Though growing rapidly, Google still maintains a small company feel. At the Googleplex headquarters almost everyone eats in the Google café (known as "Charlie's Place"), sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from all different departments. Topics range from the trivial to the technical, and whether the discussion is about computer games or encryption or ad serving software, it's not surprising to hear someone say, "That's a product I helped develop before I came to Google."
Google's emphasis on innovation and commitment to cost containment means each employee is a hands-on contributor. There's little in the way of corporate hierarchy and everyone wears several hats. The international webmaster who creates Google's holiday logos spent a week translating the entire site into Korean. The chief operations engineer is also a licensed neurosurgeon. Because everyone realizes they are an equally important part of Google's success, no one hesitates to skate over a corporate officer during roller hockey.
Google's hiring policy is aggressively non-discriminatory and favors ability over experience. The result is a staff that reflects the global audience the search engine serves. Google has offices around the globe and Google engineering centers are recruiting local talent in locations from Zurich to Bangalore. Dozens of languages are spoken by Google staffers, from Turkish to Telugu. When not at work, Googlers pursue interests from cross-country cycling to wine tasting, from flying to frisbee. As Google expands its development team, it continues to look for those who share an obsessive commitment to creating search perfection and having a great time doing it.
About the Googleplex
Google's world headquarters building is located in Mountain View, California, a stone's throw from the Shoreline Regional Park wetlands. While not all Google offices around the globe are equally well-stocked, these are some of the essential elements that define a Google workspace:
* Lobby Décor - Piano, lava lamps, and live projection of current search queries from around the world.
* Hallway Décor - Bicycles and large rubber exercise balls on the floors, press clippings from around the world posted on bulletin boards everywhere. Many Googlers standing around discussing arcane IP addressing issues and how to build a better spam filter.
* Googler Offices - Googlers work in high density clusters remarkably reflective of our server setup, with three or four staffers sharing spaces with couches and dogs. This improves information flow and saves on heating bills.
* Equipment - Most Googlers have high powered Linux OS workstations on their desktops. In Google's earliest days, desks were wooden doors mounted on two sawhorses. Some of these are still in use within the engineering group.
* Recreation Facilities - Workout room with weights and rowing machine, locker rooms, washers and dryers, massage room, assorted video games, Foosball, baby grand piano, pool table, ping pong, roller hockey twice a week in the parking lot.
* Google Café - Healthy lunches and dinners for all staff. Stations include "Charlie’s Grill," "Back to Albuquerque," "East Meets West" and "Vegheads." Outdoor seating for sunshine daydreaming.
* Snack Rooms - Bins packed with various cereals, gummi bears, M&Ms, toffee, licorice, cashew nuts, yogurt, carrots, fresh fruit and other snacks. Dozens of different drinks including fresh juice, soda and make-your-own cappuccino.
* Coolest stop on the tour - A three-dimensional rotating image of the world on permanent display on a large flat panel monitor in the office of the engineer who created it. What makes it special is the toggle switch that allows you to view points of light representing real time searches rising from the surface of the globe toward space, color coded by language. Toggle and you can see traffic patterns for the entire Internet. Worth a trip to the second floor.
* Nearest 24 hour doughnut shop - Krispy Kreme, Mountain View, CA.