Thursday, November 10, 2016

Google Dine & Discover for Dubai Local Guides.

I started posting pictures and reviews in Google Maps, I was just doing it so that other people would have an idea of my experience with what this or that place is and help in some way, then learned about the rewards of doing so I upped my game, and out of nowhere got an invitation to a Google event and this is how it went down.

When I got the email my initial reaction was "Yes! I'm gonna have a career in Google!" but when the euphoria subsided and I started thinking rationally, my expectation of the meet up was grounded and said to myself that I'll just enjoy the food. By the way, to qualify for this event, you need to be at least a Level 4 or 5 Local Guide, more after the break.

The event date arrived and so have I at the Google office. When the event started and they've let us inside their offices, I was awestruck. The urban legend among techies is that Google has one of the best environment to work in, which in this case turned out to be a fact. Especially if you base it upon just by the look of their pantry which is the first place we saw and the food they serve, you'll immediately realize how true this. Oh, the food...

They've let us stuff our faces with all the food available in the pantry, you have shawarma and slider burgers, fresh salads of different varieties, a plethora of desserts, chocolates you can pocket, and a chef, A CHEF! that would cook a pasta of your choosing in front of you.

Once the dinner was done there was a little ice breaker and then we've gone down to brass tax. The discussion was about the improvement of the Google Maps through the help of the locals, ways on how to set up meet ups with Google's assistance which in turn would help in contributing to Maps, an example how this was done by some locals already here in Dubai, and last was a bonus, it's about how you can improve your photography skills with the right angle and lighting, and reviews by summarizing it to a few bullet points, which is not my style as you can see in this blog. I've recorded all these in my FB wall and embedded below.

Posted by Lorenzo Halili on Wednesday, November 9, 2016

After all these, we were left to have ourselves to meet other local guides and know each other. Took this opportunity to have a discussion with my peers, some have a lot to say, some don't, but everyone is friendly. I asked the moderator to have a group picture before anyone else leaves and the result was great.

The last part of the discovery is strolling around the Google Dubai Office. Now everything will be shown in the video below but all I can say is that I've never been to a nicer office in my working life.

At the end of it all, we were given some souvenirs and I stuffed my face some more until I'm about to regurgitate. Thanked our host and said my goodbyes for the wonderful experience.

A great experience trumps all the bad ones, no puns intended. I had a long tiring day at work, US voted for the craziest POTUS to date, my Granny's sister died at the sweet age of 94, and yet I've forgotten all about these for the brief moment I was at Google.

Looking forward to meet all if not most of the other Local Guides at the next meet up!


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