Qualcomm Reviews

Updated July 29, 2015
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Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf
Steve Mollenkopf
37 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

192 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (6)

    downward trend

    • 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

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

    Pros

    - Located in San Diego (weather, real-estate, traffic, geography) - Nice gym/pool, although they aren't used much. - Some new cafeterias. - discounts to baseball games and other events. - Many technically gifted engineers, almost entirely Master's or PhD: From engineer to VP level, the large majority are very knowledgeable and technically competent. - Bonus was good historically, expected to reduce in the future.

    Cons

    -Zero work/life balance. Everyone works 9am-7pm in office. Then expected to be online with overseas teams from 9-midnight meetings, regardless of seniority level. Deadlines on weekends, holidays(memorial day/july 4th) is a typical occurrence. -Political: Competition between groups for projects. Disputes over which teams are to blame for issues. - Future layoffs - Reduced health benefits - No formal performance reviews. - Internal transfers are difficult, and generally discouraged. - Somewhat of a revolving door the past few years, many longtime engineers left. - Lack of any tangible growth plan in businesses other than modems and rf/wireless chips even as smartphone market matures.

    Advice to Management

    - Collaborate between groups instead of arguing and blaming eachother. Organization is very fragmenting with many problems resulting from how teams design pieces in isolation from each other. - Managers should actually manage people. The idea of "manager" is a very loose definition, with no required training or management background, most just do individual technical work with little emphasis on resource management or improving the efficiency of the team.


  2. Helpful (7)

    Senior Engineer

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

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

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

    Pros

    - had good benefits - good salary, but probably less than what of comparable companies - worked with nice people, at least in my group - depending on your group, you could have a good work/life balance.

    Cons

    The work at Qualcomm is tedious and dull, not much unlike an assembly line. You will work on modifying legacy spaghetti code to add small new features. You will sit in front of a computer all day, answering never-ending emails and instant messages, in which people can't even properly write, saying things like "qq R U in". Your mind will turn to mush as you quote Q-acronyms all day, and multi-task endlessly. You will click many buttons with your mouse. Is this how you want to spend 9-10 hours per day, 5 days per week? Talent is not a prerequisite to work here, despite the propaganda stating otherwise. I believe this to be true for most "tech companies", particularly the large ones. You will be trained on Qualcomm's in-house tools and processes, and this will be the primary focus of your job. Anyone could work here. Qualcomm claims to be an American company but hires very few Americans. Easily >95% of the engineers there are H1B visa holders. Most of the Americans they do hire are contract employees who receive no benefits at all; no vacation, no health insurance, no sick leave, etc. Qualcomm benefits from the American corpitocracy , which is funded by American tax payers, yet provides very little in return to American in terms of jobs. Well, perhaps they indirectly provide more service industry jobs. Also, Qualcomm hides billions of dollars overseas so as to not pay American taxes. Additionally, an IEEE study (and other studies) show that there are plenty of American engineers, meaning very few H1B visas are needed. So, as American colleges spit out more "STEM" professionals, with massive amounts of debt, fewer of them will be able to find jobs because of companies like Qualcomm. Who benefits from all of this? The financial sector does. Know that if you work here, you are contributing to the worsening state of things in the world. You are contributing to the increasing wealth gap between the 1% and everyone else. For example, while bonuses for engineers decreased every review cycle I worked there (despite increasing review ratings), executive pay skyrocketed. Let's think about what these large corporations like Qualcomm do. They take priceless "commodities" (at least in the corporate mind) of human lives and natural resources (plants, animals, minerals), and convert them into pointless gadgets in exchange for worthless currency. This currency has value only because people agree it does. Additionally, corporations exist only because people agree they do. We spend our lives working for a fictitious entity that makes the world a worse place, in exchange for fictitious currency. It is silly. Don't do it. If you don't mind doing tedious mind-numbing work (updating XML and spreadsheets, spending <10% of your time writing code), because you get "fat" paycheck, then work here. If you don't mind knowing that you are trading your life away in order to make the rich richer, then you will like it here. I And, now Qualcomm is laying off 15% of its workforce, and bringing hedge fund members onto the Board. Is this really where you want to work? How about instead, you live an authentic life. Let's quit believing in imagined realities: the corporate people, the fiat currency. Instead, live locally and for each other. Our society worships corporations (imagined constructs) above what is real. Quit doing it, and make the world a better place. If we quit believing in them they will die, not unlike faeries, such as Tinkerbell.

