Have been a Google employee for 5+ years working on Google Apps in an non engineering role. I've gotten to travel the world and work in great facilities. It has also been a near 24/7 job and am constant competition with the smartest people in the world. I have been working on a product that I really enjoyed and that product is end of life. I only recently moved to Mountain View and am thinking it is time to try something else. AMA Mods have verified me.

Update: Time to go to sleep as I have an 8 am call. Great way to start the week. Keep posting questions. Happy to answer anything that wont get me in trouble

Update 2: Back to answering questions if there is still interest

Comments: 271 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

thecodguy116 karma

Is Google buying Twitch?

amagoogler18 karma

They never tell us cool stuff like that in advance

Bmwe9215 karma

If you don't mind how much is your yearly salary?

amagoogler21 karma

Around $100k. I'm considered mid-level.

txs23005 karma

How far does that take you in Mountain View?

amagoogler19 karma

I'm single so it's enough. I pay $2400 rent for a 700 sq bedroom. Prior to MTV, at the satellite office I bought a 2200 brand new home loaded for $205k.

aeturnum4 karma

I'm another sv engineer (though not one from Google). Unless I'm doing the math in my head wrong, 2400 / month rent on 100k salary means you're spending half your income on housing. Why not...find a cheaper place?

amagoogler13 karma

It's the Bay Area. Things are expensive and I prefer living solo.

cjt30071 karma

Is your apartment loaded with really cool tech? From the looks of your schedule, you don't get to spend much time at home awake, and not responding to emails...

amagoogler3 karma

Yes. I've always been a techie guy. We do get cool toys to play with.

cinemassacres15 karma

[deleted]

amagoogler36 karma

i think the public took care of that

Jburgy_9 karma

Are all Google Offices similar in being fantastic? Or are some better than others? (Assuming you've been to multiple)

amagoogler13 karma

They all have their own characteristics and are fairly unique. Whoever decorates them deserves a raise

Jburgy_5 karma

Which one would you say was your favorite? What made it so special?

amagoogler7 karma

Zurich was cool. 2 story slide in the cafeteria. Lots of rooms had themes that were well done. Austin had a full size airstream trailer that was a reception desk. Paris had an old Citron car that had a video conferencing unit.

LemonTeeth8 karma

What did you think of the movie, "The Internship"?

Faithful?

amagoogler14 karma

The scenery was very accurate. I never worked with interns. The movie was out for about a month before we went for an 'official' outing to see it. Only full time employees were allowed to go

alisonnrene8 karma

What exactly is the "dreaded interview process"?

amagoogler25 karma

Google it. They are known for logic questions and 10-15 interviews before getting hired

preppygoodness19 karma

How very meta of you.

amagoogler32 karma

A common lame joke at Google is someone will ask a question and someone will say "if only there was some website you could go to and get an answer".. Its not really funny the first time but you hear it once a day

Leakee2 karma

This is in The Internship movie :D

amagoogler4 karma

Google did it first.

lovelleigh8 karma

Hi there! I have a close family member who works at google and I hear some employees feel ostracized if they're not "googley" enough. Do you think the company mindset can be draining or detrimental in any way, or have you seen it as generally beneficial?

amagoogler8 karma

Being Googley is one measurement during review time. It's well intentioned and promotes sharing and good values. Most of it is voluntary. There are times where it feels a bit too much and almost cultish but that is very rare

kayakyakr8 karma

How often are you told to be part of the "culture" of google? Couldn't imagine working for a company that large.

amagoogler20 karma

All the time. It is important to be Googley and you are evaluated on it. It's actually one of the things I did well and I am normally against all that rah rah stuff

Dew254 karma

Please give an example!

amagoogler14 karma

It's more of a vibe. Do you help others? Do you remain cheerful? You don't take all the snacks and leave none for others. You participate in extra curricular activities.

Dannox6 karma

[deleted]

amagoogler13 karma

To a degree. People do say Mother Google provides. If someone is commuting they are potentially spending their whole waking day using Google services

ailee432 karma

Is it one of those places where you're ranked on your hours worked? Like, yes, you're salaried, all you legally have to work is 40 a week..... BUT, everyone else is working 90, so if you dont work 92 you're not competitive.

amagoogler9 karma

Exactly. The other problem is you are given , say 60+ hrs of work a week and there it is not an atmosphere where you can ask for help because then you are just slowing someone else down.

UConn118 karma

What are some negative aspects about working for Google that most people wouldn't expect?

amagoogler22 karma

All the perks are there to make you work longer. It pushes a small company attitude but has the same hurdles and roadblocks as a large company if you try to get anything done internally

TheDareDevil2 karma

Work longer as in over a day/week/month?

