Altera Reviews

Updated August 29, 2014
Updated August 29, 2014
278 Reviews
3.2
278 Reviews
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Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
179 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Average work load and work life balance as a design engineer (in 31 reviews)

  • You have the opportunity to work on interesting, cutting edge technology (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Still you can not have work/life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Senior management has a pattern of just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

21 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worst Company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 an year)

    Pros

    Compensation is good for some people.

    Cons

    Do Management understand the business of making chip?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    - 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Bad working style

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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.
    -

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Company is a train wreck

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop being yes men and question the decisions being made.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    went from good to miserable

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

    I worked at Altera full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I am not sure if there are any now. Started of long time ago and used to enjoy the place.

    Cons

    Senior management made poor decisions 4-5 years ago and have since hiding their missteps thru constant reorgs and layoffs. No accountability of decisions made by executive management. Used to be solid number two FPGA company and is on the verge of becoming a me too FPGA provide along with Microsemi and quick logic.

    Too many "yes sirs" with little to no technical insight among middle managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in engineering and product creation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    good company to work in. good product.

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

    I worked at Altera full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    FPGA has a lot of possibilities and opportunities in the future. Great company to work in, nice environment.

    Cons

    IT infrastructure is outdated, which impact productivity. Using old computers with lousy parts. IT support is slow, slow network.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not a great place. Troubled management.

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

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You might get some good technical experience. Compensation is average.

    Cons

    Poor management: very old school, lots of politics, micromanagement, anti-motivational methods, favoritism.
    Working from home is discouraged (crunch time or not). No work-life balance.
    Many unstated rules, inconsistent policies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be fair and clear on policies.
    Be consistent. Treat everyone equally and with respect.

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    Politics, broken, poor management, poor benefits, high stress culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Management

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

    Pros

    Interesting products and technology niche

    Cons

    Ranking system, systemic political culture with gross favoritism and micromanagement, ageism, most employees have little participation in benefits or company growth, culture is pushing toward more risk with repercussions of failures becoming hot potatoes in the wild political and subjective ranking culture, generally poor management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign - the current management has gradually dragged the company down. This has become a finance and HR driven company, the CEO has said repeatedly that it's all about shareholders 1st 2nd and 3rd (i.e. not employees or customers). And that narrow philosophy is not serving the shareholders. Stop turning out good people just because their career growth is limited by internal politics and slow growth in San Jose.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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