Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University. The company was officially launched in September 1998 in a friend’s garage. In one of the most anticipated Initial Public Offerings (IPO) Google raised $1.67 billion in August of 2004. Today, Google has over 12,000 employees in offices throughout the world.
Google’s mission statement and corporate culture reflect a philosophy that you can “make money without doing evil” and that “work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun.” These beliefs dominate life at Google. The official mission statement of the company is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
In 2006, Google was selected by MBA students as the ideal place to work. In 2007 and 2008 Fortune Magazine named Google the No.1 employer in their annual 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Google Company Culture
Google is a high-energy, fast-paced work environment. While the dress code might be “casual” the company attracts and retains some of the brightest minds in the technology industry. There is a work hard, play hard atmosphere. The Google Mountain View, California, headquarters (aka “the Googleplex”) is a campus-like environment. There are workout facilities, a café, well-stocked snack rooms, and a dorm-like environment. View the Google Office Descriptions for more details.
One of the most innovative programs at Google is the 20% time program. All engineers at Google are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time on projects that interest them. Not only does this keep engineers happy and challenged, but it's also good business: some estimates say half of all new product launches can be directly attributed to projects that came from the 20% time program.
Jobs at Google
In the United States, Google has offices in several states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington (Seattle) and Washington, DC. It currently has hundreds of openings in engineering, IT, operations and support functions. Some of the current openings at Google:
- Current job postings in engineering include openings for software engineers with extensive experience in C++ programming and in Java programming. There are also a lot of openings for testing Engineers and a few for web designers.
- The current postings for operations and IT include openings you would find in many information technology departments, including system administrators and help desk technicians. There were dozens of openings in the data center as of this writing.
- Google actively recruits college graduates, with a special website section specifically for students. Google offers both internship and full-time employment opportunities on their student recruitment pages.
- Google also has offices internationally. While much of the information presented here refers to Google’s U.S. offices, it currently has hundreds of Google openings worldwide in areas such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, West Asia, Africa, and the Americas. I counted openings in 57 worldwide locations, not including those in the United States.
Google Compensation and Benefits
Most workers at Google have base salaries that are on the lower end of normal for the markets in which they operate. The base salaries are supplemented by stock options, challenging work, and extensive benefits. In addition to the normal health and welfare benefits that most larger companies offer, Google provides its employees with the following cutting-edge benefits:
- Healthcare for workers and their famililes, plus on-site physician and dental care at the headquarters in Mountain View, California and the engineering center in Seattle, Washington
- Vacation days, holidays, and flexible work hours
- Maternity and parental leave, plus new moms and dads can expense up to $500 for take-out meals during the first four weeks that they are home with their new baby
- Adoption assistance
- Google child care center, just five minutes from Google headquarters in Mountain View
- Backup child care helps California parents when their regularly scheduled child care falls through
- Free shuttle service to several San Francisco, East Bay, and South Bay locations
- Fuel efficiency vehicle incentive program
- Employee discounts
- Onsite dry cleaning, plus a coin-free laundry room in the Mountain View office
More Google Information
- The official Google blog is a look at life inside Google, written by staff members from different departments in various Google locations around the world.
- Google has a philanthropic organization now, as seen at Google.org aimed at finding solutions to some of the global problems facing the world today. Google.org has a grant dissemination program that provides free advertising to select charities.
From the Google website, the top 10 reasons to work at Google:
- Lend a helping hand. With millions of visitors every month, Google has become an essential part of everyday life—like a good friend—connecting people with the information they need to live great lives.
- Life is beautiful. Being a part of something that matters and working on products in which you can believe is remarkably fulfilling.
- Appreciation is the best motivation, so Google has created a fun and inspiring workspace you'll be glad to be a part of, including on-site doctor and dentist; massage and yoga; professional development opportunities; on-site day care; shoreline running trails; and plenty of snacks to get you through the day.
- Work and play are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to code and pass the puck at the same time.
- Google values employees and wants them to know it. Google offers a variety of benefits, including a choice of medical programs, company-matched 401(k), stock options, maternity and paternity leave, and much more.
- Innovation is critical. Even the best technology can be improved. Google sees endless opportunities to create even more relevant, more useful, and faster products for users. Google is the technology leader in organizing the world’s information.
- Good company everywhere you look. Googlers range from former neurosurgeons, CEOs, and U.S. puzzle champions to alligator wrestlers and former-Marines. No matter what their backgrounds Googlers make for interesting cube mates.
- Uniting the world, one user at a time. People in every country and every language use Google products. The company aims to think, act, and work globally—just our little contribution to making the world a better place.
- Boldly go where no one has gone before. There are hundreds of challenges yet to solve. Your creative ideas matter and are worth exploring. You'll have the opportunity to develop innovative new products that millions of people will find useful.
- There is such a thing as a free lunch after all. In fact, Google has them every day: healthy, yummy, and made with love.