Recently I went to all the Big 4 HQ’s and would like to share my experience of which one I like the most. To begin with, I am currently living in Bay area and two out of four of the Big 4 companies (Google and Facebook) are just 20 mins away from my apartment and the rest 2 have their offices in Washington state which is also not that too far, a 2 hour flight from Bay area.
My first visit was Amazon HQ in Seattle. I was doing my internship at Amazon HQ in the summer of 2016. The rest three I visited last 3 months as a guest on behalf of my friends.
Amazon HQ is located in the heart of Seattle city. As I know, Amazon has close to 40 buildings spread out across the downtown of Seattle city. There is no campus feel as you will see with other companies, but you have everything you need and this beautiful city will make you feel like working in heaven. Amazon also allow dogs in the offices and you can find many dogs roaming in the offices with the badges. Well, during the office times most of the people you see on roads are working at Amazon. There are many cafes, restaurants, food trucks, bars and game stations in vicinity of the Amazon offices. You can also go and visit the Amazon Go store and the Amazon spheres which are located near the Day One building of Amazon. Also, you can find many beautiful places in University district area, Bellevue and other cities which are just few miles apart from Seattle. Recently, Google and Facebook have also opened their new offices in Seattle which are also worth appreciating.
Google HQ is located in Mountain View in the center of Silicon Valley. Google campus is itself a small city on its own where employees are given all kinds of perks you can ever imagine. There are about 30 cafeterias in Googleplex serving free food of different types for people with different nationalities. You can see a bowling alley, a wall climbing room, spa rooms, gyms, laundry rooms, mini garden, mini forest (yes, you read this right) and the list goes on and on. Even the micro kitchen was flooded with food items and juices of variety of kinds. You can easily spot many google bicycles around the campus which you can use to roam around this big campus. Also, everything in google is comprised of primary colors which you see in Google logo, this made the beautiful campus full of colors. You might not need to go outside the campus at least for food, but there are various Indian cafes and other places to go in Mountain view too.
Located in the Redmond city of Washington state, Microsoft HQ should be a must visit place for all the technocrats. Well, to be honest there is not much to explore in Redmond but who would go out of the campus if you have everything. I got a chance to visit as a guest on behalf of one of my friend who recently joined the company. There is no free food in the campus but you can find all kinds and categories of food items in different cafes. There are free cabs for employees to go from one place to another within the campus, you can imagine how vast the campus would be. My favorite part of the campus was the visitor center building of Microsoft where you get demoes of all the latest Microsoft devices and technologies. I get to play the Fifa 18 on the new Xbox and there were many AI related systems which determines your age using facial recognition, matches you with a celebrity using some of their similarity algorithms. This was a fun section and my favorite one too. There are around 130 buildings in the Microsoft campus and I was able to explore only the most popular places there.
Well, I saved my favorite one for the end. Facebook HQ is located in the city of Menlo Park in the Silicon Valley. This HQ made me feel like I am visiting a party place rather than an office. Everything was so ‘cool’, from the walls of offices to the theme of the cafes, the varieties of free food, a separate section for extra curricular activities in which you can make buttons, create paintings etc. Every FB product (Instagram, Whatsapp, Oculus, Facebook) has a different themes for its offices. They have a separate insta booth where people come and get themselves clicked. The CEO’s workstation was just like any other employee’s workstation and every thing was reminding me of the company’s culture of ‘move fast and break things’. There was also a open roof top terrace garden which has a juice center. I still cannot believe how much a company can think of its employees. There is a lot to do in the FB HQ and I would rate is as my favorite among the Big 4.
I had a great time visiting all the 4 HQ’s and would recommend you guys to visit someday. Looking forward to an opportunity to be a part of these and bring a change.
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