It's incredibly surreal to meet your favourite technology company in the flesh, which I had the incredible pleasure to do these past few days. It's been so jam packed that I haven't even had the time to sit back and appreciate this.
There were about 60 Google Student Ambassadors (GSA's) from universities all over New Zealand and Australia. We were flown over to Sydney to their Australian offices. It was my first time in Sydney and soon after I arrived I had decided that I'd come back in the near future.
I was sick the entire time, but I tried to socialise as much as possible without spluttering my bad joo joo over them. Although the majority of the cohort was dominated by engineering and tech students, there was a lot of diversity in the bunch. They were all super awesome.
The Google officers were totally surreal. It was split up equally into playground and office areas. All workers are within 30 meters of a cafeteria. All food is free.
The view from Cafe Etsy, their restaurant.
Our pirate ship.
Cheap HDR filter.
The whole summit was cross between a subtle Google indoctrination ceremony and a Oprah's My Favourite Google Things show.
I understand that Google is pretty cautious with handing out Google swag so I was pretty astounded. It was no holds barred for giving us stuff. They were trying to get us excited about the Google brand and products. It definitely worked.
- Gmail bag
- Beach towel
- GSA Android Collectible
- Nexus 5 (Black, 32GB, most likely refurbished)
- Acer Chromebook C720 w/ 100GB Google Drive storage for 2 years
- GSA shirt
- Google document slip
- Bit of cash for transport and food
GSA Android now lives on top of my moniter reminding me to code and plan Google events.
The biggest thing that I took back from my trip was the fact that getting a job at Google is completely tangible. It has always been some sort of crazy fantasy that I would joke about with friends.
It's given me a lot of hope for my future career. It's also set the standard higher - how will I go back to a bank that insists I not only IE6 as my main browser, but develop for it!??!
Google really makes a difference for -all- technology. They're a critical component of our furthering our technology and it would be amazing to work there - hell just being a Google Student Ambassador is a dream come true. The culture at Google is so infectious and righteous, I guess that's a luxury you can afford when you're one of the biggest tech companies.
Also while I was away... what the hell happened to the Youtube layout!??!