Qualcomm Reviews

Updated July 23, 2015
244 reviews filtered by
  • California
  • Any Job Title
  • Any Status
Employment Status

Reset
3.0
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf
Steve Mollenkopf
35 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

244 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (4)

    Director

    • 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 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Very smart high-quality people with solid technical skills. A "democratic" environment where you can organically grow and nurture original ideas by identifying and working with a network of advocates. Good work life balance. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Perhaps due to transitioning from a small to a large firm in a short-span of time, there is intense inter-office politics. Too many people in mid/upper management holding those positions solely due to longevity and not due to competence. One can easily see that the smarter younger talent is stifled by incompetent older people who just "hang around" year after year. Now with the cuts and layoffs, it is as if the merry-go-round has "frozen" and everyone is hanging tight to their seats. Even if one isn't being laid off, it isn't hard to feel that one's career is going nowhere here. There is no opportunity for growth and therefore no excitement to work here anymore.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to cut costs, start by ridding of the high-titled people who aren't performing per their titles. This also enables room for the younger folks to grow and provides them with energy and incentive to work harder. While doing stock-buy backs and lay-offs, granting a very high bonus to the CEO and a "princely" (pun intended) retention bonus to the chairman is bad for optics and disastrous for the morale of the employees. The good ones are fleeing the sinking ship and you will see this trend continue over the next couple of years unless there is a concrete culture change -- the key to which is thinning the fat and stifling upper layer.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Used to be top 100 and innovative. Now, we're all about the profits and shareholders and hedge funds control our destiny

    • 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 full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Insurance, casual environment, team is great. Get to work with great technology. Middle management is pretty good here all things considering.

    Cons

    Lack of stability, outside influence controls is now. Upper management is only concerned with the bottom line $$$.

    Advice to Management

    Try retrieving your balls from the drawer of Jana fund idiots and making the company great once more.


  3. Helpful (5)

    Great first job, but not a place to stay for talented young professionals.

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

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

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

    Pros

    1) Great benefits. 2) Living in San Diego. 3) Relatively high pay for the area. 4) Working with smart and talented people (If you are lucky enough to be on the right team). 5) Seeing your work be commercialized quickly.

    Cons

    1) No matter how much they try to promote this as a plus, there is no work life balance (at least in QCT). 2) Too much pointless politics - a week of meetings for 1 line of code. 3) 24/7, 7 days a week of stress since issues are always "urgent" and needed to be fixed immediately no matter what the time. 4) Middle management likes to give artificial pressure for no reason. 5) Doesn't always hire the most talented people.

    Advice to Management

    1) Value your employees 2) Value talent over time spent. 3) Need to cut down on some of the middle management and promote younger, talented engineers quicker. 4) Fire engineers who are not performing up to par. Even though I listed a lot of cons, Qualcomm was a great place to work, especially for a first job. However, it is not a place where you would want to stay for your career (unless they start some cultural shift). I received another job offer and didn't think twice about leaving even though I had high performance review ratings, and was slated for a promotion.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Senior systems engineer

    • 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 (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    The benefits are still pretty good, for IT professionals it gives you a big, complex environment to work in.. It keeps thing interesting..

    Cons

    Politics, and right now they are cutting back, it might not be the same company after.. Long term prospects do not look good.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the work is hard, cuts have been made and people are trying their best. The biggest draw to Qualcomm was work hard play hard.. It now only seems to be work hard and that is it.


  6. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Chief Indian Officer in San Diego, CA
    Former Contractor - Chief Indian Officer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Qualcomm as a contractor (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Good weather and free covered parking.

    Cons

    Just announced 15% cut of its full-time employees and “significantly” cutting of temporary staff, aka H1b. 4,500 is a lot and there will be more cuts coming if the current trend continues. The upside is traffic on Mira Mesa Blvd. will flow freely once again.

    Advice to Management

    Replace run of the mill H1b temps with new grads to lower cost, cut executive pay and reduce current 50/50 Chiefs to Indians ratio. Listen to Jana and split licensing "cash cow" from the shrinking semiconductors business.


