Yesterday evening I went to the Google offices by Victoria Station in London for the thirteenth Girl Geek Dinner
. This was the first one I've attended at a different venue, and I was interested to see the Google offices. They're in Belgrave House on Buckingham Palace Road - an impressively large building which also houses American Express (I think). The event itself was held in the staff canteen, and Google had laid-on food, booze and so on, as well as some cute promotional stuff. Top marks for all of that.
The first talk was given by Shivauna Raff, who talked about the future of search. She touched on some interesting stuff about vertical searching, and how she thinks the search market will go generally. The next talk was by the Google team behind the mobile version of Google Checkout. They had some interesting tales of the rather painful-sounding world of getting applications to run on phone... not an inconsiderable challenge when you consider the different phones that exist, and the fact that the same phone models can differ when used on different networks!
The way that products are developed within Google provoked some discussion. For the size of the company and number of users, Google use quite small development teams. This surprised some of the audience, but I think Google must have something right! I'll argue about the best way of doing things with them once I've made my own billions...
Sarah recorded the talks - you can find them on Viddler
. You can also see Jane Dallaway's photos on Flickr