And what are your work hours like?

amagoogler2 karma

yes.. Work hours are flexible but the work isn't. There is lots of work and it doesn't matter when or how it gets done. Typically 7-8am emails at home, 8-5 in the office with no real break. The perks keep you busy. Then another hour or 2 of emails at home.

Toothbrush_Color_Fan7 karma

What color toothbrush do you use? Is it one of the ones in the Google logo?

amagoogler5 karma

White electric toothbrush. I believe the store sells all the colors/

souverianwerewe7 karma

How do Google employees view Apple employees, Facebook employees, Microsoft employees, Yahoo employees, etc.? Is there a hierarchy or are there general stereotypes you guys hold for other people in each company?

amagoogler10 karma

There is no hate for other firms. So many Googlers have spouses and friends that work at those companies.

brendan10186 karma

[deleted]

amagoogler34 karma

Not the way that is needed at Google. You really need to self promote yourself and your work and make sure the right people know what you are doing to rise up the rank. I just like to do my job well and not worry about all the politics and cheerleading that is needed.

reggaeinmyhead6 karma

What do you do at Google?

amagoogler11 karma

I help large customers deploy Google Apps and Chromebooks. When they have questions or bugs, they come to me and I help them. New problems every day.

reggaeinmyhead2 karma

I'm currently thinking about buying chromebook. Do you think that it's a good computer or should i look into buying something else for the price?

amagoogler11 karma

If you are just looking for web browsing and use google products, its great and you can't beat the price.

no-longer-inadequate2 karma

95% of what I do is browser based but there's still that 5% where I need to ssh into something. Is that a thing with a Chromebook?

amagoogler3 karma

Yes. There are ssh apps

I_cant_speel1 karma

What kinds of customers are interested in this kind of thing?

amagoogler3 karma

Any customer that could benefit from their employees having cheap computers with a full suite of applications. I could have a call with a department store, school, real estate company and government agency all in the same day.

Tojuro6 karma

Does Google still have the '20% Time' perk and what's your opinion of it?

Also, what kind of things did/do non-developers do with this time? Like what does a person selling ads or working in QA or support do with it?

amagoogler6 karma

The 20% perk is meant for engineers. It doesn't really exist in the same way that it used.

Not sure with ads, as the inside joke is they just sat back and collect money. For everyone else there is always documentation to write.

startrekdentist6 karma

What's your favorite/most used app?

amagoogler10 karma

Reddit Sync

orangejulius6 karma

how did you get that job initially?

amagoogler15 karma

Was hired by my previous company and then got purchased by Google

orangejulius1 karma

Follow up question: was there a change in 'culture' or work environment? How did it affect day to day life for you and would you say it was a positive experience?

amagoogler5 karma

Oh definitely. The previous company was only about 150 people. Google told us they were buying us for our technology and employees so that helped calm some fears. They probably cut 25% of the staff. Mostly because they would not fit in with the Google culture. My team got cut from 7 people to 4. Other than it was great. They treated us well. Started food service right away. My day to day work was still the same for 3-4 years later though

xyrrus6 karma

Besides the free meals, what other unusual benefits do you get that are typically not given at other companies?

amagoogler27 karma

Laptop, Cell Phone, Home Internet is paid for. There are no sick days. If you are sick you just take the day off and don't have to use a vacation day. If you are in an office that doesn't have a gym, they will pay your gym membership

psykiv9 karma

I get the feeling that using sick days is so discouraged, people would only use them if they were comatose.

amagoogler11 karma

Yes. So many people come into work sick because they want to put on a brave face and show they are hard workers.

xyrrus6 karma

What no google glass? This is an outrage!

amagoogler5 karma

Some Googlers did get them but there was a selection process. No discount if you wanted to buy it on your own

Waddles775 karma

Do you think we'll eventually start seeing more higher-end Chromebooks that, unlike the Pixel, are geared towards the average consumer?

amagoogler8 karma

Yes. The current gen is a bit slow. The pixel was too high end.

willzhang025 karma

What are people at Google X working on?

amagoogler13 karma

They don't tell us. I'm not even sure which building they are currently in.

StormyJMaster5 karma

Have you met Larry Page?

amagoogler6 karma

Nope. Never seen him or Sergi in person.

UnnaturallyFunky5 karma

How much do you feel Google has changed in regards to culture and focus in the last 5 years?

amagoogler8 karma

The focus does get lost. With so many products rushing to market/release is sometimes prioritized over quality

zwind5 karma

What is making you consider leaving from what I am seeing in your replies is a really sweet deal?

amagoogler19 karma

It's very competitive and working at that level is draining and just not much fun. I think my skills would be more appreciated at another organization.

paraNOIAed274 karma

Did Google force you call it a great job?

amagoogler57 karma

Lol. For some people, $100k+, stock options, gourmet lunches and worldwide travel is a great job.

moneeeeeda4 karma

As a teacher in a school that is pushing for 1:1 chromebooks and google drive (and who is super stoked about doing so), what would you say is the biggest frustration you've heard from educators about chromebooks/gdrive/apps?

