What Makes Google And Facebook Such Good Places To Work That Everyone Wants To Work There?

There are lots of reasons, but I think there are two main ones:

Pay. This was less true in the days I started my career, when Google was famously underpaying people, but nowadays both Google and Facebook are paying close to the top of market scale. According to various public data (e.g. levels.fyi), new college grads in software engineering are earning somewhere in the 170–190K range.

You can expect to make it to $500K by the end of your career. Very senior engineers and PMs can be literally making $1M+ (not common, but definitely happens, and you don’t need to be a manager).

There are definitely places that pay as much or more, but they are few. I wish pay weren’t so important, but in this area you can’t have a prestigious company that doesn’t pay well. Perks used to be famous as well, but I think now most tech companies do a comparable job.

Opportunities to do challenging, interesting and rewarding work.

Nowadays this is less true for both companies, and Google is definitely on average more boring than FB today (because it’s much bigger), but there are still pockets of amazing things that are the absolute cutting edge, and nobody knows how to do, and you get to figure out.

This is actually quite critical, because once you reach a certain amount of pay, you would simply have no reason to stay even for more money, if the work is not something you enjoy doing.

As a runner-up, I would list people. Generally the hiring standards are so high, that you are only rarely going to run into an incompetent colleague. (Although there are some subtleties: your manager might be a great engineer, but a mediocre or even incompetent manager).

You would probably find that there is a lot to learn from your colleagues, and you are never the smartest person around. Both companies do a pretty good job removing arrogant jerks as well, or at least not rewarding that type of behavior, simply because very few people are considered indispensable in such a high-caliber environment.

Google and Facebook are not the only places like this, but they are in a very small and select company.

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