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Working for Google?

#1 Working for Google?
17/07/2009 13:06


I am considering Google as a potential employer. Anyone know the in's and out's there?

I have been a management consultant for 10 years and want to switch to industry. I like the Google brand and culture but wanted to know more...

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#2 RE: Working for Google?
17/07/2009 13:15

Anon to Mark (#1)

I interviewed with Google once. I thought it would be an absolutely fricking amazing brand to have on the CV. I even bought that book about Google.

From my research, the view I ended up reaching was the London office is basically just marketing/sales, with a bit of business analysis chucked in. Basically selling Adwords and the like. Might as well work for the Yellow Pages or the Thompson Directory.

As for all the really hyper exciting stuff about IPOs and Sergey Brin/Larry Page making billions from their garage ? Well the fortune's already been made. I guess however you might get a sandwich that's "made with love" from their canteen (whatever that means... my mind boggles).

It just seemed a bit, well... boring to me. Despite all the uber fascinating selection process ("Fill this blank page with something" type questions) and photos of Larry Page in the office jacuzzi and Sergey whizzing around on his Segway scooter thing, somehow I don't think they're gonna pay me a fortune for playing pool in the office common room all day. Plus, I thought the interviewer was rude.

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#3 RE: Working for Google?
17/07/2009 13:16

anon to Mark (#1)

If you read the classic Microserfs, that's basically the story of Google today. There are obviously some differences in the specific technologies and products today, but in terms of working style, culture, etc. it's pretty much spot-on.

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#4 RE: Working for Google?
17/07/2009 16:37

Goooooogel to anon (#3)

Not read microserfs but assume from the title "serf" that it is negative (please enlighten me if not?)

Have a few friends working there and they all rave about it. Possibly have to be of a certain type I don't know but the people I do know enjoy it.

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#5 RE: Working for Google?
17/07/2009 23:58

anon to Goooooogel (#4)

Not entirely negative (though the word "serfs" might seem that way) - the book is very funny and insightful as to what happens when a hyped and successful company grows out of being a local operation. When insiders call Google "the chocolate factory", it's not just because it turns out lots of geek-candy. Working there is like being an Oompa-Loompa - lots of fun songs, but you <i>have</i> to join in the singing and at the end of the day you're indentured. The other thing to bear in mind is that if you're not in Mountain View, you don't really work for Google. It's much like the relationship between Reading or Dublin and Redmond at Microsoft - the sales and data centres are a necessary evil, but not part of the core engineering/technology heart of the business.

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#6 RE: Working for Google?
18/07/2009 11:26

Peter Griffin to anon (#5)

I went 5 (!) rounds of interview with Google for a ops role at their London office last year, before being told that the headcount had been removed and they would be in touch... lo and behold I got a call asking if I wanted to interview for their Partner Sales organisation. After doing a bit of digging and speaking to friends in the organisation I rejected the opportunity. This is because:

1) as the earlier post stated, Google UK is primarily an ad sales operation, albeit one that employs MBAs at good salaries to manage this. These guys are, in effect, very well paid glorified salespeople. The company split is something like 45% tech, 45% sales and 10% other.

2) all the real corporate decisions are taken by California. There is a 'strategy' team at Google UK, again employing the best MBAs, but these guys effectively do international project management as opposed to pure strategy.

3) Google could be an awesome place to work - there is a real buzz to the place - but the 'startup' culture that first attracted me to apply has dissipated (the company has let people go recently and there was no cash bonus last year) - and I just dont think the right roles exist there.

I'm not suggesting you don't apply - but just know the nature of the beast...

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#7 RE: Working for Google?
19/07/2009 16:46

Goooooogel to Peter Griffin (#6)

I have to disagree with some of the above. Friends in Google UK office are core engineering (yes - geeks!) and their product generates a very large revenue stream.

OK so they started off in a small company that Google bought because they liked the technology but the team is still based in London and fly off to Mountain View to train them not other way around. May only be a small team but engineering certainly exists in UK office.

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#8 RE: Working for Google?
02/11/2009 19:28

Stewie Griffin to Goooooogel (#7)

You guys have burst my Google bubble! Just out of curiousity, given a choice would a new grad be more attracted to a flash Consulting firm or to Google?

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#9 RE: Working for Google?
02/11/2009 20:05

jj to Stewie Griffin (#8)

Yes a new grad would be attracted to both of those. That is because new grads can only see the shiny, glossy surface.

Of course after 6 months you will be disappointed wherever you end up.

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#10 RE: Working for Google?
05/11/2009 07:22

AAi to jj (#9)

The exciting stuff at google is out of their silicon valley offices. Most other offices are almost purely sales offices to sell adworks etc...

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#11 What about Apple?
06/07/2010 22:54

woz to AAi (#10)

What about working for Apple in Hanover St?

Comparable brand to have on the CV?

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#12 RE: Working for Google?
11/07/2010 18:15

Googler to Stewie Griffin (#8)

Hi Mark, don´t let the guys burst your Google bubble ;-)

It is true that the majority of the revenue comes from selling adverts, but you don´t necessarily have to work in that area. Check out Google Enterprise in the London office, you may find that interesting...

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#13 RE: Working for Google?
12/07/2010 09:42

Anon to Googler (#12)

Enterprise? Isn't that the bit that forms something like 1% of Google's revenue? And basically involves selling pieces of hardware so that companies can use google search on their network or websites?

So instead of being a adwords salesperson, you'll be flogging boxes of hardware? Might as well work in PC world selling computers if that's the case.

I just don't see anything 'sexy' at google any more. I think the days of whizzing around the office with a jetpack on your back and holding team meetings in jacuzzis are long gone. imilaraly, the days of the office janitor getting paid $10 million in stock options don't exist either. Google does some interesting stuff (google earth has loads of potential) but I just don't see how selling adwords or boxes of hardware can be considered 'sexy' these days. Doesn't all the 'fun' stuff happen in the USA anyway?

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