San Francisco and the bay area are full of well-known tech companies. This space is very unique and unmatched by anywhere else in the world. We really enjoy the developer community that has been established. For almost any technology, the city has a regular meetup. Some tech companies open up their offices for these events, which allows us to peak into different company cultures.
It is incredible how big companies like Google and Facebook built their headquarters almost like little cities. They provide a lot of free services to their employees, like (healthy) meals, rental bikes and gym facilities. In GitHub‘s office the mascot “Octocat“ is omnipresent. The visitor entrance leads directly to a room that resembles the White House’s Oval Office—but for an Octocat president. Then, there are offices in San Francisco’s downtown that allow spectacular views over the waterfront and skyline. All of these extravaganzas demonstrate how hard it is for companies in the bay area to find talent and keep them.
So far, we have spent most of our time in the San Francisco and it's neighboring cities. Therefore, we decided to do a road trip and set out for Portland and Seattle -- 800 miles to the north of San Francisco.
In early November we attended Launch Hackathon in San Francisco. Within 48 hours we created a prototype for Problemkind, a web-app that let's you publish problems that cost you money, time or bother you in any other way. We really enjoyed getting to know the other contestants and seeing what they came up with.