We were essentially rewarded for either dreaming up totally new wildly innovative things, or improving existing things with hard metrics.
It also meant that many other things were maintained longer than they should have been. You could campaign to have the whole system rewritten, or you could get a bonus this quarter for twirling up some side metric that didn’t matter a whole lot. What would you do?
This also meant that any improvement not based on a hard metric was flatly not a respected use of time. Usability? Number of bugs? Nobody cared. If you couldn’t measure it, nobody was interested in it.
Server provisioning was terrible. You were suppose to have your stuff in enough zones that you could withstand a planned outage, but people were often lucky to get it up in one. Then they get mad at you when you need to take it down for maintenance. There was a very clear policy saying have it in more than one zone, but a lot of the little projects couldn’t get the resources.
And, asmentioned as well, people feel justified asking you why you left or if you still work there, insist that everything must be perfect. They don’t want to hear anything less than total enthusiasm for your luck getting into Google, and how much you want to stay. If you left or have anything other than rainbows and ponies to talk about, nearly everybody from my mother to my cab driver pretty much demands you explain why you’d be anything less than thrilled to work at Google. I think that’s the marketing campaign that employees at Google have everything they could ever need to be happy is one of Google’s most impressive products, when in reality, their perks are not unusual for a company of its size in Silicon Valley at all, and the majority of the features are replicated in the smaller companies too.
You watch many of your coworkers get weird and dependent at Google, and realize the Google lifestyle has made them basically unemployable anywhere else. You secretly start wondering if you could cut it on the outside too.
this Article originally published on Quora