Google

www.google.com
Employer Engaged

Google Reviews in California

Updated March 1, 2015
Updated March 1, 2015
1,106 Reviews
4.4
1,106 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,106 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 140 reviews)

  • Free food onsite three times a day is an essential convenience factor (in 262 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 122 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 93 reviews)

More Highlights

1,106 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 22 people found this helpful  

    The best place I've worked and also the most demanding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    You can't find a more well-regarded company that actually deserves the hype it gets.

    You'll work on cutting edge projects / solve important issues that impact your community and the world

    You'll meet interesting people who are your colleagues, managers, and senior management.

    You'll open the paper and see your company in the news almost every day, and read about projects you're working on, which is a cool thing

    You'll see Larry and Sergey at TGIF and you'll admire how they lead the company. They are brilliant, goofy, low key but intense, and likeable.

    There are 22 cafes (more or less), the food is excellent, and it's free.

    Your pay will typically be competitive, though it needs to be tweaked up a bit since the economy has improved.

    Google cares about how it treats its employees.

    The campus is like an academic campus in many ways.

    There are tons of activities on campus, like authors speaking about their books, films after work, and gyms where you can work out - but you'll need to make sure to carve out time to do these things.

    You'll get plenty of external validation from people who suddenly think you're smart and rich because you work there, even if you're not rich and you're as smart when you didn't work at Google.

    If and when you leave, you'll never regret having that company on your resume. It opens doors.

    The company is flexible - if you're lucky, you won't have a micromanager boss and you can be somewhat flexible in how you work - but don't get me wrong - you'll work a LOT. But you don't have to do all of it chained to your desk.

    Cons

    I live in SF so the commute can take between 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours each way on the shuttle - sometimes 2 hours each way on a busy day or rainy day. That means being on the bus for 3-4 hours PER DAY. It's a wired bus though which means you can work on the way to Mountain View. But it can feel brutal.

    Your first year or two are really important in terms of your career at Google and they affect how you're viewed, and your ability to be promoted. You should always ask to work on high profile projects. If you don't get them, don't expect to get high ratings or get promoted. Always volunteer for cross functional group work for maximum exposure, and then work hard at those things.

    You'll likely work on something that no one will explain to you and it will take you at least a year to be comfortable doing what you're working on, even if you're super quick at learning. No one has time to train you or teach you what you're doing - which is kind of hard.

    After two or three years, people you started out with at Google start to get promoted. If you're not one of them, you'll wonder why and how it happened, and that process is somewhat political and not always clear.

    It's a big company now. And super political. So don't be naive. Expect some people to be catty, some people to be territorial, and be prepared to be mentally tough. Don't let people see your vulnerableness. It's a Darwinistic culture with a huge dose of 30-something idealism on top which can fool you into thinking that people are easygoing - they're not. They're driven. If you're not driven, you're not going to fit in.

    When you start at Google, it seems like peer reviews are super important - they are, but they are the sprinkles on the fro yo. The important thing is that your direct manager knows your work, likes your work and likes you, and then you can get promoted. If your boss doesn't like you, all the positive peer reviews in the world won't help you. Make sure you know what your boss wants, and give it to them. You will have weekly one on ones, and make sure you are addressing your performance at each one, asking if they have questions, how you can improve, can you work on cross functional projects, etc.

    It's really hard to find work life balance at Google. The workload is huge. I hardly have time to work out. The commute is brutal. My family sometimes needs more from me and I can't give it. I'm still trying to find the balance. I think I need more down time than most people so I have a hard time being structured every day to fit all the things I want into my day, so a lot of things slip, like working out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep on NOT micromanaging - that is a huge benefit to Google. Most of us have a huge workload and we work in spikes and not chained to our desks, and we care deeply about producing, and we produce a lot. We can do that because you respect us enough to give us some freedom in how we do our jobs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 858 people found this helpful  

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    1) Food, food, food. 15+ cafes on main campus (MTV) alone. Mini-kitchens, snacks, drinks, free breakfast/lunch/dinner, all day, errr'day.

