Google Reviews in San Jose, CA | Glassdoor

Google San Jose Reviews

Updated August 15, 2017
1,749 reviews

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1,749 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is often mentioned but rarely (in 290 reviews)

  • Sometimes you feel you are very alone in this big company (in 245 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "Learned a lot, but advancement is too slow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Learn about big data and massive systems. Surrounded by smart researchers. Shuttle for commuting.

    Cons

    Promotion process too arbitrary. I got extremely good ratings but still was passed over for far too long. Promo still requires a "launch" with a right kind of metrics to impress the committee.

    Bay Area too expensive. I'm leaving for Seattle -- it's expensive too, but it's *possible* to buy a condo/house there without a ridiculous commute. The past 5 years of price-doubling have prevented me from getting into the market even at my good software engineer salary. Priced out of market -- seriously. The people who can bear to live near work are married Google couples, new grads from India or China living together crammed into crappy small houses... or people who bought a place 5 years ago before $750k, 2 bedroom, 1200 sq ft houses became $1.5M.

    My skills were note utilized; I couldn't get transferred onto the right teams where I could apply my Ph.D. research.

    Advice to Management

    When someone like me gets Strongly Exceeds Expectations 3 times in a row (that's 1.5 years) it's high time for promotion. I'm leaving because I wasn't promoted from 4 to 5 despite long-term dedicated efforts to do so, whereas I have an offer for an L5-6 equivalent position in another major company. I would have stayed indefinitely otherwise. But now I realize that even if I get a promo soon, I'll only get a 6% raise (per policy) and it will still take a year for the RSU benefits to start catching me up to the next level comp. Meanwhile I can get a 25% raise tomorrow by jumping ship. **Note that the delay between "prove you're performing at the next level for a year (or much more)" combined with "RSUs awarded later on, total comp will catch up eventually..." means that I'll be underpaid for 2 years or so if I stay.**

    This matters since, while waiting for promo, I've been priced out of the housing market. My friends who are married with a spouse at Google are house-hunting, and younger ones are living together in 5 bedroom places. I'm married and need some privacy, my wife doesn't work, so there's no way to live close to work and I'm sick of commuting. If I had made it to L5 when I applied I'd afford to be staying, but now it's too late.

    Also, when I have specialized skills from my Ph.D. and I'm constantly getting moved to projects that aren't making use of those skills, it's annoying. "Headcount" issues on super-appropriate teams for me kept me out of the positions where I would be most useful to Google by applying my Ph.D. work. So I'm taking my talent elsewhere.

    All in all, I was greatly disappointed by:
     * Extremely slow time-to-promo (due to higher-ups cancelling projects... out of my control).
     * Advanced to lead a team of 6 people, at only level 4 (a "junior" role where explicit team leadership is very uncommon) and yet still the promo process didn't value my contribution, even though my manager and director did.
     * Cost of living in the Bay Area, and resultant time to commute (Gbus was great but it got old after 5 years)
     * Stuck on wrong projects, due to headcount issues/timing/18-months-on-team-before-transfer policy. And bait-and-switch for my initial team due a "headcount problem" where I didn't get into the expected team in the first place.
     * Not valued for my Ph.D. speciality skills, but simply as a software engineer. I'm moving to a company that needed *me* in particular, and I'm joining a particular team. This generic SWE-hiring with random team matching is insulting.


  2. "A great place to intern!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - People Ops in Mountain View, CA
    Former Intern - People Ops in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You get great managers, impactful projects, and you're treated like an important employee.

    Cons

    There are no cons to working at Google. The only con could be that you can't do everything in one summer.

    Advice to Management

    I think management is overall doing a great job.

  3. "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Google is still probably one of the best places for a new software engineer who wants to work for a large company in her /his early career to experience how a large leading software company make things work, and to experience the pros and cons of working in a large company.

    Cons

    Company is big. There are significant internal organizational complexities. Lots of time can be spent on navigating through internal organizations, management, promotion logistics etc, than actually building quality products.

    Advice to Management

    Reward quality project launches and promote quality people.


  4. "Sourcer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Technical Sourcer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Contractor - Technical Sourcer in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Amazing cuisine delivered to areas of company

    Cons

    Supervisor giving review was contracted also.


  5. "Project Manager III (Contract)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Project Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Contractor - Project Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Close to exempt benefits
    - Access to resources galore (depending on your role, of course)
    - Campus and amenities are insane (ex: access to golf simulator and an discounted access to a course close by)
    - Business-side, people managers are superb human beings, often very accomplished and very empathic.
    - Technologists are indeed top notch
    - Lots of stuff you can learn, if you want to

    Cons

    - Caste system: there's definitely a separation of concerns between contractors, full-time business roles, and full-time technologists; it's absolutely observable moving between campuses/areas
    - Concept of Googleyness: it's a bit overblown now that Google is large as it is. Selfishness and cluelessness abounds everywhere - just like any other company.
    - Contractor roles can be very menial at times


  6. Helpful (2)

    "The Best Job I've Ever Had"

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

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

    Pros

    The smartest people I ever worked with.

    Cons

    My team was too big, too fast. It led to some people feeling siloed and not taking responsibility for their work.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "It is Google"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer, Business Applications in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer, Business Applications in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing learning opportunities if you are willing to spend the time looking for them.

    Cons

    Vendors and contractors are treated worse and worse as time goes by, where many are being moved off the campuses into buildings without Google standard facilities, like cafes or gyms.

    Advice to Management

    Treat vendors better.

  8. "Online Operations Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Online Operations Associate in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Online Operations Associate in Mountain View, CA

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

    Pros

    Free lunch, good benefits, great vibe,.

    Cons

    Tedious could do more team activities.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Staff Software Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Great company to work with. Intelligent peers

    Cons

    none I can think of


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Where do I start? From the culture, to the perks, to the resources, Google is an amazing place to work. This company is the definition of innovative and I can't wait to see what the future holds for myself and Google.

    Cons

    Nothing as of yet. I feel like I haven't been here long enough to see anything that's a con. Bureaucracy tends to seep into any organization if it gets large enough, but Google does a good job of battling that.

    Advice to Management

    Continue invest in the culture at Google. Our Googlers are what make us great and the mission we stand behind.


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