-face, and people tend not to trust people they don't have physical (no, not in a dirty-minded sense :) contact with. Who'd you trust - someone whom you've spoken to in person, or some face on a teleconference screen? Also, where you work is where you live - within a 50 mi or so radius anyway. NYC offers art, theatre, lots of young people of the correct gender, open stuff late at night, hyperactive, energetic people - some people love being around all of the above and would feel bored and boxed-in in a place like, say, Podunk, SD. And it's not even as expensive as everyone claim if you avoid the "trendy"/tourist-trap places and neighborhoods.

-b.

Re:Geographic location. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18051444)

google complains that they can't hire anyone, yet they put offices in two places where lots of people won't live. NYC and California.

they should pick a depressed steel town in pennsylvania and revitalize it.

that way google could be more than a building.

Re:Geographic location. (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051508)

google complains that they can't hire anyone, yet they put offices in two places where lots of people won't live. NYC and California.

Actually, smart people tend to want to be around other like-minded educated people, not necessarily around retired steel mill workers. NYC and CA still do attract a lot of bright, talented people. As does Boston (probably even more so due to the universities).

they should pick a depressed steel town in pennsylvania and revitalize it.

Actually, believe it or not, they are doing something similar. They're building data centres in rural places (Oregon comes to mind) near cheap sources of hydroelectric power which formerly supplied heavy industries. I don't think they're planning to move their development teams there en masse but they will create quite a bit of work outside of NYC and CA. So their employees may have that choice in the future.

-b.

Re:Geographic location. (1)

Splunge (88538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052106)

google complains that they can't hire anyone, yet they put offices in two places where lots of people won't live. NYC and California.
Most people won't live in NYC or California because it's "too crowded" and "expensive". Can you think of any reason why those two things might be the case? Hint: It has to do with their populations.

Re:Geographic location. (1)

NittanyTuring (936113) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053060)

they should pick a depressed steel town in pennsylvania and revitalize it.
Um, well, they do have a Pittsburgh office [google.com] .

paul graham's take (2, Informative)

Blitter (15795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051564)

Paul Graham makes this interesting case:

http://paulgraham.com/siliconvalley.html [paulgraham.com]

Agreed 95% (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052168)

Except for his panning of NYC as a place that nerds dislike and lumping it into the same bowl as Vegas. NYC is one of the oldest, most beautiful cities in the US, with a pretty diverse array of industry and technologies. It's not only the financial and content industries - there's biomedical, engineering, architecture, manufacturing in NJ, etc. As far as hiking and hanging out outside, not all of NYC is midtown Manhattan or the "financial district." And the mountains are only an hour or two away.

Vegas was an artificial creation, grown by Benny Siegel and the Mafia (later big business) in the 40s and 50s to support one business: gambling/entertainment, and that's still the primary business. And the summer climate would make walking or being outside much in the city somewhat ... interesting I'd imagine.

-b.

Depressing (2, Insightful)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051668)

All the images are oddly depressing. I don't mind a work environment that's all business, so to speak, and I have seen small offices where creativity is the goal and some of them were really beautiful and relaxing and allowed you to sit and work for ridiculously long periods of time and still feel comfortable. But the pics of the Googleplex are actually depressing to me. It's a standard looking office space with a bunch of novelties thrown in to remind you of what it's like to not be at work.

That said, Google if you are hiring, I'd love to work at your facilities :-D

Let's see... (2, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18051688)

- big space set up as a cube farm so everybody hears everything and it's nearly impossible to concentrate?
- cubes are set up in a way so that PHBs can walk around and see what everybody is doing without any sort of privacy?
- only office pictured is a 4-person office with desks facing the corners so again there's no privacy whatsoever?
- nobody playing games in the gaming area but just one person taking some sort of nap?
- snacks around the office so workers don't ever need to leave and can get right back down to work?

this is making the news just because it's google, the working arrangements are the same as a million other valley startups: as much as MS-bashing is de-rigueur here on /. I do think they treat their workers a lot better: having a real office with a door that closes and a window beats every massage/gamesroom/freesnacks/... cubicle farm: I know, I've worked in both and my productivity level is hugely better when I can concentrate without being distracted by coworker xyz on the phone, or other coworkers having an impromptu meeting on things I couldn't care less (hint: that's what 4-person meeting rooms are for).

Re:Let's see... (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053518)

I wish I had a cubicle! We have an office, and there are 5 of us, soon to be 6 at desks all facing the walls.

Re:Let's see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054264)

And in my experience, 50% of those 'impromptu meetings' are just hour-long conversations about WoW. This is supposed to be helping my productivity, how?

happy ending? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052314)

The real question is, do their masseuses offer a happy ending?

