Google
4.2 of 5 2,087 reviews
www.google.com Mountain View, CA 5000+ Employees

Google Reviews

Updated Nov 11, 2013

These reviews contributed towards 2014's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.

392 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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  • No Opinion of CEO

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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34 people found this helpful  

Spent 5+ years in Marketing - it's different from being an engineer at Google

Product Marketing Manager (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

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

ProsAwesome people, hands down. Peers and colleagues. Some of the brightest people. Company policies on expenses, perks, family, pets, etc. - all outstanding.

ConsSalary isn't the best on the market. Google knows it can pay less than it has to, because people want to work for it. Google has departments working on formulas meant to pay you as little as possible. Huge fight to get to the top - everyone is in a race. A culture of overachievers, which means you have to sacrifice personal and social life to move up the ranks. I've seen amazing rates of burnout among marketing. Too much. Also, middle management can be incompetent or too busy racing to the top to care about you. Everything is in formulas, and just doing a great job is not enough. You need to shop yourself and shout about your achievements as loud as you can in order to get promoted. Also, the commute from the city sucks. Oh, and the company's product strategy is a laughing stock. Google jumps on every shiny object. It's one thing to reinvent an industry, but to launch clones is just low. Google+ is shoved down everyone's throat. Google Offers was a Groupon clone. And nobody cares about the user, the company is totally evil. Decisions are made based on $$$, and not the user in mind. Don't be fooled.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop the cutthroat practices. Force people to leave the office at 7:30 - literally, not just with a lame "you should go home". Young people are slaving their lives away for the company where you probably won't work 2 years from now. Help them enjoy themselves, their work, and the friendships they've made.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Best company I've ever worked for.

Legal Assistant (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

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

ProsWorking at a company where amazing things are made, the people are smart and the food is amazing.

ConsEngineers rule. If you aren't one, you may feel slighted. Also, school snobbery may keep your department from being able to hire talented people, and force you to accept other candidates who are less desirable but went to a top tier schoo.

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

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3 people found this helpful  

Great company

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

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

ProsLots of smart people, fantastic perks. I learned more here than I have anywhere else in my professional history. The older teams, such as infrastructure and apps have people that can teach you more in an hour than you learn many places in your entire tenure.

Consmost of the technology is inhouse, and google faces problems no one else does, so what you learn is non-transferable. Offices outside of Mountain View are treated very poorly.

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  

Engineering Program Manager

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Google full-time

ProsAmazing place to work
Great food
Cool culture

ConsToo much infusion of Apple culture

Advice to Senior ManagementCheck on Apple culture infusion and influence

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

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1 person found this helpful  

A wonderful experience.

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I worked at Google as an intern for less than a year

ProsPeople at Google seem happy and well taken care of. They provide food, nap places, classes, and all sorts of fun events. Even more, they have a mission you can get behind. The focus of most teams is to work hard and long to bring information to anyone who wants it. Even more, I felt that what I worked on was extremely interesting to me.

ConsAs an intern, I worked on an important project, but I also felt that my own contribution was relatively small due to the size of the company. I further felt a bit lost in the sheer mass of the employees. Finally, I wish I had more say about what team I wanted to be on besides "frontend" vs. "backend".

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Amazing!

Online Operations Specialist (Current Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I have been working at Google as a contractor for less than a year

ProsFree amenities
Relaxed culture
Shuttles to SF
Car Rentals
Work hard/play hard

ConsSlow progression
Late work hours
Some work weekends
Sushi run out
Employees disconnected from management

Advice to Senior ManagementHire your contractors when they are excellent talent

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

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loved it

Engineer (Former Employee)
Milwaukee, WI

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

Proswork environment was very fantastic

Consi didnt have any to report

Advice to Senior Managementkeep it up

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

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have a internship in Google MTV

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Mountain View, CA

I worked at Google as an intern for less than a year

Proswork with experienced people, nice food and flexible work time

Conssome work is not so interesting especially at the beginning of your carrer

Advice to Senior Managementcreate more chance to new guys

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

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Everything you would expect, good and bad, but never dull

Project Manager (Former Employee)

I worked at Google as a contractor for more than a year

ProsMost employees are motivated to get things done, and path blockers can usually be detoured around relatively easily. Most of the groups I worked with are very focused and knowledgeable about their products/responsibility areas, and are usually very responsive. Not always the response you are looking for, but responsive all the same. Lots of intelligent people who are also lots of fun to work with. They work hard, and they play hard. There is definitely a sense of internal competition to be the better group/product/solution. Mountain View campus is absolutely amazing, from dining choices to personal amenities.

ConsFrenetic pace may not be for everyone. Timid people, people who are easily frustrated, and people who have low tolerances for anything new/different/unknown won't survive for long. You have to be ready, willing, and able to make leaps of faith, fast deals and agreements, and keep up the pace or get left behind.

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

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Google reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Google CEO Larry Page . All 392 reviews posted anonymously by Google employees.