Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google Pittsburgh Gets New Digs

Google officially unveiled its new Pittsburgh office today, which is complete with an on-site chef, pool table and netting in the ceiling where engineers can lounge, bounce and swing while they work on their latest algorithm. More than 150 Google employees now call the top two floors of Bakery Square home. Google Pittsburgh Director Andrew Moore says they plan to grow the Pittsburgh staff. “Our growth is only limited by the number of world class engineers, mathematicians and computer sciencetists we can find for the Pittsburgh office,” says Moore. Google’s first Pittsburgh office was on the CMU campus but some employees moved over to the old NABISCO plant as early as August.

Moore says the East Liberty location is perfect for Google. He says the staff is close to the CMU and Pitt campuses and many of the professors and grad students on which the company relies live nearby. Moore says the building also has great views of the city and he loves the old macheniery that was left behind. He says it is a reminder “old heavy engineering” as Google employees do the “heavy engineering of today.”

The Pittsburgh site focuses primarily on “making shopping more fun and interesting.” Moore says the “Googlers” work on the algorithms that help decided what advertiser links you will see at the top and right of the search page. “If the mathematicians and computer scientists in Pittsburgh are doing their job right you see very relevant and useful advertisements, if the are making horrible blunders then you see irrelevant advertisements.”

Moore admits that when Google tries to recruit potential employees who have not been to Pittsburgh they are often skeptical but he says once they visit their attitudes change. Google employees often move from one office to another during their careers with Google. More says over all, more people are moving into the Pittsburgh office than out of the office.

Moore says there is a great and growing synergy among high tech firms in Pittsburgh and he is pleased that Google can be part of it. He says there is a feeling of cooperation among high-tech firms. However, he says that falls apart during the annual baseball game between Pittsburgh Google interns and Pittsburgh Disney interns.

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