    2) Benefits/perks. Free 24:7 gym access (on MTV campus). Free (self service) laundry (washer/dryer) available. Bowling alley. Volley ball pit. Custom-built and exclusive employee use only outdoor sport park (MTV). Free health/fitness assessments. Dog-friendly. Etc. etc. etc.

    3) Compensation. In ~2010 or 2011, Google updated its compensation packages so that they were more competitive.

    4) For the size of the organization (30K+), it has remained relatively innovative, nimble, and fast-paced and open with communication but, that is definitely changing (for the worse).

    5) With so many departments, focus areas, and products, *in theory*, you should have plenty of opportunity to grow your career (horizontally or vertically). In practice, not true.

    6) You get to work with some of the brightest, most innovative and hard-working/diligent minds in the industry. There's a "con" to that, too (see below).

    Cons

    1) Work/life balance. What balance? All those perks and benefits are an illusion. They keep you at work and they help you to be more productive. I've never met anybody at Google who actually time off on weekends or on vacations. You may not hear management say, "You have to work on weekends/vacations" but, they set the culture by doing so - and it inevitably trickles down. I don't know if Google inadvertently hires the work-a-holics or if they create work-a-holics in us. Regardless, I have seen way too many of the following: marriages fall apart, colleagues choosing work and projects over family, colleagues getting physically sick and ill because of stress, colleagues crying while at work because of the stress, colleagues shooting out emails at midnight, 1am, 2am, 3am. It is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to change.

    2) Poor management. I think the issue is that, a majority of people love Google because they get to work on interesting technical problems - and these are the people that see little value in learning how to develop emotional intelligence. Perhaps they enjoy technical problems because people are too "difficult." People are promoted into management positions - not because they actually know how to lead/manage, but because they happen to be smart or because there is no other path to grow into. So there is a layer of intelligent individuals who are horrible managers and leaders. Yet, there is no value system to actually do anything about that because "emotional intelligence" or "adaptive leadership" are not taken seriously.

    3) Jerks. Sure, there are a lot of brilliant people - but, sadly, there are also a lot of jerks (and, many times, they are one and the same). Years ago, that wasn't the case. I don't know if the pool of candidates is getting smaller, or maybe all the folks with great personalities cashed out and left, or maybe people are getting burned out and it's wearing on their personality and patience. I've heard stories of managers straight-up cussing out their employees and intimidating/scaring their employees into compliance.

    4) It's a giant company now and, inevitably, it has become slower moving and is now layered with process and bureaucracy. So many political battles, empire building, territory grabbing. Google says, "Don't be evil." But, that practice doesn't seem to be put into place when it comes to internal practices. :(

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Don't dismiss emotional intelligence and adaptive leadership. They're not just catch phases. You need great managers and leaders in order to build great companies and develop great employees. The people who may be brilliant at solving technical issues may not be (and are most often, not) the best candidates for management.

    2) Do something about that work-ife balance. Don't just have a bunch of pow-wows and tech talks and discussions about it. Leadership should actually model it. Consider re-evaluating how work is done; what processes are in place that are inefficient and ineffective and need to be updated or removed?

    3) Don't forget that there is already a pool of incredibly talented people within the company. If career development is really a goal at Google, then do it. Don't just hire from the outside. Take the time to help your employees develop their careers - then maybe you won't lose some of the great ones, and maybe you'll have prevent some of that burn out and disillusionment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    BOLD Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - BOLD Intern in Mountain View, CA
    Former Intern - BOLD Intern in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Best experience of my life. I recommend it to everybody I meet. I had the time of my life over the summer I was here. My coworkers were great, my work was interesting, I joined some intramural teams, I ate lots of good food, and more than anything it opened SO MANY doors for me down the road by having Google on my resume.

    Cons

    I came into the BOLD program because I didn't find a placement within the more traditional Software Engineering Intern role (I had accommodations for my interview which pushed back the timeline of when they could be performed... so I passed the technical screen and got through to the the team placement phase but ended up running out of time before I got placed). Anywho, BOLD is not really set up for technical interns, so there were some issues getting access to the coding resources I needed when I arrived and it was a little haphazard on that front. But I think that's probably just unique to my situation given that I was an eng in the BOLD program. The rest of the BOLDers (business/law/finance people) didn't seem to have any troubles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep on keeping on. You guys rock! I only wish that I been exposed to the idea of an internship at Google earlier (I did it my senior year). To that end, I would love to see a larger push on campuses to apply, as I didn't hear about anyone from my school (NYU) talking about/applying to the program. In fact, I think there were only 2 of us who did so. I don't know how she knew to do it, but I heard through my disability network (Lime Connect) which isn't of much use to the rest of the normally functioning students.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Lots of opportunities

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people, hard problems, very competitive salary and the best benefits around.

