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Google Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated January 19, 2015
Updated January 19, 2015
2,959 Reviews
4.4
2,959 Reviews
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Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,633 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

156 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 119 people found this helpful  

    Great balance between big-company security and fun, fast-moving projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    * If you're a software engineer, you're among the kings of the hill at Google. It's an engineer-driven company without a doubt (that *is* changing, but it's still very engineer-focused).
    * The perks are amazing. Yes, free breakfast, lunch, an dinner every weekday. Aaaaaamazing holiday parties (at Waldorf Astoria, NY Public Library, MoMA, etc.); overnight ski trips to Vermont; overnight nature trips to the Poconos in the summer; summer picnics at Chelsea piers; and on and on and on. I don't see this going away unless the company starts hurting financially.
    * Speaking of which, the company is doing quite well, which reflects in bonuses and equity grants.
    * There a huge diversity of work ranging from defending independent journalism worldwide (Google Project Shield) to crisis response during disasters (see Maps during Hurricane Sandy or Tsunamis), to the best machine learning experts and projects in the world, to more mundane revenue-driving projects in advertising, there's really something for everybody.
    * It's easy to move around within the company as long as you're in good standing (the vast majority of engineers are).
    * The company is amazingly open: every week Larry Page and Sergey Brin host what's called TGIF where food, beer, wine, etc. is served, a new project is presented, and afterward there's an open forum to ask the executives anything you want. It's truly fair game to ask anything, no matter how controversial, and frequently the executives will be responsive.
    * No, nobody cares if you use an iPhone, Facebook, shop with Amazon, stream using Spotify, or refuse to use Google+. The company is amazingly open and flexible.

    Neither pro nor con, but general information on work-life balance, promotions, and advancement.
    * Work life balance can be what you want it to be on most teams. (Some teams are in more competitive sectors and require more crazy hours all the time - but very few of them). If you do what's expected, you'll be fine at least for a handful of years. Working a roughly 40 hour work week is possible, and many people do it. There are also people who are hyper-motived and work like crazy just because they love it, or because they're competitive, or they want to get a promotion. If you work 40 hour weeks without putting in anything extra, you'll fall behind them as they advance and you stand still - and maybe that doesn't matter, so it works out for everybody. But at least know where you would realistically stand.
    * If you excel and work your butt off, you'll be compensated and promoted. If you let yourself be a code monkey, and just sit coding with your head down all day, you'll be fine but won't advance. A big complaint from some Googlers is about not being able to advance "even at Google" with pure coding. Sure, if you're the uber genius who created MapReduce and Bigtable, you're going to advance like a rocket without having to do anything but coding; but if you're like most engineers at Google -- smarter than average, but just average compared to other Googlers -- you're just a good coder and not revolutionary. Code monkeys are important to actually get stuff done, and to be sure you absolutely need to be a good coder as a software engineer (it's the minimum requirement), but code monkeys won't advance because they're not leaders and they're easy to replace. To get promoted you need to lead and do more than just code. There are plenty of ways to lead other than being an official tech lead, so this isn't actually _that_ hard, so the real point is just that you can't just sit there coding what other people tell you to code all day and expect to advance.

    Cons

    * It *is* becoming larger, and with it comes growing pains: bureaucracy, slow to respond to market threats, bloated teams, cross-divisional tension (though nothing remotely approaching that of Microsoft's internal tension).
    * The quality of the engineers is possibly dropping, but possibly not. It's hard to get real metrics, because as the absolute number of people grows, naturally the number of bad apples grows; as a percentage it's supposedly the same as it ever was, but with larger numbers of poorer quality engineers it just _feels_ like things might be changing for the worse.
    * Also with growth means more internal-confidential data leaks (again, because of the raw numbers of people) -- product announcements being ruined, etc. That means the company has to be tighter-lipped internally to avoid leaks, which makes things less open. It's still an amazingly open place, but less so than it was even a couple years ago. The good thing is they recognize it and actively look to improve things because they know how important it is to keep the good culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the focus on the user. Everything else will follow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 12 people found this helpful  

    One hell of a place to fall into a a lifelong groove.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Google full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Stellar resources. Amazing compensation and benefits. The hours can be long, but the emphasis on work life balance is part of the company culture.

    Cons

    Google can be just a little stuck up. I worked with Google as part of an company acquisition and the hazing went far beyond the pale - they took out a banner ad targeted at my company with a picture of a pig so discouraging us from eating at their company cafeteria!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great perks, but they own you and it's driving the entrepreneurial types away

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Google hires very smart people and allows them to participate in the culture. This means your coworkers will likely be very interesting and fun, and you'll probably enjoy the office environment immensely. You'll learn a lot. The hours are very flexible and the company takes the notion of work-life balance as it applies to the workday very seriously (though there's a dark reason for this). And the perks are second to none. Compensation is also quite competitive as you rise through the ranks.

