A Day in the Life of a Software Engineer at Google

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A Day in the Life of a Software Engineer at Google

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work at a massive company like Google? Are you a programmer? Then we’ve collected some interesting anecdotes to shed some light on your curiosity. Stick around to know what an average work day for a Google employee might be like.

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Moving on, here are some insights on work life in the big G.

Coding Gets the Least Amount of Their Work Time

Software Engineers at the massive conglomerate don’t actually spend all of their work days on coding alone; in fact, this account from Shoya Taguchi (a Google employee in Texas) reveals that coding actually takes up the least amount of his work time in a day. It only makes up 10-30% of his time.

Here’s what we’ve learned from reading up on his personal experience:

  • The higher your position is in Google as a software engineer, the less time you spend on coding.
  • On the flip side, you spend more time coding if you’re new to the company.
  • 70-90% of the remaining time is allocated to other tasks such as writing and presentation. These tasks actually take up much more work time than coding.
  • Reviewing documents is also part of a software engineer’s tasks. They review technical designs and proposals, amongst other documents.
  • Some of that remaining time is also allocated for team management meetings and collaboration meetings. The meetings are a regular element to expect while working at Google. Team building and teamwork are huge parts of how these companies actually work

Flexible Hours

An account from a worker called Kenny Leftin (a Google employee for seven years) reveals that working hours are pretty flexible at Google. A worker can start their day at 10 am, and some even start at 11:30 am. As long as they get their daily work done, they can come in much later; they’ll just have to stay later.

Cooperative Colleagues

Workers at Google are the top talents in the market. Most employees need to be team-spirited and helpful to their colleagues. Growth and cooperation seem to be ‘staple traits’ in Google, and this makes sense since such a huge company needs to operate on an A + level all of the time. Employees need to help each other along the way to problem solve much more than they probably would in a smaller company.

Status Update Meetings in the Afternoon

Online accounts reveal that meetings often happen in Google, as we’ve already emphasized the importance of teamwork in this company. Status update meetings tend to occur in the afternoon after primary tasks have been executed, like coding, writing, reviews, and replying to emails.

Status updates can apparently include product issue solving but are usually just standard check-ins with other colleagues, and since Google is a hyper-busy company, the meeting rooms are regularly occupied, and meetings have to be abruptly finished if other groups need the room as well.

Access to Source Code

Employees have access to source code that they can use as reference and reuse existing code. It’s practical for the employees since reusing existing code goes beyond source code; there is also code for communications, documents, and slides.

Gym at the Office Building

From one source online, there is a free-to-use gym in the Google building they work in. We are, of course, not stating that every building owned by the company has a gym, but it won’t be reasonable for you to expect a free gym you can use after or before work. This is definitely a pro.

Individual Resources

Google uses its own tools and resources. Employees are expected to learn to use them in a year or so. They are expected to handle these Google-exclusive tools well after a year. Google-exclusive tools exist for code review, CI/CD, and task management. These exclusive tools have the same function and purpose as industry standard tools but are named differently.

This could prove a problem for employees who want to change jobs and companies since they can’t prove they’ve developed a skill set to use certain tools since Google has named their own tools different from industry standard tools. However, don’t fret; this doesn’t make it impossible to show them that such tools are the same. Communication is necessary.

Free Lunch

Major Google office buildings offer free lunches to all their employees, so there’s no need for employees to commute away from their buildings. It saves them some time, effort, and money to get a decent meal during the lunch breaks. From looking at different comments and accounts of personal experiences, it seems that food at Google can be delicious and very good.

Of course, this will largely depend on the office’s location as well, but it seems they’ve standardized many branches worldwide to have decent to good food standards. If your diet is important to you, perhaps working at Google might be an option. Weigh all your facts.

Final Thoughts

What’s observable after reading into the experiences of different employees of Google online is that the employees are very motivated and eager to help their colleagues since growth and cooperation are the elements that glue the continued efficiency of this massive conglomerate.

Food, hours, and the general workday seems to be quite decent as well, but it’s important to remember that working for a dynamic company like this means having to work twice as fast and hard at times. We hope this article has been informative.

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