Netflix Reviews

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Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings
12 Ratings

Pros
  • Freedom and Responsibility culture works the best (in 31 reviews)

  • Good Pay & Fact paced work environment (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • You know you're in a culture of fear when the person training your group talks about how they were nearly fired (in 17 reviews)

  • The work-life balance is sometimes hard to manage (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (11)

    Great Company, Inexperienced Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Purchasing in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Purchasing in Los Gatos, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Great Product, Driven culture, Cross Team Collaboration.

    Cons

    There are a couple of cons that seem to be proving to become obstacles for productivity. My Director loves to bully and has fired the valuable individuals on our team. She is afraid of anyone that is smarter than her that also contributes and gets recognized for their contribution. Instead of building a great team, sadly this Director manages two unrelated teams with no knowledge on how to manage either. She thrives on driving fear. Sad as most of the people here are genuinely great people.

    Advice to Management

    Don't sacrifice two great teams for a poor director.


  2. Helpful (21)

    It's not "if" you will be let go, it's "when".

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in Los Gatos, CA

    I worked at Netflix full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Leeway to learn and gain experience with diverse technology. Pay was above market. Work with fantastic people. Free subscription & good "product".

    Cons

    People are treated like toilet paper. It is not a "family", this is true, but it is not a "team", either. The group I worked in processed hires & fires access rights: I have never seen so many people fired, without warning, while they were ON vacation - leaving our group to receive and deal with calls from confused people (some of them Directors of hubs), who returned ready for work to no access and no information on what was happening. Lousy communication between groups. Excessively High turnover - instead of leveraging employee knowledge & experience - people are overworked, used up, & thrown out like trash - the alumni group should read "NETFLIX PTSD Group". 80 hr work week *minimum*. No work-life balance. I had 4 managers in 1year of employment & the entire team I was on was replaced during that time and (you guessed it) one of the most awesome employees was fired while he was *ON* vacation: *THAT* was extremely awkward, as he was stellar...it was just a regime change.

    Advice to Management

    As if they care what former employees think: Treat people like human beings and show some basic respect. Have *meaningful* employee-management meetings and encourage open communication instead of the "keep doing what you're doing" until people are blindsided by termination.


  3. Helpful (10)

    Great place with high rewards and risks

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Generous Compensation. High productivity enivronment, you can feel sense of accomplishment.

    Cons

    Culture of Fear. There is no second warning. But you are let go.


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  5. Helpful (11)

    Highly political culture, dysfunctional.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in Los Gatos, CA

    I worked at Netflix full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Pay and the Netflix name helps on your resume, since most people outside do not know how bad it is inside.

    Cons

    Mind numbing. Stress. Constantly watching your back. There are people who have very high title (Directors, Managers, even VPs) who got it because they've managed to stay there the longest. Not because they are qualified for the job. The long timer/oldtimers survived by CYA each others. Those who they think are dangerous to their job will get the knife in the back. It's not how good you are. It's how well you "play the game" and "fit in with the political culture". They value "safe" decisions that do not rock the boat. At least in the IT Ops dept that I worked in.

    Advice to Management

    Get your head out of the cloud once in a while. There's real problem underneath. Engineering got tired of the dysfunctional IT Ops group, and built their own infrastructure so they don't have to deal with incompetent people. Best thing to do is fire everyone in Ops, and start fresh.


  6. Helpful (20)

    Was once a Superstar now very much adrift.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Fairly New Technology, Smart Talent, Free food and iphones. This place will certainly wow you in technology and some of the best talent, Good compensation.

    Cons

    lousy vacation policy(get real, no vacation policy - no vacation), very stressful work environment, little to no career opportunities if you are hired as an engineer, Chaos everywhere - High Turnover always affects your work one way or the other.

    Advice to Management

    About time you should check your champion badge, it may have expired. Qwikster was a debacle. But the hiring cycle afterwards brought some worse incompetent middle management. Open door policy and summary dismissals might have worked for us in the past when we were a DVD business, but it definitely is hurting us - Bay is a very small place. Your talent is leaving(or about to leave), others are simply not interested in working with us. If you dont believe me, ask why recruiters always have to bring talent from outside silicon valley. Promote openness, talent and healthy work environment - not mediocre middle management's words. Please bring back the culture from 3 years ago.


  7. Helpful (29)

    Senior Software Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA

    I have been working at Netflix full-time

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

    Pros

    * Best place if you just want to work with great technically capable folks. * 15-20% higher pay but if you actually consider everything, it might not be that big of a deal. Check what will be in-hand salary after taxes because taxes also go high with salary. * Somewhat transparent workplace but at times higher management takes ridiculous decisions like Quickster, what the hell.... * Reed gets thing right most of the time (except Quickster) and understand what he is doing.

