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13 days ago

Software Development Engineer, Systems, Senior Req

Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA

Requirements: Bachelors degree in Computer Science, Engineering or related technical field followed by 9 years of progressive post-baccalaureate… Glassdoor


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    Exciting environment but a mess internally

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    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Yahoo full-time

    Pros

    If you get to know enough people at Yahoo you'll meet some really great people that can stick with you for life. Individually, there is a lot of talent there. Some of the best years of my career so far were at Yahoo, even though it was always an uphill battle to get anything measurable done. I met lifelong friends and have kept in touch with the people who were as dedicated to their work as I was. There were a lot of people who just floated by too. You don't have to prove to be a superstar to keep your job there - you can just float along getting things done - if that's your thing. It was always an internal joke that no one ever gets fired at Yahoo. But landing in a team there with an innovative leader can end up being a fantastic career experience.

    Cons

    As a whole, any individual talent is very often diffused by (1) politics or (2) constant internal reorganizations or (3) by properties choosing to go after what makes money over the user experience. Of course each team is different, so your overall success and happiness will largely depend on who is leading the team and how innovative, forward-thinking and independent-minded they are. I was shuffled around to 4 different teams in my time at Yahoo, and I was lucky enough to have one manager in that time who was inspiring. Another was argumentative and hot-headed, another was completely uninterested in what I did for the company, and another was basically absent - in the year I reported to that person we only had one meeting together. All that said, I still like those people as people, and I enjoyed my time there. I did find it disheartening to put so much effort into a company that diffuses it by being a bit of a misguided mess.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What brings money is a great product. Working to increase page views is important, but never worth sacrificing the user experience. A few product managers at Yahoo were innovative and forward thinking - thinking about what makes the product better and more useful than the competition, and not just 'how do we increase the comscore numbers'. They are the ones that are leading successful products at Yahoo - the ones that we can say hey, Yahoo isn't *always* a laughable brand - look at what's happening over here. The best teams there were the ones with great leaders and those teams coveted that - they didnt want the rest of Yahoo politics and messiness to ruin what they had (think Flickr, Y! Music, Sports, etc). Yahoo needs more of that forward- and independent-thinking leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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