Google
4.2 of 5 2,086 reviews
www.google.com Mountain View, CA 5000+ Employees

Google Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 2,086 reviews

                             

95% Approve of the CEO

Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page

Larry Page

(1,078 ratings)

91% of employees recommend this company to a friend
2,086 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development"
    in 92 reviews
  • "Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro"
    in 207 reviews
Cons:
  • "This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging"
    in 85 reviews
  • "Google is no different than any other big company and they are starting to realize it"
    in 68 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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265 people found this helpful  

Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

Program Manager (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I worked at Google full-time for more than 8 years

Pros1) 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).

Cons1) 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 Senior Management1) 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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7 people found this helpful  

Good place overall

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

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

ProsGreat pay and it just comes with performance and promotions, you don't need to negotiate it. You get the chance to work with and learn from some amazing people. Very high code quality, not just at the level of coding style or individual classes, but the overall system architecture, things tend to be really thought through, stupid things don't happen.

The company is very helpful with immigration issues. Good 401k program.

ConsGoogle's tech stack is big and complex. You will be spending a lot of time figuring out how to plug together various systems and APIs. You may be spending a lot of time looking at various status pages, trying to understand whether your tasks are doing what they should with acceptable performance and why not and which obscure configuration option you need to tweak to make them. A lot of what you will need to learn to do the job will be specific operational knowledge about how to work that unwieldy beast that is Google's infrastructure.

The code complexity is considerable, which means that implementing simple features can take much more time than you'd think it should. It also means it can take a lot of time to get to the point when you feel like you at least somewhat know what you're doing.

The company keeps the copyright to all your hobby projects. They have a system through which you can ask that the copyright be released to you on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes they'll say yes sometimes they'll say no.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Great company, but poor low-level management and hiring process.

Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)

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

ProsGreat salary and benefits.
Wide range of products to work on.
Name recognition conveys huge status.
Great people and culture.

ConsGoogle has an enormous number of divisions, and I can only speak to the one I ended up in - YMMV.
My work area was a warehouse with open ceilings, concrete floors, and metal desks arranged in groups of six people in a workspace.
The interview process was generic, so that once you are approved, you go into a pool of candidates from which managers pick new hires. I only had a half-hour phone interview with my future boss before I had to decide whether to take the position.
My boss never allowed me to work with anyone on a project to get me up to speed, despite numerous requests for help. He assigned me the task of writing the specs for a major modification which included several groups not in my area - a task I would not expect of anyone with less than two years experience in the division, yet he assigned it to a person with less than four months experience.
HR won't let you change groups until you have completed a year in your first position, so no allowance for bad fits is made.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't waste your employees. HR should strive to find a good fit for a qualified candidate that is struggling in one group rather than turning it into a sink or swim proposition.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great company to work at

BizOps Associate (Current Employee)
Mountain View, CA

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

ProsVery talented, ambitious and nice people
Diverse tasks, fascinating challenges
Reasonable working hours
Competitive salary
Good opportunities for growth
Excellent facilities and perks

ConsAs the company has grown very fast, some of the processes are still designed for a small company and it is frustrating to make them work for a large corporation
In some circumstances, politics start to sneak in

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great company to work for

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

ProsPerks are unmatched! Smart colleagues, interesting projects

Consthe perks can also find you always working late hours!

Advice to Senior Managementwork-life balance is important!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Company

Account Strategist (Former Employee)
Melbourne, FL

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

Prosgood atmosphere in the company

ConsThe Benefits could be increased around insurance

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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very good company

Software Engineer III (Current Employee)
Mountain View, CA

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

Prosvery good company to work with.

Constoo much push and stress.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Google

ProsBest company to work for.

ConsSilicon Valley goes though a major housing crisis. If you don't make $400k/yr. you shouldn't be here.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A great place to work

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Google

ProsGood compensation, fun and challenging problems

ConsIt's a big company. There's red tape.

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1 person found this helpful  

Great Perks!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Google as an intern

ProsFun loving people to work with
Great Company culture
A lot of perks

ConsNot much room fro growth
Management can be arrogant at times

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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