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Google Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2010's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.

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
109 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    Smart people, a comfortable BIG company, lots of perks

    Senior Engineering (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe many perks including free gourmet food, snacks galore, cultural events, speakers/authors, lots of smart people from all over the world to meet and work with. Many choices of projects to work on and relative freedom to do so. There is plenty of work to do here from improving existing systems and creating new products. Kid in a candy store if you are eager and driven to make things better. Wide range of technologies - handhelds, operating systems, HTML5, Linux, file systems, compilers.

    ConsLots of smart people, but lots of subpar people somehow managed to get hired as well.
    20% time is a myth. I suppose some people get to do that. I don't know any personally as every group I've worked with is stressed and working hard on the project they're on.
    At Google it was better to be early than good. Being in the wake of a mass exodus of (mostly) young millionaires (many of whose first job was Google) and being handed their mediocre work to fix can really kill your incentive to "go further" here, especially when later senior folks are not well compensated equity-wise. Google is a big company that provides a comfy job but none of the burning desire to go that extra mile because they aren't making the effort to take you with them.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet better at rewarding your post-IPO senior people. We weren't lucky enough to get here early, but we are fixing much of what was left us by a sea of (industry) inexperienced academics. When hiring, try to focus more on real-world skills and industry experience rather than degrees and GPAs.

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Quality Rater while in school

    Quality Rater (Former Employee)

    ProsWas a remote job. All web based. Nice on the resume. Very few requirements other than languages speaking and search knowledge.

    ConsNo cons to complain about. The job was simple enough. The pay wasn't high enough to justify any sort of con list. I was a peon!

    Advice to Senior ManagementHad no management. Was all web based with electronic report cards based on how fast you worked and the quality of work performed.

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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Best regular job I've had. However ...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros* A nerd's paradise, in all the good ways. World-changing projects, brilliant engineers, infrastructure that dwarfs almost all competitors, and a dinosaur and a spaceship to boot.

    * "The future is here, just not widely distributed." The production software systems that Googlers use on a daily basis are unparalleled. Only a few other companies have this many users over this many products.

    * Opportunities to work on many different projects, but you will have to seek them out. Google's rewards are there for the digging, but no one's going to hand you a treasure map. Recent graduates won't find a career plan laid out for them. Then again, all jobs after Google are probably going to suck in comparison.

    Cons* It's a big company now. There's a constant effort to retain a startup culture, but Google's bureaucracy continues to grow.

    * Work effort imbalance. No, not "work-life balance." There is a disparity between work hours and productivity among teams and individuals which is just now being addressed. Still plenty of slackers to kick out the door, though.

    * Not really a meritocracy. Google hires smart, motivated young people, winds them up, and tells them to change the world. There is a natural disillusionment when someone realizes that the ability to move products is proportional to your distance to Larry and Sergey, after all.

    * Culture skew. Google's Mountain View office is the epitome of Silicon Valley -- a giant gifted program where the kids can work whatever eighty hours a week they want (or 96, if you're doing 20% time.) It's soft, nonconfrontational, and passive-aggressive in an overcaffeinated NorCal way -- with the exception of production systems, which have to use genuine aggression to keep people from breaking the site. This culture doesn't travel well -- be it the (uh, slim) work hours at the "distributed offices" to a lack of technical resources overseas. Unfortunately the one cultural nuance which has spread worldwide is Googley entitlement. Mountain View dominates and will continue to do so.

    Advice to Senior Management* Get serious about canceling projects which don't perform and breaking apart teams that don't deliver.

    * More of the distributed offices need to close.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Still a great place where you can change the world

    Product Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThere are few places where your work can have the same impact it will have at Google. Your products touch millions of people, and millions or billions in revenue.

    ConsThe company is getting really big. Products and infrastructures are huge now. Launching new products is getting really hard. Persuading people to go for a new idea can be an endless round of futile meetings. Getting promoted is harder now as the company is top heavy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus more on enabling innovation to happen, and planning career paths for your employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Awesome place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsHighly recommend it! Entrusted with a lot of responsibility.

    ConsNot much to say here :)

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing a great job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Working as a "Vendor" (Contractor) at Google

    Senior Java Engineer (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsIt is much easier to work at Google as a contractor. The interview process was compressed to one phone screen and a 3 one-hour interviews on-site. The team I worked with was very supportive, and gave us a lot of flexibility and discretion in how we completed the tasks.

    ConsAgain, being a vendor instead of a Googler, is not quite as bad as being a 2nd class citizen, but it was close. I also found the group I was in to be close to complacent and risk averse.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe distinction between Googlers and Vendors should be decreased. It could be handled more like the Intern programs in terms of bringing people on board. One could start by chaning the color of the vendor badges from red to blue or green.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Great perks, and great for your resume/career

    Technical Program Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe work and projects are very challenging; Google's products have wide visibility; great food and perks, and working for Google is great for your resume.

    Google rewards their top performers well. Base salary tends to run at around the 50th percentile in the industry, but annual bonuses the last few years have been ~25% of salary (it's not uncommon for above average performers to receive bonuses of 25-35% of salary).

    Google also matches 401K contributions up to $8,250 for U.S. workers. BTW, 401K matching is something I really wished Glassdoor keeps data on. When comparing overall compensation of two or more companies, you have to account for 401K matching.

    ConsThe company has grown substantially during the 4+ years I've been here. Management does a good job in trying to limit bureaucracy, but there's definitely more bureaucracy than there was 4 years ago.

    Also, base salaries tend to be much lower than competitors. For a company that prides itself on hiring the best, they certainly don't pay the best when it comes to base salary.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe company made an excellent hire with the (relatively) new CFO. Lot's of waste has been eliminated. Let's keep plugging away at inefficiencies, focus the bulk of our staff and resources on products and projects that matter, and stay humble.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Growing Pains

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe swag, food, and pride of working for a profitable company are definitely worth the problems that the company faces.

    ConsEveryone's had the kool-aide! They are having growing pains, too. It is a terrible place to start a career, many would say.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would say grow up.

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    10 people found this helpful  

    OK place to work but it's a *big* company now

    Product Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsGoogle has a bunch of smart people. Also, there is a strong culture from old-timers to question the status quo and make this drastically better. It's also great pedigree for a resume. Pay is pretty good compared to other companies, the perks too. The shuttle service is great if you live in SF.

    Consvery arrogant culture. Old-timers may have a sense of entitlement. Not much growth potential anymore unless you are politically connected with stars. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too bottoms up, makes cross-team work potentially frustrating. Many remote offices are weak. If you work with a remote team, get ready for a bunch of "C" players with poor cultural fit.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThin the ranks of management. Have stronger goals across teams (try reading lencioni's silos, politics and turf wars.) Be careful to reward those who work on thankless jobs and not just the Latitudes and other sexy launches. Reward quality over launching crap (several eng dirs are terrible about this.)

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Google overview

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI like Google for it's transparent culture, free food and other perks (well, but those are baked in the total compensation package anyway).

    ConsRelatively flat org means there are few chances for one to advance. It is not uncommon to have a senior manager with 40+ directs. There are lots of smart people. In a way, it is a good thing. The downside is that a lot of them want to play safe, which hampers innovation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementH

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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