Qualcomm Reviews

Updated July 26, 2015
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Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf
Steve Mollenkopf
10 Ratings

Pros
  • Upper management genuinely wants employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance (though some project leads may not) (in 131 reviews)

  • Get to work on cutting edge technology (in 114 reviews)

Cons
  • Bad inter office politics; poor work life balance (in 114 reviews)

  • Pay is not great for the long hours they expect of you (in 90 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Nepotism Rules

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Company cafeteria, decent benefits and pay, smart people and most are creative.

    Cons

    Backstabbing is the norm, nepotism rules, you may as well join a union when you realize that peoples offices are given to them based 1st on tenure then on position. Management is too worried to make the right decisions and the twice a year review process is a horrific implementation of bashing peoples character with people who have no clue how to write a professional review. Employees are worked 70+ hr weeks and made to feel that they are fortunate to have a job there.

    Advice to Management

    Clear the ranks of your management team, assess your values and actually follow them. You are so far removed from alignment that your profits are obviously suffering.


  2. Helpful (6)

    Worst politics ever

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

    I worked at Qualcomm full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Great pay, smart people, good benefits, nice campus, interesting work, growing company for next few years of keep handful of customers.

    Cons

    I have never worked at a place where management was so lazy, dysfunctional, incompetent. All they want to do is hide in meetings and kill any innovative ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Leave and give the younger generation a chance.


  3. Helpful (5)

    Former Senior Engineer

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

    I worked at Qualcomm full-time

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

    Pros

    During my time, we used to have individual offices, but I hear that’s changing. Great travel benefits while you travel for work, I heard that’s changing too. Great health benefits, $0 deductible, $10 copay for doctor visits, $10 for medication; I hear that’s changing starting 2016. Pretty good pay, but if you work 60 to 80 hours, it isn’t worth that much. Free gym, that’s still the same, yay!

    Cons

    Some serious non-sense meetings. I don’t think I have seen as much time wasting and mud slinging meeting as the ones that Qualcomm have. Decisions need to be “socialized” in a “democratic fashion.” I can feel my stomach tighten at these buzzwords. The managers were not big on taking responsibility, so it’s my responsibility to convince all participants. Sounds great in theory, but in practice, this just means you got to do the hard work to convince more people, or one week later, you are sitting through another meeting talking about the same thing. I rarely see meetings produce to-do list and action items. Most meeting last 30 mins or an hour, even though they really could be shortened. I’ve seen level 3 engineers’ days being fully booked with meetings, and sometimes double booked, so they better do work during nights and weekends. But really, the worst part of meetings is mud slinging shouting matches that occur when some features break. One time we had frequent crash in a handset; it was traced to a watchdog condition. One of the conditions that might trigger it was a full heap. So we reasonably asked if the responsible parties could check memory leaks. I could swear someone was getting bloody murdered by the loud shouting and responsibility deflecting. Waste of time all around. Stodgy, antiquated, monotonous software strategy! I worked in QIS (Qualcomm Internet Services), a purportedly web services division of the company. But there was much attitude against integrating emerging practices and technology. We even had a meeting back in 2013 from legal telling us not to participate in open source forums (not code contribution, but just Q/A forums), not to sign an 3rd party agreements (which effectively means not to download Android SDK, iOS SDK) without informing the legal department first. Of course, the bigger disappointment is that even when I was leaving, I hardly saw modern practices like continuous delivery, continuous integration, DevOps, continuous testing, etc, etc. Each handset software release takes weeks in straight waterfall (dev -> test -> integration -> release). Even with a lengthy schedule, software often ship with major undiscovered bugs. I used to snigger at the term “feature complete release;” because it might as well mean crash after 5 minutes. I feel senior employees at Qualcomm San Diego can really benefit a lot by taking an externship at lean startups and actually learn something about efficiency and process automation. Duplication of efforts. Where do I begin on this one… There are often multiple internally developed or internally available tools for you to do the same thing, but good luck to you if you need help setting it up. To give you an example, I needed to do some integration testing with some QC partner corporations. One of the tasks is automated dialing and torture testing. Supposedly there were 3 tools available for me to use. One was developed by a separate QC division; and it was obviously meant to do some serious heavy lifting. I couldn’t use it because our liaison couldn’t get the help, and the customization effort to get it to use look into LTE protocol instead of CDMA was high. Another tool was developed by an outside consulting firm; we couldn’t use it because it didn’t have the right driver. Yet another internally developed tool was not used for a reason or another I couldn’t remember. So I had to write a script to do automated dialing. Just to think, 3 separate groups got credit for developing their tools (and got credit), then moved on, and never thought about supporting them again. Apparently my experience was not unique. Slow pace of advancement. As a lot of people have mentioned before, doing hard work for long period of time often don’t get you the advancement. Fixing software bugs and pushing out new releases from 9AM to 9PM day after day will maybe get you to the next level after 5 years. Majority of Qualcomm departments are not growing, so your advancement opportunity is limited. Much of the employees at Qualcomm are pretty young, so advancement through attrition is really not an option. When I was quitting, I was offered advancement to stay. This really doesn’t inspire loyalty.