Yawn... nothing new move along.... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18052466)

-Low cube walls... hopefully nobody talks on their phone.
-Snack room... ok so the 'Whole Foods' styled snack dispensers are cool, however, not sure of the value over your standard vending machine.
-Game room? How about a gym? Do they have workout facilities or is the game room supposed to be similar to the "DDR in Schools" phenom we're starting to see? http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ch ronicle/archive/2006/01/25/BUGA6GSFCG1.DTL [sfgate.com]

Google reminds me of MSFT, they have a cash cow (search, Windows and Office), but as an investor I'd have to ask both those companies "What have you done for me lately?" Plenty of released projects that just aren't generating any revenue....

Just you watch, one of these days Google finance will say "All this free food/massages etc... costs too much money... time to cut back.."

I'm thoroughly unimpressed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18052712)

What's so special about that workplace? It looks gray and depressing to me. No green space (ie. plants, water). It's also severely lacking in natural light. I like the sun, it makes me feel good.

This is just an average workplace for an over-hyped company. The Google fanaticism is about to end.

Great for those who like to be cogs in the wheel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18053100)

I would truly hate to work there. It looks like kindergarten. Or maybe the island of pleasures in Pinocchio. Or something. How stupid... Not sure how this environment would attract true thinkers and help them innovate. But then again, Google is not known for innovation. Their only innovation was the original idea, the Page algorithm. All others innovations were acquired: Goggle Earth, Sketchup, etc. Can someone tell me what innovation was started in-house at Google within the confines of this glorious kindergarten environment?

Massage room (1)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18053258)

Are the massages complete with "happy ending" ?

Is Google NY as tough as NY? (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054564)

Is Google NY as tough as NY? How many fights break out in the cube farm? Do they have anger relief facilities? You'd think they would have more privacy. Or perhaps the NYorkers are chained to their desks, literally.

Was amused by a portrait of the directors being provided but no portraits of developers. These are the guys who can live in houses, own apartments in Manhattan, and own 25 acres in upstate NY. All the subordinates, not pictured, could work all they wanted and never ever have the means to own anything.

Talent Pools All Over The Place (1)

macserv (701681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18056714)

While it's true that there are talent centers in places like New York or the Silicon Valley, there are myriad smaller, but no less talented, tech pols across the nation.

For example, some of the best developers and designers I've ever worked with are based in Columbus, Ohio. You've got lots of graduates coming from the Columbus College of Art and Design, as well as The Ohio State University. It's a tough-to-beat combo of talent and craftsmanship, in large part due to that good ol' Mid-Western work ethic. :)

Re:Talent Pools All Over The Place (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18057662)

Out of curiosity, where are you now?

I graduated from Ohio University, about an hour south of Columbus. We've got a good program as well, but OSU gets most of the credit.

They're missing half the talent. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18056882)

I find it interesting that Google, spawned in California (one of the most anti-gun-owner places in the USA), is expanding in another of them: New York City, home of the Sullivan Act.

On the "Red State / Blue State" scale, they're both deepest blue - which means they're doing the same on a lot of other issues.

About half the population, and about half the technical talent and genius-level personnel, are members of "Blue State" cultures, and unwilling to move to places where their rights would be as thoroughly curtailed as those where Google has chosen to operate.

So Google's choice of siting is cutting in half their pool of talented potential recruits.

"Shooting themselves in the foot", so to speak.

But by all means let them make such choices. It leaves a pool of talent available for potential competitors who don't have the same political and social baises - or blindness.

(I wait with bated breath for some "Red" state with a good university and decent gun and tax laws to clone the provision of California law that prevents employers from claiming their employees' inventions if they aren't in a business where they apply. Then we might just see another "silicon valley" phenomenon, Red State style.)

Re:They're missing half the talent. (1)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18061484)

You sir, are a fucking idiot who spends too much time watching fox news. Both New York and California have Republican governors. Both of them are predominately "true" republican states. None of this hogwash jesus freak crap that dominates the south and midwest. The biggest tech centers in red states are RTP NC and Austin TX. Both of which are dwarfed by NYC and silicon valley. I would also point out that those areas are driven by companies that are based in NYC and/or the West coast.

I own guns. I like guns, but if you think a place with 12 million people living in close proximity is going to have the same type of laws as places with only 5 million people in an entire state .... well then your fucking cracked. That doesnt even touch on the fact that the vast majority of the countries (70%) population lives on/near the coast. Or that most young people dont want to live in a dead end town with one employer, or no nightlife.

By the look of the snacks and cafeteria.... (1)

stoicio (710327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18060654)

Apparently Google employees eat crap.

All Microsoft needs to do is wait a couple years
and Google will just die of a heart attack...

I guess you don't need to be smart to be an engineer.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?