Yesterday we were fortunate to have the opportunity to venture to the Google headquarters in Austin. As we got off the elevators, we were confronted first with a wall of "doodles," the favorites of everyone in the Austin office. Just as we suspected, the environment mirrored our Long-View environment: fresh and modern, open and collaborative!

Erin Mindell Cannon spoke to us about the history of Google, the culture of Google, Google's flat company structure, and some interesting projects that Erin's team is working on. We were all especially surprised that only about 15,000 employees are creating all the amazing Google products that are out there, being utilized by an enormous number of people across the world. 

After talking deeply about the importance of computer science (after all, 71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing and only 8% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science) and having the kids share with our Google reps more about why they love Computer Science and what they know how to do within Python, we moved to an activity that involved everyone in thinking more deeply about the importance of collaboration and communication. With a flat company like Google, effective communication and respecting diverse ways of thinking is key. Our Long-View crew came away with an even deeper understanding of the skills that we work daily to promote at Long-View.