Work at Google

What is it like to do research at Google?


   Google is full of smart people working on some of the hardest problems in Computer Science.

Many Googlers have PhDs and come from a research background, but research is not treated as a separate activity at Google — research happens across the company, on many different teams. This means there is a blurry line between “research” and “product development.”


Engineering and research projects alike are done by small teams on a rapid schedule.

Most projects have time horizons of just 6-12 months, and aim to deliver results and iterate quickly. That said, for some higher-risk or longer-term projects, some research groups do work with a certain level of isolation – but even then, Google encourage organizational flexibility and the free flow of information within the company (and often outside of the company as well). Nearly all projects at Google are “bottom-up” efforts, started by a few Googlers who want to tackle a new problem. Google is very light on management. Google have more problems than it has people, so there’s always a big problem just around the corner waiting for someone to solve.

At Google, you have the freedom to work on many different areas.

Google researchers and engineers often move between projects, based on shifting interests and new opportunities. This means that it’s not uncommon for a Googler who has been with the company for several years to have worked on very different areas, such as search, Gmail, maps, and core networking. You get to work with different people on new challenges and constantly learn new things. Of course, if you prefer to stay on one team, you can do that too!


    Google has a tremendous number of exciting challenges that only arise with the vast amount of data and sheer scale of systems that we build.

Most people know about Google’s research activities that back our major products, such as search algorithms, systems infrastructure, machine learning, and programming languages. These are just the tip of the iceberg.


   Google encourages its researchers to publish.

Google encourage publication both in conventional scientific venues, and also through industry forums, professional magazines and standards bodies. Submitting a paper to a conference or journal has a very lightweight process: a few days before submission, Google ask you to submit your article for review to make sure you’re not leaking major company secrets by mistake. Google also has a strong culture of releasing code as open source, and getting approval to release code is a matter of days, not months.


More than anything else, Google is a fun place to work.

You’re surrounded by amazing, driven people; you get some of the best perks in the industry; and of course a lot of yummy free food. Finally, if you are into datacenters, Google has the best toys.


posted by Vitaliy Bogudskiy



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