Cyber Crime students visit Google European HQ

On a lovely sunny Wednesday the FOR360 cybercrime class paid a visit to Google’s Dublin HQ. It was a short and pleasant walk along the Grand Canal past the Industrial Development Authority building in Wilton Place, home of one of the organisations instrumental in getting Google to locate in Ireland.

Once there the scale of Google’s presence in Dublin became apparent as after our arrival at the original building in Barrow Street we were informed that we needed to go to Grand Canal place. This in turn was around the corner from their newest premises “The Montevetro” the building itself is the tallest commercial building in Ireland, standing at sixty-seven metres high with 210,000 square feet of office space across 15 storeys.

Google Dublin looks after the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) and their new building is necessary to cope with their expansion of services and applications.

Our host was John Looney a graduate of DCU who kindly donated some of his time to let us within the walls. John is now the Site Reliability Engineer Team Lead at Google so he could show us the Google-style of working. This meant a lot of open-plan style offices but no cubicles rather areas within which teams were located and every such room had a breakout soft area for impromptu meetings as well as “hard” offices that could be booked.

Each floor then had the famous Google touches – a hardware engineering room with drills, routers and oscilloscopes for relaxation. The massage area and my favourite was an area based on the mythical tales of Finn McCuathaill complete with hand-made bronze shields and swords, some crafted by John.

Champlain Dublin FOR 360 students (l to r Hayes Heck, Matt Frost, Dan Doonan, and Shannon MacMahon with their Google host John Looney)

There were also walls dedicated to the history of the microprocessor with embedded chips and circuit diagrams.

And here was Daniel Doonan’s impression:

“The first thing that stood out for me upon visiting Google’s Dublin offices, was just how well they treat their employees. It was obvious to me that the company’s philosophy revolves around having high morale in their work force. Every single floor of the building had a lounge with comfortable furniture and free snacks, one floor even had a replica Irish pub(without alcohol). I was also impressed by the ‘cubicles’, or rather just sections of the room devoted to a certain task. I had always heard stories of how well that Google treats their employees, but seeing it first hand was something else.”

Finally another student when asked to comment said “I would find it hard to get beyond the food”. Their staff café is actually a gourmet restaurant, the produce is incredibly fresh, the choice is outstanding and sitting at lunch surrounded by the international staff of Google Dublin it became clear why many would want to come and then decide to stay.

If you would like to see some of the Googlers they created a street view scene at Barrow Street as an in-joke. Go to Google Maps Barrow Street Dublin, then change to streetview.

Many thanks to John Looney for giving us unrivalled access to the Google world in Dublin.

Renaat Verbruggen – Cyber Crime (FOR 360) instructor at Champlain College Dublin

More Dublin
Getting Through Immigration
Course Highlight: Advanced Art History – Creative Dublin
Student Driven Tour!