    Advice to Management

    - lower your salaries and distribute your fat bonuses back to the engineers. - quit taking advantage of contract workers - have Qualcomm start paying taxes like the rest of Americans do. Qualcomm is a "person" afterall. - does the CEO really deserve such a huge bonus? - quit posting innovation propaganda everywhere. As long as the work assembly line remains, innovation will not happen. - make it possible to move between groups and learn new roles. The internal job system is not even real.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Ok Place for a "job" not a career. Review process Needs Huge clean-up

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

    I have been working 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

    It provides a job allowing people to stay in wonderful San Diego and helps grow your technical abilities.

    Cons

    Does not provide any real career growth opportunities. Total lack of diverse culture. Review process is very unfair and filled with politics. Hard to get promoted unless you have connections and or smooched up to directors from the review board.

    Advice to Management

    Please fix review process. Have team leads manage their own folks (not some review board with corrupt, to say the least, Directors (Sr.) level folks.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Was a great company..could be again

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Programmer Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Programmer Analyst in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Qualcomm

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

    Pros

    company is still a global leader

    Cons

    tightening of belt reduces compensation and increases responsibility


  6. Why Wait? (to leave this sinking ship)

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

    Pretty good products, still has strong market position in mobile, people are eager to succeed, a fast-paced organization

    Cons

    A COMPANY IN PRECIPITOUS DECLINE. Endless politics in building "N" and stretching well beyond, 90% of managers' time is spend on things that are by definition useless (show & tell), backstabbing, endless bureaucracy, you can accomplish nothing without legal and legal by definition don't give a damn, QCT (chip business) is quickly losing market share, unrealistic expectations from engineers (luckily I'm not there), egregious benefits for our pompous execs, very hierarchical and title oriented, more than 70 Senior VPs many without the foggiest about people management skills, unethical licensing business model, very short term focus (all profits go out to dividends and buybacks), why wait?

    Advice to Management

    Move on with your millions and let investors bring more capable outsiders to manage this company. You've proven totally ineffective with your product and market focus decisions. Focus on building capabilities and long term investment rather than procuring more private jets and getting drunk at events.


  7. Helpful (10)

    Slow degradation of a great company

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

    I worked 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

    Work with highly talented people. Your skill set will improve and strengthen. Produce a product that will touch billions of people throughout the world. A great company to have on your resume.

    Cons

    Internal job opportunities are available, but rarely completed. From the time I started until the day I left, the company was completely different. The vision and direction was no longer there. Qualcomm is considered to be one of the most innovating and forward thinking companies in the world. Unfortunately, that opinion is slowly eroding.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your employees. They are what makes or breaks you. They do not need you, you need them. Continuously giving unrealistic deadlines creating a stressful work environment does not promote strong morale. Get rid of office politics (easier said than done), with managers entrenched for 15+ years, things are difficult to change. Unfortunately, in the current environment, it is more about who you know and how well you know them, than how well you do your job.


