Google Reviews

Updated 23 September, 2014
Updated 23 September, 2014
2,476 Reviews
4.4
2,476 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,340 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 105 reviews)

  • Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro (in 220 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 100 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 71 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 495 people found this helpful  

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager  in  Mountain View, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA (US)

    I worked at Google full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 44 people found this helpful  

    Great balance between big-company security and fun, fast-moving projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Google full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    * If you're a software engineer, you're among the kings of the hill at Google. It's an engineer-driven company without a doubt (that *is* changing, but it's still very engineer-focused).
    * The perks are amazing. Yes, free breakfast, lunch, an dinner every weekday. Aaaaaamazing holiday parties (at Waldorf Astoria, NY Public Library, MoMA, etc.); overnight ski trips to Vermont; overnight nature trips to the Poconos in the summer; summer picnics at Chelsea piers; and on and on and on. I don't see this going away unless the company starts hurting financially.
    * Speaking of which, the company is doing quite well, which reflects in bonuses and equity grants.
    * There a huge diversity of work ranging from defending independent journalism worldwide (Google Project Shield) to crisis response during disasters (see Maps during Hurricane Sandy or Tsunamis), to the best machine learning experts and projects in the world, to more mundane revenue-driving projects in advertising, there's really something for everybody.
    * It's easy to move around within the company as long as you're in good standing (the vast majority of engineers are).
    * The company is amazingly open: every week Larry Page and Sergey Brin host what's called TGIF where food, beer, wine, etc. is served, a new project is presented, and afterward there's an open forum to ask the executives anything you want. It's truly fair game to ask anything, no matter how controversial, and frequently the executives will be responsive.
    * No, nobody cares if you use an iPhone, Facebook, shop with Amazon, stream using Spotify, or refuse to use Google+. The company is amazingly open and flexible.

    Neither pro nor con, but general information on work-life balance, promotions, and advancement.
    * Work life balance can be what you want it to be on most teams. (Some teams are in more competitive sectors and require more crazy hours all the time - but very few of them). If you do what's expected, you'll be fine at least for a handful of years. Working a roughly 40 hour work week is possible, and many people do it. There are also people who are hyper-motived and work like crazy just because they love it, or because they're competitive, or they want to get a promotion. If you work 40 hour weeks without putting in anything extra, you'll fall behind them as they advance and you stand still - and maybe that doesn't matter, so it works out for everybody. But at least know where you would realistically stand.
    * If you excel and work your butt off, you'll be compensated and promoted. If you let yourself be a code monkey, and just sit coding with your head down all day, you'll be fine but won't advance. A big complaint from some Googlers is about not being able to advance "even at Google" with pure coding. Sure, if you're the uber genius who created MapReduce and Bigtable, you're going to advance like a rocket without having to do anything but coding; but if you're like most engineers at Google -- smarter than average, but just average compared to other Googlers -- you're just a good coder and not revolutionary. Code monkeys are important to actually get stuff done, and to be sure you absolutely need to be a good coder as a software engineer (it's the minimum requirement), but code monkeys won't advance because they're not leaders and they're easy to replace. To get promoted you need to lead and do more than just code. There are plenty of ways to lead other than being an official tech lead, so this isn't actually _that_ hard, so the real point is just that you can't just sit there coding what other people tell you to code all day and expect to advance.

    Cons

    * It *is* becoming larger, and with it comes growing pains: bureaucracy, slow to respond to market threats, bloated teams, cross-divisional tension (though nothing remotely approaching that of Microsoft's internal tension).
    * The quality of the engineers is possibly dropping, but possibly not. It's hard to get real metrics, because as the absolute number of people grows, naturally the number of bad apples grows; as a percentage it's supposedly the same as it ever was, but with larger numbers of poorer quality engineers it just _feels_ like things might be changing for the worse.
    * Also with growth means more internal-confidential data leaks (again, because of the raw numbers of people) -- product announcements being ruined, etc. That means the company has to be tighter-lipped internally to avoid leaks, which makes things less open. It's still an amazingly open place, but less so than it was even a couple years ago. The good thing is they recognize it and actively look to improve things because they know how important it is to keep the good culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the focus on the user. Everything else will follow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Getting Too Big

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staffing Manager  in  Mountain View, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Staffing Manager in Mountain View, CA (US)

    I worked at Google full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great mission - creates large impact and affects people's lives. Always pushing innovation with high risks projects like self driving car and Google Glass. Googlers are compensated very well and there are lots of perks.

    Cons

    This may not apply to the entire company because my experience was in the Human Resources department. It has become bureaucratic and very political. Maybe this is part of being a 50,000+ company. There's too much red tape that slows down the ability to get things done. Also, success is becoming dependent on who you know and how much you sell yourself. It's no longer about your accomplishment or abilities. Title and level are becoming more important.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some Directors and Sr. Managers are average or terrible. Listen to lower level employees and what they have to says about their managers. Don't just rely on the surveys - interview them privately. You'll learn more about how they feel and view their leaders.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good company to pursue career

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Google

    Pros

    Great culture and passionate people

    Cons

    Nothing negative. Just personal relocation.

  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Insane workload but with almost no bureaucratic nonsense

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer

    I have been working at Google full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Benefits are fantastic. People routinely ask if the internet rumors are true about the lunches, healthcare, etc.. well... they are. Further- you are encouraged to take advantage of them (including things like 12 weeks of paternity leave)

    People are, by and large, some of the smartest most interesting people I have ever met.

    Cons

    Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE wants to ask me questions about Google, if I like it, is rumor XYZ true, ... etc. Also, just about everyone within 3 degrees of me in places like LinkedIn have asked for jobs. Even the Barista at Peets asked for a job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Friendly, brilliant people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Google full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great community atmosphere. Brilliant engineers who are humble, respectful, and go out of their way to help you. The perks are seriously insane -- delicious food, world-class gyms, etc. Unlike some other reviewers, I've had no trouble with movement around the company. I will say that I started Google with a particularly excellent and supportive team, which means I got very good peer reviews, which made transfers to other teams quite easy. I've seen others who get unluckily placed in a hohum team and have trouble getting out. I find work-life balance also quite reasonable, though it might help to be remote from the HQ.

    Cons

    Gets a bit political as you climb up the ladder. Not toxically so, but still annoying.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company, Lousy Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Language Specialist  in  São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Current Employee - Language Specialist in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)

    I have been working at Google full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Environment, perks, portfolio, campuses, culture, food, coolness, average employee skills and intelligence, top management, benefits.

    Cons

    Salary if you come from other industry, people managers, non-eng performance management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Top management should now lower-middle level people managers suck. They are very bad at people skills.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    BOLD Internship

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Google as an intern

    Pros

    Free Food, Fun Activities are always available to take a break from work.

    Cons

    Some of the positions (particularly SMB) are sold as something much cooler than what it really fundamentally is.

  10.  

    Talent Acquisition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Recruiter  in  Mountain View, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Recruiter in Mountain View, CA (US)

    I have been working at Google full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great processes, strong systems, smart hiring managers, excellent employment branding

    Cons

    Vague career path for TA professionals,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    develop a more coherent strategy for retaining good TA professionals

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun, exciting summer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Pittsburgh, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Pittsburgh, PA (US)

    I worked at Google as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Relaxed environment, friendly co-workers, and broader, less deep managerial hierarchy.

    Cons

    Might not always work on interesting problems.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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