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Google Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
2,453 Reviews

4.4
2,453 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,290 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 443 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

    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. 32 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

    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
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good compensation at a personal cost

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

    Pros

    I know that as a single person I have enough to save, invest and live off of plus there is always room to pitch and execute on your own entrepreneurial ideas.

    Cons

    The mirage of work/life balance is really convincing. Bosses do not model balance and climate has become selfish and brutal over the past 7 years. Definitely embarrassed to say that I work here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be Googley. Free, generous and whip smart. Always good humored and audaciously progressive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazing.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    So many perks for employees! You have good food, many fun opportunities, good work amenities. I would say working at Google is an amazing experience.

    Cons

    Sometimes, hard to get a promotion. The work itself can be very challenging, and at times, colleagues may not be willing to help get you through tough codes or working experiences.

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Best company ever created in human history

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

    Pros

    Strong vision, execution, best pay / perks, seriously aiming to make the world a better place.

    Cons

    Internal competition, more top down these days than before, but still better than any other company outside.
    Too many Directors (compared to T7s), many incompetent ones, very difficult to move up in some part of the company, which serves as a reason why competent people leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Interesting place to start career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - BOLD Associate Account Analyst  in  Ann Arbor, MI
    Former Employee - BOLD Associate Account Analyst in Ann Arbor, MI

    Pros

    -Free food, fitness classes
    -Incredibly smart and interesting people to work with
    -Learn a lot about Google's advertising system and Google Analytics

    Cons

    -A customer service job- many believe that as a student at a top school, this is not the way to start one's career
    -Located in Ann Arbor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Demonstrate clear paths for advancement in the company after working 2 years in this role

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Awesomeness

    • 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

    Pros

    awesome work place and perks

    Cons

    none, nope, zero, not at all

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    best ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    paid well, good management, excellent training

    Cons

    absolutely none, can't think of one

  10.  

    Great, once you learn to work smarter

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Perks, benefits, pay, work-from-home policy, and really smart people. You don't run into morons here, and that makes life *so* *much* *better*. The tools available inside are better than anything that anyone can buy, and really have no equal.

    You have a bit of a raffle in terms of your manager, but really, just switch around when you can to find one that works well for you. Being at Google with a manager that you work well with is an optimal life situation

    Cons

    Some managers are great technically, but have no people skills whatsoever. Also, the level of work and output by your peers is very high. You have to learn to work smart to make your work-life balance fit. This means learning how to effectively use the tools (which takes time, but they're really good), to build discipline to avoid spacing out on random websites, and actively managing your time. You also have company policies (easy to work from home, flexible hours) to make that happen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make it easier for employees to switch groups when a manager has poor rankings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    review

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great place to work at, lots of perks

    Cons

    stressful at times, they would for you to completely move i

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