(I've seriously been so impressed by everything I've seen - and I'm signed up for the pilot gclassroom this fall - I'm just wondering if I've got on those rose-colored glasses...)

amagoogler4 karma

Chromebooks in schools is the real deal. They are easy to set up and maintain. Cheap. Replaceable. Education customers get a discount on some of the services as well. The testing apps are getting better all the time.

Jragyn4 karma

Why does Google make it SOOOOO difficult for us to contact customer support for any of your products?! (ie Google Voice calling credit problems)

amagoogler6 karma

I agree with your frustration. I would guess that it is a bit of an intentional choice to get people to search for their own answers and do their own homework before screaming that something is broken.

humdrumer3 karma

[deleted]

amagoogler5 karma

No, but you'd be surprised how often the average employee just uses the public Google search to find an answer or solution

concererjak10 karma

Are you saying that google has its own private search option that hides all the real answers from us common folk

amagoogler11 karma

no.. but a lot of people think we do

Blargame3 karma

What do you think you'll miss the most about working at google?

amagoogler7 karma

Food service will be a big one. Have met smart people from all over the world. The job freedom is nice as well. You can do your job pretty much on your own schedule

Blargame3 karma

I'm someone who is pursuing a degree in computer science, I've heard that google treats their employees really well.

amagoogler15 karma

Very well in a material sense. You are expected to work your ass off.

Blargame4 karma

Of course, it is a job. Thank you for the responses by the way.

amagoogler8 karma

But more than just a 9-5. In my position, I expected to attend conf calls and respond to emails all over the world regardless of time.

Blargame3 karma

That sounds rougher than I thought it would be.

amagoogler5 karma

Im not describing it properly. Working on weekends was discouraged even though everyone does. If you didn't you felt like you were slipping.

Blargame7 karma

I'm guessing that no one wanted to be the so called weakest link?

amagoogler6 karma

That's a better way of putting it.

tha_baker1 karma

Fascinating response. Makes me reconsider working for a company like that

amagoogler6 karma

Don't get me wrong. Its not a sweatshop. But you are putting out high quality work at a fast pace while always being compared to your peers

tha_baker2 karma

yea, I get it. I've heard that in a lot of tech companies you are expected to work overtime, which kind of sucks. I imagine I'd work a bit of overtime naturally, but to be expected to do it constantly would make me depressed

amagoogler3 karma

I check my email on my phone at least 2x after I go to sleep and before I wake in the morning. Sending a 3am email is so common but having a good work/life balance is encouraged.

1019812376454 karma

How can you check your email before you wake in the morning?

Secret google technology confirmed on Saint's stream.

amagoogler2 karma

Phone is 2ft away from my face as I sleep. Out of habit, I check it many times through the night

Mythical_Empire3 karma

What did your daily duties consist of whilst working for Google? Why are you leaving?

amagoogler7 karma

Conf calls with peers and partners. Weekly meetings that no one enjoys. Troubleshooting. Recording of bugs. Customer management. A bit of everything

My management wants to push me in one direction with my career and it is not the path I want to take. I've found 5 years is about the limit that I like to work at one place. The fact that every day is different actually gets repetitive.

ghentyboy2 karma

This could be the peak of your career. If you leave and later on feel that it was the wrong decision, will they happily take you back? Are you leaving on good terms?

amagoogler4 karma

You are right and I'm proud to say I had a 6 year run. I am leaving on good terms but have become frustrated with my management. I would not expect to be taken back which is a major factor in deciding if I should leave.

LukasFT2 karma

Do you have a new job waiting for you? :)

amagoogler1 karma

I do not. Are you hiring?

LukasFT2 karma

No, I was just curious. But do you have any job in sight, or will you just take it when it comes? You probably have a pretty great chance to find a tech-job in silicon valley, though

amagoogler2 karma

I'm at a good spot where I can switch to any type of career. Will probably stay in tech.

Palsetury2 karma

Is it true that everyday you have to complete a riddle asked by Google Supervisors?

amagoogler2 karma

No, but I wish it was

t3hjs2 karma

Will you get fired like the last Google guy who did an AMA?

amagoogler3 karma

I don't think so. I don't I've violated anything in my NDA.

SuperLowKey2 karma

With technology allowing more and more people to simply work from home, how often do you work from home, if at all? Is this type of thing frowned upon in the Google culture? Do they expect for you to be physically "in" the office more that working from home?

amagoogler3 karma

No one cares as long as you get your work done. Most team members are in other offices so everything is done through Google Hangout. I could work from home 100% but then you miss the perks

JeFaisQuoi2 karma

How long could one reasonably delay a software engineer in test job offer at Google?

