Altera

  www.altera.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Altera Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 259 reviews

57% Approve of the CEO

Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane

John P. Daane

(167 ratings)

54% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Average work load and work life balance as a design engineer(in 28 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 8 reviews)

  • Not much options for career advancement(in 13 reviews)

63 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Watch your back!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsInteresting technology and ambitious business goals.

    ConsExtremely 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    4 people found this helpful  

    Too much politics, too little life

    Test Engineer (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

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

    ConsNo 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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Frequent Re-Organizations, Power Struggles

    Senior Member of Technical Staff (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

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

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No

    5 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    Cons1) 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 Senior ManagementHire 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.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Shipping Jobs to Penang and

    Storage Administrator (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsWork Life balance and and

    ConsCompensation is really low and

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Troubled Company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

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

    ConsLayers 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 Senior ManagementStop 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Hampton, NJ

    ProsEnpirion 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.

    ConsSince 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 Senior ManagementGet 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Circling the drain

    Engineering Manager (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsCompensation package was great.
    FPGAs are a great niche of the semiconductor market to be in. Product life-cycle is long, and margins are high. The basic concepts are more than 20 years old, you just have to execute . Which brings us to...

    ConsExecution of the silicon fabric is sub-par. A very large group of engineers simply can't get a chip out the door. Altera's main competitor is using that to increase their market share. A recent across-the-board-regardless-of-contribution layoff has pushed morale even lower than previously.
    "Sphere of influence" concepts are used to deny promotions selectively, while keeping VP's with 25 engineers, directors with 3 engineers etc. on the payroll.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on execution. Manage low performers and toxic employees out. Be honest with engineers about the market challenges, and stop the "We're just about to take over the world" speeches.
    Apply organizational structures uniformly and fairly.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Must be aggressive and vocal.. or languish. They use bell curve to rate your team !

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)

    ProsI worked at Altera full-time for more than 6 years

    Some good people. Some interesting technology... with some cutting edge ideas. Learned to not get marginalized which can happen even if you do great work. I also learned to not stay somewhere when you get good reviews but low compensation year after year. This is because they are forced to give most of the rewards to the few engineers that boost the visibility of the group. In other words don't take low visibility projects ! You will not be rewarded even if they are critical to the technology.

    ConsI suppose this is true of other big tech companies... but in the 6 years I worked there compensation, promotions, bonus's were whittled down drastically. Minimal effort ($) is spent on general work and file employee moral. I find this unacceptable for a company with huge (billions) of cash reserves. How about a decent party or better across the board bonuses for everyone. Because everyone is working hard and contributing at this place. I've seen several great engineers get treated like crap year after year. Even the great ones leave eventually. I saw several top grade engineers move on to much better places. All in all a good place to start out.. but don't stay too long... unless they are kicking down properly ! A few will advance the rest will languish. I learned that you have to be aggressive and vocal and push for time to prototype your ideas to get ahead. Doing better at my new company as a result.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop squeezing every penny away from your general workforce population. Reward everyone equally. Leaves a bad taste.. and the top talent is going to leave anyway. Reward engineers that live and breath the technology for 5 or more years and are the backbone of Altera's success.. not just the flashy vocal engineers that leave after a couple years to Google or some startup. You have loads of $$. How about use .04% of it to really stoke the veteran engineers that have worked hard year after year.. not this bell curve reward system crap. Fire em if they don't do the job.. otherwise spread the wealth equally and stop being so penny tight and greedy. [ this is a general message to large cash hoarding tech companies in the valley]

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Pay OK, But Don't Expect To Go Anywhere Within The Company

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    Pros- Compensation is OK
    - Work Area is very clean
    - Cubicles have adequate space, desk area for most (some engineers and others with a lot of equipment may find it a bit cramped but most will be OK)
    - Gym is nice
    - Plenty of parking
    - First job I ever had (and I had a few before) where my work area and all equipment was ready for me on my first day

    Cons- Very political organization - several times peers were moved - or promoted - into new roles which were never advertised to the staff. A few times I would have been interested in the job, but I never knew about it until it was already filled.
    - Some members of management lack integrity. On a couple of occasions I was promised opportunities only to have the person who made the promise renege on it.
    - Some managers are unqualified for their roles and only get their opportunities because they are "Yes Men".

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave more integrity. If you make promises to your staff, do your best to honor it. Don't go "I changed my mind".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Worked for Altera? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.