Google - Great company... but not for life | Glassdoor
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Helpful (21)

"Great company... but not for life"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
No opinion of CEO

Pros

- Average level of engineers is very high. Not everyone is a superstar, but there are practically no "dummies".
- Lots of interesting technologies to learn. Many things have been almost a revelation for me.
- Management is generally competent and caring, but see below.
- High transparency, especially of technology - can easily find and look at any code. Projects are usually well documented, removing unnecessary obstacles for learning.
- Free food, shuttle rides to work, pretty generous vacation time.

Cons

- Work may be stressful
- Promotion opportunities may be limited
- You may start to feel strange: highly-qualified, competent... and just one "number" among others
- Cramped cubicles
- Since about a year ago, switching groups became much more difficult.

I've been very happy at Google for the first 2-3 years (see "Pros"). The work could be demanding, but that was not bad, since demands were coming from other engineers eager to use my stuff and eager to report any problems, cooperate, etc.

However, gradually I started to feel as if the company hires the best and brightest only to put them under a nice, but hard-working manager, whose task is to keep them busy at all times no matter what. That's where most of my work stress eventually started to come from - though maybe it was just my personal "luck". I had a feeling that despite creating several successful projects, other achievements and expertise in several areas, I am not officially allowed any time to contemplate what to do next and what may be the best thing for me (and the company). Instead, I just have to generate code and other signs of activity every hour. That was exacerbated by the fact that since summer 2010 engineers lost their privilege to freely switch work groups. You could only go where the upper management thought there is opportunity for the company. Again, that felt like less respect to the very people who, being so bright, are supposed to also sniff where the next useful thing really is.

Eventually, I left for a job at a research lab. So far I am compensated less well overall, but I am much, much more happy (for now at least :-))

Advice to Management

Respect engineers - you come from the same background! Give them, at least at certain level and above, more chance to decide themselves what to do (or not to do) and which group to work at. Also think how to improve promotion chances for those who work on less "sexy" or well-known projects.

Other Employee Reviews for Google

  1. "Furthering my education"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Recruiter in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Recruiter in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Career development, impact and range.

    Cons

    Compensation and lack of transparency at times.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Everybody loves you"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Visitor Greeter in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Visitor Greeter in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    everyone wants to join Google because it is a giant party. Free Food, onsite everything, free seminars, movies and lectures. But you have go to produce. They don't care if you party all week long but when the deadline arrives, you need to deliver.

    Cons

    Engineers rule at Google. Leadership and management are weak, as these geeky guys and gals are more comfortable talking to their keyboard then to subordinates. The lack of leadership is one of the great weaknesses for this organization.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership matters. You can't just throw a bunch of engineers at a problem with little oversight, planning and motivation and hope to have a happy ending.


There are newer employer reviews for Google
There are newer employer reviews for Google

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