    Advice to Management

    Actually instead of advice to management, I will give advice to would-be employees: At Qualcomm, there's an endless amount of work to do. If you are a hard charger, you can fill out a 60-80 work hour week really quickly. At Lunch, you eat at the Qualcomm café; you go to the Qualcomm gym; swim at the large pool at the Jacobs Community Center; if get sick, use the Qualcomm Health Center; every few months, you will see your bosses 4 levels above ride off into retirement in their Tesla/BMW/Lexus. It will be easy to lose yourself in this big Qualcomm "life" and think the big QC will take care of you from cradle to the grave. BUT IT'S NOT! It's a slow slog fighting for advancement. Doing the normal work (fixing software bugs, churning out another modem software releases, do another release build) will elevate you very slowly. For a tech company, there really seem to be sense that only your seniority matters in terms of advancement. That, and of course your mastery of manipulating your own political perception. Qualcomm is a business, just like anything else, which means profits above most things. While I get to hear some lovely mantras like “work-life balance” and “open door policy”; it’s almost not used at a practical level. Read all the comments about work life balance, and see if anyone thinks you can balance your life and work in QC. The “open door policy” means you should be able to bring any concerns and issues to managers. The only time I hear people air out dirty laundry is when they are transferring or they are leaving. So go figure. Don’t lose yourself in Qualcomm life, it’s incredibly easy to lose your sense of the outside world in the daily grind. Keep an ear to the outside world, and see what’s interesting. Qualcomm has successfully milked 3G and 4G and related services. But the competitive landscape is also sifting; you have to decide where the puck is going to be, and be there.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    From Great to Abysmal

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Salary remains good for the San Diego area and the benefits are decent, but declining (health plan eroding, 401K fees enacted, etc.). Better than usual vacation benefit. Depending on the team (not department) you are in, management can be responsive and supportive but this is lessening due to employee and cost cutting, and overall company atmosphere.

    Cons

    In the twelve years I've been at the Q, the job and company have gone from great to pretty dismal. When I started, work/life balance was recognized and quality output was the priority. Over the years, the workload and deadlines have gone from normal for the industry to ridiculous. On my team, layoffs and ever-increasing workloads with impossible (if you want to produce quality) deadlines combined with team-wide confusion about any and all of the increasingly complicated processes makes it tough to do good work. The stress level has gone from manageable to toxic, all while employees should always have smiling faces - very emperor's new clothes environment.

    Advice to Management

    Come back Dr. Irwin Jacobs! Those were the great years for Qualcomm.


  6. Helpful (7)

    Worst IT Department around.

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

    I worked at Qualcomm full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Can't really think of any. Even their 401k matching isn't that great.