A recruiter contacted me a few months ago. I've been telling him I want to take it slowly because I have commitments I can't go back on (it'd be career suicide if I did). But his version of slow was taking two months between first contact and getting me all the way through interviews. I interviewed (not at Mountain View) and passed there. They passed my info on to Mountain View to get a final approval. I'm expect to hear back in the next week or two. The recruiter gave me some really positive feedback, so I think I might get an offer. I know I shouldn't count my chickens̶ before t̶h̶e̶y̶it hatches, but you're answering questions now, not two weeks from now.

The soonest I could start at Google is in 2 - 3 months if they let me work remotely from the very beginning. Which I doubt. The best time for me to start would be July 2015. I could make it work if I had to start somewhere in the middle, but it'd be tough. So is there any way Google might let me delay a start date that much?

amagoogler1 karma

Probably not unless you are really a superstar. Always need to remember there are hundreds of people applying for each position so they can be picky in finding someone that meets all requirements including start date.

7hammers2 karma

How is the security? Lots of no access buildings?

amagoogler3 karma

There is a security presence but its comforting. Your badge gives you access to every Google office in the world but you are also taught to check all badges of people coming in behind you.

OG_NIK1 karma

How hard was it to get hired by Google?

amagoogler4 karma

I came over in an acquisition

thecodguy11 karma

Hi,

What are the facility's like? Does it look like the Internship movie? Is everything that colourful?

Thanks!

amagoogler2 karma

Already answered.. and Yes

thecodguy11 karma

Do you use Google plus? Also, do you solve most of your problems at work by Googling them?

Thanks!

amagoogler4 karma

Internally everyone uses google plus to talk to co-workers. externally i use facebook because no one i know outside of google uses it.

Yes. Google search solves at least a problem a day for me

PM_ME_YOUR_DEITIES1 karma

I'll be starting as a SWE (Software Engineer) at one of the smaller Google branches in a few months. I've got a ton of career experience, but never anywhere quite like Google. Any advice for me, things to do before I start or shortly after starting? I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the whole situation.

amagoogler4 karma

Don't get distracted by the perks. You are still there to work. You were probably one of the smartest in high school and now will share a cube with a 22 year old who speaks 3 languages and is going for their doctorate. Whatever project you are assigned is now yours. No trading. If you ask for help you will be told to search for the answer

PaperLuigi31 karma

What's your opinion on Google buying Twitch? Do you think this will continue a trend of large companies buying all the new tech that rolls out?

amagoogler4 karma

Didn't that trend start 10 years ago?

Leakee1 karma

Do you guys actually play Quidditch? :)

amagoogler1 karma

No, although it wouldn't surprise me if some people did try to get a game going

AlfredHawthorneHill1 karma

You said you are in a satellite office, but even from that view can you weigh in on the inside scoop as to how Google and its employees regard the recent attacks by self-righteous jerkoff bums and social "crusaders" who have trained their sites on, held up and defaced Google employee shuttles in San Francisco? Has similarly infantile criminal activity against Google and its employee transit arisen near your office?

amagoogler3 karma

I have been in the Bay Area for about 8 months now. I do know one person who has been directly affected. Most of the employees are sensitive to the fighting and feel their anger is a bit misdirected as Google probably does more good than bad for the local area. We are told to basically ignore them

Xazier1 karma

Are there a lot of employees wearing Google Glass? On a scale of 1-10 how ridiculous do they look? Because it looks ridiculous.

amagoogler5 karma

No. A bunch of employees were part of the internal testing. The majority of people who got glass stopped using them after a few days. It was a neat novelty. Yes, they do look ridiculous and you get the impression that the people that do still wear them are just doing it to show off

swegmaster11 karma

What is your education background like? And would you recommend a job similar to yours?

amagoogler2 karma

I had a background in computers, network administration and support. That type of thing. Sure, it's a great job, but it does take the right type of person.

realdev1 karma

What would happen if you stopped being so competitive and just did the bare minimum?

amagoogler2 karma

It would catch up to you in a quarter or two.

jdub1291 karma

Do you have tips for getting a job with them? I was emailed by a Google software engineering recruiter who wanted to file my resume for "possible future jobs". I'm still in school, have a great resume so far, but my grades aren't the best. How can I stand out?

amagoogler2 karma

I can't speak to the hiring process but know that you are competing against the best in the world. You will need something outside grades to stand out. Learn how to be Googley

Jpal1231 karma

Any good internal scandal stories. Among employees or with vendors?

amagoogler1 karma

Unfortunately not. We are pretty well behaved. Every now and then someone will leak something to techcrunch or some other blog but that's about it.

cjt30071 karma

What are your thoughts on the future of 3D printing?

amagoogler2 karma

Not sure on the company view but it seems to be the next big thing to me. The ability to print replacement parts and new items on demand is only grow as the technology gets cheaper and easier to use.