It’s the stuff of corporate legend. The Googleplex in Mountain View, California, about 40 minutes drive along Route 101 south of San Francisco, is the home of Internet search giant Google and more than 10 000 of its employees.
Last Friday, TechCentral had the opportunity to visit the sprawling, 26-acre campus, just a short drive north of San Jose, where staff enjoy free meals and beverages, where people get around on bicycles and where a volleyball court and even a state-of-the-art swimming pool help keep Google’s army of developers happy.
Below is a selection of photographs from our tour of the Googleplex. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
Employees can bring their dogs to work, as evidenced in this warning notice above a sweets machine
Google tries to make employees' lives easier, given how much time they spend at the Googleplex. In this photo, a free laundry on the campus
Who says you can't exercise and work at the same time? This Google employee is working the treadmill and her laptop
The original Google server rack is on display in the entrance to one of the buildings on the Googleplex
Though the Google volleyball court wasn't in use when we visited the campus (we were there early in the morning), it is apparently one of the favourite pastimes for many employees
Free soda, anyone? Google offers free food and drink (non-alcoholic) to its employees. Surprisingly, we didn't see any overweight staffers on our visit, perhaps because all the exercise facilities on the Googleplex
An amusing cartoon spotted on the wall of one of the Googleplex buildings features chairman Eric Schmidt and a not-too-subtle dig at BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. But does Schmidt really use a BlackBerry, and not an Android smartphone?
More amusing artwork about the launch of the Google+ social networking website
The main canteen at Google, where CEO Larry Page holds interactive staff meetings on Thursday afternoons
This Google Earth simulator offers a wall of giant monitors, which, when connected to a broadband connection unheard of in SA, makes for riveting interaction. On the screens is Cape Town