To those who’ve worked at Google and FB

Facebook Pjhgd
Nov 28, 2017 61 Comments

I worked at Google for several years and moved to FB for a year now. Though they are two of the best companies to work for, the differences are like night and day! I didn’t expect it to be so different. I thought Google would be my end all be all but after years of being recruited by FB, I decided to give it a try. I wouldn’t have thought it, but I personally felt I found a company better than Google - at least for me. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked google but I’m much more proud and engaged at fb even after a year here. Since I’ve left, google has asked me twice to come back...

For those who’ve worked at both, what are the pros and cons of both? Do you prefer one over the other? Would you go back to the first company or are you happy where you’re at?

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TOP 61 Comments
  • Google idontlikeu
    I moved to Google less than an year ago after a few years at FB. Pretty much the same story as yours, they had been trying to recruit me for years and I eventually decided to give it a try.

    What I like more at Google:
    - Higher density of senior engineers
    - Infrastructure is way more stable.
    - Diversity of products to work on. At FB there are many things to work on, but ultimately you'll be working on a social network product.
    - Engineering offices around the globe if I want to transfer it off the bay area.
    - Monthly RSU vesting
    - Work directly on my server
    - GSuite (at Facebook I had to use MS office, Outlook, Quip...)
    - People care about quality way more. At FB nobody really cared about writing tests.
    - Peer review cycles in March instead of December.
    - Levels are visible (you can opt out tho) while at Facebook they are completely hidden and you are not supposed to tell your level to others.
    - Complexity over "impact". At Facebook people were encouraged to focus on short term projects so they could show user impact in every cycle. At Google people are usually expected to work on more complex, longer term problems.

    What I miss about FB:
    - Food is definitely better. I am actually not a big fan of foods provided by tech companies but Google's food is complete crap when compared to FB's, specially if you are not vegetarian.
    - Facebook's microkitchens are an order of magnitude better.
    - I like zuck's leadership style.
    - Memes when reviewing/accepting diffs
    - Easier to find tools for a specific task. Google has lots of different tools trying to do the same thing and it's quite confusing.
    - Their stack makes it easy to prototype new tools. You literally just write a few lines of php and it is working.
    - People seemed more friendly overall.
    - Using FB@Work is awesome for work. You can effectively do any kind of communication there. At Google we still rely too much on mail lists, like we were in the 90's.
    - It's a huge corporation that still felt like a startup. Google not so much.

    All in all I don't regret going to Google. As a backend engineer I'm really happy with the stable infra and the SREs helping keeping the services up. However I still think FB is a great company and would consider going back one day when I feel like I'm done with Google.
    Nov 29, 201710
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      AmazonEng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      This is actually really well written. As someone potentially looking at these two, this helps a lot.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Google idontlikeu
      Whenever a friend is considering both, I give the following rule of thumb: If you want to launch lots of products to the public fast (amount of impact) go to FB.
      If instead you care more about tackling complex problems, go to Google.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Microsoft realhash
      Thanks for sharing. This is awesomely written.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Databricks / Eng
      datadicks

      DatabricksEng

      BIO
      I suck
      datadicksmore
      Thank you. Good lists.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Facebook / Engdaily
      Not having as stable infra mean we have a fair share of complex problems too 😉. Good write up but personally I think if you care what type of problems you'll be solving as a swe you should go to FB and be able to pick your team. Probably another plus for FB. A plus you missed for Google is they have way cooler badges haha.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Microsoft repeekooz
      Why review cycle time matters?
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng
      hhryjfd

      FacebookEng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      hhryjfdmore
      Writing peer reviews around holidays sucks for some people - you can’t fully relax. You can always write them early before Christmas but most people are procrastinators.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • no tests?
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Google idontlikeu
      @repeekooz whatever hhryjfd said + December and July are months in which I usually have family or friends visiting from abroad, which makes things harder to plan.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Facebook ww4u
      Totally agree with you
      Jan 13, 2018
  • Facebook Pjhgd
    OP
    Google was much more structured. Everything was already built and in place.

    Googles internal tools are much easier to use. But then again, they have years on FB to build those out. When I first started, one tool I was using was crap and years after, it was much better so I can see FB improving there.

    Now that I have something to compare it to, google is much more corporate. Facebook feels much more like a startup but with an abundance of resources.

    Google moves incredibly slow. Facebook moves fast. The bad side to this is some people can’t keep up. I’ve seen people who came from years google come to fb and quit after a few months cause they couldn’t handle the fast pace.

    The food is so much better at fb. When I used to bring food home for my spouse from google he got so sick of it; even he agrees fb food is much better.

    Google, at least the org I was in, is very political. It was so apparent in the people who moved up but were assholes and didn’t do as much work compared to my nice coworkers who were the top performers and are not moving up cause they don’t shmooze. Again, this is my org, I don’t think it’s all orgs.

