Zynga Reviews

Updated March 17, 2015
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67 Employee Reviews

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  1. 9 people found this helpful

    Waiting for the Apocalypse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Decline to State in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Decline to State in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Fun start-up culture and perks but honestly, it's a waste of money.

    Cons

    Management at many levels is confused or misdreicted. Ever changing focus and intiatives. Cronyism is rampant. Lack of transparency. Never saw a review the whole time I was here and most of my one-on-one meetings w manger were cancelled, then he left the company about 8 months after he hired me. Currently working on my exit strategyu, actually, Iahve it already, just enjoying the view as Rome burns.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some grown-ups in charge, consider selling massive re-org and lay-offs no doubt must be coming.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful

    Not a good company.

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good perks. Free food. In the city. Dog friendly.

    Cons

    Long hours. Boring work. Inefficient process. High turn over. Very bad tech. Politics. Ineffective management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With the stock price at 3 dollars, managers have their own issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful

    Too many undelivered promises

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

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

    Pros

    Free food
    Smart people

    I was working on one of the "ville" games and I thought it was going to be a lot more interesting given how many millions of users we had.

    Cons

    Zero passion about the games
    Grueling hours - my manager made me cancel a family vacation once
    Very narrow scope and responsibilities
    Hug team size plummeting stock price - I was told by the recruiter that we should expect $100 stock price a year after IPO. There should be a law against this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove Mark as CEO and put someone in his place that actually cares about the products they make.
    Smaller teams and more achievable deadlines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 8 people found this helpful

    Lots of opportunity to hone politicking skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Product Manager in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Huge potential for career growth with the proper networking and connections
    Meritocracy still in place for ENTRY LEVEL positions
    Free food everywhere
    Dynamic work environment for Content Producers

    Cons

    Work-life balance is terrible. Average work weeks = 60-70 hours, more for "crunch" times
    Constant "code red" state for declining game studios
    Focus on quarterly goals promotes poor short-term product/engineering decisions
    Major "pivots" to company/departmental strategy make planning and reliable delivery impossible
    Poor bonuses to "support" departments (infrastructure and tech teams are the worst)
    Constant reorganizations exhaust employees (4 in a year for the team I was in)
    Myopic product focus = huge tech debt
    Waterfall SDLC (morning scrum does not make you Agile)
    Too many high-performing individual contributors elevated to managers w/out training and mentoring
    Impossibly Byzantine departments make it impossible to tackle large tech problems without involving 15 departments

    If you are mid-level in your career, go somewhere else. You likely have a family, who you will feel guilty about neglecting. The pay will be okay, but the perks (free shirts, videogames everywhere, food, etc.) are for kids straight out of college. I'd rather pack a lunch and buy my own clothes - and I don't need videogames anywhere. Prepare for the office politics, which were easily the worst I've ever seen. Take direction well, be an excel wizard (product managers), and you should be fine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a course and stick to it. Stop the 2nd class citizen structure (game studio v. not), OR stop pretending that Zynga is an egalitarian workplace. Consider the tradeoff between constant content churn and long-term tech benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful

    If you work for Zynga, you have already peaked

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

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

    Pros

    Good salary, free food, great location

    Cons

    Low level of responsibility, severe micromanagement

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful

    No growth

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Great CEO. Great Management Team. Diluted value as you go down the hierarchy. Below the executive management, everyone else sucks big time!

    Cons

    More poaching from companies like eBay, Google and other small players in and around the bay area. This has only polluted the internal environment. Serious empire building, everyone who has poor management style but extreme groupism. No two groups even know each other anymore. Very unhealthy chemistry. Unless you know people before joining don't expect to have fun. It's a frat party.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure you provide some management training to the ones below you. They have a long way to go to emulate you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  8. 11 people found this helpful

    Great place for some; Horrible place for others

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    - Meritocracy: quarterly reviews of employees for additional bonuses, stocks, salary increase, or promotion
    - Free breakfast, lunch, dinner
    - Free wellness programs (haircuts, 15 minute massages, 15 minute reflexology, 45 minute acupuncture)
    - Free gym membership
    - Free swag (for a game launch or a company's success)
    - Great for your resume
    - Great for those who are already influential at the company
    - Great for those who want a "start-up" environment at an established company
    - Company is mentioned on the news everyday (literally)
    - Some of your work will affect millions of people everyday
    - Metrics-Driven: Prove that you work drives the product
    - Dogs are welcome to the office and therapeutic

