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Google Reviews

Updated June 26, 2017
2,105 reviews

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2,105 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is often mentioned but rarely (in 282 reviews)

  • Sometimes you feel you are very alone in this big company (in 241 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1584)

    "Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Sr. Supply Chain and Logistics Project Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Senior Supply Chain and Logistics Project Manager (Google Inc) in Lithia Springs, GA
    Former Contractor - Senior Supply Chain and Logistics Project Manager (Google Inc) in Lithia Springs, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great work life balance and flexible schedule

    Cons

    determined to remain a youthful culture

    Advice to Management

    youth is no guarantee of innovation

  3. "More than I bargained for"

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

    I have been working at Google full-time

    Pros

    No shortage of growth potential

    Spiritual connection to the overall mission of Search, sense of impact is possible

    The code style and review procedures make you a better engineer

    Decent options for exercise

    Bidets and cold brew are a small and ineffectual consolation for the below cons

    Cons

    It's a gigantic hill to climb before you're able to chart your own course and make an impact that's really meaningful to you.

    Personal and professional growth is a survival mechanism, not a "nice to have," and it can be very painful.

    You have to learn all the technologies that are only used inside of Google. They're very good, but it means it takes a lot longer to start anything new. There's too many steps to everything for anyone to keep in their head. For my very first major project, I had to learn about and fix problems related to at least seven or eight systems I had never heard of before joining Google, each with their own dedicated team. The stress of trying to remember everything, and inconveniencing others when you don't, has caused me to snap or break down at least once a month.

    Mixed messages

    You will get an e-mail asking you to donate to a company PAC, which is laughable, but that's apparently common among major tech companies.

    It's crowded and in some buildings the floor shakes when people fall onto their footsteps, which is common and unnerving. People make the area around sinks in the bathroom impossibly wet.

    The Bay Area is a big squeeze (as in squeeze you out for all you're worth) and puts light to the absurdity called land ownership.

    Advice to Management

    You need to warn new hires about living far away just because shuttles reach there. It's okay for a well-scheduled job with unambiguous tasks, but working in Search means that any and all hurdles in your daily life can have a serious impact on your performance, and a long shuttle ride is such a hurdle. You get very little leeway when you're still trying to figure out time and energy management. Don't sit idly by while the perks invite the illusion that they erase these differences. I put myself at a serious disadvantage because I thought I could live near any shuttle stop without it impacting my health, well-being, or performance.

    Don't tell me that stress is deadlines and deadlines are like a bear. I don't have deadlines, just heavy intimidation at the ocean of what there already is, and a suffocating fear that it will never get easier.


  4. "A Software Engineer who Probably Doesn't Know How Good He Has It"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Hours are quite reasonable. Working 9-5 is possible, especially if not prioritizing promotion.
    - Perks are valuable and make work environment quite comfortable. Having free meals and gourmet snacks in the micro kitchens makes working for other companies, even rich ones like Apple, unappealing.

    Cons

    - For all the search monopoly money Google has, there are few projects that try to solve major world problems, such as climate change.
    - A lot of colleagues do not seem to care about making the world a better place for the poor.
    - Two-tiered work environment with engineers/high power full time employees on one side and most other employee types on the other. Google "Google red badge."

    Advice to Management

    Increase R&D investment in energy. Be more like Tesla in terms of ambition and vision.


  5. "Senior Sales Strategist"

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

    I have been working at Google full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Inclusive senior leadership and great ERG for LGBTQ folks

    Cons

    Horrible mid management, culture is getting diluted


  6. "Good place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    food, coffee, gym, equity, offices

    Cons

    politics are worse than ever

    Advice to Management

    hire more people


  7. "Interesting time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quantitative Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Quantitative Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    great benefits that I got to have

    Cons

    the work started getting hard at times

    Advice to Management

    none

  8. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Visual Da in Bothell, WA
    Current Contractor - Visual Da in Bothell, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun place, and you meet a lot of great people

    Cons

    bad side it is only for 2 years


  9. "Great company to work for"

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

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

    Pros

    One of the best companies I have had the pleasure of working for. Fantastic environment. You are able to use your talents in all areas. You have room for promotion within the company. You are always heard and your ideas matter.

    Cons

    It's important to set work life balance boundaries.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Not for Everyone"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of freedom, perks, food, friendly people, great location (feels like the whole city is Google).

    Cons

    Too much freedom without guidance. Too many code owners that can block you without a care. Too much focus on features, and not enough on tech debt and testing. People launch a feature, then switch teams and leave the maintenance to the rest. And they get promoted for doing that.

    Advice to Management

    Worker harder to make sure everyone on the team is happy and help change teams when necessary.


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