  7. Company on the decline

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice location, good benefits, good learning opportunities being the leading company in wireless chipset business. Good work/life balance for most employees

    Cons

    Low compensation; limited growth opportunities due to limited turnaround in mid/upper management; bearish business outlook for upcoming months/years


  8. Helpful (5)

    Not a Good time to join unless you are coming from very small compnay

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

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

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

    Pros

    Cutting Edge Technology and lot of opportunities to learn

    Cons

    Clueless Management and lots of politics across groups

    Advice to Management

    You missed the boat


  9. Helpful (4)

    Great benefits, but corporate culture is becoming worse

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

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

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits plan - fully employer paid, unless your spouse works for a company that also offers insurance. Fairly good work-life balance, at least for hourly employees. Salaried employees seem to be expected to be available 24/7. Good pay.

    Cons

    Under the new CEO, there has been a company-wide mandate to make sure that everyone is titled and paid "appropriately". While that may sound relatively innocuous, in reality it seems to have been an excuse to cut costs via layoffs. It also seems to have lead to quite a bit of micromanaging, which is quite a change from how things used to be - employees used to have more freedom to get their jobs done as they saw fit. Add in an increasing number of seemingly pointless status meetings, and the job started to feel less about pleasing customers and getting things done than it did about pleasing management and focusing on process over results. Reviews are done not so much on an individual basis, but rather on an "enforced curve". All people of title X are measured against each other, and there's only an allowance for a certain percentage of those with title X to receive merit increases, bonuses, or RSUs. Management seems to approach reviews with an eye towards focusing on negatives in an effort to keep bonuses down.

    Advice to Management

    You have talented people - let them use their talents. Don't try to turn everyone into replaceable cogs; allow them the freedom to be individuals, and judge them as such. Also, not that Qualcomm is alone in this, but giving smaller and smaller bonuses and raises and adding things like a spousal surcharge for health insurance while the CEO's compensation increases by nearly 100% in a 2-year period sends a message to employees that they're not valued.


  10. Helpful (12)

    Suffering from big corporation symptoms in various ways

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

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

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

    Pros

    1. Good starting point for new grads, easy interview; 2. Good pay in San Diego area; 3. Free on-site gyms; 4. Good benefit and on-site hospitals; 5. Nice and talented people to work with, and you can learn a lot of new things.

    Cons

    1. You will regret for being hired so easily and cheaply in a couple of years; 2. Low pay with trivial increase/promotion opportunities compared to the Bay Area, while San Diego's rental home and real estate markets aren't cheap at all, compared to the Bay Area; you save $10,000 per year at maximum in renting a home at San Diego, but your annual salary is at least $30,000 less than your peers in the Bay Area, and every one can do the math; 3. Workload is heavy all the time, and that is the way how the Project Management wants to hire you. You won't have time for exercising in the gyms; 4. Benefits will be significantly cut starting from 2016. In the past, $0 out from the pocket; the 2016 deductible plan requires self-pay for the first a few thousand dollars. The company seems to encourage senior people to leave by themselves and discourage employees to take sick leave and see a doctor by announcing this benefit change; 5. Apart from those good people, there are too many bad people as well. Some guys refuse to collaborate every time, and they just blindly throw issues to other teams and wasting other people's time, even without doing a simple checking by themselves; some guys with Electrical Engineering background are really bad in their coding styles. Those poorly written implementations create a whole lot of traps for other people, and they are creating bugs everyday for their owners too; 6. A lot of politics. When an issue comes, every team declines their responsibility. A poor guy with a politically powerless leader will usually make the fix and gets blamed at last. 7. Too complex and unscalable systems with crappy design. Every team stays in their own technical area, and do not know what other teams are doing. This partially contributes to the politics mentioned in (6). 8. Greedy and unrealistic scheduling with no software engineering methodologies. For instance, to bring up a feature with teams from layer-1, layer-2 and layer-3, and a high layer has functional dependency on a low layer. If the water-fall method can be used, i.e. let layer-1 to start first, and resolve all their issues before delivering things to layer-2 and layer-3, things will be much easier. The reality is that, the Project Management always wants all teams to work in parallel and expect things to get done within a month. It seems like the Scrum method is always the choice at QCT, and in fact every day is a mess with this SW engineering method. In order to have the bring up to happen, every team is making temporary but dirty workarounds, which should be replaced or discarded in the near future. So, why not start earlier and leave more time for the ultimate clean solution? It turns out that, all the efforts for those dirty and temporary solutions get be wasted. 9. Long hours throughout the year, and promotions takes long for ordinary people. I am not a racist but I did realize that some guys with the same race as those mid-Management guys seems to be favored by the mid-Management, and they can enjoy their days lazily and get promotion even quicker than other employees who work really hard. For ordinary people, it usually takes 5-6 reviews to get a promotion, no matter how hard you work. It's not worth it to work so hard, and sacrifice your health and your family. 10. A lot of global testing/technical support offices, and they are generating issues at late night or on weekends. All issues are shoot back to San Diego and you are expected to resolve them ASAP. Why can't those offshore teams resolve issues locally? Why can't they wait until business hours in San Diego? 11. A lot of inefficient weekend support which turns out to be a waste of time. When those leaders tried to resolve an issue during weekends, it takes a long time for engineers to wait for each other. Time for relaxing the body and recovering from tiredness is wasted in such meaningless waiting. An issue that can be resolved in 30 minutes in a business day will take almost a whole day to get resolved on weekends. So why not do the work quickly on Monday? Engineers cannot take a rest on weekends, as a punishment, they won't work efficiently during business hours in the next week. What is gain, what is the benefit for rushing on weekends? Even worse, weekend support is forcing good engineers to leave the company. 12. No investment to the growing technical areas from the high management. In recent years, QC has been creating trivial feature combos, which Customers do not even pay attention to. Those nasty combos had created millions of bugs, and had exhausted QC's engineering work-force. As in a negative feedback loop, everyone is busy fixing bugs everyday, and won't have time to invent for the future. 13. Bug fixing is preferred over a clean design. Things happen too quickly, and there is always no time for a good and clean design. There are far too many poor designs were implemented in products, and they simply do not work in reality. Various teams are forced to hack out dirty workarounds that might break something else tomorrow. Test teams are testing the same thing over and over again, before things can work.