    Cons

    - Unsustainable work-life balance (generally 60-80 hours depending on the team and some weekends and holidays required)
    - Unpredictable deadlines and strategies
    - Low performers will be pushed out of the company
    - Quarterly reviews can be very political (don't ever get any of your managers on your bad side and don't let your own coworkers paint a bad picture of you)
    - Some managers have made unethical and immoral decisions in the expense of the employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Improve work and life balance (preferably down to 40-50 hours a week)
    - Avoid the obvious feeling of "fast-follow" of other games
    - Introduce new game mechanics instead of a "copy" from another game
    - Emphasize more of "Is this game fun?" instead of "how much money did this game bring?"
    - Increase knowledge sharing among all teams to increase efficiency

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 13 people found this helpful

    Why Would Anybody with Any Skills or Experience Want to Work Here Now?

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    -Free lunch and dinner
    -Can bring dogs to work
    -Pre-IPO (although if you joined after 2009 you won't get much)
    -Gain large-scale web application experience
    -Lots of free beer
    -Opportunity to network with some pretty smart people

    Cons

    -Anybody that joined after April 2011 are all misinformed and will get peanuts for equity. In fact, if you joined after December of 09, you have missed out on several stock splits already. Stock might be single digits per share.
    -No automatic annual pay increase, so you better level up if you want your salary to go up.
    -Very fast pace with a lot of internal competition.
    -People are pushed to the max with aggressive deadlines, but employees often don't believe in the products they are working day and night to deliver.
    -Incompetent managers
    -Company spends money like crazy, but no necessarily to the liking of the mass.
    -The whole culture is very stressful with little in terms of nurturing the right type of employee motivation.
    -Terrible work life balance
    -No free parking around building
    -Very unprofessional HR department
    -Actively slashing employees
    -Hack jobs instead of good designs often rule the day
    -*******WILL KILL YOUR SOCIAL LIFE!!!********

    -First company going public to have mainly RSU. Management is screwing over employees big time in terms of equity value, but few actually realize this. Issuing RSU and deducting 40% for tax reasons is essentially the company forcing employees to sell stocks back to the company at a price that the company determines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Survey employees about HR, in particular the RMO - Most unprofessional individual(s) ever! I believe 70% of the HR team needs to get fired for incompetence and rudeness.

    People will be more loyal to the company if such harsh rules such as converting to RSU instead of ISO and forcing employees to give up 40%+ of their stocks and having to pay taxes later on on stocks with an artificially low basis. People will eventually realize how much their take-home amount is and will quit in masses. It is also very unethical to over-hire, only to cut people to make your numbers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 15 people found this helpful

    On the second day, they told us "we will fire anyone we feel is useless".

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Austin, TX

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Every day you got a Free lunch, which was cooked daily by a great chef. It was a very fast moving environment.

    Cons

    Treated worse than cogs. Management style based on fear not praise (or worse, based on endless optimism that turns to blame when things fail). Employees pitted against each other.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating employees like children that need to be controlled. Let people work and balance both family time and don't just schedule people like a limitless resource.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 17 people found this helpful

    A very poor career experience

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Pace (but see below); reach (millions of users - for now)

    Cons

    * No sense of company direction; Zynga cannot come up with a strategy to overcome the fact that it is entirely dependent on Facebook.
    * It is a loose collection of "studios" with little or no sharing of resources between them, resulting in serious inefficiency.
    * Disingenuousness is pervasive and seeps down all the way from the very top.
    * Zynga is not a meritocratic organization. Pettiness, paranoia, fear and back-stabbing win the day; those who "play the game" float to the top.
    * One of the company values is something called "Zynga Speed", which means accepting that quality will be sacrificed and long hours will be expected, over and over again. For employees aged over 25 this means your years of experience in your field will be routinely ignored; just to get the job done, you will be expected to abandon just about every principle you have learned as a skilled professional.
    * Deadlines are arbitrary and extremely aggressive, yet in some cases slip by several months as strategies change on a whim at the top level.
    * Expect to find yourself micromanaged by someone much less skilled than you, and who also has no skills in management.
    * A large proportion of the employees are in their first job and are treated like slaves; they will stay there until they burn out and discover a life outside Zynga. This is challenging for experienced people as the same is expected of them too.
    * Seasoned workers are open and vocal about their dissatisfaction with working there (read other Glassdoor reviews for confirmation).
    * The "no vacation policy" sounds good on the face of it, but basically it means your manager will decide not to let you take time off.
    * The games themselves are of dubious value. Do you want to believe in your company's products?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a serious look at the negative feedback you're getting, including that from your past and present employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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