Illumina

  www.illumina.com
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Illumina Reviews

Updated Jul 11, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 128 reviews

68% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(94 ratings)

55% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great(in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees(in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance(in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic(in 5 reviews)

38 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Best company to work for in San Diego

    Global Marketing (Current Employee)

    ProsExciting culture of innovation, rapid growth. Focused efforts on improving employee satisfaction. Passionate, smart people will change human health.

    ConsLong hours, some work/life balance challenges, management practices somewhat outdated, few women in senior leadership roles

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to seek opportunities to communicate with employees in relatable ways, take feedback seriously, and be good role models.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Front line Soldier

    Marketing (Current Employee)

    ProsAmazing Technology, Innovator, Market Disruptor, Great San Diego campus

    ConsJust read the Glassdoor criticisms -- they are mostly legitimate. But Illumina is still a young company and is going through expected growing pains.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire the best and let your employees take you to the next level. Matt is the real leader of the future. Most want to work for him because he hires the best, lets them do their jobs, and provides the vision and support they need. Too many executives are obsessed with not losing their jobs and pleasing Jay. Start promoting more of us into senior management and move over.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Cutting edge chaos!

    Field Service Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsGood industry dominating products.
    High level of collaboration and communication. Great coworkers and demanding customers(but in a good way). Feels like a sense of purpose, work that is doing good and make the world a better place. Management I report to is very hands off and supportive. Technically challenging and fun. I can say I'm one of few that that finds contentment in a 9-5 job.

    ConsPay and benefits slightly below average. Lots of growing pains in the company, feels chaotic and with roles/processes changing so frequently it's hard to keep up. Parts inventory system is largely ad hoc, constant shortages are the norm. Lots of silly mistakes in documentation, lack of effective processes. Optical based technology although works well, can be dethroned quickly if a competitor comes up with a disruptive technology that is cheaper/faster/simpler and produces good accurate data.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't reinvent the wheel, many of the needed processes already exist and are being used everyday by companies. Continue to heavily invest in future technologies, never ever rest on your laurels. There is a tendency for successful companies to become fat/lazy/complacent, else, go the way of Eastman Kodak.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    Challenging.

    Lead Manufacturing Technician (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsLearning how solutions can heal cancer.

    ConsCycle count in a -20 freezer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive more protective gearing when entering -20 freezer.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    What's all the complaining about?

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI keep reading reviews about the horrible work-life balance and how people work endless hours. Then why is the parking lot mostly empty before 9am and after 6pm, and a ghost town on weekends? Don't believe me? Just drive by and see for yourself. Perhaps maybe by San Diego standards Illumina is a demanding employer. Can't get my afternoon surf in, oh my. By most other measures the workload is moderate at best. Contrary to other reviews, the politics are not overwhelming, and collaboration is pretty good. Never had an instance of asking for help from another group and not getting it.

    ConsSo many layers and titles. OMG! For a company with 2000 people, new scientists and engineers can count at least 11 layers of titles between themselves and the CEO. It is absurd. Decision process is not particularly crisp, but not to the point of getting in the way (too much). Benefits are decent but middle-of-the-road at best. Payscale is on the low side, they can probably get away with it for a while as the dominant company in a hot field, and as long as the overall stock direction is up. Internal systems are either non-existent or abysmal. Fortunately senior management knows it, is fairly open about it, and is working on a solution

    Advice to Senior ManagementPush decisions down the chain of command. Seems that directors wait for VPs to decide, VPs wait for the SVPs, and the SVPs waffle until Jay speaks up. If there is one organizational thing that can endanger the future health of the company, it is this very issue. So add "decision making" to the GBP process and institutionalize a healthy level of decision ownership at the appropriate level.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Project Manager Intern

    Project Manager (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsGreat people and atmosphere. It is a huge company that is really at the forefront of groundbreaking technology. The position was fun with a lot of flexibility and responsibility. Great mentors.

    ConsDesk job so there was not a lot of interaction with other employees.

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    Excellent Learning Experience with Good Pay

    Technical Applications Scientist (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsExcellent compensation
    Great growth opportunities
    Colleagues are very intelligent and motivated
    A great challenge
    On site gym including group classes
    Decent cafeteria
    Beautiful campus

    ConsCan feel like a small fish in a big pond
    focus on improving instrument quality
    Improve customer experience by tailoring products to how our customer use instruments and software. Sometimes it feels like these are not designed with customer in mind

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to improve customer focus

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    A bit chaotic but worth a look

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    Pros- Beautiful campus
    - Many smart people
    - Continuously trying to improve

    Cons- No free snacks!
    - Fast growth has led to patchwork levels of maturity in business processes, policies, capabilities. You have to land in the right group.
    - Fast growth has resulted in many people managing more than their skill set supports.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on hiring the best of the best.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Ever-changing constantly, some cool people, thriving, but needs a little more organization & stability.

    Planning (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsGood thing they have money to keep expanding. The VP is pretty cool. Endless Summer Concerts with free lunches on some Fridays are nice.

    ConsThey seem to struggle a bit with stabilizing processes. Why not hire the experts who really know how to set up infrastructure? Maybe there are experts, but people keep finding bugs. Can't seem to get things done right and some of the people who seem great are really not that great. They cling onto job security, are passive-aggressive, but management doesn't even know or let's it continue.

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange for the better is a good thing, but things change so often that it's hard to keep up at times. Also, don't just believe that the core team is that great. Sometimes they are the problem. If someone needs people skills, just push them to take management class or ding them on their performance review.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great Company

    Scientist I (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsPioneered DNA sequencing and SNP detection related research.

    ConsSmall size company and still growing

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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