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Google - Overview, Company Culture and History

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Google, Inc.

Overview - Google

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 Number 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, CA 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.

In my opinion, one of the coolest 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, its also good business: some estimates put 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. They currently have 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 their 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 US offices, they currently have hundreds of Google Openings Worldwide in areas such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, 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 they operate in. 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:

  • Health care for you and your family, plus on-site physician and dental care at our headquarters in Mountain View, California and our engineering center in Seattle, Washington
  • Vacation days and holidays, and flexible work hours
  • Maternity and parental leave, plus new moms and dads are able to 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
  • Back-up 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.
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