Google Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2011's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
124 Reviews
3.7
124 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
424 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.  

    what a heck of experience

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

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    highly recommended for college graduates. this is a place you got to work for.

    Cons

    too much free food, got to watch out of your weight

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep all the good stuff rolling

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Terrific opportunities for growth and impact

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

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    Having been at Google longer than 9 out of 10 employees, I still feel the business poses me with fresh challenges and terrific learning opportunities virtually every day. I have been able to pursue several distinct "mini-careers" at the company, with promotions and transfers available as I hit major project milestones. The career environment is ideal for someone who thrives on complexity, who takes initiative, and who communicates well and constantly with technical collaborators.

    I feel that management empowers and facilitates individual contributors. You have a fantastic liberty here to challenge how things are done (whether bureaucratically, technically or in product design). Expect fast and constant change. You can step up and drive that change, too, if you have the chops -- the courage to express a coherent vision, and the stamina and depth of skill to follow through. A high impact project at Google can affect a global user base of hundreds of millions (or is it billions now?), and can shape the course and direction of whole industries. You can provide great benefit to users worldwide. The right answer to a search query can literally save a life, reorient a career, or enrich a relationship. And while search is critically important, we do so much more.

    When it works, it is a total jazz. When it doesn't work, well, you fail fast and try something new. Everyone outside tends to ask, "What company will be the next Google?", but internally we remain quite ambitious: "My project at Google will be the next Google!"

    The people here are great to work with. Passionate about ideas, compassionate toward others, with many innovative superstars, and a culture that celebrates diversity. Of course, there is some politics, human nature and fallibility -- as you will find anywhere -- but I find the overall environment positive and well intentioned.

    Cons

    Working at Google has a stiff learning curve, and it can be challenging to ramp up and get your footing here -- especially if you have been doing software development 10+ years elsewhere and are accustomed to being a big fish. In you aren't on a very short list of luminaries (e.g. a Vint Cerf), then respect and influence have to be re-earned from scratch based on what you do at the company. Your past merits may have helped you get in the door, but inside they buy you nothing. So, to thrive here you have to grow and sustain some inspiration about what's possible, to keep your head above the daily grind of routine work.

    Working at Google can isolate you from the global technology community, as well as sometimes from our users. We have our own technology stack and internal lingo, so systems and methods learned here aren't always transferable. We exist in an extreme media spotlight, in highly competitive markets, dealing with sensitive information, so we are very cautious about sharing anything externally. The culture tends to be inward facing: everything is on campus (the Googleplex) -- meals, entertainment, perk, education, tech talks -- so why engage outside of the bubble? Our approach is to solve everything with automation so that the system works on a global scale, but human-to-human customer service does not "scale", and so is sometimes given short shrift.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I find that Google's leadership is willing to make hard choices with integrity. They are an inspiration -- and they are always challenging us to reach further, try harder, think more deeply.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    one of the great companies of our time

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

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    There is no finer collection of engineering talent on the planet. Good perks, great free food. Fantastic talks from visiting speakers.

    Cons

    Google doesn't compete on speed -- it competes on quality. In that regard it is a lot like Blizzard. So if you're entrepreneurial and like to attack new markets this is not a good place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    guys, you still think you can attack any market. The reality is: Google's culture produces high quality, high performance products ... slowly. Therefore, don't waste your time and effort competing in rapidly evolving markets like social networks -- concentrate instead on staid and stodgy markets where the dominant design is clear and quality, performance and cost are significant differentiators. Android, Chrome and Chrome OS are good examples, but also, why not kill Oracle, EMC, Cloudera, etc.? As for facebook, wait for social networking to mature, then fight on quality.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    Good company and perqs; work itself is often lacking in substance and satisfaction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    * World-class, brilliant coworkers
    * Excellent benefits and physical environment
    * Above-average total compensation compared to other local companies
    * Some groups do very cutting-edge work

    Cons

    * Much of the work is not interesting
    * Mid-level executive leadership is questionable
    * "Death march" schedules and random priority changes becoming more common
    * No career path from engineer to having substantive influence over what gets worked on
    * Too many overqualified people forced into work that's beneath their abilities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eric seems to be on the ball, but I'm less impressed by many of our VPs. I feel like I'm being assigned to projects as a lowest-common-denominator coder, because it's too complicated to keep track of what people are good at in an organization this size. I also feel that any insight I might have is basically unwanted and my job is to shut up and write code to support other people's visions. It's not an inherently very satisfying job, and I think it's going to become harder for Google to continue to attract top people if something doesn't change.

