Google Reviews in Mountain View, CA

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
2,477 Reviews

4.4
2,477 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,308 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 105 reviews)

  • Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro (in 220 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 100 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 71 reviews)

More Highlights

819 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 457 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 for 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
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company

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

    I worked at Google full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Amazing mobility - there is no company that has a leading presence in as many different areas of technology. Employees are able to switch roles and teams easily, it's like being able to get a new job without leaving the nest.

    Cons

    Big company issues - hard to grow scope and have an individual impact.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to keep people interested when significant promotion opportunities are hard to come by.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great work environment, incredibly smart co-workers, very collaborative.

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

    I worked at Google as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    It's Google. But seriously, tons of cool stuff going on, and the ability to impact lives at scale. The work is challenging.

    Cons

    It's easy to get caught up in the multitude of emails, especially when working on teams that cross timezones. Work-life balance is something that you have to specifically think about.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Smartest people ever

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

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

    Pros

    The people are amazing, everyone is super talented and smart. Food & other perks are generous. For a large company, has a superbly impressive culture and responsiveness to employees' desires.

    Cons

    Individual team/group culture varies widely, some are a lot more "fun" to work on than others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Strategically: keep it up! Larry is doing a great job internally. From a communications standpoint, I miss the days of Eric as CEO, as he's just so great at talking to the press and representing the company externally.

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

    My experience at google was nothing short of amazing

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

    I worked at Google full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    So many highlights including: intelligent people, expansive budgets to accomplish your department initiatives, great perks and an amazing work environment overall. Everyone is highly driven and ambitious and when I came into work every day, I literally felt that energy as soon as I walked in through the door. People who excel in this company are self-starters and creative people that are able to think quickly and outside of the box.

    Cons

    upward mobility is stagnant. perks can make most complacent and satisfied with their role level for years with no title promotions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    It's Google

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Smart people. Good engineering practices. Free food onsite three times a day is an essential convenience factor. Lots of opportunities for travel. Interesting projects. Compensation and benefits very generous. Lots of cool perks, fun offsites etc.

    Cons

    Capricious high-level management direction, some projects don't make sense. Working across many time zones in distributed offices is challenging at times.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    A Challenging and Exciting Time!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Google [X]  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Google [X] in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Having a voice with upper management.

    Cons

    None that I can think of off the top of my head.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you do!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Intense environment of hyper-competitive "A" players

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

    I have been working at Google full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It is an amazing place to challenge yourself. There are lots of perks, but at least from my experience you are going to work very hard to keep them.

    Cons

    You haven't seen politics like this Neverland before. Rich people that got in early, or industry professionals who have had too much reality to adapt is the norm. Ivy League MBAs are a dime a dozen. Egos are huge, and sometimes warranted. You will feel small time, and like an idiot for a long while after you start.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If I knew where the hell their head was at half the time I'd offer my .02 but money keeps rolling in and crazy ambition is always the M.O.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best Large Corp to work for

    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Perks, free lunches, etc. Google setup the current model for a lot of younger companies around the world and successfully created a culture of sharing and community.

    Cons

    Google will let you balance your life, but unless you're really good, expectations are high and a lot of overtime will be needed to reach up the ladder. Google won't force you, but it is still a meritocracy.

  11.  

    Amazing place, strong culture but not perfect for mid / senior level managers

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

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

    Pros

    Incredible culture; great transparency and excellent communication between senior management and the rest of the company. Very smart, motivated and fun people to work with. Incredibly fast paced and forward thinking company. Generally, very good products which are constantly improved on. Google is very consumer centric and also fast to learn and improve its products.

    Cons

    Google can be extremely competitive and is unrelenting in its pace. More importantly, for senior or mid level management you can hit a glass ceiling. The company is very product / eng driven which can at times be frustrating for sales & marketing people. Google is not organized structurally for employees looking for GM or P&L experience. It's too functionally structured for that. If you want to eventually manage a business then unless you're a product / eng person this might not be the right place for you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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