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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is often mentioned but rarely (in 304 reviews)

  • Sometimes you feel you are very alone in this big company (in 263 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "It is very tiring"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The free food is good.

    Cons

    The working hours are long. The pay is not worth all the time spent at work. Management is not great.

    Advice to Management

    Less micromanagement and a better review process would be great. Also, consider hiring more people. There's enough money to go around...


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good company, glad to have worked there"

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

    Pros

    Brilliant coworkers.
    Culture promotes continuous learning. There's a famous author, artist or industry leader giving a talk or performance at the company every week.
    Amazing perks. 50% match in 401k.

    Cons

    Inexperienced middle managers who are where they are because they were strong individual contributors, and not necessarily strong people managers.
    Becoming more and more political.
    Lack of autonomy in your job. Decisions, even the most inconsequential, seem to be made by a few people in each department.
    Few career advancement opportunities.
    No work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Empower your employees and managers to make more decisions on their own. Allow for more risk taking and autonomy.
    Hire, promote and value leaders who excel at developing and managing people. Make managing employees a full time job, not something to be done only during review time. Managers who remain hands on end up competing with their own direct reports.

  3. "Excellent, but Stressful."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great infrastructure, great technology, great food (bad for keeping fit though).

    Cons

    Slow process from idea to launch, too many hoops to run through.
    Infrastructure not easily transferable outside of Google.

    Advice to Management

    More efficient ways to go from ideas to launch.


  4. "factory worker"

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

    Pros

    free food, gym, perks. big name for recognition.

    Cons

    Company big on branding human resources w/ employees at the top of the hierarchy, and then contractors , and finally temp workers. Badges identify status with the company. Contractors and temps restricted to only work-site building/zone.

    Advice to Management

    value people because every contributes to the empire


  5. Helpful (1)

    "It's good."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I like the technology, culture and perks in Google. I like the fact that Google has many offices all over the world.

    Cons

    It grows to 30,000 employees by the end of 2011. and It starts to show similar problems as the previous big companies.

    Advice to Management

    They should focus on our main business such as search, ads, mobile and make progress faster. Don't create more intermediate layers in hierarchy.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "It is a pleasure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Best Work Life Balance ever seen

    Cons

    Poor Career Growth
    Promotion review is dysfunctional

    Advice to Management

    get real!


  7. "Not bad experience"

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

    Pros

    Energy atmosphere
    High expectations
    Benefits
    Package
    Perks
    Good place to try out once. Though you have to fight for good work and to be recognized.

    Cons

    Ok food
    Disrespect from program managers

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Lot of Activity - What are we Doing?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Perks (cafeterias, massage, wellness programs, commuter shuttles, bowling alley (!) etc. etc.) are amazing
    - Sharp people
    - Flexible work environment
    - Strong teamwork culture

    Cons

    - A lot of concurrent initiatives, but unsure of status/followthrough/reasons for these initiatives
    - A sense that we are over-hiring
    - Commitment to "dogfooding" is admirable--but sometimes it's OK to use a non-Google application to manage some of our work.
    - There is a tendency to promote people who need more seasoning. Managing people is not a perk of promotion, and not everyone can be a manager.

    Advice to Management

    - Clearer focus. Where are we going? How are we getting there?
    - Clearer feedback regarding expectations of managers.
    - Stronger management development program is needed.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good experience for a recent grad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    good perks, friendly and laid back atmosphere

    Cons

    doesnt seem to be a streamlined process for training new hires


  10. Helpful (21)

    "Great company... but not for life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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