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Google Reviews in Mountain View, CA

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
2,790 Reviews
4.4
2,790 Reviews
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Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
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1,545 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

887 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Best place to work

    • 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 (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    A great place to work for its perks and benefits, apart from the challenging work opportunities and great work culture.

    Cons

    As the company is growing rapidly, and investing in various new technologies, its no longer a company where a small team can launch a game changing product.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Paradise lost.

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

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

    Pros

    Well, it's Google:) You get exceptional perks, including subsidized massages and gourmet food. The average intelligence level of employees is very high and most of the technologies you work on are bleeding edge. The company tries to maintain open information culture and keep people aware of what is going on.

    Cons

    I've joined in 2005 and Google in 2005, Google in 2008 and Google in 2013 are 3 different companies. The early years made Google the icon for IT world and it was respectfully so. However as the company grew the engineer-centric and open culture has began to disarray and the people (mostly in mid-to-senior management) that should have never been hired started to erode this culture. Now it is becoming more and more like other big corporations. It is still a great company to work for and far better that most of what is out there, but comparing to what it could have become...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to people's career paths within the company. If someone is working on "high value product" it is almost impossible to switch the team (especially if the team you want to go to is not HVP). Avoid bureaucracy as much as possible and worry less about what other companies do (like Facebook) and get back to "industries disruptor mode" in which Google excels at.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Amazing place to call work.

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

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

    Pros

    Freedom of creativity. I am able to create my own responsibilities and the folks I work with are incredibly intelligent, creating world changing consumer products.

    Cons

    It's really important to stay ahead of the group I support, but given things change on a daily basis, priorities are never the same from day to day. I don't consider this to be a con, but its something to consider. You must be adaptable as well as have a great sense of humor.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Best Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Leader in tech innovation, amazing work culture, great benefits including free food, bus service and much more. Transparency.

    Cons

    None that I can think of at this time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue the amazing work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Awesome environment

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    Friendly and helpful people around you.
    More than 20 cafes are available.
    Convenient transportation (Free shuttle and GBike)
    High salary of course

    Cons

    Campus is too big.
    Some projects are trivial.
    I cannot think of any more since Intern program is sooo fancy.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great company, but not a lot hope for temp to full-time employee conversion

    • 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 as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    It's the best place I've worked. Absolutely no doubt about that. High pay as a temp software engineer. Awesome software development tools. Fewer difficult prima donnas than you might expect for such an elite company. In fact my department had none.

    Cons

    I got hired as a temp with the understanding if all goes well would convert me. However, as many others have mentioned, it's quite the uphill challenge. I don't think it's because of my performance as they seem to like my contributions. It's almost as though because you are a temp, you are automatically branded as not as worthy as a FTE's. Having said that, I know one person who got converted, but he went through the same onerous interview process which he spent an entire 6 months preparing for, and had to join a completely different team.

    Don't join as a TVC thinking you'll have a better shot at getting in the door. It's actually the opposite. But if try anyways, do it with low expectations of any conversion. Temps are limited to 1 year max and then have to leave the company for 3 months before you can temp again. Note: some software engineers come in as a vendor and don't have the 1 yr restriction.

    As a TVC, you'll find roughly half the internal web pages are blocked since you are not a FTE, even ones you need to do your job, making it a frustrating experience to get things done. I often had bug coworkers to have them look something up for me, or just deal without the information I was seeking. Even the internal job postings are blocked.

    TVC=temp/vendor/contractor FTE=full time employee

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please give more respect to TVC's. I'm not asking to be treated the same or have equal access, but if someone is performing well, give them a better shot at FTE. After all, you have already spent a lot of money up front bringing a TVC up to speed.

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

    Mixed feelings

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

    I have been working at Google as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great perks, food, shuttle, gym, bikes
    I was a massage therapist so met a lot of great people as my clients.
    Everything was set up to give a good session

    Cons

    As a contractor nobody cares about your opinions or input to improve service and you are reminded of it constantly.
    Very poor communication with managment, especially by the end of your contract. Nobody gives you info about if you get hired or not, even once the process start its a crime to ask any questions. Very disappointing and inconsiderate interaction with google recruiter and no feedback or answer to questions from managment. They use you all year as a contractor and then garbage. Pretty sad to finish like that

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to put yourself instead of the contractor and at least answer the questions you're asked without making us feel like we're commuting a crime. Isn't google all about communication.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Excellent demanding and rewarding. Multiple assignments at once

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

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

    Pros

    Fast paced entrepreneurial difficult to pin mgmt down for feedback. Quick timeframe for promotion. Employees enjoy socializing with each other. GREAT benefits and flexible hours

    Cons

    Lack of mgmt focus...too many things at once. Mgmt frequently changes direction based on analytics ignoring qualitative feedback. Average good not great performing employees are ignored for the most part

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more engaged with employees

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

    It's what you make of it

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Working with smart, effective people: The average intelligence level here is considerably higher than anyplace else I've worked, and the people tend to be very diligent. When I need assistance from another engineer or another team, I typically get quick and effective help. Office politics exist, but compared to anywhere else I've worked they're not a problem.

    - Compensation / perks: I'm very satisfied with my compensation. The assorted perks are pretty valuable as well -- the food and fitness facilities are my favorites.

    - Work/life balance: From reading other reviews here it seems that experiences in this area vary. But mine have been excellent. I rarely work over 40 hours a week, and when I do it's because I personally feel engaged by what I'm working on, never because of pressure from my manager or team lead. I almost never check work emails during evenings or weekends, and when I come in to the office in the morning I don't find that they've been emailing me during that period. I actually have gotten gentle pushback from my team lead when I asked if he could log in from home later in the evening to review/approve a change I wanted to submit.

    Cons

    - Impostor syndrome: The flip side of working with so many smart and effective people is that it can be difficult to recognize your own value; if you're used to being the smartest guy in the room and suddenly you're surrounded by people who are at or above your ability, that can be a bit of a blow to the ego. I eventually worked through this, but it took the better part of a year.

    - Slow ramp-up: One of the drivers of impostor syndrome for me was that it took me a lot longer to find my footing and get effective here than at other jobs. Some of that is on me for not asking more questions, but I think more proactive support from leadership might have helped. The environment at Google is very unique and there's a lot to learn before an engineer can get things done.

    - Living in a bubble: The perks and so on make life at Google very comfortable. I can imagine that leaving that bubble will get difficult.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    amazing place

    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 an year)

    Pros

    Respects employees, smart and caring colleagues, lots of freedom

    Cons

    Should work and improve the hiring process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix hiring process to reduce the false positives.

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