What is it really like to visit Silicon valley?

Last week I was in San Francisco for Javaone 2012. As I am not usually on the West Coast, I also took the opportunity to visit ‘Silicon valley‘ to see customers, potential customers and to be a tourist. I took my camera along with me so you can get a feeling for what it was like….

The easiest way to reach Silicon valley from San Francisco is by CalTrain which has a double deck and a ‘spaceship’ feel to it. I saw loads of Macs and IPads but there were more people in my carriage reading paperbacks than using Windows laptops.

You can also use the freeway to visit if you like spending time in your car.

Many people also take their bicycles on the train and then cycle the last part of the journey

The area is fairly hot and dry. If you are expecting a big Hollywoord style sign on the hill, you will be disappointed

Palo Alto station (jump off here for Stanford). Shouldn’t there be some statue or monument here?

Stop here not just for Google but Microsoft and lots of other famous names.

All the big companies provide free luxury coaches to take you to the office.

Driving past the LinkedIn offices. Silicon valley is best described as a huge Business Park with lots of offices.

Lots of famous names here but it is not all IT companies.

A vacant plot for the next big thing…

Any guesses who is based here…

Clue if you need any more help.

Google also does a pretty good lunch.

Men waste no opportunity to learn new information (I cannot comment on what the ladies do)

Oracle’s offices are not hard to find.

And Larry has his own little lake to practise for the America’s Cup

The area is hot and tropical.

There are lots of other office buildings where the next Facebook or Google are hiding

And finally home. The train is quiet outside rush hour.

What did you think of Silicon Valley?

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Mark Stephens

System Architect and Lead Developer at IDRSolutions
Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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About Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

4 thoughts on “What is it really like to visit Silicon valley?

  1. It’s a lot more spread out than I imagined. Really cool to see the big names nonetheless!

  2. Also does not have any clear bounds so hard to tell where it actually starts or ends!

  3. Hi Mark,

    Do they have free wireless everywhere? Like even on the Subway?

    How expensive is it to live there?

    Is it really always sunny as people say?

  4. Not everywhere. There is no subway in Sillicon valley – its the overland CalTrain. It is not really a city – just a collection of towns and business parks.

    It was very warm when I was there. And you can overhear some very interesting conversations in the local Starbucks!

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