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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 (1)

    "Great place to work... period."

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

    Pros

    I was amongst some of the most hard driven and motivated co-workers while at Google. I had very little to complain about, being surrounded by some of the brightest and most interesting people I have ever met. The team and the atmosphere made for a great work environment, the perks helped but it was more knowing you were all part of a team and accomplishing great things. Senior management wanted to help you and would give you the tools to succeed.

    Cons

    See review headline - "Great place to work... "

    Advice to Management

    Senior management wanted to help you and would give you the tools to succeed. They will listen and make 1:1 a priority.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, interesting projects. I have never worked at a place where such open discussions are encouraged. Negative and positive feedback are equally welcomed.

    Cons

    I feel sorry for some of the people who start to work at Google right out of college or academia. They are in for a rude shock when they go to other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course: don't let other people tell you what you are doing is wrong. It's a great company to work for and we have great products.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

    Pros

    Overall good smart people working together in a very open atmosphere where information sharing is highly encouraged and easy to do. Very open communication from management compared to most companies. Best total compensation I've had at any company. Great fringe benefits like the free food, author talks, and political candidates dropping in.

    Cons

    If you like working in a very structured environment then you might not like it here.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "The real Google."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Product Marketing Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Marketing Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The food is great and Google offers learning opportunities and personal growth.

    Cons

    Senior management lacking the skills / experience to manage.

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers and leaders and not just people that receive high marks on standardized tests.


  5. "Google is a great place to work!"

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

    Pros

    Google is a place that respects their employees.

    Cons

    little room for upward mobility.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Fun place to work! Great people and work/life balance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Perks
    - People
    - Opportunities

    Cons

    - Bureaucracy
    - Lack of management

    Advice to Management

    - Put people who are competent in charge


  7. Helpful (18)

    "Could be hell or heaven or anything in between."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Mountain View, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    * Opportunity to work with the smartest people ever. Having collaborated (to varying degrees) with quite a few Googlers, I can certainly say Googlers are "la creme de la creme".
    * Not only they're smart, but they're dedicated 120% to their work. (The 20% is for the weekends...) "Great is not good enough" for each and every Googler.
    * Fantastic development tools (Code Search, the code review tool, the versioning tool, and N others);
    * Opportunity to work on products that will be used (directly or indirectly) by millions of people
    * Amazing code base, superbly structured, continuously optimized, all at your fingertips.
    * Free great food :-)

    Cons

    * Very long hours. At least where I was, people would seriously work 12-14 hours a day (out of which 90% would be "effective hours", churning away tons of code).
    * Peer reviews, while apparently treated seriously, are in fact a half joke. Your manager is your God. You fit with him/her, you're golden; you don't, you're dead meat. Most managers seem at least alright; however, I apparently got very unlucky.
    * Code reviews. I have heard many a old-time Googler complaining about the pedantry. "Code review Nazis" are commonplace. From discussions w/ other Googlers, it seems the transition from "this doesn't break anything and doesn't embezzle funds" to state-of-the-art torture has happened over the past couple years. This hurts productivity big time, and given that you're still expected to have completed a ton of work, guess what happens.. yeah, you got it: you'll leave past midnight and work from home during the weekends to barely meet expectations.
    * The "transfer to any project any time you want" is an absolute myth nowadays.

    Caution: from informal discussions, it seems that I really got the short end of the stick, and that in other parts of Google things are much smoother. YMMV.

    Advice to Management

    The company is generally headed in the right direction. However: listen to Googlers more, adjust to their needs. Google is not that magic place to work for anymore: pay better, think of the work-life balance (I mean, actually think of it, not just pretend you are).

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Great company to work for still, but flaws lower morale"

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

    Pros

    - good benefits & good salaries. Google treats its engineers very well, even in these economic times

    - very smart people, world class engineers (quality varies from group to group, though) that make very fun co-workers whether to discuss life, politics, or engineering

    - big impact. You know the stuff you build can affect, positively or negatively, millions of users

    Cons

    - inconsistent vision. You're never quite sure what senior management is thinking, or whether they have a master plan. In fact after working there for several years you're beginning to think they don't. A lot of decisions are whim decisions. Projects get killed on a whim and resurrected on a whim

    - launches & rollouts extremely frustrating. A lot of launch gates & reviews, some are understandable but some are quite ridiculous. Too few people control too many aspects of things.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending you're a "big company with startup culture." Admit that the "startup culture" is gone and it's time to build a new culture based on reality.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Still a great company to work for, but understand what is different"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager, Online Sales & Operations in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Manager, Online Sales & Operations in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Google offers a great environment where you are constantly challenged and pushed do to more with less. The people are brilliant and you can't beat the social environment and the perks. The culture is very open and transparent at all levels within the organization which is a lesson that other companies should learn from. The transparency truly creates an environment where everyone can share and learn.

    Cons

    There is a lack of overall organization so if you like a highly structured environment it may not be the best place for you. The company is very data driven which can be a pro or a con depending on your preferences. Google is a very engineering driven company so if you are not comfortable in that type of environment then the company may not be a good fit for you.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the organization stays transparent and as the culture shifts from that of a start-up to that of a large company do not lose focus on the elements that made Google successful.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Big company with pockets of start-up projects"

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

    Pros

    Your colleagues are smart, motivated, inventive, and helpful. If you work on the right teams, you can pick up a ton of useful knowledge in a short period of time from world-class experts. The company is attacking plenty of exciting technical problems: machine translation, huge distributed systems, creating smooth AJAX UIs, large-scale machine learning in search & ads, creating a mobile phone OS from the ground up. Again, depends on what team you're on, but there's no excuse to be bored with the technical challenges.

    Parts of the company (e.g., Chrome, Android, mobile apps like Latitude) are blazing new ground and still feel like a start-up; in those areas, there are opportunities for entrepreneurial engineers to make a big impact (although this can be a struggle).

    Food is excellent.

    Cons

    Big company syndrome. We have dozens of VPs and hundreds of directors. Some are good; all have their own agenda. Successfully launching something to our users is a matter of convincing the right set of people, not building a great product.

    Hiring bar is lower than it used to be. There are lots of great people coming in, but also plenty of mediocre and some bad hires.

    Company is much less transparent than it used to be.

    Advice to Management

    We've heaped on lots of management; there are 5-6 layers between the average employee and the CEO. Make sure your strongest engineers can still make a difference.


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