September 5, 2008
What's it really like to work at Google? If you haven't worked there (and I haven't), it's harder than it might seem to get a straight answer.If you go through Google's public relations team, you generally get the party line that everything is wonderful. That's to be expected.
I've tried contacting ex-Google employees and speaking with them, but many of them don't want to say anything negative on the record, for fear of jeopardizing future Silicon Valley opportunities that might have something to do with Google. (Many who have left Google to launch a startup nonetheless see being acquired by Google as a desirable exit strategy.) I've heard that Google salespeople sometimes feel like they're treated as second-class citizens. That's not entirely surprising given that Google prides itself on its engineering culture. But certainly there are happy Google salespeople, too. So it was with some interest that I read this review of the company's work environment at Glassdoor.com, an employment community site. Because the author of the review is anonymous, you ought to view the comments with some skepticism. But this supposed former employee's assessment offers some choice lines. For example, the poster writes, "Google pushes a highly 'googley' atmosphere, which is something akin to what the Brady Bunch would be like if they lived in communist Russia." Ouch. Of course, communist Russia would have been significantly less awful with plentiful free food and heated toilet seats.
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