Google

  www.google.com
  www.google.com

Google Reviews in San Jose, CA

Updated November 26, 2014
Updated November 26, 2014
2,714 Reviews
4.4
2,714 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,502 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 140 reviews)

  • Free food onsite three times a day is an essential convenience factor (in 262 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 122 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 93 reviews)

More Highlights

895 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 609 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  

    Paradise lost.

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

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

    Pros

    Well, it's Google:) You get exceptional perks, including subsidized massages and gourmet food. The average intelligence level of employees is very high and most of the technologies you work on are bleeding edge. The company tries to maintain open information culture and keep people aware of what is going on.

    Cons

    I've joined in 2005 and Google in 2005, Google in 2008 and Google in 2013 are 3 different companies. The early years made Google the icon for IT world and it was respectfully so. However as the company grew the engineer-centric and open culture has began to disarray and the people (mostly in mid-to-senior management) that should have never been hired started to erode this culture. Now it is becoming more and more like other big corporations. It is still a great company to work for and far better that most of what is out there, but comparing to what it could have become...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to people's career paths within the company. If someone is working on "high value product" it is almost impossible to switch the team (especially if the team you want to go to is not HVP). Avoid bureaucracy as much as possible and worry less about what other companies do (like Facebook) and get back to "industries disruptor mode" in which Google excels at.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Amazing place to call work.

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

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

    Pros

    Freedom of creativity. I am able to create my own responsibilities and the folks I work with are incredibly intelligent, creating world changing consumer products.

    Cons

    It's really important to stay ahead of the group I support, but given things change on a daily basis, priorities are never the same from day to day. I don't consider this to be a con, but its something to consider. You must be adaptable as well as have a great sense of humor.

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


  5.  

    Google Style

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

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

    Pros

    Good benefits. They have smart people there. If the work done really makes sense, it gets launched fairly quickly. Not too much pressure, I feel people there have good balance between work and family. The way things work out - large code base, automatic MR jobs, code reviews... are Google style, and they are awesome

    Cons

    I hear that the food is getting worse (mainly due to the size increase). You want to really stand out for a promotion - but they have many great people there, so this can be tricky.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Best Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    Leader in tech innovation, amazing work culture, great benefits including free food, bus service and much more. Transparency.

    Cons

    None that I can think of at this time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue the amazing work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Awesome environment

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

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

    Pros

    Friendly and helpful people around you.
    More than 20 cafes are available.
    Convenient transportation (Free shuttle and GBike)
    High salary of course

    Cons

    Campus is too big.
    Some projects are trivial.
    I cannot think of any more since Intern program is sooo fancy.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    amazing place

    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

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

    Pros

    Respects employees, smart and caring colleagues, lots of freedom

    Cons

    Should work and improve the hiring process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix hiring process to reduce the false positives.

  9.  

    Great learning experience

    • 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 an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great learning experience, as I was able to work closely with different members of the team.

    Cons

    It's a big company, so there tends to be some politics and bureaucracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less bureaucracy, more direct engagement between staff and middle/upper management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    It's what you make of it

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Working with smart, effective people: The average intelligence level here is considerably higher than anyplace else I've worked, and the people tend to be very diligent. When I need assistance from another engineer or another team, I typically get quick and effective help. Office politics exist, but compared to anywhere else I've worked they're not a problem.

    - Compensation / perks: I'm very satisfied with my compensation. The assorted perks are pretty valuable as well -- the food and fitness facilities are my favorites.

    - Work/life balance: From reading other reviews here it seems that experiences in this area vary. But mine have been excellent. I rarely work over 40 hours a week, and when I do it's because I personally feel engaged by what I'm working on, never because of pressure from my manager or team lead. I almost never check work emails during evenings or weekends, and when I come in to the office in the morning I don't find that they've been emailing me during that period. I actually have gotten gentle pushback from my team lead when I asked if he could log in from home later in the evening to review/approve a change I wanted to submit.

    Cons

    - Impostor syndrome: The flip side of working with so many smart and effective people is that it can be difficult to recognize your own value; if you're used to being the smartest guy in the room and suddenly you're surrounded by people who are at or above your ability, that can be a bit of a blow to the ego. I eventually worked through this, but it took the better part of a year.

    - Slow ramp-up: One of the drivers of impostor syndrome for me was that it took me a lot longer to find my footing and get effective here than at other jobs. Some of that is on me for not asking more questions, but I think more proactive support from leadership might have helped. The environment at Google is very unique and there's a lot to learn before an engineer can get things done.

    - Living in a bubble: The perks and so on make life at Google very comfortable. I can imagine that leaving that bubble will get difficult.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Not overrated

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great food, perks, and work life balance. Along with amazingly smart and ambitious coworkers, tons of resources, cutting edge products, you can't go wrong

    Cons

    Big company feel at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More promotions please.

    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.