    Cons

    * Worst place where all technically capable folks are also so heavy on political games within the team. Also it depends on which team you are part of. My general observation is, larger the team greater the politics being played within. * IT IS LITERALLY TRUE THAT IT IS CULTURE OF FEAR, no matter how talented you are. I have seen ppl being walked out they were far more talented than other mediocre engineers surviving there for 3-4 years just because they lick the managers a*s and I have seen managers loving it being licked :) * Few managers who came from Google or some other similar companies, think that they know everything in the world and act as if they rule the world but actually they are literally dumb a*s when it comes to real work. * They claim it is all rockstar engineers and the fire who are not but I have seen ppl surviving for ages not even knowing what they did for all these years at Netflix and they are pure mediocre engineers. * My advice to engineers would be if you are happy with the work what you are doing right now or with other offers in hand, don't fall for the salary trap, it is merely an illusion.

    Advice to Management

    * Gets rid of all mediocre managers, directors and those stupid engineers. * Change the culture of fear from its root because that creates so much politics inside. I have never seen such a political environment in my 10 yrs career.


  8. Helpful (8)

    Worrisome. Always feeling that I was going to be next.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Los Gatos, CA

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

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

    Pros

    -Freedom and Responsibility -Able to telecommute

    Cons

    -Very (VERY) cut throat -Upper management doesn't support staff -HR allows upper management to oust existing employees when a new director is hired and wants to bring his former staff over

    Advice to Management

    -Show a little more respect towards employees that actually follow the company values and culture -Management does not practice what they preach (my 360 review from my manager was awesome, however, I managed to hear through the grapevine that he was unhappy with my performance)


  9. Helpful (5)

    Great salary, bad culture.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA

    I worked at Netflix full-time

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

    Pros

    •  Great compensation package •  Free lunch •  Free cell phone

    Cons

    •  The company culture is very cold hearted, they let people go ALL THE TIME, sometimes for good reasons, most of the time not. •  The environment is extremely political that makes it hard to focus on doing a good job. •  A lot of employees are rather negative about the workplace and very open about looking for a job.


  10. Helpful (13)

    Can be fun, can be awful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA

    I worked at Netflix

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It was an interesting experience working at Netflix. I was lured by the supposedly high talent density, solving great customer focused problems and bringing entertainment to people around the world at an absolutely unprecedented scale. I thought that technology would be used to solve difficult problems but in the end the problems to be solved are all around content, content, content. It is fun, though, to work at Netflix. The company is extremely open and transparent with data, decisions and the overall direction of the company. There are no secrets. It is very refreshing to see such an attitude; compare that to Apple.

    Cons

    Yes, there are interesting things to solve in cloud computing but discovery, search, personalization, and the overall architecture of the Netflix website can only be described as patchwork. The people who are working on these services are stuck in their ways and are protecting their personal little kingdoms. Netflix used to be leading when it comes to personalization and other discovery mechanisms. It has lost its ways and now those areas are a few years behind the competition. On a related note Netflix praises itself to have extremely talented people. This might have been the case but the talent density is certainly not the same as it used to be. A lot of the good people left recently and a lot of the deadwood hangs around because they will never be able to get a comparable salary elsewhere. There are the occasional firings going on but that is just scratching the surface. Because Netflix does not believe in career development (active or through mechanisms like 20% time) for their people it is hard to keep up with the competition.

    Advice to Management

    Have a really close look at the talent in the company. There are a lot of people who are making architectural decisions who really shouldn't. Also while content is important discovery, personalization, search, etc. are equally important. If nobody can find your content you failed.


  11. Helpful (16)

    Revisiting my review after working here for a while. There are better, rewarding careers out there.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA

    I have been working at Netflix

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

    Pros

    It's a decent JOB (emphasis on purpose) if you are looking for a heads down, monotonous coding job. If you can manage a decent amount of work and the perspective, you will have a stable pay check.

    Cons

    I was sold on all the culture stuff and drank the cool-aid at first. After spending a lot f time at Netflix, my perspective has changed for the worse. What good is the sales pitch if you can't deliver. Some organizations are terrible (i am not talking about IT/ back-office type group) when it comes to recognizing people, allowing (forget about encouraging) their growth. No carrer, no recognition. In a way, its a career dead-end. Its a JOB. Recent break-neck hiring has bought in a TON of managers (e.g. instead of bringing in 1 project manager, they've hired >1 managers). Believe it or not, it takes 4 times the amount of meetings (compared to 2 years ago at Netflix) to get 1/2 of what we used to get done in the same period of time. Today, all of the talk about culture (except firing people for no good reason), freedom etc are just BS. No family insurance (medical, dental etc). Company only pays for the employee but in reality, they don't care.

    Advice to Management

    Apparently, top management (who've been at Netflix forever) thinks engineers who's been at Netflix for more than a couple of years is ineligible move into a management role because they won't be able to hire people. Seriously. Again, this seems to be applied differently in different organizations. i would love to hear from the management about what data they have to back this up this bs. Another career killer: Hire people who 'know' their job i.e. an engineer converting to a manager means that person has to 'learn' how to be a manager. Given all the recent (Q4 2011) news about Netflix, decide for yourself about the management 'knowing'.



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