    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work for young people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Online Sales & Operations Account Strategist  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Online Sales & Operations Account Strategist in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    Energetic, passionate talent pool; way above average perks & benefits; fair compensation for young workforce; Having bragging rights about working for the best place in the US

    Cons

    While young employees tended to feel compensated fairly for their work, peers with more experience felt salaries were low and perks were overrated. There was little opportunity for advancement in management for non-MBAs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within more frequently. Develop the young workforce, and be sure to recognize individual contributors.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good benefits - not a place to advance your career

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

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    Good benefits
    Smart peers
    Great resume builder
    Relevant experience

    Cons

    No career track
    Bad upper management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think of creative ways to use employees

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    weak management, no respect for contractors

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

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    obvious perks like food, gym, celebrity visits/talks, laundry, dogs on campus, etc

    Cons

    the managers from my experience did not know how to manage. they seemed like former engineers that were just given the title. No leadership, guidance, or followup throughout my year there. Also when it came time to convert me to full time, management failed and "forgot" to submit my application. Contractors overall seemed pretty unhappy even with all the awesome company perks. It just seemed like there was just some lack of respect for us.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    train your managers better. it's like the blind leading the blind sometimes over there, hence the "chaos" everyone is talking about.

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Pockets of greatness in product and engineering. Other functions are secondary and low-profile.

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

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    People are smart and well-intentioned
    Gourmet food everyday, in lots of different cafes
    Countless opportunities to take on-campus classes
    Internally transparent company, even around product development

    Cons

    In finance, non-technical management somewhat helpless in technical environment.
    IT problems fester because leadership is detached... can't envision and implement solutions.
    Poorly designed internal processes lead to massive inefficiency in day-to-day operations.
    Culture of autonomous work is being replaced by corporate, tops-down autocracy.
    20% of people in finance provide 80% of the functional value, because the other 80% of people don't have necessary technical skills to contribute.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest time and technical resources to support financial operations.
    Engage senior leadership in solving IT problems.
    Don't hire people with lots of staid corporate baggage.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 24 people found this helpful  

    Google is NOT for NONE-Software Engineers

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

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    I think most ppl r proud of working for Google. I was too...at least for the beginning of two months. So, I don't need to repeat the good things about working for Google here. But, remember, all the good things are mostly posted by "software engineers". They are like king of the world in Google versus operation engineers (including me) are like slavers of the king.

    Cons

    Google, fortunately, is the worst company I have ever worked for. It attracts so many talent people to work for this company, but in fact, the only give software engineers the special treatment. I've seen so many great engineers in operation team were treated like nothing.

    1. management sucks
    My manager is the root cause that every engineer suffers. He is the best politician I have ever seen in my life. Ever since he promoted to be a manager, he started to play all the dirty games among us.
    He spent $20 mil per year on some equipments which melt down network connectivity so many times every month. He claimed that the equipments would save Google for 10 millions per year, but in fact, we spent a lot more work hours on trying to solve the problems these junks caused. The main problem is, there is no test base for these junks. Aren't we supposed to test all the equipment before we implement or even purchase them? Not these junks... how does it happen? pick ur guess!
    How about we go the manger above him. Too bad.. the upper manager is his buddy. There is no complain or any bad thing would ever leak out through these 2 layers of managers. They cover everything up very well. In fact, one of the manager's jobs should ensure the fairness. Well... "fairness" is NEVER been seen at this team.

    2. politics tricks
    My manager has this policy: all the engineers under level III can not talk to the engineers above level IV. Well.... before I join google, I thought anyone could talk directly to anyone, even to CEO. But my manager fired a person who asked questions to a level IV.
    His recently move was - promoted two of his favorites to be managers and directly reported to him. You know what it means? He just promoted himself since there are two managers reporting to him now. That was the exact trick his upper manager did a couple years ago. Now... there are 3 levels of management under one director. How does this director allow this happen?? well.. that's the politics. So, when the new engineer join the team, how many levels above him?? It's IMPOSSIBLE that you get promoted if there is one new layer added. Most likely, you got downgraded every year!!

    3. STEALING/CHEATING
    I've never seen so many cheating cases ever since I graduated from college, but here, at Google. We have two level IV engineers responsible for designing networks with one stealing ideas/credits from the other one's work!! And this cheating is permitted by the upper manager!! How did it happen? well... the managers playing the games. The two (now three) levels managers ensures that none of outside team could work with the talent engineer alone. When they steals, those seniors all lined up and the upper manager would give pressure down to turn in the design and the credits. Whoever on the same side of this level IV engineer would suffer a hard time and have bad reviews from those managers. So, we watched the stealing and cheating happening every day but no one dare to say anything.

    <to be continued>

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I thought Google was not a place for the politician to play games with every day. When there were so many evil people running this company, how can it not to be evil?

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Google NY

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    Great and smart people to work with
    Good atmosphere
    Great perks

    Cons

    Committee decisions
    very large company
    Too much politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take responsibility.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

Worked for Google? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.