    And the food! I still dream about the food.

    It's a great place to build a stable career if you love coding but aren't super-entrepreneurial and don't make tons of contributions to open source projects (see the cons for why these would be issues). The workplace environment is often replicated, but nobody else has matched it yet.

    Cons

    The cons are flipped versions of the pros: Google hires very smart people and then puts them in fairly mundane roles. They used to try to take your preferences into account when allocating; they seem to do much less of this as they've grown. If you're at all purpose-driven, you'll eventually become restless at work, looking for something with more meaning than the project you're on. You could potentially 20% something, but that notion has always applied more to some groups than others, and the company has tended to downplay it in recent years.

    More disturbingly, there's a severe opportunity cost to your side projects: their position is that everything that you do in your personal time belongs to them, although that is not what the employment agreement says and would be an unenforceable position in California. They instead get around this by suggesting that everything that touches the web or mobile (and perhaps the desktop as well) is competitive with them. There's a committee that will examine ideas, but it appears to be moribund.

    Google has grown tremendously, and systematized to the point where it's a large machine, needing an increasing number of cogs to keep the engine running. The culture has been eroding recently because the company hasn't been able to reconcile it with its growth, and because the company has sidetracked from its core mission and thrown resources at "me-too" projects such as Google+. I predict that this will hurt the company's outlook in the long term, as most of its revenue generation still comes from relatively few core activities which are exposed to market and competitive risks. As it becomes less entrepreneurial, it becomes less able to diversify into new areas, and thus becomes less resilient. I would expect this to take 5-10 years to become apparent (the market would need to shift in a way that causes one of their pillars to collapse), which means that it may not be an issue for most people considering it now.

    One other thing I've found is that while they care collectively about their engineers a great deal, they're generally not very willing to go out on a limb to make individuals happy. Food and facilities people are the exception, as they do often take engineers' feedback into account.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recapture the entrepreneurial spirit and let the creative people you hired innovate.
    Stop trying to clone Facebook and focus on what you're good at.
    Diversify your revenue streams, or the market will eventually smack you.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Work/life balance, interesting projects, fun people, stress-free environment.

    Cons

    None that I can think of, anymore ...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Ridiculous impact

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Where else do you get to work on a product used by hundreds of millions of people?

    Cons

    Occasional excessive bureaucracy. Whiny people

    Recommends
  7.  

    Smart people tackling big problems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Smart coworkers, a great overall mission, fantastic perks, supportive environment, ability to achieve work/life balance.

    Cons

    You need to spend quite a bit of time learning about home-grown internal tools that you'll be using in place of popular, widespread open-source technologies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Help full

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Visa Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Visa Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    You assist people whom are traveling to India. You also learn the procedure for international travel.

    Cons

    Start up companies can be a bit of a hasel in regards to stability

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Organization is key

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Most stressful job ever. You get fired if you even sneeze too loud.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - GSX Operator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - GSX Operator in New York, NY

    I worked at Google full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The Pay was great, when you got hours.

    Cons

    No Union, no sense of security, horrible working conditions, your not allowed to have a voice. No one seems to know what's going on, rules change every week. There are non stop emails and sometimes even phone calls during your personal time. Even after a 10 hour shift you only get 30 minutes lunch. You often have to perform the role of 3 people at once.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop depending on a daily feedback form from each operator & actually spend some time in store to witness 1st hand what is going on, rather than sitting behind a computer all day dictating.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good work environment, good pay, great perks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I worked at Google full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    - People are smart, projects are generally intellectually stimulating for engineers
    - Good career options
    - Positive signaling for the future (saying you worked at Google will help you for life)
    - The in-house perks (esp. food) are awesome.

    Cons

    - Things move pretty slowly. Projects can take years to ship.
    - Your experience will depend on your team. I've heard wildly different stories of Google experiences from people on different teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing company, great culture, some of the best people I've ever met

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    -Amazing people
    -Very few companies are innovating at this scale
    -Can move around internally, by location or fuction, pretty easily
    -Amazing place to learn, build network and gain perspective that is hard to get elsewhere
    -Company culture is fantastic. People can really be themselves and that is embraced.

    Cons

    -Becoming a bigger company
    -Promotions can be frustrating

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Moving up is becoming very difficult. Promotion cycles and performance review system are very frustrating.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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