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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "The people are great and almost always assume the best of you; I never had bad interactions or felt the need to 'prove myself'." (in 3102 reviews)
- "great benefits and I do believe they build some of the best products out there." (in 2366 reviews)
- "It was a great environment and culture that I looked forward to going to every day." (in 1778 reviews)
- "In those positions you can have a good work/life balance and just use all the benefits" (in 1581 reviews)
- "the pay is good and the fellow engineers are very smart" (in 1307 reviews)
- "Long hours and your time put into a position where you may not even advance." (in 580 reviews)
- "bad management and rude to customers" (in 517 reviews)
- "People are forced out by bad managers via bad annual reviews and PIP program to get there friends in there." (in 423 reviews)
- "Much work to do and stress" (in 216 reviews)
- "Recent layoffs have caused a rescinded ft offer" (in 190 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
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- 4.0Jun 21, 2013Program ManagerFormer Employee, more than 8 yearsMountain View, CA
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).
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. :(3748
- 5.0May 10, 2014Software Engineer IIICurrent Employee, more than 1 yearNew York, NY
* If you're a software engineer, you're among the kings of the hill at Google. It's an engineer-driven company without a doubt (that *is* changing, but it's still very engineer-focused). * The perks are amazing. Yes, free breakfast, lunch, an dinner every weekday. Aaaaaamazing holiday parties (at Waldorf Astoria, NY Public Library, MoMA, etc.); overnight ski trips to Vermont; overnight nature trips to the Poconos in the summer; summer picnics at Chelsea piers; and on and on and on. I don't see this going away unless the company starts hurting financially. * Speaking of which, the company is doing quite well, which reflects in bonuses and equity grants. * There a huge diversity of work ranging from defending independent journalism worldwide (Google Project Shield) to crisis response during disasters (see Maps during Hurricane Sandy or Tsunamis), to the best machine learning experts and projects in the world, to more mundane revenue-driving projects in advertising, there's really something for everybody. * It's easy to move around within the company as long as you're in good standing (the vast majority of engineers are). * The company is amazingly open: every week Larry Page and Sergey Brin host what's called TGIF where food, beer, wine, etc. is served, a new project is presented, and afterward there's an open forum to ask the executives anything you want. It's truly fair game to ask anything, no matter how controversial, and frequently the executives will be responsive. * No, nobody cares if you use an iPhone, Facebook, shop with Amazon, stream using Spotify, or refuse to use Google+. The company is amazingly open and flexible. Neither pro nor con, but general information on work-life balance, promotions, and advancement. * Work life balance can be what you want it to be on most teams. (Some teams are in more competitive sectors and require more crazy hours all the time - but very few of them). If you do what's expected, you'll be fine at least for a handful of years. Working a roughly 40 hour work week is possible, and many people do it. There are also people who are hyper-motived and work like crazy just because they love it, or because they're competitive, or they want to get a promotion. If you work 40 hour weeks without putting in anything extra, you'll fall behind them as they advance and you stand still - and maybe that doesn't matter, so it works out for everybody. But at least know where you would realistically stand. * If you excel and work your butt off, you'll be compensated and promoted. If you let yourself be a code monkey, and just sit coding with your head down all day, you'll be fine but won't advance. A big complaint from some Googlers is about not being able to advance "even at Google" with pure coding. Sure, if you're the uber genius who created MapReduce and Bigtable, you're going to advance like a rocket without having to do anything but coding; but if you're like most engineers at Google -- smarter than average, but just average compared to other Googlers -- you're just a good coder and not revolutionary. Code monkeys are important to actually get stuff done, and to be sure you absolutely need to be a good coder as a software engineer (it's the minimum requirement), but code monkeys won't advance because they're not leaders and they're easy to replace. To get promoted you need to lead and do more than just code. There are plenty of ways to lead other than being an official tech lead, so this isn't actually _that_ hard, so the real point is just that you can't just sit there coding what other people tell you to code all day and expect to advance.
