Photo: Matt Rosoff
Now that Skype is finally free from eBay and getting ready to do an IPO as an independent company, the company is planning a major expansion.It wants to hire 350 new employees this year, growing its headcount by about 50%. Most of the new hires will be engineers, and a lot of them will focus on improving Skype for business use and on mobile phones.
Hiring good engineers isn’t easy with the talent war going on in Silicon Valley, and an important element of recruiting is having a cool place to work.
Skype’s California offices were spread between two makeshift locations, including an old house on the eBay campus in San Jose. So last year it scouted locations up and down Silicon Valley, and finally decided on a Palo Alto building that had recently been vacated by VMware. Skype gutted it and redesigned it from scratch, then moved in December.
The space is still mostly empty, with lots of room to expand, but it looks like a pretty sweet place to work.
Here are a couple more phone booths. The workspace in front has a video camera -- for Skype calls, of course.
Here's a spot where people can gather around, plug their laptops into the A/V outlets in the middle, and give demonstrations on the screen.
Whiteboards are all over the place -- and they're all detachable, so engineers can take ideas back to their desks with them.
Four clocks on the wall outside the cafeteria, with their times set to California, London, Luxembourg, and Tallinn -- Skype's four main locations.
These video screens pull down over the clocks, and are used for weekly all-employee conferences among multiple offices.
Chairs that look like rocks, a conference room made of wine casks, and great views of California green space.