    Advice to Management

    Invest new technical areas and invent something unique, stop creating trivial feature combos that will waste all of your resource. Use some kind of software engineering methodologies, and do not learn from your crappy asian competitors. If you learn from them, you become crappy too. Treasure your employees as you treasure your money. Many Bay Area tech giants want your employees too. If you lose your good engineers, your new hires won't get good guidance and your source code database can get completely polluted within a month.


  11. Helpful (17)

    Not what it used to be - 20+ year employee review

    • 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 10 years)

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

    Pros

    In the beginning this was a fun, exciting, rewarding and fulfilling place to work; there is something to be said about being on the ground floor of innovation. For true creative minds, being involved in the development and production of cutting edge technology is the ultimate "job". For the first half of my life at Q, I didn't consider it a "job", it was a journey. In the later years, it turned into a job. As the company grew, so did management and egos, so did time lines and stress levels. Qualcomm went from being the leader on the table to a feeling of always being behind the 8-ball. Hard for some of us old timers to adjust to - this is true. Bring in the new, young, fresh blood to pick it up - I get that and see that it should happen. But.... all of the innovation, bright minds, creativity, inventive vibe dissipates with each new wave of fresh blood brought in. HR stopped hiring creative, intelligent souls and hand picked what I now call place holders. Working the numbers game, tightening the reigns or nooses if you care to view it that way. I have no qualms with the HR dept, never once in my 20+ years of working there did I ever speak to an HR rep for any reason. I trusted and worked with my supervisor/manager. But I always had the distinct impression teams like HR were only out for themselves or other agendas. I honestly can not remember the number of managers I had (more than 10) but every single one of them said the same thing - don't involve HR if you don't have to. Telling stuff right there. Pros - there are good people there, they still have a chance at getting back to being an innovative company, bring in the creative minds who will create the next big thing.

    Cons

    Management, red tape, deadlines, I have an interesting take on "work-life balance". For a time, I was working in a lab, part of a team helping to create a new technology. We worked 6,sometimes 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day and I loved it. Why? Because I was part of something fun and cutting edge. Fast forward several years where I was in a sustaining role, working your basic 9-5, 5 days/week. Longest days of my life. Good managers and good HR personnel recognize where and how to place their talent. Somewhere along the way this went out the window. Did anyone notice how happy I was and how much I excelled in my job when I was basically LIVING at work? Did anyone notice how my reviews flat-lined when I was placed into a functionary role. What are all the metrics about if you don't process and utilize this information?

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees, take a hard fast look at middle and upper management and do some of the "deadwood" clean up at those levels AND don't forget to make a run thru the HR dept. (ahem) What are they doing? HOW are they managing the talent force? Does anyone really know?



Showing 244 of 2,252 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.