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Google Reviews

Updated June 21, 2017
727 reviews

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3.0
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727 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is often mentioned but rarely (in 281 reviews)

  • Sometimes you feel you are very alone in this big company (in 238 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (12)

    "Ideal, if you like Corporate America"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Google full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Looks great on a resume. Having worked at Google opens many doors; and there are lots of opportunities internally. Compensation & benefits are top of the market. A majority of coworkers are smart, talented, well-intentioned people. Gyms, exercise classes, music rooms, language programs are amazing.

    Go into it realizing that even though it's Google, it's still a huge corporate, lead by

    Cons

    The Google culture is mostly a facade. There are many programs and tools designed to foster things like psychological safety, inclusiveness, mindfulness... but they are pretty shallow. It's like they are there just because that's what "progressive" companies do. They are created, and probably managed based on data that the leaders have no idea how to interpret. It doesn't come from the heart, because AI androids don't have hearts, of course. I used a contact form to report witnessing blatant sexism by senior leaders. My report went unanswered. I contacted my HRBP to discuss a sensitive topic. S/he acted like I was just a bother.

    The legendary perks have faded. Of course, the standard health/stock/retirement benefits are fantastic. But the food and fun budgets are dwindling fast.

    Perhaps worst of all: like so many prestigious institutions, Google attracts people who are driven by status. The result is that you have too many with slick credentials but mediocre talent, and almost no authentic interest in industry. Then, instead of producing great work, they get along with strategic elbow-rubbing and excessive self-promotion.

    Speaking of self-promotion, the performance review process is onerous and unhelpful. But not anymore than that at most big companies, from what I hear.

    All that said, I'm incredibly grateful for my job, even as I plot my escape. If I were a few years younger and more amenable to the corporate lifestyle, I'd be all in for several years, at least.

    Advice to Management

    Foster authenticity.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "It's getting crowded"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great perks. Company really values its employees.
    Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Crowded. Most projects are not very interesting. Interesting projects have many people jumping on them and have usually been done to death.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Mixed feelings. Great office, a manager with people managing problems."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Google full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The office has lots of perks and very nice to work in. Flexible hours, challenging tasks, lots of stuff to learn. Some nice people to work with.

    Cons

    Lots of politics, was pretty unlucky to get a very young manager with poor human skills.

    Advice to Management

    Choose managers more carefully.


  4. "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Intern in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Google (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good campus and benefits available

    Cons

    Difficult tasks and little directions.

    Advice to Management

    Work better with coworkers on a regular basis.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Devs - be very careful of what ladder you're on"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Google full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing developer tooling - you don't know how good it can be until you use it

    Practically infinite resources - There's an internal joke around "I just want to serve five terabytes" and "I forgot how to count that low"

    Everyone isn't a genius, that's overhyped, but everyone's very competent

    Cons

    Lots of weird corners of the company you can get stuck in.

    There's a lot of engineers that find out the company classified them as something else. What's the process to move? Why, interview like an external candidate! (the dreaded ladder transfer)

    Need permissions that only a few can grant (readability to commit code in a language). Depending on where you are in the company this will either be extremely easy or take months to do the simplest thing.

    Transfers require good performance reviews, which means everyone moves along until they land in something which doesn't fit their skills, at which point they can never leave. There's no bad fit, just bad employees.

    Look, I know I'm pretty clearly a single issue complainer, but it really is awful if you fall through the cracks.

    Advice to Management

    Make transferring easier, lots of people are stuck in weird spots. Don't look at your written policy around this and mistake it for what actually happens. The real rules are much more frustrating.

    Figure out a different way to manage the Business / Engineering conflict. There's a constant tug of war where Engineering doesn't want to be told what to do and Business really, really wants to be able to tell them what to do. There have been a few back and forths where GBO hires a bunch of warm bodies they can micromanage for their purposes, then that loophole is changed and they can't do that anymore, so they find another one.

    I get it! They have things they need. But the solution is for a mature relationship where all of eng does what business wants some of the time, rather than have most doing it none of the time and a few trapped doing nothing but that. I did maybe three net months of work in two years, all the rest was spent undoing and redoing things because of high level flailing. Did you get your money's worth from my salary and benefits? No way. Did my manager get promoted? You bet.


  6. "Mixed feelings about the job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Photo Tagger in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Contractor - Photo Tagger in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Google as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    FANTASTIC perks, including pre-made meals at work served all day, free gym access, and lots of fun events hosted in house

    Cons

    Very tedious work, no room to expand, and many members of the team are not native english speakers, making the job very difficult at times.


  7. "UX Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - User Experience Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Google full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great salary & stock options, decent food and other perks.

    Cons

    Constantly reorging, lot's of pressure for promotion, sweatshop for designers, terrible commute if you don't live in Mountain View.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in SF office, hire more designers. "Scrappy teams" just results in rush jobs, lower quality work and no work life balance.

  8. "bloated spoiled toddler with ADHD"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Google full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    perks, bennies, free food, happy hours, terraces

    Cons

    insane company. mgmt is a revolving door of self-serving power-hungry overlords

    Advice to Management

    dont be just out for yourself. mgmt wants so bad to make a name, they step on anyone to get ahead.


  9. "Bloated with little idea of how to attack the AI-age"

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    All the resources you can imagine. Amazing, brilliant colleagues.

    Cons

    Chaos in the new world of AI/NLP/NLU.


  10. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Google full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture
    smart people
    challenging work

    Cons

    Less importance to a person as individual


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