Because I thought it was too big to fail
You have to be living under a rock if you have never heard of Google. From leading FAANG to building an amazing search engine, the company may have branded itself as the greatest engineering company of all time.
But when you dig deeper into the brand, you learn the truth about Google as a tech company.
The Perks Are Real
Free massage, free lunch, free gym, free dinner, free wifi. It’s all real and available at your disposal. But when you explore all these benefits, you’ll get used to them being around and start taking them for granted.
When lunch is always free, you’ll start only taking a quick pizza slice to get back to work. You’ll forget to go to the gym because it wasn’t the membership fee that was holding you back.
But at the end of the day, Googlers are full-time employees too and start to get too busy with work and less time with the perks.
No one Is From Google
Google is definitely sexy and attracts talented engineers from around the world. You can’t blame them for wanting to be part of a group of other elite engineers, work on innovative products, and enjoy the amazing perks.
More and more external hires are applying and more are offered a role. Eventually little to no one is actually from Google and the average Googler is an external hire.
If everyone is an external hire then “Google Culture” is a just a mix of everyone bringing their previous company’s culture.
Came For The Brand
Branding at Google is so strong that it’s synonymous with prestige, quality, excellence, and wealth. But the truth is that it really is just a brand.
Maybe you’ll think annoying problems like operations, bugs, and outages don’t exist at Google. But under the surface you’ll see rigid processes for simple code changes, or layers of sign-offs to make 1 config change. The same engineering annoyances exist at Google the same way they exist everywhere else.
It seems strange but maybe it’s because Google engineers are really just engineers that came from somewhere else. When you realize Googlers aren’t so different from other engineers, you realize the brand is stronger than the engineering.
I definitely agree that Google is an amazing place to work at. But the strong company branding might overshadow the quality of engineering that actually takes place at the company. It’s not to say it isn’t great, but it’s probably not as perfect as common people like to think it is.
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Alex Nguyen | LinkedIn