I had the opportunity to visit the GooglePlex last week in support of the Google Developer Group program. I was participating in the first summit ever summit of organizers from North America.
It is always interesting to visit the campus, as there is always a certain vibe. I get a kick out of the energy towards continuous self improvement - never missing an opportunity to learn something new (even on the toilet, and yes, I did try the that super fancy bidet).
I am not one to miss a photo op with my favoite Bugdroids... Not the best lighting (note to self, morning light is probably better for some of these statues).
I have been to a few meetings of User Group leaders previously, and was expecting a bit more of the same from this event (the normal stuff - how to find speakers, and sponsors, etc). We had a few of these types of meetings (of course, that is the real reason we were there).
The real value I got out of this event was being able to connect with other organizers. Because this event had a smaller audience it was much easier to connect with other people. I met some new organizers from chapters I can probably help (Tucson, and Boulder), and of course was able to extend my friendship with some other regional leads I hadn't connected with previously (from the Utah Chapters).
The enthusiasm and energy of other organizers, and from the Googlers running the organization (particularly Martin Omander - who ran a tight ship, thankfully keeping everyone focused and on time) is infectious.
Computer History Museum
I took a detour while I was in San Jose, and visited the Computer History Museum. It was a lot of fun. It is well organized, and they had some fun old computers. I personally thought they displayed more computers from the distant past (up to 1960s), and I am more interested in the recent past (1970s up). They did have a lot of fun computers on display, and interesting information, and I highly recommend a visit.
Unfortunately, while I was there on-time for the demo of the "Babbage Engine", it jammed at the very start of the demo, so that was a bust.
Overall, it was a fun event, and a nice opportunity to re-energize. Thanks for the fun time Google Developer Group North America.