In late January, I was given the opportunity to take part in a tour of Silicon Valley in the United States. The region, near San Francisco in California, is home to the headquarters of some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, Twitter and YouTube.
The headquarters of the world’s largest social media platform was certainly a sight to behold. Multiple buildings, often four or five storeys in height, were filled with over ten thousand workers. Despite the massive construction efforts, the area was surprisingly green; the company had built gardens on top of their roofs where they would encourage employees to hold meetings during the summer and had planted trees and lush grasses where buildings did not cover the campus.
Inside the buildings, Facebook had tried to make work as fun as it could get for its employees. Walls were covered in bright, colourful decorations and there were large, open areas where workers could relax. Something to excite any foodie would be the ‘free food bars’ the company offers at various locations around their campus. Breakfast, morning tea, snacks, lunch and afternoon tea are all available there at appropriate times during the day. Oh, and did I mention that Facebook has its own chefs?
Stanford is one of the most well-known names worldwide when it comes to universities and technology. The university has taught a number of big names, including Elon Musk (though he was there for just a day), Larry Page, Sundar Pichai and Tiger Woods.
A student from the university delivered a personalised tour of the campus, showing us their computer science and design school faculties. We were also lucky enough to take part in a class at Stanford in their design school.