It's hard to believe we have only been here for two days and have already done so much. Today we were able to visit two offices. First, we visited Weebly in the financial district, which was pretty close to our hotel. Weebly is a web hosting service that helps users create their own websites. After that, we used a service called "Lyft" to travel to Zynga on the other side of town to visit Adam Stavely's cousin, Grant. Between these two different visits, we were able to experience even more of San Francisco's start-up culture.
We arrived at Weebly around noon and were welcomed by their "Joyologist"/Secretary. Chris Fanini, Weebly's CTO and co-founder, met us in the lobby and gave us a tour of the main workspace, historical spaces of the building in which they reside, and the recreation room in the basement. We were able to check out the massage/video room and the secret room behind the bookcase. Unfortunately, I cannot divulge what lies behind the bookcase, but I can say that it was pretty awesome! An amazing catered lunch followed this. During lunch we were able to talk to some of the other employees and learn more about what they do at Weebly and how they arrived at their position within the company. Everyone was very welcoming and insightful. It was very reassuring to hear their stories, which were not so different from ours'. I spoke with a 2010 graduate from the College of IST at Penn State and found that we had many similarities. Many people, including the four of us initially, might be intimidated by some of the start-up speakers who visited Penn State. However, after talking to different employees and hearing their stories, I can safely say that there is nothing to fear. As long as you have some aptitude and a lot of motivation, there is nothing you cannot accomplish. The technical skills and knowledge will come to you from the things you experience and the tasks that are laid before you.
After eating lunch we talked with a Network Security specialist and then went to get coffee with Chris. He informed us that if we wanted to we would have the opportunity to visit Weebly’s data center and Dropbox on Thursday. We gladly accepted the invitation. It’s not too often students get to experience this many unique companies, and so we want to take advantage of every opportunity. Stay tuned for more information regarding the data center!