Former Googlers Explain The Downsides of Working at Google


Working for Google sounds like a dream come true for most fans, but a job at a big tech company isn't always rainbows and butterflies. Of course there will be actual work in between the nap pods and ping pong matches, but there's a reason that such insane perks exist, and that is because, quite simply, there are some things about working for Google that simply aren't pleasant. Long hours, lots of time away from home, and lower-ranking workers or interns having to live out of their cars or in the Googleplex campus because of the prohibitively high cost of living in California are the first few things to spring to mind, but a thread on question answering site Quora full of current and former Googlers firing off their frustrations gives a bit more insight.

According to one former Googler, the environment always encouraged ideas, to the point that a number of half-baked ideas ended up being implemented, but not properly maintained. The company culture reportedly did not respect any improvements that weren't measurable before or upon implementation, so things like usability and bug fixes were essentially an employee's own responsibility, on top of whatever they were assigned to do. To top all of that off, company policy called for any project or server-side service to have backups in case of server downtime, but most employees were unable to get the resources for that approved, leading to management chastising them when their product inevitably had to go down for maintenance. This person also notes that people who have fallen for Google's marketing that their employment experience is perfect tend to ask why you left and expect a strange answer, and that the company culture and lifestyle can lead to people becoming dependent upon it and borderline unemployable anywhere but Google.

A former manager of advertising chimed in about the politics inherent in Google's corporate structure, and bemoaned the way managers have to jockey to promote somebody; making a case about a year in advance, and openly discrediting other employees, because even if that team member is a great fit for the job at hand, they have to look "better" than others. They also touched on the recruiting restrictions placed on managers, saying that hiring essentially froze in the end of each year, forcing managers to ask for more people in the first quarter and get it approved in the second quarter, then do all of their hiring in the third. Another says that Google ends up becoming your life if you're not careful, and you never see it coming, straining outside interests and relationships. Another points out that employees are often underutilized for the talents that they have. Talented engineers can also stagnate, never being promoted. A former web developer points out that Google's systems often don't work well with community solutions, even open-source tools like JavaScript. In the end, working for Google can be much the same as working for any big company.

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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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