Altera Reviews

Updated July 24, 2015
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Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
17 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/life balance is pretty good (in 31 reviews)

  • great people and working environment (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • Still you can not have work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Senior management has no idea what the company direction is (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

30 Employee Reviews

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  1. Senior MTS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Lead - Senior Member of Technical Staff in San Ramon, CA
    Current Employee - Team Lead - Senior Member of Technical Staff in San Ramon, CA

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It has good compensation and benefits

    Cons

    Management here is very political


  2. Altera 2015

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Principal EPM/Design Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Principal EPM/Design Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Altera (More than a year)

    Pros

    Higher Base Salary Nice Campus

    Cons

    Poor work life balance Stagnant

    Advice to Management

    Establish realistic expectations. Accept schedule-quality tradeoffs


  3. Helpful (3)

    Foolishness disguised as wisdom, principles and pride - Thinking without logic

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Finance in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Altera full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - There are good people here who care - The experience you'll get is top notch, doing lots of different things at a high level - Good place to build your resume for a short time and move on - Total comp (mostly equity) was well above average before they significantly reduced annual refreshes

    Cons

    - Senior Finance team was taken over by a small contingent from Sun including the CFO, a VP and 2 Sr Directors - 1 such buddie seemingly preferentially promoted to VP within months of being hired into a Director role - Slowly weeded out good experienced veteran talent - Implemented aggressive rotation policy in Finance where every employee was color coded based on tenure in your current role: red for 3+ years, yellow after 18 mos and green for < 18 mos - If there was no desirable job into which to rotate or you didn't like the rotation assignment they gave you after 3 years, it was explained to me that you would be no longer viewed as a leader among CFO staff and would be removed from participating in annual bonuses and stock at their sole discretion (basically, bonuses and stock were for leaders) - Some "chose" to leave as a result of this policy - CFO actually said in QBRs that organizational conflict was encouraged, and he wasn't talking about the healthy kind of conflict that comes from challenging traditional ways. He was talking about creating uncomfortable conflict with job rotations and similar types of policies. - CFO personality is uncomfortably awkward around others, not very socially aware and not welcoming or friendly. He wants to appear very high brow and important but I've seen him treat others disrespectfully. I have seen him many times standing outside the doors of his VPs offices peering through the glass window of their office to interrupt their meeting and making childish wanton faces and gestures such as pointing to his watch and shrugging his shoulders with his hands in the air. And I'm not talking about a funny personality quirk. It's unprofessional at best, let's just say -- not so high brow. - As a result, the culture in Finance is generally fearful (somewhat paranoid) and not very honest going upward but unfairly preferential and tyrannical downward - Long hours are common and expected 11-12+ since resources are tight and most employees have to deal with nightly calls with Malaysia. Finance department has grown minimally in headcount if at all in 3 years. There's a lot of pressure to perform with less and less resources. - Organizationally, back office transactional functions are located in Malaysia for cost savings reasons. The irony is, it's takes twice as long to do anything they touch because it has to be reviewed in the US and corrections/changes/edits take a day to turn around. Or longer if it's done incorrectly or they don't understand what to do which is often. Essentially each time they have a question is another full day lost. UGH! - Altera Finance used to have a good team


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  5. Technician

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technician in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Technician in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Altera

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    good salary, vacation days, PTO days

    Cons

    terrible management, unhealthy work environment

    Advice to Management

    treat employees with respect


  6. Helpful (8)

    Sinking ship. Failing product lines/strategy leads to lack of managers fostering healthy work environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice campus. Because its a smaller company, being able to see upper management/vps is a nice feature. Solidarity with coworkers of disapproval of management.

    Cons

    Constant re-orgs. Very high attrition rate (and forced early retirements). Severe lack of teamwork, effort by management in team building activities. Severe lack of recognition. High attrition -> lack of knowledge being passed on -> more problems and bugs. No visibility in direction of team, direction of organization, or overall strategy of projects. Stale environment (literally and figuratively) -> slow pace - takes forever to do anything. Engineers don't know whats happening , hope management knows whats happening -> but with constant re-orgs theres low hope. Low moral. Managers are more concerned about saving their own jobs, than protecting their employees and grooming their employees. Constant stabbing in the back. Lack of investment from managers in employees. Under compensated compared to market rate. A lot of politics. All managers are tenured 15+ year engineers at Altera. Severe peter principle in place.

    Advice to Management

    see "con's". Doesn't matter though, general consensus that management just doesnt care.


  7. Helpful (6)

    If you were in Jail you would not have to watch your back this much- Horrible Director and above leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Strong balance sheet and niche market. Strong barriers to entry. Samrt people and most are very talented

    Cons

    There are unrealistic expectations, Pay is lower than market and overlap with Malaysia causes long days and no work-life balance. Many senior managers do not understand business drivers and stack rank employees to fit a bell curve. Strategic investment is not made to move company forward. I don't think you can cut your way to prosperity. The titles wehre people are hired into are much lower than other companies. For instance a manager here would have the same respnsibilities as a Director somewhere else. Attempting to hire for Diversity which means Females and other underrepresented groups- Seems illegal to me as you are not supposed to focus on Age, Gender, Color, Etc.. Many occurances where senior managers and above are not knowledgeable and seek opportuities to stab you in the back. Also the yoga classes and wellness fairs are nice when you are not working through lunch every day sort of a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees and make small increases in headcount to scale with growth. Ditch the stack ranking. You have an advantagous psition but if you are shortsighted the opportunity may slip or you will have product issues like at 28nm. I understand as a public company there are guidelines but when you have more cash on hand than google and almost as much as Apple why do you put so much burden on the employees


  8. Helpful (2)

    Worst Company to work for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Tech Staff in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Tech Staff in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Altera full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation is good for some people.

    Cons

    Do Management understand the business of making chip?


  9. Helpful (7)

    Very bad Culture, Lot of department politics, bad experience, rat race everywhere, NOT worth IT

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - fpga is a niche area due to which altera has somehow survived.

    Cons

    - Its who you know and not what you know - If you know people higher, you get promoted to Management even without the right skills - Wrong people in leading positions of the company who don't have any experience - Lot of politics between departments, RAT race is always on, No collaboration - No good products, lot of product issues. - The 28nm was a total disaster, 14nm has high hopes but no delivery

    Advice to Management

    - Hire people with the right experience - When you promote people make sure they are right for the job - Managers need to have the right experience, Many Altera department have managers with no skills


  10. Helpful (6)

    Bad working style

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Product Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Altera full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Product may have potential. May have a lot of chances to improve presentation skill.

    Cons

    - Waste time and resources on many none technical area, such as company survey, yearly evaluation even though nobody really care about your opinion. - Too much politics. Everybody wants to drive others in order to may manager happy. -


  11. Helpful (6)

    Company is a train wreck

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Altera full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is good and technology is advanced.

    Cons

    The management makes bad decisions. Always trying to lower SG&A. Product quality is being sacrificed and company reputation may be in jeopardy with customers. The decision to buy Enpirion was a dismal decision. It was made only to profit off the plight of the engineer in coming up with a PDN solution for an FPGA that requires so many power rails. What the engineer needed was an FPGA that required less rails for the pdn solution.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being yes men and question the decisions being made.



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