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Google Reviews in San Jose, CA

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 779 reviews

95% Approve of the CEO

Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page

Larry Page

(392 ratings)

90% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development(in 103 reviews)

  • Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro(in 218 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging(in 98 reviews)

  • Google is no different than any other big company and they are starting to realize it(in 70 reviews)

779 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    392 people found this helpful  

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

    Program Manager (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros1) Food, food, food. 15+ cafes on main campus (MTV) alone. Mini-kitchens, snacks, drinks, free breakfast/lunch/dinner, all day, errr'day.

    2) Benefits/perks. Free 24:7 gym access (on MTV campus). Free (self service) laundry (washer/dryer) available. Bowling alley. Volley ball pit. Custom-built and exclusive employee use only outdoor sport park (MTV). Free health/fitness assessments. Dog-friendly. Etc. etc. etc.

    3) Compensation. In ~2010 or 2011, Google updated its compensation packages so that they were more competitive.

    4) For the size of the organization (30K+), it has remained relatively innovative, nimble, and fast-paced and open with communication but, that is definitely changing (for the worse).

    5) With so many departments, focus areas, and products, *in theory*, you should have plenty of opportunity to grow your career (horizontally or vertically). In practice, not true.

    6) You get to work with some of the brightest, most innovative and hard-working/diligent minds in the industry. There's a "con" to that, too (see below).

    Cons1) Work/life balance. What balance? All those perks and benefits are an illusion. They keep you at work and they help you to be more productive. I've never met anybody at Google who actually time off on weekends or on vacations. You may not hear management say, "You have to work on weekends/vacations" but, they set the culture by doing so - and it inevitably trickles down. I don't know if Google inadvertently hires the work-a-holics or if they create work-a-holics in us. Regardless, I have seen way too many of the following: marriages fall apart, colleagues choosing work and projects over family, colleagues getting physically sick and ill because of stress, colleagues crying while at work because of the stress, colleagues shooting out emails at midnight, 1am, 2am, 3am. It is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to change.

    2) Poor management. I think the issue is that, a majority of people love Google because they get to work on interesting technical problems - and these are the people that see little value in learning how to develop emotional intelligence. Perhaps they enjoy technical problems because people are too "difficult." People are promoted into management positions - not because they actually know how to lead/manage, but because they happen to be smart or because there is no other path to grow into. So there is a layer of intelligent individuals who are horrible managers and leaders. Yet, there is no value system to actually do anything about that because "emotional intelligence" or "adaptive leadership" are not taken seriously.

    3) Jerks. Sure, there are a lot of brilliant people - but, sadly, there are also a lot of jerks (and, many times, they are one and the same). Years ago, that wasn't the case. I don't know if the pool of candidates is getting smaller, or maybe all the folks with great personalities cashed out and left, or maybe people are getting burned out and it's wearing on their personality and patience. I've heard stories of managers straight-up cussing out their employees and intimidating/scaring their employees into compliance.

    4) It's a giant company now and, inevitably, it has become slower moving and is now layered with process and bureaucracy. So many political battles, empire building, territory grabbing. Google says, "Don't be evil." But, that practice doesn't seem to be put into place when it comes to internal practices. :(

    Advice to Senior Management1) Don't dismiss emotional intelligence and adaptive leadership. They're not just catch phases. You need great managers and leaders in order to build great companies and develop great employees. The people who may be brilliant at solving technical issues may not be (and are most often, not) the best candidates for management.

    2) Do something about that work-ife balance. Don't just have a bunch of pow-wows and tech talks and discussions about it. Leadership should actually model it. Consider re-evaluating how work is done; what processes are in place that are inefficient and ineffective and need to be updated or removed?

    3) Don't forget that there is already a pool of incredibly talented people within the company. If career development is really a goal at Google, then do it. Don't just hire from the outside. Take the time to help your employees develop their careers - then maybe you won't lose some of the great ones, and maybe you'll have prevent some of that burn out and disillusionment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    4 people found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work!

    Intern (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe environment and culture are wonderful. There's free food and events. The company does interesting work. You fee like your work is relevant when you work here because of the nature of the company's work. The people are nice, smart, and down to earth.

    ConsPeople are assigned a lot of work so you must be sure to do a good job balancing your workload. It's hard to get work done when you have so many awesome distractions like neat events to attend.

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Inspiring, supportive, challenging, rewarding.

    Design Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsOutstanding perks and rewards, high expectations, challenging work, lots of empowerment and minimal micromanagement, good collaboration, good lateral and vertical mobility, smart and do-the-right-thing colleagues, fair and unbiased feedback and performance evaluations, very transparent and good access to leadership.

    ConsEven the best big companies have some amount of politics and some amount of duplicate or discarded work. Plus, when you've got a lot of people working on something, the work is sharded into smaller and more specialized bits, and some of those are naturally less interesting than others.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up. Keep thinking big and long term. Keep moving forward.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Highly recommend to others

    Staff Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsNice compensation, nice culture, career growth, nice and smart people, free food

    ConsBusier than most big companies, which is both good and bad

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    Great place to build your career

    Product Marketing Manager (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros- A lot of mobility available - career shifts to sales, marketing, etc are possible
    - International travel and mobility highly possible
    - All the perks you hear about are true! Free food, great vacation packages, etc.
    - Many opportunities for advancing education, personal growth, etc.
    - Work life balance very good on most teams I've been a part of

    Cons- You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape
    - Most opportunities are in Mountain View HQ - a horrendous commute no matter how you swing it if you're living in SF
    -Many teams have an 'ivy league only' culture that can be stifling
    -Email and meeting culture can be real time sucks

    Advice to Senior Management- Do something about the bureaucratic red tape
    - Proactively demonstrate more creativity and innovation - even in roles like sales and marketing
    - Be more marketing led, rather than product led

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Best Company

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThey «take care» about your health;
    They provide you many transports inside google;
    They provide you a nice salary, the best food;
    There are great people and great environments to work on;
    There are everything you need to play, think, rest, sleep.
    Inside Google, there's another world, on the other side of the universe. A better world that want to make the difference.

    ConsProbably you will not want to leave of your workplace (Google).

    Advice to Senior ManagementNothing to say about this.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Positive and challenging.

    Web Developer (Former Employee) Mountain View, CA

    Pros* Open bottom-up culture.
    * Never a dull moment.

    Cons* Lots of competition from all the very smart coworkers. Promotions are challenging.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great environment!

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsCompany cares about individual and provide opportunities for future career development. Great environment, and feel motivated all the time.

    ConsI don't have cons in my mind. I live in SF, and maybe commute can be a tiny concern.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Wonderful Place

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsBenefits, perks, interesting projects, learning and growth opportunity. Google offers a lot of career development, and even a lot of entertainment onsite.

    ConsOverheads of checking in codes, politics in certain groups. Sometimes people are spending a lot of time working just on trivial stuff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus more on technical stuff

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good, Needs Help

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Mountain View, CA

    ProsThe interesting projects and people are a huge pro for me. The salary is extremely good as well. I'm very excited to see the Company's future.

    ConsWork/Life Balance is extremely hard. I don't know why they insist on turning us into slaves. If you have a bad manager, your experience will surely be ruined.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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