Life in the Googleplex

From Tim Bray, who has recently started at Google.

I woke up before the alarm went off in the Google Apartment where I was staying, not far off Castro street in Mountain View. The apartments are comfy but don’t have a lot of personality. Each has good WiFi, two bedrooms and two bathrooms; my flatmate was a taciturn Czech who worked on “data security”. Tim, curious: “What sort of data security work?” Heavy Czech accent: “Every sort of data security.” [Silence falls.]

I didn’t allow time for more than showering and dressing; headed out in the morning cool from the Google Apartment to pick up the early Google Bus on Mercy Street, didn’t Peter Gabriel write a nice song about that? An extremely multinational sprinkling of fellow Googlers boarded with me, but at that hour there wasn’t much chatter. That particular route is circular, the long way around the circle on the way in so I opened the laptop and did some morning input using the Google WiFi on the Google Bus.

At Sun, my closest collaborators tended to be at points east, often across the Atlantic, so when I woke up there was usually lots of email waiting for me. Google is sufficiently West-Coast-centric that it’s not uncommon for the morning harvest to be just routine mailing-list traffic; feels weird. But this particular morning I had an early call with Reto in London.

By the time that was finished, breakfast was in full swing at the Google cafés; I favor one across the street from the building where I sit. When breakfast starts they put on weird cheery eclectic music; cowboy stuff last Wednesday. I lean to the Google bacon, fresh fruit, a little wee scoop of hash browns, and Google coffee, which is perfectly OK.

I didn’t see anyone I knew, so I was one of the substantial proportion of solitary breakfasters, reading feeds and poking at the weird Java introspection hairball that I’d failed to sort out before bedtime…