1 person found this helpful
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Valve Corporation full-time (more than an year)Pros
Valve offers extremely generous benefits and perqs, and affords employees high levels of trust to do whatever they need to be productive. It is a privilege to work with the folks at Valve because nearly all are exceptionally accomplished, competent and eager to build something great. The environment really encourages employees to be positive and to focus on work that will directly impact the customer. Productivity is rewarded in part by peer review which makes employees accountable to their team. Changing teams/projects is usually easy, and is usually each employee's own decision. Employee autonomy is inherent in Valve's process.Cons
Many of the ways in which Valve seeks to differentiate from other companies are not actually so valid. While it's true that Valve has no official job titles or promotions, compensation varies greatly among employees and many teams have an obvious pecking order. There is no formal management structure, but it's clear that some people have substantially more control over project direction and the work of others. Even though productivity is said to be the only metric that matters, people who are already connected or are accomplished social engineers will do just fine. Denying that all of these social forces are at work makes the problem intractable and difficult to even discuss.
For a company that makes so much money, Valve is surprisingly risk-averse. New projects, internal tools, dev infrastructure, and anything that doesn't contribute to a current product are met with disdain. Because teams are intended to be self-forming, it's rare that enough people will want to assume risk to all collectively embark on a new project. It's too safe and too profitable to just contribute to something that's already successful. Even though failure is supposed to be tolerated and even encouraged so that employees will try new ideas and experiments, there is little evidence of this. After a few rounds of bonuses, folks learn quickly what is rewarded, and what is not.
Valve's success has made folks arrogant, and this contributes to the problem of how new ideas are considered and discussed. Dogmatic thinking is actually common because people can always point to a great success in the past and use this to justify why everything should continue as it is. Some folks at Valve do not want the company to grow. Valve already has an incredibly strong profit/employee ratio. Why dilute it? This line of thinking crops up in project discussions as well, and causes many ideas to be dismissed because they seem too niche/unprofitable (at the time).Advice to ManagementAdvice
I think that funding separate companies would be the best way for Valve to invest in new/different product areas. Identify capable teams who already work together and let them make their own rules and set their own goals.
Be more honest about management structure. It will go a long way toward helping people make better decisions and will create more trust among employees.RecommendsPositive OutlookDisapproves of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
3 people found this helpfulApplication Details
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Valve Corporation in September 2014.Interview Details
I sent in my resume for consideration without applying for a specific job. They responded around three weeks later with an email about a good-fit position.
They sent the following question:
Thanks for applying for a position on our customer support team. We reviewed your resume and are sending a short test for you to do - please try to submit your response within 24 hours of receipt of this email.
Please respond to this customer inquiry:
You work for Venture Movie Productions Limited. You produce a wide range of movies in various genres by different directors. In theaters now:
The Making of a Metropolis: a Documentary on Meerkats (PG)
South High: Locker Wars (PG-13)
To Whom it May Concern,
Today I found out that my son Billy went to your terrible film SlasherDeath5000. My son is 12. I wouldn't have even known that he had gone if I hadn't found the movie stub in his pants pocket when doing the laundry. YOU are responsible for exposing my 12 year old to this violence. My son is an Eagle Scout. He would not have even wanted to go to this movie if you hadn't advertised it. How dare you prey on children in this way?
You have tainted my child and are ruining the innocence of our kids. I demand an explanation and a detailed outline of what you are going to do to stop destroying America's children.No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –
Valve Corporation keeps gamers moving full Steam ahead. Along with creating video games for consoles and portable devices from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, as well as for the PC, Valve also runs the industry-leading online game distribution, management, and social platform Steam. Popular Valve titles such as Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead are available on Steam, as well as games from publishers such as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. Valve also licenses its Source game engine to game developers and others, and it provides gaming content to a network of cybercafes in...