Mountain view – Google campus

Today we’ll introduce Google’s main campus to you thanks to our friend Bernard who is currently working there as Optic Leader in the Google X lab (managed by Sergueï Brin himself). Let’s first head to the big canteen since we’ve been invited for lunch 🙂

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As you can see, Google’s colors are present everywhere and like Facebook, you can eat whatever you want for free (Indian food, Chinese, Japanese, American, French etc).

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You guys might have already heard about the new incoming Android version under the name “Marshmallow” (version 6.0). Everytime a new update is released, Google is deploying one of its catching eye mascot to get our attention and it seems to work really well!

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Behind those status, you’ll find different medical health buildings taking care of their employees (dental, massage, fitness, etc.) including a free health insurance which is a great advantage in the US (otherwise a medical consultation will cost you around $200).

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We finished our tour in front of the Google cars building where we could see an example of them. Those cars are self automated and take pictures all over the street to improve Google Maps.

Secure AWS networks and infrastructure at Ooyala

After visiting Facebook on Thursday, we headed to Ooyala in Santa Clara (a cloud based platform for video business) for a conference about security on Amazon Web Services. On our way, we went through the Intel Campus where we quickly took a picture. As we were there already 2 hours before the presentation start, employees gave us access to their break room where we got a table to work.

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We’ve been received really well and we had pizza/drinks with networking time before the conference started. There were a lot of very skilled people coming from all over the world and from well-known high-tech companies like Yahoo, Cisco, IBM or Siemens. Everybody was nice and open minded, allowing us to make a lot of new connections!

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The presentation was made by Ben Whaley, who is consultant in the Bay area focused on cloud architecture, software delivery, and systems automation. He is recognized by AWS in the Community Hero program. He is also a co-author of the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, the de facto standard text on Linux administration, and is the author of two educational videos: Linux Web Operations and Linux System Administration. Ben is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

He gave us many advices and tips to avoid vulnerabilities and we found this presentation very usefull 🙂 Slides can be found here: https://speakerdeck.com/bwhaley/infrastructure-security-considerations

Menlo Park – Facebook

Thursday was a great day, we first went by car to Menlo Park where we had a visit tour with Mikel who works as PhD recruiter at Facebook!

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From the outside you can only see big parkings, nice cars, Facebook bikes and 3-steps building but when you go inside, it’s like a huge playground where you can find everything and most of the time for free! Wanna taste some Indian food? Sushis? Ice creams? Barbecue? Just order whatever you want and your wishes will be pleased.

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This small living town inside the main campus is offering all the necessary services you need (hosting, laundry, renting bikes) so you don’t have to leave the campus anymore.

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Did you loose your charger or do you need more batteries? Here it is! Just in front of the video games!

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Let’s stop dreaming about candies, we still have a tour to finish. We are now heading to the offices where thousands of engineers work to maintain the largest social network in the world. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take picture everywhere but there were huge open spaces and we even saw Mark Zuckerberg’s former office!

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As you might notice, most of the engineers prefer working standing up rather than sitting on their chairs because it’s increasing efficiency and concentration. We were also impressed by the building’s architecture which was awesome! Let the pictures speak by themselves.

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Cupertino – Apple Headquarters

Today we had the chance to visit the Apple Headquaters. You should know that working there is not a piece of cake since people work 10 hours per day  (from 5am to 17pm) and 6 days a week. The headquaters are split into different departments and each department has its own building. The access to those buildings is forbidden for outsiders but employee’s guests are allowed (therefore, a check-in is required at the entrance). Here are few pictures of the main building once you get inside.

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First impression? Apples everywhere… We were wondering if we could get into troubles by taking pictures out there with our Android smartphone 🙂 Hopefully not. After this small tour, we are now heading to the lunch area where you can find different kind of dishes. Every employee gets a free lunch ticket on a daily basis and each meal costs around 7-10$.

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Most people there prefer taking the food with them and eat on their desk rather than staying in the cafeteria. What can you say? Hard workers…

Afterwork and networking

Now it’s time for us to show you our workspace environment. As many other apartments here, there is a common area with a pool, a hot tube and nice workout facilities where we can go when the work is over. Rent are very expensive here because of all these big tech companies. You should rely about $2,000 for one bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen in this kind of apartment complex.

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It’s the best workspace we’ve ever been too! And even in the pool you can discuss with other engineers from the Bay area, it never stops!