  8. Helpful (9)

    Used to be great

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Nice facilities Good benefits, although this is getting worse in 2016 High end technology

    Cons

    Extremely political environment Promotions are only given to those in the inner click Unreasonable deadlines leading to a very stressful environment Very long work hours and no work life balance Incompetent middle management, as a result of the politicized promotions process Company losing competitive edge What company gives $95 millions to the CEO when it is losing market share and its stock is severely underperforming

    Advice to Management

    The morale among the engineers is really low Clean up the middle management Diversify revenue sources


  9. Helpful (3)

    Senior hardware engineer

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

    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

    Number 1 in mobile; office in San Diego; good company name on resume

    Cons

    Lots of politics Working bees easily do 10 hrs + a day, could spend up to 16 hrs a day in crunch time, when your boss hits the gym and do 9 to 5 everyday Compressed schedule and unrealistic Technically incompetent engineer somehow become your boss or lead Incompetent lead would shield emails and meetings from working bees so only he will be on the spot light but expect you to know all the information needed to get the job done even though he doesn't share any info with you Moving up is all about how well you talk not work Growth in general is super slow Expect no promotion in 10 years if your boss or lead doesn't like you Bottom line, would not recommend to friends

    Advice to Management

    Fire the incompetent engineers and leads Too many engineers working in QC for 20 years and only talk but doesn't do any real work


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Senior Staff Engineer" who jumped from a "Sinking Ship"

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

    I worked at Qualcomm full-time

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

    Pros

    I have been helping employees to escape for the past few months, many of them are asking me for leads now, and more and more of the most talented Qualcomm employees from the 1990's - the ones who built this company and made it successful - are moving on to better opportunities.

    Cons

    - It's appalling to see a company lay off 600 engineers so they can bonus the CEO $98M. - When they finally got the idea to do CPU chip design, they under-invested and got caught with their pants down by Apple, this is why there is a public fiasco with power management on the Snapdragon 810. It's an outsourced design because Qualcomm didn't have the balls to invest the money to design a 64-bit chip at the right time. - Qualcomm was a very frustrating place to work, they waste money on the stupidest ideas. They pick research projects that only your grandfather could understand, such as mobile broadcast TV, a completely dead-and-buried concept. - Promotion is nearly a 100%-political game at Qualcomm, when they finally gave me a bonus after many years, I used the bonus to take a far better job at a far more elite employer, at a level that would be 2 ranks higher than my Qualcomm job, and I gladly kissed my Qualcomm years goodbye.

    Advice to Management

    - Stop treating the company like a personal piggy bank. - The telco systems engineering development model is 19th century. GROW UP! - If you can't think of a useful R&D idea why don't you hire a futurist who can. - Stop investing in stupid demo features just to scare people into buying your chips. - Not every project has to have coding theory hardware component to make it a worthwhile investment! - Consider saying "no" to an evil operator like Verizon just once? Please???


  11. Helpful (7)

    Company in decline

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

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

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

    Pros

    - Work with a lot of very talented engineers working on high quality technology. - ESPP provides good opportunities to boost investment returns, although the stock has gone sideways the past few years. - Depending on the team, we get a lot of flexibility to choose what to work on, so we can be exposed to a lot of different aspects of the technologies.

    Cons

    - Management has been significantly cutting back on benefits, bonuses, and promotions recently - Health care benefits used to be one of the largest selling points, but for 2016 they've been slashed back to being clearly below our peer tech companies. Worse, HR seems to insist on hiding this, trying to make it seem like things are actually being changed in our favor. Very sleazy feeling watching them claim added benefits when you can easily calculate that it will cost you more money. - Employee morale is plummeting and the executives seem completely disconnected and unaware - HR is rigid and inflexible, so it doesn't matter how you perform or what your background is, you have to follow their timelines and structures. This makes it feel like hard work isn't rewarded and encourages people to just skirt by. - Company seems to have shifted from investing in the future to stay on top of tech trends to cutting back, playing financial games, and focusing solely on the demands of short-sighted Wall Street investment firms

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget about the importance of employee morale and happiness. Previously, I was enthusiastic about referring friends, but between major market missteps, layoffs, and constant cutbacks recently, I've completely stopped encouraging others to apply. After months of relentlessly bad news, the employees really need to feel like we have a "win" or there will be an even bigger mass exodus of talented people.



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