Altera Reviews

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Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
41 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

66 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Management is lost

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

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

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

    Pros

    Before 2009 things were really good with the company.
    Market leadership / Gaining market share / HAPPY EMPLOYEES

    Cons

    Management got lost like a puppy.
    Tried to turn the company into something that it was not.
    Left lot of employees dissatisfied. Employees were treated like slaves.
    No clear direction.

    Advice to Management

    Don't change direction every few months.
    Treat your employees well. Not like slaves.


  2. Helpful (5)

    Stable business, toxic culture

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

    I worked at Altera full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Intellectual property portfolio
    FPGA market controlled by stable duopoly of Altera and Xilinx
    Very nice facility
    9-5 job. Some work even less.

    Cons

    Toxic corporate culture
    Architects with proven bad ideas remain in place to generate more bad ideas
    Outdated IC design practices
    Obsolete compute infrastructure
    Malaysian subsidiary and San Jose headquarters are too many time zones apart

    Advice to Management

    I cannot believe the poor quality of IC design work. You would think Altera had never designed a chip before. If the design contains errors, the cause must be identified and the errors must be corrected.

    Get with modern industry standard IC design practice. At least use a flow, for God's sake!

    Compared to engineer salaries, even the best computer equipment is cheap. Just buy it.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Getting worse

    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in San Jose, CA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Company is financially very strong. It is in a market where there are only 2 players and extremely hard to get in.

    Cons

    Bad senior management and not valuing people.

    Advice to Management

    Value your people.


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  5. Helpful (10)

    Watch your back!

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

    I have been working at Altera

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Interesting technology and ambitious business goals.

    Cons

    Extremely political work environment. The middle level managers are driven with just one goal: do what ever it takes to save oneself from being laid-off. The top-level management runs the company by instilling fear in the employees. Employees are constantly and overtly under the threat of having their jobs outsourced to the Altera's branch in Malaysia. Its a very unhealthy work environment unless you are someone who thrives in adversarial state.


  6. Helpful (9)

    Too much politics, too little life

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Get my paycheck, OK health benefits, good gym and cafetreria on site

    Cons

    No career opportunities on technical side, too much politics
    Neither senior nor first line management is responsible for their actions; the blame is _always_ on the people down the corporate ladder
    Big disconnect between your contribution and your reward, after several years of getting a penny for stepping up I'm ready to move on


  7. Helpful (5)

    Frequent Re-Organizations, Power Struggles

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

    I worked at Altera full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Bright, hardworking people. Good pay and benefits. Nice campus, gym, cafeteria. Interesting technology.

    Cons

    Senior management views individual contributors as labor that must be constantly pushed, not as highly trustworthy sources of creative solutions. Decisions are decreed without much consultation with persons affected. VP power struggles and constant re-orgs leave engineers feeling they have little control over their work.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate clearly what your changes are trying to achieve. Talk with your people about whether the changes are working.


  8. Helpful (6)

    Sinking ship!! People only care/fight for Credit. Favoritism promoted. No team work. Low morale.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Altera

    Pros

    The company has stable business but profits are falling. Their stock has fallen from $50 to $30 in 2 years. No sales growth.

    Cons

    1) too much politics. Its who you know and what you know.

    2) people within the same team fight it out for promotions. The rating system is crazy out here. They rate as per bell curve.
    If you are a senior staff engr you will always get a needs improvement no matter how hard you work.

    3) many department keep doing non sense reasearch without focus on customer issues.

    4) some peole dont work at all. Life is 11-4pm
    I have done it myself.

    5) not sure how long the company can go on like this. they keep markettjng 14nm intel fir atratix 10 but the tragedy is stratix 5 doesnt work as of now!!

    6) poor people in malaysia are given all the work.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people who are experienced and actually like to do the work.

    Focus on customers not research!!!

    Make product quality top priority!!

    Make sure all departments work together as one company! Fire people/team who dont follow this common sense rule.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Shipping Jobs to Penang and

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

    I worked 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

    Work Life balance and and

    Cons

    Compensation is really low and


  10. Helpful (3)

    Troubled Company

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

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Some really great people here. Friendly and hard working. Really nice campus. Good work/life balance. You can work from home if needed.

    Cons

    Layers of management who are worried about their job and manage up. Always chasing Xilinx, reactive not proactive. Very stodgy, old school way of thinking. Product groups and Business Units don't interact. Company Is product driven not customer driven. Marketing dept. has major issues that have yet to be addressed, many frustrated in dept.. Continually hire senior managers who lack experience in the area that they manage, go figure. I don't think I've seen anyone promoted in marketing dept.

    Advice to Management

    Stop creating processes, empower employees. Stop with the numerous spreadsheets and powerpoint and allow them to actually do what they were hired to do. Stop pointing fingers at each other because you are afraid to take blame. Stop with the personality tests.


  11. Helpful (3)

    A power unit within a much larger FPGA company is an odd mix

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hampton, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hampton, NJ

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

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

    Pros

    Enpirion was acquired by Altera, which at least brought some stability. Some of the perks are better at Altera, but being a satellite office, we don't get any of the benefits of other offices, like access to a good gym, reduced lunch prices, 30th anniversary parties etc.

    Cons

    Since Enpirion has been acquired, the direction of the Enpirion unit still has not been made clear. The top positions in the power business units are being filled with acquaintances of Altera's existing upper management. I think it pays to know people within this company. Trying to get something from other groups within Altera is a struggle. It appears as though Altera has a huge layer of bureaucracy at all levels. Is there career advancement? Great question that has never been answered. Lastly, since Enpirion has been acquired there have been layoffs at other existing Altera sites. Layoffs coupled with a poor earning reports have left people wondering if that will happen here next.

    Advice to Management

    Get on the ball and let the business unit know what is going on. People who were going to be retained have already left. Six months in and there are no more answers today then there were on day 1.



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