During the week-end, we met again two people that helped us on our arrival in San Francisco: Kennedy and Subha. We went to Santana Row, a very big Mall with lots of stores in the street as well. As you can see on the pictures, it’s a rather luxurious area with nice cars too 🙂

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We ate at the Yard House which is a nice restaurant. There were so many people that we had to wait for 1 hour and a half before having a table. There was a lot of food, from Mexico and USA, burgers, tacos, etc. It was really good! Prices were like in France except that you have to give a 10% to 20% tip of the bill. (Because waiters are paid like only $2/hour and so they earn money with the tips).

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Design Hacking for Startups: An Evening with Luke Wroblewski

We had our first important meeting outside Santa Clara yesterday. It took place near the Google Plex in East Palo Alto. To go there, we took the bus 57 ($2) and the bus 32 ($1.25) connecting Santa Clara to Fabian Way. For almost 45 mins, we’ve been discussing with the driver who was really nice and gave us a few tips about transportation around the Bay Area. As he’s been there for almost 40 years, he told us about the incredible tech growth there. Near Mountain View, it’s like a jump into the future, you can only see automated Google cars on the road, driving all day and night long, it’s really impressive!

The conference center was located a few meters away from a Google Express store (a delivery service offered by Google but only in California I think) so we could grab Google bikes there as you can see on the picture 🙂

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Design Hacking for Startups: An Evening with Luke Wroblewski

The conference started at 7PM with Luke Wroblewski, an internationally recognized digital product leader who has designed and built software used by more than one billion people worldwide. Luke is currently a Product Director at Google. Earlier he was the CEO and Co-founder of Polar (acquired by Google in 2014) and the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Bagcheck (acquired by Twitter in 2011).

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There were a lot of people as you can see on the picture, coming from all over the World! We met a few of them during the networking buffet including investors, software engineers and entrepreneurs.

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During the presentation, Luke gave us many tips about the UI & UX in mobile apps and the different user habits/behaviours like how do people usually hold their smartphones and interact with it. This conference was pretty cheap for a high skilled speaker like Luke and it was really interesting for us as we are currently brainstorming on our new mobile app!

As there were no more place for our bikes in the bus (limited to only 2 bikes), we decided to ride from Palo Alto to Santa Clara.

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The trip was amazing because we discovered all the area by night but it was quite long so we were happy to arrive back home at 1AM 🙂

First meetup : JS learning session

Thanks to the application Meetup we can easily join tech and entrepreneurship groups without knowing anyone. For the first event, we went to a JS learning session at Santa Clara’s library (which looks really confortable and a nice place to work at). There were about 30 people from 20 to 60 years old, coming from all over the World!

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It was a course for Javascript beginners about objects concept so really simple to understand but it was a good way to start meeting tech people there 🙂

Hello world!

Hello and welcome on our blog dedicated to Scoledge, the company, the team and more generally about our entrepreneurship and daily life as startupers!

The last few months, we’ve focused on brainstorming and developing our new app to meet the needs of teachers and students. We simplified our features and improved our user interface. You can have more details on our new Website here.

For this first article, we decided to take you with us during our 1 month travel in the famous Silicon Valley. We decided to move there to discover the tech ecosystem. That means, going to conferences, meetups and visiting some of the biggest companies in the World like Facebook or Google.

Our trip started in Paris at 6 AM. We took the RER B directly from the Metro/RER station « Châtelet les Halles » to the airport « Charles de Gaulle ». In only 30 minutes, this train links the city center to the airport for 10€, that’s probably the easiest way to go there.

Note: the RER B isn’t known by many maps systems (Google Maps, iOS, etc) but actually exists!

After registering our bags, check-in and passing the security, we left at 10:30 AM to Dublin for a connection there.

As we were going to the US, we needed to pass their border guards. Even if we had our ESTA visa, we had to validate it and to fill another form called « U.S. Preclearance » and go through the security again. Because of this process we almost missed our connection… Fortunately the flight was waiting for us!

During our 11 hours flight, we flew over Iceland, Greenland, Canada and finally the US. Landscapes were absolutely amazing as you can see on the pictures we took 🙂

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We finally arrived at San Francisco Airport 19 hours later but needed to move to Santa Clara where our AirBnB hosts Sara and Greg were waiting for us. This final trip by bus and by the CalTrain last 2 more hours but was pretty cheap for the 70 kms we had to do.

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Note: Bus tickets in Santa Clara starts from $1.25 to $2 for one trip and the CalTrain from zone 2 (San Mateo) to zone 3 (Sunnyvale) costs $5.25.

Now it’s time for us to go sleeping but don’t worry, we’ll have another article tomorrow for our first meetup!