Illumina Reviews

Updated March 25, 2015
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51 Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    High Tech- High Class

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    Highly intelligent yet humble people.
    Fast paced, well well-thought our solutions/processes
    Beautiful Headquarters Location
    Opportunities for growth

    Cons

    Long hours are not uncommon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the lines of communication open

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Best company to work for in San Diego

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Long hours, some work/life balance challenges, management practices somewhat outdated, few women in senior leadership roles

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful

    Front line Soldier

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Cutting edge chaos!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Service Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Field Service Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good 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.

    Cons

    Pay 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 ManagementAdvice

    Don'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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful

    What's all the complaining about?

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    So 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 ManagementAdvice

    Push 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Challenging.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Manufacturing Technician in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Manufacturing Technician in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Learning how solutions can heal cancer.

    Cons

    Cycle count in a -20 freezer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more protective gearing when entering -20 freezer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Project Manager Intern

    Current Intern - Project Manager in San Diego, CA
    Current Intern - Project Manager in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

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

  9. Excellent Learning Experience with Good Pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Applications Scientist in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Applications Scientist in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Can 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 ManagementAdvice

    Continue to improve customer focus

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. A bit chaotic but worth a look

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

    I have been working at Illumina as a contractor (less than a year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Focus on hiring the best of the best.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. Ever-changing constantly, some cool people, thriving, but needs a little more organization & stability.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Planning in San Diego, CA
    Current Contractor - Planning in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    They 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 ManagementAdvice

    Change 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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