    At google, my coworkers were there for 6+ years with not promotion. They got stagnant. It’s hard to move up. At fb, I see an effort from managers, again just in my org at least, to help with growth intentionally. I was promoted to a higher level in my first half and and my year mark, I was given the opportunity to take on a whole new role for a semi new program we’re launching. I know that would have taken much longer at google since I stayed in the same role 4 years as my coworkers as I mentioned.

    Google had more space. I would drive in, park and get to work. At fb, they built the offices in such an inefficient way that there are so many people directing traffic it’s annoying. Parking is annoying too. I think this will be fixed as we get more buildings up like 21 and they open up the sf office to more teams.

    Facebook is much more transparent. In fact, that’s what taught me to grow. I was so stagnant at google cause they don’t encourage you to open up and speak your mind. You obviously can do that but seeing my female leads and managers just stay quiet made me learn to be that way too. At Facebook, it seems everyone can speak their opinion openly. Sometimes that causes friction but for me personally, it’s really taught me to speak up which in turn helped me feel as though I’ve grown more at fb than my 4 years at google.

    My team at google usually consists of 25-50% contractors. I hated how they were treated at google. They always come in so bright eyed and excited to do amazing work so they’ll get converted. Although many of them were amazing at their job, only 1 ever got converted. The top performers didn’t get converted, but the one who played her cards right with the managers did. That was actually one of the reasons I left was to take a personal stand against google that I hated how contractors were treated. At fb, the contractors on my team all got converted in a year or less. I just feel much better about how fb treats contractors. I asked my google colleagues if things have changed in that front. They said it’s worse - they hire people for a year contract and have fired people in 2-3 months because of performance. I hope google changes their stance on that cause it rubs even the FTEs wrong.

    Writing this down to an anonymous group really helps clear things up for me. With 13 years of industry experience, it’s not about the money or perks anymore ; it’s really just about being in an environment where I’m proud to work and thrive in. I guess I answered my own question and it explains why I wasn’t jumping on it when google asked me to come back. :)
    Nov 29, 201712
    • Facebook Jjbf
      Oh no, I’m not the ones that take boxes and boxes of food. I get lunch and when I don’t eat it all I take it home to my spouse instead of tossing perfectly good food. But he’s also visited during lunch and does prefer fb food by far
      Nov 30, 2017
    • BMO Bvnq30
      Op that is so wrong, you are stealing from the company. I hope they find out what you're doing and you're fired for it.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Cisco FUeI14
      Even at LinkedIn you can bring your family for free food
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng
      Wellborn

      MicrosoftEng

      BIO
      Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
      Wellbornmore
      BMO is jealous.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Fitbit mahalo2
      So much food is wasted at these places every single day. No you are not stealing and you are putting perfectly good food to use. Damn sjw's. These annoying comments bug me.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Microsoft 1337c0d3r
      Corporate justice warriors
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Facebook Jjbf
      I don’t feel guilty. Sometimes on my walk home, a homeless person will ask for my leftovers so I give it to them. It’s true the food goes to waste so why not give it to someone who wants it 🤷🏽‍♀️
      Nov 30, 2017
    • BMO Bvnq30
      Because its not the companies responsibility to feed your family because you're cheap and don't want to buy food yourself.
      Dec 1, 2017
    • Microsoft Khcfdshl
      BMO = Douchebag
      Dec 15, 2017
    • Facebook GE+DaSJW
      Absolutely nothing wrong with taking food home at FB. Way too many people do it and it's considered normal.
      Oct 19, 2018
  • Google kRando
    Thanks for sharing this. I've been at Google forever and am curious what it's like on the "other side"
    Nov 29, 20170
  • Amazon / EngEmber
    Any Google or Facebook recruiters here to help me get out of Amazon?
    Nov 29, 20177
    • Verathon / Eng
      naw

      VerathonEng

      BIO
      💅 Seattle
      nawmore
      Lol
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Facebook / Engpookyh
      I’m engineering (not recruiting) but I can probably add you as an engineering lead if you like.

      Hmm.. that will require you trusting me to keep your blind name a secret and vice versa. Maybe it’s a bad idea.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Fitbit mahalo2
      Big deal exchange your info and change your usernames.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Facebook / Engpookyh
      I never even thought to check. You can change names once per day on Blind. This opens up a whole new world of trolling opportunities I’d imagine.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Fitbit mahalo2
      Lol
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Facebook / Engpookyh
      So given that I can change names afterward: please PM me if you want to send me your resume for an eng lead at FB. I won’t refer you (appreciable bonus, requires that I know the person) but if you have some experience I’ll get your name in our recruitment system. Send your email address and a PDF of your resume.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Google thrown
      Lead in what kind of positions? I've led small teams as TL but I won't take a role as a "lead" where I can't justify any background that would merit my team's respect. Feel free to DM if you prefer; I'm not overly protective of my identity
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Google XpYa60
    Can you comment on reasons why someone may not enjoy the transition?

    Declined Facebook for Google earlier this year, been wondering if I’ve made a mistake ever since.

