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Google Reviews in New York, NY

Updated November 20, 2014
Updated November 20, 2014
2,697 Reviews
4.4
2,697 Reviews
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Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,489 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 128 reviews)

  • Free food onsite three times a day is an essential convenience factor (in 252 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 115 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 85 reviews)

More Highlights

145 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 79 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 an 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.  

    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
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awesome company, but sales organization is not what it used to be

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture, smart people, innovative company, excellent perks, solid salaries

    Cons

    Overrun by McKinsey consultants, sales culture is not "fun," executive management keeps people on their heels, not their toes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time to change Americas leadership. McKinsey consultants are not well liked by sales organization or clients

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Nice work space and free food!

    • 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 as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    It's Google. Famous enough. Lots of games, free food and high payment. Nothing to be worried about.

    Cons

    Hard to get promoted. Hard to get a conversion from an internship into a fulltime. Take a risk.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    fantastic

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

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

    Pros

    its nice amazing quite cool

    Cons

    not at all its fine

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    great

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Amazing experience, now a big company

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working alongside incredibly smart people. High benchmark for social interactions, always reading about what new and innovative teams alongside you are working on

    Cons

    The work life balance isn't what it seems, you really do need to work extremely hard to get ahead. It's in the advanced stages of becoming another big company, so you've really lost the sense of intimacy and flexibility that came with a smaller company. The reorgs that happen every 2-3 years get old after awhile as you're constantly reshuffled to new teams and managers.

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

    Great on paper, miserable in reality

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Leading company
    Smart coworkers
    Strong senior leadership
    Great products
    World-class benefits
    Delicious and free food all day long
    Decent work/life balance in certain orgs
    Envy of friends and family

    Cons

    Terrible place for career advancement and developing new skills: promotions are more difficult and much less frequent vs. similar companies and are just as political...95% of folks are top overachievers anyways, so competition is fierce and slots are few.
    Flawed leveling/stack ranking process inhibits growth, opportunities to transfer, and eventually impacts sense of self-worth and work ethic (burnout is inevitable as mentioned).
    Little to no impact/meaningful work at less than a Level 6. For context, if you're hired as an L2, it'll take 15+ years to achieve an L6 - and then you can be a middle manager. Woohoo!
    Sure, you can transfer (not easy though), but you'll be doing the same menial clerical work for a different division unless you level up and you'll have to restart your promo clock all over again.
    Re-orgs are every 6 months, delaying/killing career traction. Layoffs do happen here, but company keeps it quiet.
    Culture isn't for everyone: very snobby, often distrusting - company culture outside of walls is face value-only. Peers are collaborative only for promotions sake. Lots of bureaucracy and conformity, very corporate culture. Poor camaraderie outside of office.
    Terrible internal systems. Proprietary Google CRM is a joke.
    Transfer packages are terrible; HR always finds ways to negate merit increases when transferring by lowering salary, relocation packages are bare minimum (but most people here come from money, so that's ok I guess).
    Slowly turning into a conventional company; bloated middle-management doesn't ruffle feathers, protects selves vs. team/good of the company.
    Benefits are decreasing as company grows and becomes more conventional.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pay lip service to career development. You're working with some of the best and brightest in the world, don't let them rot on the vine due to corporate politics.
    Stick with products by marketing them for more than two quarters.
    Try launching a flawless product for once and/or actually fix it once it GTM.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great experience

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

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

    Pros

    Work at a playground
    Free food
    Great culture
    Swag- for days.
    Happy hours

    Cons

    No time to play- very competitive
    Weight gain- from free food
    Over worked contractors- and labeled them with red ID

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value the floor's hardest workers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing company but disappointed with contract conversion process

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

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

    Pros

    Perks are amazing. The people are incredibly smart and you work on cool stuff

    Cons

    It's hard to not feel like a cog in the wheel. I hired over 20 ELITE Software Engineers in 12 months and was not converted to full time due to my location. That seems silly to me, as I was in the top 10% of all producers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Engineering Practicum Intern

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

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

    Pros

    Cool projects, great support for your hosts and mentors, fun work environment. Best internship to date!

    Cons

    Could be hard to get to know fellow interns who you are not working with. Finding housing before the start can be stressful

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More support leading up to the internship

    Recommends

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