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Is Google really worth joining in its current state?

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Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

My friends who are there seem to be struggling quite a bit with the current culture, alongside dwindling mental health.

I love the potential of enacting a change for good.

But would it just fall on deaf ears with no one wanting to step outside the bounds and not change the status quo?

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(3 comments)
  • 15
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    There's a lot to rag on for Google (lack of innovation, brutal down-leveling, bureaucratic culture), but at the end of the day, Google is one of the best tech companies in the world (easily in the Top 5%) and 95%+ of engineers should probably go there if they happened to magically get a Google offer letter in their hands.

    Google pays incredibly well (its stock has done well forever and now has dividend), and it's the legendary tech company of the past 20 years. If you have never worked at that caliber of company before, Google would do wonders for your resume and probably overall learning as well.

    I highly recommend watching this: [Masterclass] Should You Work At FAANG? - What Big Tech Is Like For Software Engineers

    I love the potential of enacting a change for good.

    I empathize a lot with this (social good is incredibly important for me too), but the harsh truth is that it's hard to do this while also fully optimizing your career. Big Tech's morality is... very dubious to say the least, but it's one of the best places to learn. And almost every company aspires to be Big Tech scale. It is hard to be so big without ruffling a few (or many) feathers.

    At the end of the day though, you do you! Optimize against your personal priorities, and do whatever makes you happy.

  • 11
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    The thing with Big Tech cos like Google are that they are... big. Google especially is so big that many parts of it are struggling with mental health and attrition, but there are also many other parts of it that are doing great.

    In general, if you don't have FAANG on your resume, and you're not being paid top-of-market, I would still heavily encourage you to join Google if you have the chance.

    I actually made videos arguing both for and against Big Tech, linked here: To FAANG or not to FAANG?

    To your point about enacting change for good, that's probably true. You should not expect to change the culture of Google -- it's just too big and too entrenched in its ways for a new hire to truly change. Any change would have to come from Google veterans and Director+ people.

  • 21
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    Staff Eng @ Google, Ex-Meta SWE, Ex-Amazon SDM/SDE
    2 months ago

    Google isn’t what it used to be. Any long-lived tech companies are the same. I started at Amazon in 2012 and it wasn’t what it had been, but it was still taking big risks, Bezos was still running it, there seemed to be a lot to figure out. When I left in… 2021? Things were way different. Not bad, but maturity can bring caution. I don’t know what the risk tolerance is, but in many areas it was tightening.

    When I joined Facebook in 2021, I had heard such amazing things, and maybe in some parts of the company it was still there, but it seemed very different than how things were described back in the day. There almost seemed to be tension between those that still championed “Move Fast and Break Things”, and a pushback as that motto had been deprecated.

    When I joined Google in 2022… I think things had changed, but there was still a sparkle. The real change was the layoff in Jan 2023. The attitudes and morale shifted dramatically. Growing up and spending responsibly (especially with record profits) seemed antithetical. It is definitely different.

    And I don’t know if there’s anywhere I’d rather work. I am sure there’s somewhere in Google where I’d fit better than my current team. I’m sure there’s a company that has a Lee-shaped hole where I’d fit perfectly. I don’t know where those are, and it’s still Google. Yes, important people have been laid off. Yes, there’s crises of confidence at times. Google. I work on Gmail. When I’m doing data analysis for user impact the denominator is billions.

    I think that people are worn out. I don’t know if it’s specific to Google. I think how bad it is varies a ton, though, and it’s hard to generalize. If you’re on the fence, talked to people in different teams around the company. If it’s dour across the board you have your answer.

Google is an American multinational technology company that focuses on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, and much more. It is considered one of the Big Five technology companies.
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