    Thanks for the post.
    Nov 29, 20170
  • Expedia rPaG72
    I hope you do realize that this post is depressing for people who have worked at neither companies!
    Nov 30, 20172
    • 😂🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Microsoft $oftie$
      There is always a better company and smarter ppl out there. Fact of life.
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Facebook / Product
    oooooops

    FacebookProduct

    PRE
    Google
    oooooopsmore
    Spent 5 years at Google and have been at Facebook for 3 months. I hesitated to make the move and the large comp difference tilted the scale.

    Google was by far the best company I had worked for, until Facebook. I think FB is a younger version of Google with lots of opportunities and in a way it feels like you've already "seen the future", especially if you transfer to work in the same function.

    Highly recommend both companies, but would pick FB all else equal if you are interested in growing fast.
    Nov 29, 20172
    • Facebook Pjhgd
      OP
      Omg I say the exact same thing to people! I thought google was the best company until I came to fb! It’s not for everyone but I love it here.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Facebook .🗣🤔🤛
      Completely agree
      Nov 29, 2017
  • Amazon / MgmtDo_it
    Yea actually I was about to ask if any former Amazonians who are now at FB or Google - how the cultures differ? Esp in autonomy, responsibility, politics
    Nov 30, 20175
    • Amazon / EngI ❤️💲
      Interested in this as well!
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Facebook Jjbf
      You should start a thread. There are plenty of them. I’m sure they’ll give you the deets.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Amazon DankMatta
      Me too
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Amazon / MgmtDo_it
      K starting now.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Amazon / MgmtftEHw
      Former Amazon, now at Facebook/Google? (Engineering)
      https://us.teamblind.com/s/sYY2V1UD
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Google ambronn
    I am very thankful to folks for sharing valuable information. I denied fb offer earlier this year and have been wondering about the life on the other side ever since. I might decide to go there upon completion of my first year mainly because I am finding it hard to get impactful projects here - can someone with more knowledge about this respond? I have heard it's easy easier to make impact at fb than goog.
    Nov 29, 20172
    • Facebook Pjhgd
      OP
      Hands down easier to make an impact at fb. If you think about it, google has been around a long time; they’ve had years to get to where they are and brilliant people to make things come together. If you think of an idea, most of the time it’s already done. In fact, I slightly remember there’s a team you run ideas through so they check if it’s already something being worked on. At fb, things are still coming together which is frustrating at times when you’re used to everything being all laid out at google but then that makes more room for opportunity and impact. No company is perfect but depending on what you value in a job, in your case, impact, then you have a much better chance to make an impact at fb in my humble opinion. Thee may be people that’ll disagree but this is coming from my 4 years experience at google and exceeding goals but not feeling like I was making an impact, to coming to fb and just feeling like I’m growing so much here from a promotion in my first half to pivoting my career on a new team at fb within a year.
      Nov 29, 2017
    • Google thrown
      I too wonder if I could have more impact (back) at FB, but this sounds like impact for selfish reasons. If Google had good building blocks and you have to actually do something new to have impact that's actually a good thing.

      I miss a few general tools at FB but I generally find that the infrastructure is so optimized and single-purpose at FB that they're utterly unprepared to do anything new. That's part of why the Facebook creative labs failed. It was almost impossible to reuse architecture to do anything that wasn't connected to the canonical Facebook graph.
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Dropbox TradeJoe's
    Honeymoon phase
    Nov 30, 20170
  • Amazon / EngI ❤️💲
    Which would you say is better for new grad? I need to start applying by next year.
    Nov 30, 20172
    • Facebook / Engserially
      If you ❤️💲then you should join FB
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Amazon / EngI ❤️💲
      Haha ok that definitely makes sense. I tried getting an internship there for summer 2018 for the sweet returning intern bonus, but couldn't even get an interview! Hopefully things will be different for new grad. I really like Facebook's open source contributions and greatly respect their engineering, so I am very excited by the prospect of working there.
      Nov 30, 2017
  • Google AOJm40
    if the recruitor asks you back, do you need to intetview again?
    Nov 30, 20172
    • Facebook Jjbf
      Good question. My manager asked me back so probably wouldn’t need to interview. Then another person who worked with me started went to a new team and asked me to come over there. I assume I’d have to interview for formality sake. If I were to go to a new team completely who didn’t know me, I assume it would be a fairly formal interview but more relaxed since they have my performance record and can reach out to previous managers at google.
      Nov 30, 2017
    • Facebook spcmnspff
      Generally no need to reinterview if returning within 2 yrs unless there is a level bump
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Snapchat ,,,
    Now hire me!! Or have FB buy Snap finally. :)
    Nov 30, 20171
    • Snapchat ,,,
      😭
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Google jdbfjdjjdj
    How is pay diffs ( not just offer but year on refreshes)?
    Dec 1, 20171
    • Google thrown
      Google begrudgingly matched my FB salary but later told me I was pay capped. OTOH my stock refreshes have been better at Google. YMMV.
      Dec 1, 2017
  • Uber UvyS35
    AR
    Mar 19, 20180

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