Google Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2012's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
98 Reviews

4.0
98 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
74 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

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  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    unfair, boring place (at least outside of engineering)

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

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    delicious food, massages, TGIF/ other nice events, generally smart people (but also many are total weirdos), many engineers truly passionate about products

    Cons

    unfair/ slow promotions process (if you manager really likes you you get promoted, if they sort of like you you're in purgatorium forever, if they don't you're managed out). boring work. red tape. all big company problems and more. many products competing with each other or duplicating effort. chaos in communication between teams. bureaucracy in order to get simple stuff fone. Disrespect for non-eng functions. declining quality of hires.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    FIx all the above problems!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 14 people found this helpful  

    Good place to start, but do not stay there for a long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Stff Software Engineer  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Stff Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    Google is the best place to start for a fresh graduate.
    You can learn a lot here. I loved working on mapreduce infrastructure, the google implementation is years ahead of any implementation (hadoop etc) and learned a lot.
    It was incredibly easy to find a job after I left Google, my experience was valued very much by other companies.
    Until very recent times Google was the best place to work on new innovative projects in any area from information retrieval and natural language processing to large scale distributed system. The infrastructure of datacenters is very impressive, very few companies can give you similar resources.
    It's up to employee to decide how much time he spends in his office and how much time he works from home.
    Food is free and many other benefits are available.

    Cons

    Google management is pretty bad. Many cool innovative ideas from engineers were "killed" by managers because they were unable to understand their importance. Projects similar to facebook and yelp were made in google long time ago and they did not start and succeed because of management failure. Top management never understood importance of social and local until very recent time.
    Promotion system is really bad. I was glad to get my promotions but many people are very unhappy. There is no fair system to evaluate quality and amount of your results. Basically, everything depends on your manager, he likes you, you are doing very well, he dislikes you, you are in hell.
    Recent privacy scandals were very embarrassing for many employees. I did not expect my company to intercept wi-fi traffic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start respecting your employees and listening to them.
    Start respecting privacy laws, so your employees will respect you and your policies

    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Up until 3 years ago amazing. Going public made it far too political, causing many issues with management & leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    They work hard, but are allowed to play hard. 3 free meals/day + unlimited snacks. Great company sponsored outings!

    Cons

    getting very political, a lot of nepotism. Very negative vibe from employees regarding manager competency.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Smart people enjoying excellent perks, with extremely spotty management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer II  in  Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer II in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    Everybody who's paying attention knows how great the perks are. Between on-site gyms, massage, a wide selection of health benefits, 401k and stock grants, competitive salary, and of course the free, gourmet meals, it's one of the cushiest jobs in Silicon Valley.

    The technical challenges are interesting, and the code base is enormous. Engineers are encouraged to fix any and all problems, on their own teams or completely separate projects. There is a lot of freedom to do anything that interests you, as long as you have time.

    Cons

    Having good management seems to be a non-goal, at least below the highest levels. The only requirements for becoming a manager are having good enough technical skills to reach the correct job level, and expressing interest. Because of this, middle management is extremely hit-or-miss. Employees are often expected to figure out how to grow on their own, with little or no guidance, even for those fresh out of school. Many managers still have technical responsibilities, and let their people-management responsibilities fall by the wayside.

    It is unclear so far just how Larry Page taking over as CEO will affect the company as a whole, at least in terms of work environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to be transparent about company direction and motives. When you hire the best and brightest, they don't want to feel like they're being lied to.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Depends on your project and manager; hard to transfer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III  in  Kirkland, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in Kirkland, WA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    See your company and maybe your work in the headlines.
    Work with some of the best and brightest co-workers in the world.
    Work with applications that millions of people use and enjoy.
    Great food, good benefits and bonuses.
    Information exchange inside the company is quite open, making it easy to find out about opportunities.

    Cons

    Can be hard to transfer to a new project, which can lead to the need to excel at something you don't like in order to earn your way out of it.

    The opportunities for 20% time are real, but you may not have enough time and energy to make use of them.

    Management is often hands-off and not necessarily helpful/encouraging. Find peers to encourage and support you.

    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    I hate my job at Google

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    Nice perk, good compensation. Love the free food.

    Cons

    Little career growth. Bas Middle management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on core business and stop investing into peripheral areas.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Requires dedication

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    It is an evenvironment in which everyone participates and contributes; unlike previous environments that have numerous employees that are just putting in time

    Cons

    Since the environment is one in which everyone must participate, it is difficult to pull back (e.g. girfriend breakup)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall, you are doing well and provide a good working environment

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Stimulating work environment but becoming more bureaucratic

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

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    - Exciting work
    - Can see impact of your work fairly quickly
    - Accomplished colleagues
    - Great brand recognition

    Cons

    - Increasing numbers of middle managers who add no value
    - Focus on "shiny" vs. substantive work - you're more rewarded for style than substance, splashy work gets praise

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't hire middle managers who add no value. Unfortunately I see us hiring and rewarding people who spend more time on Powerpoint presentations than actually doing work. Growing pains of a large company or something we can avoid?

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 18 people found this helpful  

    Great company... but not for life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    - Average level of engineers is very high. Not everyone is a superstar, but there are practically no "dummies".
    - Lots of interesting technologies to learn. Many things have been almost a revelation for me.
    - Management is generally competent and caring, but see below.
    - High transparency, especially of technology - can easily find and look at any code. Projects are usually well documented, removing unnecessary obstacles for learning.
    - Free food, shuttle rides to work, pretty generous vacation time.

    Cons

    - Work may be stressful
    - Promotion opportunities may be limited
    - You may start to feel strange: highly-qualified, competent... and just one "number" among others
    - Cramped cubicles
    - Since about a year ago, switching groups became much more difficult.

    I've been very happy at Google for the first 2-3 years (see "Pros"). The work could be demanding, but that was not bad, since demands were coming from other engineers eager to use my stuff and eager to report any problems, cooperate, etc.

    However, gradually I started to feel as if the company hires the best and brightest only to put them under a nice, but hard-working manager, whose task is to keep them busy at all times no matter what. That's where most of my work stress eventually started to come from - though maybe it was just my personal "luck". I had a feeling that despite creating several successful projects, other achievements and expertise in several areas, I am not officially allowed any time to contemplate what to do next and what may be the best thing for me (and the company). Instead, I just have to generate code and other signs of activity every hour. That was exacerbated by the fact that since summer 2010 engineers lost their privilege to freely switch work groups. You could only go where the upper management thought there is opportunity for the company. Again, that felt like less respect to the very people who, being so bright, are supposed to also sniff where the next useful thing really is.

    Eventually, I left for a job at a research lab. So far I am compensated less well overall, but I am much, much more happy (for now at least :-))

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect engineers - you come from the same background! Give them, at least at certain level and above, more chance to decide themselves what to do (or not to do) and which group to work at. Also think how to improve promotion chances for those who work on less "sexy" or well-known projects.

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good experience for a recent grad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    good perks, friendly and laid back atmosphere

    Cons

    doesnt seem to be a streamlined process for training new hires

    Disapproves of CEO

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