So today I had dinner on Facebook.
At Facebook, sorry. I was at Facebook. Like, their offices. And I ate dinner there, which I also did yesterday. For free, too. And honestly? Some of the best food I've had on the trip. Like, today I had a Guinness Steak shepherd's pie and an apple/endive salad with blue cheese, pecans, and a honey dijon dressing. And they had a vegetarian Thai pie available, and brussel sprouts (which at least two people at my table said was amazing), and steamed cauliflower - basically, some healthy, delicious options. And did I mention it was free? For anyone who works there (and their guests, apparently).
On an unrelated note, I'm thinking about applying for a job at Facebook.
Alright, not so unrelated. And the food isn't the only reason, either. So I'm in Austin right now visiting my friend from Manny from Illinois. We met playing ultimate frisbee in Peoria, and he recently moved down here and contacted me to offer his place for a night. So when I got into town yesterday, he asked if I wanted to stop by and have dinner at his work. I didn't know where he worked, so I assumed it was a restaurant or something based on that, and I was a little surprised to show up at an office building and then head up to the 10th floor. I was even more surprised to see "Facebook" on the door once I arrived on the floor. And I was even more surprised to learn that was actually where we were eating - and that the food was absolutely amazing.
Afterwards he gave me a tour of the office, and I have to say it's a pretty cool place. They have the entire 10th floor of this building in downtown Austin, and the whole place is set up almost like a computer lab at a library. Rows of tables with 3 or 4 computers at each table, set up with back to back computer monitors facing each side of the table, and a few private conference rooms around too. (Here's a picture of the office.)
The decoration was sparse, but had a very modern look to it - I don't really know what to call it, other than to say parts of it looked a little like a warehouse. Concrete floors in parts, exposed ductwork, what looked like plywood on parts of the walls, and slogans stenciled on the walls with spray paint. Other parts were much more modern. One corner even had phone booths with modern office phones in them, I assume for phone meetings. And, much unlike my last job at Caterpillar, there was natural light coming in through the windows.
I was also surprised to see employees walking around the office wearing Facebook t-shirts. I suppose at Caterpillar you saw some of that as well - though not much, because of the dress code which stipulated that logos must be small and shirts must have a collar. The most you usually saw at Caterpillar was a polo from the company store. Here, there were t-shirts with what looked like internal Facebook slogans or buzzwords, in the ever-recognizable Facebook font.
I went out last night with Manny and his friends, who were all Facebook employees. While we were sitting around drinking beers, or out on the lawn listening to a concert by the Old 97's, they often talked about work, what they were doing, sharing ideas they had with coworkers, etc. Everyone seemed to really like their job. And they were all around my age - a lot of recent college graduates, and Manny said the average age in his office might be around late 20's (as opposed to my section at Caterpillar - average age possibly around 35, but probably higher). It was weird to see so many people from an office all sit around at dinner (at the office) and work out plans for later that night, when at Caterpillar I only knew one or two people my age in my building who I would have done things with.
Up until now, I hadn't considered working for Facebook. Certain ideological decisions they'd made in the past that I wasn't a fan of - primarily about privacy - had ruled them out before I ever considered it. But after visiting an office, seeing what it was like and how much people enjoy working there, I'm thinking about it. And I'm re-thinking the decisions they'd made that made me rule them out, and how I feel about them.
What do you guys think? If I told you I got a job at Facebook, how would you feel about that? How do you feel about Facebook as a company?