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4.3
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153 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is often mentioned but rarely (in 300 reviews)

  • Sometimes you feel you are very alone in this big company (in 259 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Fortunate."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people, the culture, and the constant innovation - makes coming to work everyday a fun routine.

    Cons

    We've grown too quickly, making it difficult to get things done as quickly as we were able to years ago. We've also focused on hiring elite students and MBA grads, who don't always have the street sense needed in a dynamic and changing sales organization.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Google Summer of Code was the best experience a student can get"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Google Summer of Code Open Source Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Intern - Google Summer of Code Open Source Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Google as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Completely depends on the organization you choose to participate with, but the majority are rigorous, challenging and rewarding. I was able to solve extremely difficult problems while being mentored by the best possible mentors, and I intend to participate in GSoC '13.

    Cons

    No interaction with Google, which is a great and bad thing. Could use a slightly stricter structure, but overall the program is what you make of it.

    Advice to Management

    Expand the program to more students!

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Good, not great, company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Staff Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Staff Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart, motivated people. Great tools and build systems. Great infrastructure for building web properties.

    Cons

    Bad mid-level management, without a great way to do career development. Discipline around people management relatively weak. Review model ok, not great.

    Advice to Management

    Career development and management reviews


  4. "Working on strong impact project"

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

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

    Pros

    - The company is willing to bet on risky projects
    - Projects have a worldwide visibility
    - Fun people, fun environment
    - Amazingly smart coworkers

    Cons

    Nothing fundamentally bad about the company.


  5. Helpful (11)

    "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Google full-time

    Pros

    Google offer an amazing work environment, with unbelievable perks. People around you are very smart

    Whatever you do in Google, you are probably working on (or supporting) an innovative product and having a quite large impact.

    Things move at a very fast pace. The speed is really one of a startup. Organized chaos is how I should describe Google. A chaos that magically works

    It is a relatively flat organization. While there is a well defined chain of command in every function, the individual are still empowered to work cross-functionally and take initiative.

    Cons

    It is getting a little bit too political in Google, which I guess is only natural for 40K company.

    PMs tend to take a bit too much credit for everything around, Engineering are very isolated (maybe by design) from operation/monetization aspects. Other functions are secondary to PM and Engineering in almost every aspect.

    Vision is increasingly a top-down thing with less and less grass root initiatives .......... working on your 20% these days mean your bonus will probably disappear because you need your manager sign-off, which likely has a different agenda, and his own 20%

    Advice to Management

    Most middle managers are extremely overloaded and consequently ineffective in managing their teams. It is ridiculous to have any individual managing more than 10 direct reports, and expect him to be informed on his team progress while spending most of his time in x-functional meetings ............ managers tend to never be available for spontaneous discussion, which slow decision making.

    Google should add more layers of management like any other Fortune 500. Hierarchical management when done right is supposed to be a solution for a proactive organization ................. in Google it is more of a problem because of the ideological believe in the flat organization and the extreme reluctance in adding layers.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "It's OK as a contractor."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Business Specialist in Portland, OR
    Former Contractor - Business Specialist in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart people, enthusiasm, lots of free Google stuff (bags, jackets, shirts, etc.). Cool technology - new phones, tablets and computers to use and test on the job. It's exciting to work on things that you know people use and love.

    Cons

    You kind of have to drink the kool-aid. So enthusiasm over new acquisitions can be over the top. You've got use and LOVE (or pretend to) new projects like Wave, Google+, Google Local, etc. As a contractor, you're definitely on the bottom of the heap.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent about the length and scope of our projects. My position was supposed to be 3 months, but lasted about 8 (not complaining about that necessarily) but slowly morphed into sales. When it ended, it was sudden. No warning - just 10 people called into a meeting (our whole team) and told this was the last day so turn in our equipment.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "If it's too good to be true..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Intern - Ops in Mountain View, CA
    Current Intern - Ops in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free food and looks good on the resume

    Cons

    There are some very snobbish, insulting, and vulgar people here. Imagine a country club and a technology company had a kid. Now that kid is a spoiled elitist brat that thinks everything they do is amazing.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up! Picking clean Ivy Leaguers and tossing them in a role is not always a plan for success. When it does work, don't burn them out and replace them like a strobe light bulb at a rave.

  8. "great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Google as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great culture;
    hard problems;
    bright people;
    fast paced;
    good food;

    Cons

    all of the pros if you are looking for a 9 to 5 worriless job


  9. Helpful (45)

    "Doing hard time - but paid well for it!"

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

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

    Pros

    Absolutely incredible pay + benefits - I'm making more than I ever imagined - #1 reason I haven't left
    Flexible work environment - not tied to a desk all day - can go outside/work at a Google Cafe, etc.
    Lack of structure means can define own job & execute on what you think is important
    Resume builder - Google looks great on your resume

    Cons

    Finance is a 2nd class function (at best) and in general has very limited power within the organization. This can make it difficult to make a difference or even be heard outside of the org. Often, those who succeed in finance are those that can please their business partners in Engineering/Product which can cause incredible conflicts of interest (sure, that acquisition looks fabulous and it's only $100M! I can make an analysis that makes it look great ) - even if not explicit the pressure to please powerful VPs in Eng is intense. This is compounded by the hyper-reliance on 360 feedback and networking which means it can be hard to make a change or stand up if something seems wrong.

    Finance is primarily full of investment bankers & consultants, with little folks with actual Corp Finance experience. This causes an amazing amount of inefficiency as folks don't understand how to do basic things like create a budget and expect people to stick to it (seriously - within weeks of budget creation no one knows if budget applies anymore or if we're moving to a monthly forecast view instead). At first, I tried very hard to get more Corp Finance folks in the org but now I actually think IBankers do best as folks with actual CF experience tend to be so shocked by the Google processes (or lack thereof) they simply cannot hang.

    Work/life balance is dreadful - since the employee base is generally young and former bankers, most folks don't seem to be upset by late nights stretching past midnight but for those with families (or even those that just enjoy their lives outside of work) this can be painful. Especially since most of the time is spent on projects that go nowhere.

    Google elects not to use ERP or other established software in favor of developing their own solutions. Then they don't staff these solutions with adequate Eng resources. Result is an incredible lack of data availability with the expectation that finance be "scrappy" to find ways to tease out or completely guess at the data. Upside is that without a data source no one's likely to know if you're completely off base - but this can be unsettling for folks who really want to use reliable info to make business decisions.

    There are constant reorgs and reprioritizations at Google - particularly if you don't support the Search / Ads business. Forget about focusing on anything that will take more than 1 Q to achieve.

    This is a social/extroverted environment which means that those who are good at networking have an edge over those who don't, even if the folks who don't are doing a superior job. I've taken advantage of it myself but it's not fair.


  10. "Amazing internship opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Google as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You're going to learn a lot about developing high-quality code at Google, guaranteed. Lots of experts around to help you, really great coworkers, world-famous benefits, and the expectation that you'll produce real code during your internship. I highly identify with their values and core mission, and most people there feel the same way. They also paid me a lot for an inexperienced intern.

    Cons

    It can feel slightly bureaucratic due to its size, but really not to a huge extent. I had maybe one 15-minute meeting per week, a couple HR things to deal with here and there, and that's it.


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