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  1. Still THE best place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    freedom to do things you really interested: in addition to 20% time, it is also easy to change projects, and there is no manager 'manage' you all the time, you are on your own most of the time. good salary, bonus and benefits * great coworkers: very smart and nice people, and you can learn a lot from them. * You can sense that the management really want to treat the employees well, their target is to build a great company and serve the world, not just for profit

    Cons

    somewhat disorganized, so you may not fit if you don't know what to do without somebody telling you grow too fast, not all employees are as high quality as before.

    Advice to Management

    we got enough engineers now, fully use them!


  2. Helpful (4)

    good place to be if you can commit to a lot of hours

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

    Pros

    brand recognition, benefits, entereneurship opportunities

    Cons

    not enough coaching, lack of work life balance, not a good fit for moms with young children, performance review/calliberation is determined by a select group of peers. So, if you don't have a good relationship with such people, you can get dinged...

    Advice to Management

    accomplishments/performance should not only be measured by OKRS. The employee should also be noted for what he has accomplished over a period of time to achieve those OKRs as some OKRS cannot be completed within a quarter. Also, an employee is an individual with strengths and weaknesses that are often undermined by short term goals. In particular, management feedback is not considered seriously. Having a bad manager can seriously jeopardise an employee's career and long term growth.


  3. Helpful (8)

    Great first job for software engineers, frustrating for more senior ones.

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

    Pros

    First and foremost, smart people. Overall I'm very impressed with the level of intelligence of just about everybody I worked with. Second, huge datasets, huge scale, huge opportunities. Google is the place to be for working at scale, period. The tools are great and there are limitless computing resources. Other stuff - it's still a fun environment, flexible work hours, flexible about projects to work on.

    Cons

    Lots of flexibility on what to work on, but the downside is that management controls the launch process. It's likely that your project may not be allowed to launch without several revisions. Engineers used to own most product decisions, but things have shifted towards product management and upper management. Nobody seems to own broad strategic decisions - there's a strategy vacuum in many product areas. Compensation is good, but obviously the equity situation doesn't compare to what you'd get at a proper startup. For this reason, entrepreneurs and people with big ideas are advised to look elsewhere if they have an appetite for risk / reward.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring engineering middle-managers from outside, and promote more from within. If I had been more strongly pressured to move to management about 2 years ago I'd probably still be a Googler. The engineering ladder sounds like a good idea, but in practice there is a ceiling that cannot be broken unless an engineer happens to be on the right project at the right time. When I realized this I was sorry to have spent several years not being promoted when I could have switched to the management track and learned new skills. Please communicate a clear and consistent strategic direction, and give us total support to execute on that strategy. Outside of search and ads, there is no agreement among the executives and other stakeholders, and this puts the product and engineering team in an impossible situation.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    cool products, fun culture, no long-term career path

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Mountain View, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Google continues to be a leader and innovator, even having become public and hit the 10 year mark. Even though the company has gotten bigger and progressively more bureaucratic (perhaps unavoidable considering its growth), I do think that at heart they really want to continue to push the envelope. My fellow Google employees were among the smartest and most creative people I've worked with. Probably some of the most enthusiastic too. Google has a lot of money, and they are able to provide their employees with a lot of perks and benefits that other companies can't afford. Also very philanthropic. (Again, they have the money, so they can afford to be.) They are extremely forward thinking, in terms of trying projects that don't directly relate to business. It's cool to try out new products that become part of your everyday life. GMail and Google Docs among my favorites.

    Cons

    It's ridiculously hard to get hired at Google. They place a premium value on your pedigree (education, GPA, even outside interests) rather than on your skills and ability to contribute on a practical level. A Stanford grad with a 4.0 GPA doesn't automatically make a better employee than a UC grad. Or even (gasp!) someone without a degree at all. There's no career path, and no career planning. I never had a good manager, much less a mentor, the entire time I was there. The people who got promoted were the ones who kissed up and knew how to play the game. Low salaries. I know there are a lot of perks to "make up for it," but I'd rather have the money and decide how to spend it myself. Not being a new grad fresh out of college, I didn't care about the perks.

    Advice to Management

    Watch the attitude. That whole "we're Google, everybody wants to work here" mindset is getting old. Consider hiring people who aren't rocket scientists. Invest in your employees! You're great about giving them physical perks; now trying investing in their careers. Have a true performance management system. Really sit down with your employees and figure out their goals and career paths. Give them managers who are mentors and advocates.


  6. Helpful (50)

    Honeymoon period gets over in first two years.

