Altera Reviews

Updated July 24, 2015
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3.9
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
7 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

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. Discouraging atmosphere

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera

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

    Pros

    One of the few leading fpga companies out there

    Cons

    - There are high expectations with very little help given and very less documentation - Atmosphere is dull - Culture discourages asking questions - Management is not too transparent about your progress - Work life balance is bad


  2. Challenging work with immature management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Challenging work, nice colleages

    Cons

    Unclear requirements, specified by people that doesn't understand the technology or the product

    Advice to Management

    Focus on getting products out before changing their purpose


  3. Technical challenges galore

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    You will not be bored. The technical challenges are unique and always changing. The technology is cutting edge and literally runs the world. R&D management is very good. This is an engineer's company.

    Cons

    Bonus program hasn't worked well for the past few years. We take on too much, which stretches R&D thin. The products are an enormous team effort, so it requires a lot of collaboration, which in turn requires some top-down goal setting.

    Advice to Management

    Do fewer things better.


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  5. Good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting, challenging and potentially rewarding work

    Cons

    sometimes a little too competitive


  6. Two sides of the same coin

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Advanced in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Advanced in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You have a great number of smart engineers around the office to work and bounce ideas with. The work is technically challenging and engaging with lots of interesting problems to solve in large scale software and semi conductor development. You feel as though you work hard, but still get to enjoy time at home as well. Base compensation is good for the region.

    Cons

    A lot of smart people might make it an intimidating place to work, and difficult to get ahead. Many of the technical challenges are self inflicted (taking on too much), result of technical debt (shortcuts in the code base) or deal with infrastructure issues. Bonuses could be higher.

    Advice to Management

    It is hard operating in a duopoly market, but we should try to be more proactive than reactive. Also, don't work on features 'because the competition has them' but instead whether they make business sense. We should use our influence in the market to simplify the next generation of products rather than go for a spec war.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Possibly the highest concentration of competent, intelligent engineers in the city. You will learn a ton by working in this environment. -Free drinks and snacks -Flexible hours -Continuing education program (allows you to take courses part-time, and pays for them too!). -Excellent benefits

    Cons

    -High expectations of employees, which can lead to long working hours -My cubicle is in a noisy part of the office...


  8. Helpful (1)

    Exciting challenges at every turn

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Intern - Software in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It's exciting working in an industry where the mantra is always "faster, smarter, smaller, lower power". Innovating and optimizing are necessary for success, and are a big part of Altera's culture. Working at Altera, you are constantly exposed to cool new ideas, you get to work with extremely intelligent people, and you get to tackle challenging problems that have real-world impact. It's also interesting to work at a company where the worlds of software and hardware are so intertwined. Altera produces hardware and software that are deeply connected, and co-optimized to work together. This gives you some big-picture perspective that you wouldn't necessarily get elsewhere.

    Cons

    The products that Altera delivers are generally complicated and monolithic, which means that they require coordination from a whole bunch of different teams. This means that sometimes your freedom when developing is limited; you can't really implement what you want because of previous decisions / existing code / interference with other teams / cultural inertia / etc.


  9. Having a great time interning here

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Technically challenging and interesting work that requires tons of non-trivial thinking - you really develop your engineering skills and thinking skills from your day-to-day job. You meet the most talented group of people u've probably ever seen, and they're down to the earth. Great support from manager and peers - you can learn a lot from your them. Management cares about and encourages personal and career growth. Great pay compared with other tech companies in Toronto. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    More execution than innovation before you get more technical credibility. Due to the nature of EDA software and how long the code has been evolving for, the code base is huge and hard to read if you're a newbie. On top of coding and designing, you spend lots of time running tests and experiments, and our test infrastructure makes the procedure a bit slow and time-consuming.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Best job I've ever had

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    At Altera Toronto, you get to work with some of the smartest and most innovative people in the industry. Several people here literally written the book on FPGAs, and working alongside them is an amazing experience. You also get to work on some really cool, innovative projects that have the potential of changing the industry. Some of our interns leave with patents! And finally the office atmosphere is just fun. We do tons of social events, a ski trip in the winter, beach picnic in the summer, and a bunch of other stuff. Plus free drinks and free metro-passes.

    Cons

    Being surrounded by brilliant people is a double edged sword, because you have to be able to keep up with them. If you can't, you're not gonna have a good time.

    Advice to Management

    Focus less on short-term goals and more on doing the right thing for the company.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Too much intelligence

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

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

    Pros

    *surrounded by talented world-class engineers, self-development can be easy. *work-life balance is great *free drinks and snaks

    Cons

    too many genius, you can feel lots of pressure. bonus is not that much for individual contributor.



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