Pretty incredible, but I have finished my first week of work at Google. Monday through Friday went by fast, but it was also jam-packed full of stuff. On Wednesday, I could not believe everything that had happened in just those first two days! All-in-all, Google has been everything that I had heard - a great atmosphere, fantastic people, awesome perks ... it is quite obvious why it is near the top of every "top-employer" list. I think every employer tries to make things orientation fun and exciting, but somehow they don't turn out quite as much fun. Like, we had a scavenger hunt on the main campus, looking for different landmarks, displays, activities, etc... Even the security guards, the retail store casheirs, and the off-site bartenders got in on the fun! There is just something different here...
So, what were the best things from the week? I really can't say enough about the people. I had read a lot about the Google culture, and how even as a big company, they try not to lose themselves in "corporate-ness". How does this manifest itself? One noticeable thing was not only was I introduced to all of my peers in the same organization, but also all of my manager's peers in the organization on the very first day. I then had introductory meetings with the director of my organization on the very next day! Plus, everyone knew who I was, and had been actually planning on meeting me. It is a great feeling that everyone knows everybody else, and the entire group is comfortable talking face-to-face, up and down the chain. It inspires transparency, and definitely made me feel at home right away.
I am also car-less for the first time in a long time. My car in Kansas was getting up there, and also was scheduled for quite a bit of work, so we cut ties before driving out. Now, I am a public transportation guy, but the shuttle service is pretty convenient. Right now, the shuttle picks me up just a few hundred feet from my front door, and I can completely ignore the massive amount of traffic on the way there! After we move, the bus-stop will be closer to 2 miles away, but Milpitas is a small town with California weather - it should work out just fine. I am currently riding one of the not-quite-top-of-the-line shuttles, but the coolest thing is they all have wifi available. Some are double-decker, and others have all leather seats! Another great thing about using the shuttles is that it helps keep me on a good work-schedule: always up early, and always home for dinner. With a car, it is much easier to try and finish one(-hundred) last thing(s), and it up missing out eating with my family. I am sure I will need to work some evenings, but at least I will be at home to do it!
In general, Google is awesome because it lets me do what I love to do (engineer software), and takes care of literally everything else. I don't have to worry about food, traffic, making a name for myself. Meals are provided, they drive me to work, and everyone already knows me and whats to see what I can do!
It is very exciting, can't wait for my second week!