    Cons

    Can be hard to advance with so many great people around you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Paradise with a few setbacks

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There are so many people who are recognized world-wide and have their own wikipedia page that you can meet while working at this company. There is also a death benefit, which is when a Google employee passes away, their stock vests immediately, and their surviving spouse receives 50% of their salary for the next 10 years. They really do want to take care of you.

    Cons

    This is just the inevitable problem associated with companies that amass a large size and establishment in the market, but it's hard for employees themselves to innovate. Also, there are just too many over-qualified employees at Google who are relegated to simpler roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Regress to the original organization of a startup: zero committees. Everyone must have a voice in innovating.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Segment Lead in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Segment Lead in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers, perks, salary, interesting products, great career opportunities.

    Cons

    The Bay Area is getting increasingly expensive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great overall working experience here.

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and great employee interactions.

    Cons

    The commute from San Francisco can be a little long but is rewarding when you get to work here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing. It's working out great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Incredible mentorship and intern work that was deep and substantial

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - User Interaction Design in Mountain View, CA
    Former Intern - User Interaction Design in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    My manager, and other designers and engineers on my team, took the time to tell me about the history of the product I was working on, and what design and development work was currently happening. I felt very involved and invested in everything my team was working on, even though I only directly worked on a few things. My manager also made sure I could choose between a few intern projects according to my goals. I ended up working on something that I was deeply interested in, allowed me to build important skills (that have been extremely valuable in searching for future internships)…and it shipped! I became close to other design interns, and many of them had stories about their managers searching out projects and opportunities where they could make a—excuse the cliché—substantial impact.

    The design community within Google is extremely welcoming, and I met some great designers across the company who were very willing to give career advice. There were tons of internal resources to help me learn the ropes and teach myself some new skills.

    Obviously, the perks were great. But I think the professional mentorship and experience I got (I have an awesome thing to put in my portfolio, too!) would have made it worth it even if I didn't get free food.

    Cons

    I was never too lazy to walk to the kitchenette for snacks, but I was always too lazy to go to the gym. Struggles.

    (No cons, really. The entire experience was great for me.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Google's internship program isn't used to supporting design interns. A few things from the first few weeks bothered me—a lot of the "welcome to Google!" onboarding stuff assumed everyone was an engineering intern, and I was assigned a Chromebook (how am I going to design with that?) my first week. My manager had to put in extra work to get my equipment to me so I could start working on a project.

    I would have loved more events specific to design interns—lectures, round tables, social events. I think this is something that needs to improve as Google continues to hire more design interns.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Amazing benefits and relaxed work experience with lots of opportunities for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - User Experience Intern in Mountain View, CA
    Former Intern - User Experience Intern in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are great, the attitude is really relaxed. People are very willing to chat with you about anything and they really want to share their knowledge with people The lifestyle is amazing, with opportunities for improvement in all areas that you could imagine including health

    Cons

    There is the tendency to stay on campus really late so work life balance isn't great. I'd also say the feedback system was lacking and my specific manager was not always helpful when I was trying to get advice on how to improve.

    Recommends
  11.  

    Interesting experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I definitely enjoyed working with all the smart and motivated people in the company.
    They also treat their employees very well and I always felt needed, which I think it is a very strong motivator aside from the perks.
    They are also very flexible with time off and working from home, which also I respect, because they understand that their employees have their own lives to lead and work dosent always come first.

    Cons

    Sometimes, people seem a bit pretentious. Working with some of these people with large egos could be challenging and dosent make for the best work environment.
    However, most of the time, the management is very in tune and sought to avoid problems with employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

Work at Google? Share Your Experiences

Google

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.