Working At Google
Here are some interesting quotes from the discussion mentioned above:
One employee says: I’m here for about five years. You can read about the good all over, so I will try to offer a different view based on facts compared to other software companies that I worked with in the past. A common problem is that is easy to become a spoiled person, because you benefit of too many advantages. Some offices have developed distinct cultures of these rights, but sometimes people complain about the quality of the free brownies. It is embarrassing to find yourself near some people who turned in some spoiled children.
A specific technical problem here is that there is a very strong support for the operations – which means that there are plenty of people whose job is to keep the systems operating. The engineers do not normally carry pagers with and are rarely asked to solve problems. The positive part is that they can focus on development, they sleep as they need and thus they can be more productive. The downside is that they can easily lose touch with what’s happening through Google centers and sometimes even with their customers. Is a compromise. At least Google is aware of this and use incentive programs to entice engineers to spend time doing operational roles.
Finally, the company is heavily involved in “creating luck”, which means it tries a lot of things hoping that the efforts will be rewarded by the success of a minimum number of those things.
Another Google employee said: Google is a great place to work. These are many things I love about my job:
1) Everyone is super-smart;
2) 18 different kinds of cakes;
3) Breakfast, lunch and dinner are free;
4) The quality food is “gourmet” (omelettes bar, chefs that prepare you custom sandwiches, drinks and different types of free snacks);
5) Conference of the seven people on bicycles;
6) Every Friday, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt (first 3 people in upper management at Google) listen to our questions – personally – and we receive free beers.
Another employee: The institution management is terrible. A manager usually has between 50 and 100 employees, so that even if this study the reports only 30 minutes each per month, that means constantly working two weeks (half time), having only slightly over time. That means not much time left for interaction with people. As a result, the managers have the power to participate in technical decisions, not much to say in the performance evaluation (this is done by committees) and even on employment (as done, also by the committees). I asked other Google employees what the older managers do at their job position and they responded to me in unison: “I do not know.” Almost all the managerial decisions that I witnessed when working at Google (most of them regarding the allocation of resources to new projects) were not great and the only way I could explain it to myself was that they were due to internal political battles among various players in the management process. The positive aspect though was, as I said above, that managers don’t have a very decisive role in the company’s daily operations. So, if you like to be a technical manager and if this is your current career, then Google certainly is not for you.11