Tour de Googleplex, Sydney

Saw this on Sydney Morning Herald yesterday -- Google named Australia's best place to work:

After its outstandingly successful parent company topped a 100 Best Places To Work survey conducted by the US magazine Fortune, Google Australia has claimed the No.1 spot in a similar Australian poll.

BRW, which conducted the study, said Google had created a legendary corporate culture of perks, fun, appreciation and reward for its staff.

I actually had a privilege to tour the new Googleplex in Pyrmont last Thursday for the Google Partners' Day. That was quite an experience. Read on to see what I have learnt on that day.

BLAH BLAH BLAH. <Silenced due to an NDA I have to sign with Google>.

Well. I guess I cannot actually say what I saw on the Google Partners Day, but just a few things in point forms (which I hope would not violate the terms in NDA):

  • Google Maps sucks (on that day). The Googleplex address on Google Maps was actually around 500 metres North-West along Pirrama Road than what it actually is. It has already been fixed now (thanks Google), but I was trying to navigate myself to there, relying on Google Maps on my Nokia E71, and ended up right in front of a parkland. Google Maps can't navigate me to Googleplex? Well, at least that was my excuse of being late on the day.

  • Great networking time that you have opportunity talking to other Australia publishers -- only if I was not that naive. Seriously, an engineer like me felt a bit out of place amongst the publishers, advertisers, agents, etc. I also skipped the after-event drinking networking time because I need to come back for MBF BST.

    Still, I had a short chat with Guy & Bevan from Stateless Systems -- great guys.

  • Seven plastic guitars -- that's how many they have for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Cool.

  • The best place to work in Australia, only if you are a single unattached geek who prefer marrying social life with work. Lots of freedom there. Lots of gadgets. Lots of social events as far as I can tell. Good food and good coffee machine. Moreover I am pretty sure you will be working with some of the best geeks in Australia over there.

    However if you are married with kids, have a different life outside work, other commitments (church activities for example) -- I am not sure whether the Googler-style would be good.

Interestingly in the SMH article, top 5 of greatest places to work are all in Sydney. Maybe it tells us more about the city than those companies :)