So last week I was lucky enough to do something pretty cool-- I went to facebook headquarters. Yes, the one and only office and campus where facebook is ran and operated, the famous hack-a-thons happen, and where the 'zuck himself works every single day. I went with a blogger-turned-real-life friend, Adrian who blogs over at Happy Girls Are the Prettiest Girls and also has an amazing website for her hair & makeup business (um yeah, she is one of the premiere stylists in the Bay Area-- the girl has serious skills. See for yourself here: Hair By Adrian). Anyways, I digress---- I went with Adrian who has a friend who works here.
I was giddy when we arrived and drove past the large thumbs up facebook sign in the front. Security was surprisingly lax and we drove in without having to pass through any gates or stop to talk to a security guard. We strolled into the lobby and immediately had to sign in on ipads (so cool.) and pull up via facebook the employee we were there to see. Free snacks and beverages were literally everywhere you looked and spray painted murals covered the walls. We were told not to take photos inside (because literally when you walked into the coders area non-public information was just displayed all over white boards with ideas, problems and things they would probably not be so happy about being made public). I still got to take a few photos though, after I asked if it was okay!
After a few minutes Nicole (Adrian's friend) came out and got us and we headed into one of the rooms where the coders were working hard. I felt like I had one of the Owen Wilson moments again, only this time I didn't gasp out loud. The coders area was JUST like you see on the facebook movie. White boards with ideas were up all over the room, some guys had several computers with screens full of what looks like jibberish to most of us but its the very stuff that was running the program that I was using to check into facebook ON facebook. My mind was blown. It was so cool and I felt like such a nerd because I was so impressed. Large posters with Mark Zuckerberg's favorite quote "move fast, break things" were all over the building.
We headed into the courtyard area and went to get some lunch. I was blown away by the fact that all the food was free. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Drinks, Coffee---everything, for anyone who was there. And then, I was blown away a second time when Nicole began showing us ALL the food options they offered. Honestly, this large inner courtyard reminded me of a college campus. We tried moroccan food (the themed hot food of the day) and admired the pizza area, bbq stand, burger bar, coffee shop and a handful of other food options. Long wooden picnic tables were filled with employees and families and everyone there seemed so genuinely happy. I was wondering if anyone was actually working, or if any work got DONE here because everyone was so relaxed. As we walked the length of the open courtyard Nicole pointed out a large office that was Mark's office. It was glass and you could see right in--- she said he really likes to feel like he is a part of everything and can be accessible. It was cool to see that he hasn't secluded himself and that he still comes to work every day. He wasn't there the day I visited because he was on his honeymoon BUT it was still cool to see his personal workspace.
One of my favorite things to see were with "war rooms" inside the building where people were working hard and getting things done. I also loved seeing a glass room in the courtyard where a group of people were working on a secret project. Apparently they are not allowed out or to interact with anyone else in the company until they accomplish their goal or finish the project, and at that point when they DO the garage doors enclosing them open up and everyone cheers. It was just a cool vibe, much like a college frat but with really smart people doing really amazing things...
All in all, it was one of the coolest experiences ever and I am so thankful Nicole showed us around! Also, I know this post is kind of all over the place, but I wanted to leave it that way because honestly that is how I felt while we were there...all excited and like a kid in a candy store! I even like Mark Zuckerberg a little more than I did before.
Over & Out,