Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Silicon Valley: Google and Apple

On April 7th, we visited the headquarters of Apple Computers and Google.
We started the day off with a late breakfast at the hotel. We then drove to Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop. We were given individualized name badges, and taken on a tour through the campus.
We then went to a conference room to talk with a group of Apple employees, where they discussed perks of their job at Apple. One thing I learned there was that nobody outside of the design team knows what product Apple is working on. Nobody else knows until the CEO announces it. One exception to this was the iPhone, where they had an exact date set for release, and each employee received one as a gift. The reason Apple doesn't usually announce release dates for items is business related. Nobody would buy an 8GB iPod Touch if they knew a 16GB one would be released next week for the same price.
After listening to the employees about thier jobs, we performed out presentation about ITA to them. It was easy, because Apple was a very friendly environment. After that, we had lunch at Caffe Macs, the restaurant on campus. They had a variety of food, from burgers to burritos. We then went back to our vans and drove to Google.
When we first arrived at Google, we were introduced to Avelia Stewart, our host. The first place we went was to a lobby, where we got personalized name tags (again), and were allowed to have a small snack. There was also a large display of everything that was being searched on Google at that moment. We were then introduced to our tour guide, who taught us about what it was like to work at Google, and products that they work with. While on the tour, we noticed the large amount of food available everywhere on campus. And it was all free!
We also visited a wall where there were pictures of all these famous people who have visited Google, all of them were in a picture with Mike, a Google employee, who tries to get a picture with everyone important who visits the campus. As we continued our tour, we noticed all the different facilities that Google has, such as gyms, pools, and lunchrooms. We also had a meeting with several Google employees who talked about what they do. We then presented to them about ITA, then answered some questions that they had. As we left, we were given Google gift bags and t-shirts, a welcome gift.

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