Google Reviews in San Jose, CA

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
2,567 Reviews
4.4
2,567 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,398 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

846 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 538 people found this helpful  

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

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

    I worked at Google full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    1) 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).

    Cons

    1) 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 ManagementAdvice

    1) 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    It's like being back in College again times going to Disneyland everyday

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Free.Food.NOM.
    Beautiful campus, fun offices
    Free gyms & fitness classes
    Best 401k match I've ever seen
    Free transportation to work
    Generous maternity/paternity leave
    Brilliant, fun, friendly coworkers
    Larry & Sergey. Seriously, they are the best.
    Unlimited resources for personal development
    Interesting projects that are changing the world
    Bowling alleys, volleyball courts, massage chairs, laundry, etc
    Real work-life balance
    Hiring that focuses on outgoing, friendly people who are passionate about learning (as opposed to companies that only care what you know now, and if someone next to you knows .0001% more than you, you are out). Things change so quickly at Google you have to just have a good attitude and quickly learn/adapt.

    Cons

    As the company grows promotions are harder and internal politics increases. Interview process is very long (I had 14 interviews and it took months). But hands down it is still the best company to work for in the whole world, period.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to concentrate all employees in MTV. There is no housing here and no one should have to put 80% of their take-home pay to rent.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Company, Great People, Unlimited Education

    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    I worked at Google as a contractor for about 8 months. I came in knowing next to nothing about sales and left knowing almost everything about cloud technology, SalesForce and of course Google products. Even when you are in a contractor role, they invest a lot of time and energy into making you successful. I learned more in those months than I have at any other position in the last 3-4 years. Could not recommend an experience more.

    Cons

    Kids managing kids (although they do it pretty well), separation between contractors and full time, inconsistent career paths

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work

    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    awesome place to work

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

    I have been working at Google as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    google is a great place to work at, you get all the facilities you can imagine, free food, gym, manageable timings..
    you get to work with the most intelligent people in the word, so your time in goole will be awesome.. salary is awesome too.

    Cons

    not that many challenges you get in google. you will get help whenever you stuck at anything. first couple of months adjusting to work can be hard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    nothing to say,, they r doing a great job..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great company

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - large focus on work-life balance
    - great opportunities and support for personal and career development
    - amazing co-workers and atmosphere

    Cons

    - Google is getting bigger and more liks a corporation

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent Place to work at!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Google Applications Enterprise Support in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Google Applications Enterprise Support in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great perks: free food, arcade, gym, pool table, laundry, snack bar, bus service. There are weekly one on one meetings to gauge performance and provide advice, which I find very useful.

    Cons

    Difficult if you are a contract position as they do no convert on a regular basis. It sometimes also feels that you are treated as '2nd-class' as you are not a full-time employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Would be nice if you converted more contract employees, especially if they performed very well and to the best of their abilities

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing place to work!!

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Great work-life balance (coming from a consulting background, so anything less than 60 hrs a week is great!)
    - Outstanding perks - company is really generous to its employees
    - Cool projects and products - use gmail for work! no outlook, no lotus notes!

    Cons

    - Complicated cross-functional organization design - company is organized around products vs. marketing & sales. Hard to coordinate and move people across functions to action

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce complexity! Streamline decision-making!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to enjoy work and life

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

    I worked at Google as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    A ton of very interesting engineering challenges to work on. Great perks and work-life balance. Amazing campus and food. All the engineers I interacted with were smart, nice, and very helpful.

    Cons

    I didn't get to know too many of the other interns or members of my team who weren't working on the same project as me. I think it's a product of the size of Google as well as its engineering demographic, which tends to be slightly older than some other, newer tech companies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Everything I need to be happy for a long time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Developer Advocate in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Developer Advocate in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I love what I do. My work is used by lots and lots of users. It's cool stuff that makes people happy. I'm learning a lot which will make me employable within Google and elsewhere. I get to go home whenever I want to enjoy my free time and I make enough money to travel.

    Cons

    Not all jobs at Google are great. Some of them might be on bad projects or ineffective teams. If this happens to you it's probably in your best interest to transfer to another team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure your employees always feel comfortable complaining about you. And the use those complaints to make the company better.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Google Contractor

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

    I worked at Google as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Nearly Full access to facilities

    Cons

    Not quite all the benefits of a full employee

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not advertise as a "contract to hire", it is not a guaranatee

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Work at Google? Share Your Experiences

Google

 
Click to Rate
or

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