The trip to Dublin can only be subscribed as really great. My dad and I had a great time and I can really recommend it to everyone to visit this divers city.
We took an Aer Lingus flight from Amsterdam to Dublin and where only 30 minutes late, but this is something you get used to when you use the public transportation in Holland. The cab that we took drove straight through Dublin, the city is really huge! Traffic all over the place (on the wrong side of the road), almost no bikers and crowded streets. After we checked in we spend the afternoon walking around the main streets of Dublin and I went to Trinity to meet Edsko.
There seemed to be some confusion about the time of the meeting, but eventually Edsko and John showed up so we could get something to eat at the Mona Lisa. The food and the conversation was really nice. We talked about parsing PHP, the differences between the internal representations and living in Dublin. We concluded that the projects are not really compatible because the internal representations are really different. These internal representations of the PHP-sources can be made compatible from PHP-Sat to PHC, but not the other way around. The goals of the projects are also quit different, but we could probably learn something from each other. Although this conclusion is a bit of a disappointment I had a really nice time. Edsko also showed me some of the inside of Trinity College, which is definitely worth a visit. Thank you Edsko and John for a fun evening, I hope we meet again sometime.
The visit to Google was on Tuesday at 12 o'clock, so we still had to fill the morning with something useful. We visited to the national gallery which had an interesting exposition about the Irish culture in the last 200 years. They also have a (very large) collection of other paintings which were less interesting to me, but my dad seemed to like them.
And then it was finally time to go to the Google Office. Leslie could not make it because she was sick, but Rob Holland was kind enough to take over the coordination. We started the visit in the game-room which is filled with video-games, a snooker-table and a massage chair. We left our bags there and Rob showed us around the floor and the different teams. Everybody seemed to be busy, but they also took the time to say 'hi'.
After the tour we went downstairs to the restaurant. There was plenty of food (all free), drinks (all free) and ice-cream (again all free). The conversation with the engineers during lunch was very interesting. They have done some fun (and dangerous) experiments with various (expensive) toys, but they also work very hard.
We finished the visit with the lightning presentations of our projects. The topics of the projects were pretty far apart, but it is good to broaden your horizon.
The visit confirmed my expectations that working at Google is pretty cool, but you will still have to work hard. This is not so bad because the people seem to be very nice and intelligent and the atmosphere is great. Thank you Google for making this visit possible!
We flew back on Wednesday after visiting the Guinness-brewery, you just have to visit this brewery when you are in Dublin.
The overall conclusion is that the trip was fun, exciting and really interesting. It is hard to describe everything in words, but it was definitely cool!
But onto the next challenge. After spending about one hour figuring out all the dependencies for some yacc-converting tools I am going to hack some interesting functionality together. Stay tuned for more information about this incomprehensible remark.