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 126 reviews)

  • Free food onsite three times a day is an essential convenience factor (in 249 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 113 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 84 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    The highs and lows

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

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    The people are the best reason to work here. I had yet to meet anyone that I would consider incompetent.

    Cons

    Career advancement and promotions are vague. Job titles mean nothing -- you can be doing something someone 2 levels higher is doing, but you won't get paid the same.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create better policies around advancement and promotions. Keep people interested by giving them work that matches their strengths and values.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    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
  3. 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
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  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. 25 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
  8. 15 people found this helpful  

    Cushy dead end

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

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    - great benefits and 401K match
    - great food
    - half-naked cuties play beach volleyball on campus
    - really intelligent coworkers
    - fascinating industry and company profile

    Cons

    - managers detached, not aligned with team goals, focus on networking and their next job
    - chaotic, siloed organization, lots of inefficiency
    - sales organization is afterthought, mostly exists to patch up bad adwords user experience - so you're there to fix a problem nobody wants to admits exists. not a great career track!
    - i had two young MBAs as managers who both left me baffled as to what it is they did, or knew how to do. both were promoted! one sat me down in a 1:1 and told me to focus on my family and private life more, because caring too much about my job would only lead to problems because most of the issues in our department were not going to be fixed, and that's not really how you advance in your career anyway. it was good advice and all true, but it tells you something that this is what my soon-to-be-promoted boss told me.
    - lots of activity that has nothing to do with the company's products or business goals: events, parties, dance classes, on-campus organizations, etc. it's a lot like college that way. it's possible to spend A LOT of your time on tangential activities, keep getting good performance reviews (because the diversity festival or whatever is so great for google), and just hang out and make money and never impact the business. To me, this is really weird and not a plus, but a lot of people of course love it.
    - I left because basically I realized that if what I had achieved in the last year did not get me a promotion (major overhaul of one aspect of the business), nothing ever would. promotions aren't really about business impact at Google, they are about NOT having too much of an impact and rocking the boat. Having a dog helps a lot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's no reason to change anything as long as this much money is being made with the one revenue stream. I expect a big cleanup will take place one that's no longer the case.

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Life is not as good as you thought, but it's challenging~

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

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    1. Work with all kinds of smartest people in the world.
    2. Good pay
    3. Never get bored.
    4. Free food~

    Cons

    1. Too many smart people.
    2. Report structure is too complicated.
    3. The cube set up looks weird, no privacy at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Treat your employee in a better way.
    2. More communication with the people working their ass off to help you making profit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    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
  11. 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

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