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

    Pros

    I have never met so many brilliant people at one company ever. I have worked for 8 years in industry now. Seriously, there is not a single dumb employee. -- Perks Google is the best company I have worked for as far as perks are concerned. Name a perk and Google will beat its rival. Food? Massage? Shuttle service? Nap room ? Doctor? Offsites? Beer on campus? What else?

    Cons

    If you join as a Noogler, you will enjoy the perks, free food, massage, infinite offsites, inter-grouplets, events, socials and meeting brilliant people and all that. But the moment you start thinking of promotion or career role change, you will start observing this: -- Extreme preference is given for manager feedback during performance review cycles. Some managers have no clue about the products they are managing, In such cases, employees who are more vocal and are manager suck-ups get preferential treatment during the review cycles. But engineers who make more contributions, are recognized by peers but who are not in “good books” of their direct management or a level above, get penalized. Google should fix this, and fix it NOW, before it continues scaling rapidly thereby scaling this problem with it. So many of its managers are managers just because they happened to be there when Google was 500 people company. -- You will also observe that there is very little or no chance of career path advancement. This is different from a start-up. If you are ambitious and you haven’t discovered what your technical passions are, best advice is to not join Google. Google makes staying and getting stuck in your job very easy. All those perks are hard to leave behind. There is a fat possibility that you are stuck doing a tiny project that has no impact, no direction and you keep working hard day after day just to realize that the project is doomed to be deleted or has no future. Best bet is to get working on projects such as infrastructure, search or ads. -- You have to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to changing projects. This used to be easier in early days. Now managers decide your fate. Manager can essentially lock you down for 18 months before “releasing” you to a different project. Google should never take its employee morale for granted, yes, even if it is the most sought after company. There are many brilliant engineers leaving Google, and these are also people with lot of unvested options. Stock isn’t a carrot anymore.

    Advice to Management

    Fix bad managers. Train them to be managers, monitor their management skills. Managers can make or break employee morales.


  7. Great perks, great projects, great food, long hours if you're not careful.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Intern in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Software Development Intern in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There's a ton of engineering resources, and everything is pretty open and transparent within the company. Lots of on the job perks, and there are really cool projects all over the company to spend time on.

    Cons

    There is a culture of working long hours there, and 20% time is pretty much a myth now. If anything, it's 120% time. As well, the San Francisco to Mountain View commute is a little grating after a while.

    Advice to Management

    As an intern, I didn't really interact with senior management a whole lot, so I couldn't really say.


  8. Helpful (2)

    You can work your 80 hours a week whenever you want.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart creative dedicated colleagues; exciting and innovative work environment; open and frequent communications at every level; excellent compensation

    Cons

    Too much of a good thing. Work-life balance difficult to achieve; although, you can work your 80 hours a week whenever you want.

    Advice to Management

    Time to get rid of some of the fat in your management ranks. Start with the ones that drive unproductive politics.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work!

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

    Pros

    You'll work with some of the smartest and most accomplished people in the industry. People truly believe they can change the way things are done. The ability to have your products make a huge impact on the industry. Constant innovation and change is part of the culture.

    Cons

    The company is starting to get larger, so while a lot of the entrepreneurial spirit of the original teams is still present, there is starting to be more layers of management and bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    The culture is the most important part of the company. How do we keep the company agile and nimble while it grows in size?


  10. Great Place to work

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

    Pros

    Great People, great technology! You work with the best people in the industry and work in some fascinating technologies. Google aspires to be an organization that reflects the globally diverse audience that our search engine and tools serve. We believe that in addition to hiring the best talent, the diversity of perspectives, ideas, and cultures leads to the creation of better products and services. The diversity of our employees and partners serves as the foundation for us to better serve our diverse customers and stakeholders all over the world.

    Cons

    I cant think of any. The salary is not great, but competitive. Recently they are cutting down on perks.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the people happy. They are the biggest assets


  11. Still a fantastic place to work, especially for new graduates.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Google has plenty of talented engineers, impressive computational infrastructure and resources, and the culture to build products that make big impacts. Working for Google is an ideal start point of young engineers or new graduates. There are plenty of challenging problems to solve, and you have the flexibility to choose the projects that interest you most. I am not saying that you can give up the current project at any time. it is responsible to finish the projects that started, but you are encouraged to switch projects every 1 to 2 years, or at least, you can do the "fun" things with your 20% time.

    Cons

    If you want to be prompted sooner than the majority, and you are not lucky enough that work in a highly visible project, then you have to pay much more than usual to beat the performance of others - because others are good too.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing in innovation and encouraging Googlers take risks.


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