* It *is* becoming larger, and with it comes growing pains: bureaucracy, slow to respond to market threats, bloated teams, cross-divisional tension (though nothing remotely approaching that of Microsoft's internal tension). * The quality of the engineers is possibly dropping, but possibly not. It's hard to get real metrics, because as the absolute number of people grows, naturally the number of bad apples grows; as a percentage it's supposedly the same as it ever was, but with larger numbers of poorer quality engineers it just _feels_ like things might be changing for the worse. * Also with growth means more internal-confidential data leaks (again, because of the raw numbers of people) -- product announcements being ruined, etc. That means the company has to be tighter-lipped internally to avoid leaks, which makes things less open. It's still an amazingly open place, but less so than it was even a couple years ago. The good thing is they recognize it and actively look to improve things because they know how important it is to keep the good culture.1105
- 5.0Feb 8, 2015Anonymous EmployeeCurrent EmployeeMountain View, CA
You can't find a more well-regarded company that actually deserves the hype it gets. You'll work on cutting edge projects / solve important issues that impact your community and the world You'll meet interesting people who are your colleagues, managers, and senior management. You'll open the paper and see your company in the news almost every day, and read about projects you're working on, which is a cool thing You'll see Larry and Sergey at TGIF and you'll admire how they lead the company. They are brilliant, goofy, low key but intense, and likeable. There are 22 cafes (more or less), the food is excellent, and it's free. Your pay will typically be competitive, though it needs to be tweaked up a bit since the economy has improved. Google cares about how it treats its employees. The campus is like an academic campus in many ways. There are tons of activities on campus, like authors speaking about their books, films after work, and gyms where you can work out - but you'll need to make sure to carve out time to do these things. You'll get plenty of external validation from people who suddenly think you're smart and rich because you work there, even if you're not rich and you're as smart when you didn't work at Google. If and when you leave, you'll never regret having that company on your resume. It opens doors. The company is flexible - if you're lucky, you won't have a micromanager boss and you can be somewhat flexible in how you work - but don't get me wrong - you'll work a LOT. But you don't have to do all of it chained to your desk.
I live in SF so the commute can take between 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours each way on the shuttle - sometimes 2 hours each way on a busy day or rainy day. That means being on the bus for 3-4 hours PER DAY. It's a wired bus though which means you can work on the way to Mountain View. But it can feel brutal. Your first year or two are really important in terms of your career at Google and they affect how you're viewed, and your ability to be promoted. You should always ask to work on high profile projects. If you don't get them, don't expect to get high ratings or get promoted. Always volunteer for cross functional group work for maximum exposure, and then work hard at those things. You'll likely work on something that no one will explain to you and it will take you at least a year to be comfortable doing what you're working on, even if you're super quick at learning. No one has time to train you or teach you what you're doing - which is kind of hard. After two or three years, people you started out with at Google start to get promoted. If you're not one of them, you'll wonder why and how it happened, and that process is somewhat political and not always clear. It's a big company now. And super political. So don't be naive. Expect some people to be catty, some people to be territorial, and be prepared to be mentally tough. Don't let people see your vulnerableness. It's a Darwinistic culture with a huge dose of 30-something idealism on top which can fool you into thinking that people are easygoing - they're not. They're driven. If you're not driven, you're not going to fit in. When you start at Google, it seems like peer reviews are super important - they are, but they are the sprinkles on the fro yo. The important thing is that your direct manager knows your work, likes your work and likes you, and then you can get promoted. If your boss doesn't like you, all the positive peer reviews in the world won't help you. Make sure you know what your boss wants, and give it to them. You will have weekly one on ones, and make sure you are addressing your performance at each one, asking if they have questions, how you can improve, can you work on cross functional projects, etc. It's really hard to find work life balance at Google. The workload is huge. I hardly have time to work out. The commute is brutal. My family sometimes needs more from me and I can't give it. I'm still trying to find the balance. I think I need more down time than most people so I have a hard time being structured every day to fit all the things I want into my day, so a lot of things slip, like working out.613
- 5.0Nov 24, 2023Software EngineerCurrent Employee, more than 1 year
* Outstanding smart and kind people. * Great work-life balance (depends on the team). People are understanding and don't try to push you to work unreasonable hours. * If you are on an exciting project, then you are golden. * There is a great culture that focuses on engineering and learning. People tend to understand the limits of software and how to use it correctly. There are a lot of great lessons to learn from here. * Great perks like free and nearby food.
* It can be extremely frustrating to deal with leadership with zero vision for the company. * You are just a cog if you are not on an exciting project. * Huge variance in team cultures that can greatly impact your experience. * There are a lot of people and it's hair tearingly frustrating to figure out how to coordinate between them.