    Cons

    The Corporate IT department is underpaid and understaffed. The majority of the employees are disgruntled and spend their weeks (and weekends) stuffed in cubicles with frowns on their faces. The management is morally and politically corrupt. Consisting of a cultish group of Qualcomm "lifers" (many have been there 15+ years) who really only lookout for their own. Many have no credible management training and no degree above high school. They were simply just there long enough and eventually pushed into management. To these people, nothing else matters. This group is essentially closed off to outsiders, so forget about being in it. They also enjoy flaunting their money to everyone (BMW cars, $10k watches, Tesla cars etc...) thus lowering the moral of their staff even further. Qualcomm boasts the phrase "work life balance", however to management, work is their life so the phrase is all but irrelevant to them, which in turn filters down to the employees. So employees get worked to the bone. Promotions, performance and appreciation (and remaining employed) are honored on a strict "who you know/blow" basis. Hence, if you grease the right wheel or know the right people you can get 3 promotions in 3 years, even if you do nothing. But if you aren't a wheel greaser, or you challenge their ancient system, you may get one promotion in a decade, despite busting your butt.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some younger, more qualified management staff from outside the company !! Not tape backup guys and socially awkward computer programmers that have been there since the 90s. Bring in some new ideas, some positive change and most importantly some intelligence. Also, hire some female management. It's a sociopathic sausage fest up atop that ladder. Promote Engineers more from within. I knew many hard working, critically valued guys that hadn't seen a promotion in 7+ years only to be trumped by hiring some guy from outside the company. Your IT department and many of it's employees are in rough shape. Yet you lay off talented people who work hard and are well liked by their piers, in order to promote your own. Though none of this probably matters anyways since Qcom will probably outsource most of it's IT work out if the US within a few years anyways.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Disadvantages of working with Qualcomm

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Nothing positive that I can at least think off.

    Cons

    Heavy workload, no salary increments, no bonus (where the manager dosen't hesitate to say, its the higher management decision to not to give bonus and salary hikes) even with very good yearly rating.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Qualcomm is muddling along

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm

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

    Pros

    Great folks on my team, pay is decent.

    Cons

    RSUs were slashed for underlings to shore up the share price for investors. Healthcare benefits are being gutted for 2016. Suddenly employees are realizing that Qualcomm has lost its advantage to get and retain key talent, the grass is starting to look a lot greener across the way... Is this what you wanted Janus Capital Management?

    Advice to Management

    Out with MellonKopf, he isn't worth his massive compensation package. Please step down. As for the board, don't cave into pressure from Janus Capital Management, there seems to be a direct correlation from when they starting pressuring the executive team to the reductions in benefits. Shame on them.


  9. Helpful (6)

    Revised health plans

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time

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

    Pros

    Internal mobility is encouraged. A handful are given opportunities to explore different options within the company.

    Cons

    The only good reason to work for Qualcomm is also gone now. Employee's spouse is not going to be covered under the health care plan changes.

    Advice to Management

    CEO needs to go.


  10. Not satisfied

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible and understanding managers.

    Cons

    Contractors are treated badly Contractors should be converted after dedicating few years in the company

    Advice to Management

    Contractors should be treated good. Contractors should be converted after dedicating few years in the company.


  11. Helpful (5)

    Biz going down, high managements put money in their big pockets

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time

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

    Pros

    Not really much to say

    Cons

    1. My lead pushes his responsibility to you without proper support 2. My lead over simplifies work effort and not happy if too much time is spent 3. My lead is not open to objective feedback when his approaches may not be to the best of the team's interest 4. My lead does not distribute work in a fair manner 5. My lead does not provide flexibility to others' growth. He tells you something is good for you which in reality is only good for him 6. My lead does not evaluate you based on the actual work contribution and instead based on his personal biased opinions 7. My lead does not reward you with cash bonus you deserve no matter how hard you work and how much contribution you make 8. My director does not reward you with the RSU you deserve no matter how hard you work and how much contribution you make 9. My lead and director give you below average performance review while in reality do not want you to leave due to your actual high performance

    Advice to Management

    Correct the Cons I mentioned.



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