Google

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12 people found this helpful  

Google:An Elitist's Playground

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Risk Analyst in Mountain View, CA
Former Employee - Risk Analyst in Mountain View, CA

I worked at Google

Pros

When people think of working for Google, the food and facilities are generally what come to mind first…and those are the best parts. Google fosters a college or academic feel where you never need to leave the campus in order to find sustenance or a respite from the daily grind. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered Monday through Friday, and the food is pretty good (keep in mind I'm comparing it to other free food…so how can you really complain?). Google-colored Swiss balls (those bouncy orbs you see freakishly fit people doing sit-ups on in infomercials) invade the office cubicles and give the workspace a much more play-pen sort of feel. To bolster the dorm room ambiance, Google also supplies pinball machines; foosball, ping pong & pool tables; and assorted video games. Foam darts are passed out for 'dart wars' during especially hectic times, and silently encourage the employees to roll away from their ergonomically arranged desks to fling projectiles at unsuspecting coworkers. After a grueling week of work, an employee can look forward to a company-funded bender in the form of microbrew beer (both on tap and in bottles!), wine, and the occasional Jell-O shot. If the alcohol upsets your stomach and a retreat to a bathroom is what you crave, fear not! In addition to having showers in almost every building, Google boasts toilets with heated seats, built-in bidets, and dryers for those who prefer to relieve themselves in a more "green" fashion.

Cons

If you enjoy your individuality and time alone, Google is not the place for you (keep in mind I’m not an engineer). Google pushes a highly "googley" atmosphere, which is something akin to what the Brady Bunch would be like if they lived in communist Russia. Everything from the carpet to the bathroom tiles incorporate the Google colors into its design. People are encouraged to have googley attitudes, wear plastic smiles, and not to question the infallible nature of the executive management group. Marathon hours are the standard because, after all, employees are practically encouraged to bring a cot and sleep there…barracks coming soon (really?! no, not really). If you like feeling awkward during forced group activity, Google is your haven. It isn't exactly "forced" (no guns), but if you don't participate you become labeled as "ungoogley." Once deemed “ungoogley”, you're practically viewed as a rotten apple that threatens to spoil the bunch. If you can endure and appreciate the googley atmosphere, you might also enjoy Google's uncanny ability to clot information within the hierarchy. Very little is shared throughout the company because from the moment you're hired, secrecy is revered. But to be honest, most of those who read this review won't even be able to get a job there. Whether you're right out of college or are putting your kids through college, your academic standing will be asked about, your transcripts required. If you went to Podunk U, your chances are worse than the rumored 1% of applicants. I'm not saying that high standards aren't important, but Google discriminates against creative and diverse applicants by employing such arbitrary standards. Google (generally) hires the elite who have elitist attitudes…probably not the best way to understand what the masses want.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Stop acting as those you're King Midas…just because you struck it rich with AdWords does not mean whatever you create will be tech gold. For a company that prides itself on innovation, I can't think of any product Google has released since AdWords that has been truly innovative…unless you are calling Google's mergers and acquisitions innovative (just because Google owns YouTube does not mean you can take credit for the innovation). You aren't above traditional marketing, and when the AdWords profits stagnate, you'll change your tune. Google has only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of users, but seems to focus on a very small niche of the internet market (we're not all open-source users and tech-geeks [don't get me wrong, I love a good tech geek]); it's in the company's best interest to drop the elitist niche/attitude and truly become the people's company.

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

2934 Other Employee Reviews for Google (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Awesome culture, bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    The perks and the culture is not only conductive to thinking and personal growth, but also fun.

    Cons

    While the flat structure aids quick development of ideas, many managers are not people persons and are fairly inexperienced (as managers, while they're great software engineers). For newbies this can be frustrating because of the lack of downwards managerial communication.

    On top of that, the lack of clear policies and rules about things like WFH and OOO while make it easier to have a personal life highlight the disparity between well-connected Googlers (who might be friends with their managers) and the others.

    Lastly, product/project managers, ubertechs and swengs often fight about silly stuff, leaving innocent bystanders merely confused.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please work on forming specific policies and training managers to be managers.

    The intern program (where software engineers have a direct report for the first time) needs to be overhauled badly. While Google is awesome and all, many interns did not have clear directions, guidance, or feedback from their sponsors/managers.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fun at first, frustrating in the long run.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Strategist in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Account Strategist in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    Google has a really strong reputation and is a word leader in internet technology. Working at Google opens a lot of doors for later employment externally and also gives you a lot of insight into what it's like to work for a large company that is still in a growth phase. Google also hires very intelligent, hardworking individuals, so you meet a lot of amazing people and work with them every day. It also provides great benefits (health, dental, etc.), and a lot of really nice perks (free food, gym, special guests/events). It's also a good first place to work in Silicon Valley because you learn a lot very quickly about the Valley's culture from an established organization.

    Cons

    The downsides of working at Google depend largely on the department that you're dealing with. The sales organization is highly disorganized and has a glut of middle management. Management and structure are obviously necessary in all companies, but the sales org at Google has too many managers, many of whom are ill-qualified to be managing other people. There are also a lot of politics surrounding promotions, etc. because of this large middle management structure. It also causes a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy which slows down work and can be extremely frustrating for individuals who are still on the lower rungs of the ladder.

    Additionally, at least within the sales org, there appears to be virtually no real career path or hope for development/promotion. Managers are hired from outside (with MBAs being strongly preferred), which is frustrating and demoralizing for employees who have worked for years without being moved up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The senior management at Google needs to do a better job of unifying the company across functional groups. The engineers, PR, marketing, sales, etc. are all kept very separate which often creates a feeling of competition between the groups. It also creates jealousy and bitterness, especially since the engineering groups are seen as being favored by upper management.

    No opinion of CEO
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