- 5.0Sep 24, 2023Software Development Engineer (SDE)Current EmployeeNew York, NY
Cutting-Edge Technology: Google is at the forefront of technology innovation. As an SDE, you'll have the chance to work on some of the most exciting and cutting-edge projects in the industry, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. World-Class Colleagues: You'll be surrounded by incredibly talented and driven colleagues who will push you to excel. The collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment fosters personal and professional growth. Generous Compensation: Google offers competitive salaries, bonuses, and stock options, ensuring you are well-rewarded for your contributions. The company also provides excellent benefits, including health care and retirement plans. Global Impact: Your work at Google has the potential to impact billions of people worldwide. Google's products and services are used by individuals and businesses across the globe, making the work feel purposeful and meaningful. Work-Life Balance: Google values work-life balance and offers flexible working arrangements, including remote work options. The company also provides on-site amenities, such as gyms and gourmet food, to make life more convenient.
Intense Competition: The high bar for talent at Google means that you'll face intense competition both during the hiring process and while working there. This can lead to a stressful and fast-paced environment. Bureaucracy: As with any large corporation, there can be bureaucratic processes that slow down decision-making and hinder innovation. Navigating these processes can be frustrating at times. High Expectations: Google expects its employees to perform at a consistently high level. The pressure to meet these expectations can be challenging, and the work can be demanding.1
- 5.0Oct 20, 2023Software EngineerCurrent Employee, less than 1 yearMountain View, CA
Good wlb (depending on the team) Well-known brand, opens up opportunities Good pay, especially considering the wlb Intelligent, friendly co-workers, culture of helping others, you probably won't get in trouble with your manager for taking time awy from your tasks to help someone else (although I hear it become more political at higher levels) You will learn a lot, especially if this is your first job out of school Mostly stable (although there have been some cutting of teams)
Decline in quality of in-office perks (due to recession) Mandatory in-office 3 days a week policy Old products, limited opportunities for meaningful impact Although its relatively stable, its position in the future is threatened by emerging competitors like TikTok and OpenAI Most of the resources are being funneled away from certain teams and into LLMs Not very diverse, although this is a critique of the whole industry, and Google is admittedly better than other companies and a least offers identity-based employee resource groups1
- 4.0Sep 15, 2023Software EngineerCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsSan Francisco, CA
- Pay is very high, especially if you have strong performance reviews year-on-year - Coworkers are highly intelligent and proactive - Very good and well-supported internal tooling (if sometimes overly complex) - Fairly easy to transfer within the company - Relatively relaxed attitude around work schedules and in-person attendance in the office, depending on the team
- Very hierarchical in both structure and style. Decisions from minor code style choices to team processes to larger policies are usually made by some group at a high level and uniformly applied to all, and enforced. - Constant reorgs mean swapping managers every 6 months or so - Incentivizes competition between engineers, which blunts collaboration - Very established ways of doing things that are in many ways frozen in time because of all the heavyweight internal tooling that would be too expensive to change "at google scale", as people love to say. Most teams use waterfall methodology. Long-winded, formal detailed design documents are typically prepared by one person and then handed off to the implementers. - Tends to favor overly complex code and documentation - The monorepo makes developing for/with open source libraries a nightmare - Takes a long time to get comfortable/efficient with the Google engineering ecosystem and its ways of doing things. - Cumbersome promotion process that makes getting promoted quickly after joining very difficult - Teams tend to be very meeting-adverse, which makes it difficult to feel connected with distributed teams - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts are talked up all the time, but in reality, this is probably the least inclusive company I have ever worked for. - Shady ethics around the company's "mission" that everyone seems to turn a blind eye to6
- 5.0Dec 6, 2023Senior Software EngineerCurrent Employee, more than 8 yearsSunnyvale, CA
Top tier benefit (vacation, medial, perks etc.) Great work-life balance Good engineering practice and tools
Getting more and more bureacratic over years Small impact and slow growth trajectory (in most teams) Second-tier salary compare to other tech companies
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Google has an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5, based on over 48,591 reviews left anonymously by employees. 86% of employees would recommend working at Google to a friend and 74% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -1% over the last 12 months.
86% of Google employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Google 4.2 out of 5 for work life balance, 4.3 for culture and values and 4.2 for career opportunities.