Akamai

  www.akamai.com
  www.akamai.com

Akamai Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
305 Reviews
4.0
305 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Akamai CEO Tom Leighton
Tom Leighton
152 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Awesome work-life balance, and the people here are wonderful - nice people with families (in 23 reviews)

  • Academic environment full of smart people with a lot to offer (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is very difficult to achieve and/or maintain - 55 (in 15 reviews)

  • An extreme lack of communication between groups, employees and management (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    One of the best technology companies you can work for

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

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great work culture, tremendous opportunity to learn, great technology and exposure on job

    Cons

    Benefits and Perks can be a lot better

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should do a lot more to retain good people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Senior Software Engineer

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture, Employee friendly and great benefits

    Cons

    Compensation not comparable to industry standards
    Bad location

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    The biggest Internet company you've never heard of.

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

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Rapid growth. Akamai essentially owns the scalable Internet. As the world comes online, Akamai's fortunes and your career opportunities rise with it.

    Cons

    The value-add services are interesting, but Akamai's bread and butter is acceleration and CDN. For most techies, the problems you solve at Akamai (make a website or video faster and scale against DDoS) are not particularly satisfying.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    My journey at Akamai

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

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Traditional caching technology mixed with some new cutting edge technologies to deliver the needs of Internet.

    Cons

    depends on the product you work on

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    nothing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fine for a few years, bad for a long-term career

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

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Unlimited (or at least uncapped) vacation time
    - Good (but not spectacular) compensation
    - Tom Leighton

    Cons

    - The company is run by the old guard, who have formed cliques and jealously guard their information. I've seen several people new to the company become completely overwhelmed and have no help whatsoever.
    - No documentation anywhere.
    - Lack of focus. It's common for projects to be pushed back, and some get ignored completely.
    - Most of the challenges Akamai faces now are business challenges: how to manage sustainable growth, which smaller companies to acquire, and so on. There aren't as many genuinely technical challenges as there are at other companies.
    - The people there are in it for the stock, not because of the engineering challenges.
    - Very few promotion opportunities.
    - Endless office politics.
    - Very few women engineers. The ones that are there are generally in positions high enough to avoid the worst parts of the office environment.
    - No freebies (soda, lunch, etc.), unlike most tech companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide whether you want to be an agile internet startup or a mature infrastructure provider

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Employees are not valued

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

    I have been working at Akamai

    Pros

    The atmosphere is very relaxed, which helps creativity and communication between the team members. Employees are typically very competent and friendly. The technology behind the company is very unique and interesting.

    There are many departments and an employee can develop their skills by switching groups although it might not be very easy.

    The education assistance program is a great tool to further develop ones skills.

    Cons

    The company has a policy of not sponsoring green cards until the last 1-2 years of H1B, despite promising otherwise during hiring. Those who are on H1B, DO think twice about this. This is not just in one department, it's a company wide issue. The management will use this policy as an excuse, which gives an impression that upper management don't value the employees while unnecessarily create uncertainty and frustration for the employees.

    There management structure is convoluted with many tiers of mid-level managers and the messages are many times lost along the way. With that, there are also a lot of politics going on which can be frustrating.

    Career advancement is not uniform across the many groups of the same department, it VERY much depends on the manager. Perhaps this is true everywhere, but a checklist of skills and contributions would help.

    The company is starting to nickel and dime by reducing personal workspace in the new offices, doing away with free sodas and weekly lunch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The employees are arguably the most important asset of a company, please start valuing them by helping those who need sponsorship just like every other tech company. Please also make sure that the employees can switch between groups to develop their skills and careers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Professional Services

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

    I worked at Akamai full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits, Flexible work from home

    Cons

    - Poor Leadership- Many managers/directors/VPs are highly inexperienced and have no clue
      how to manage people, grow careers, retain or motivate their teams. Many should NEVER
      have been promoted to the positions they are in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Pay close attention to growing careers and providing the right opportunities for your
      employees. Ensure those who get promoted to management positions understand this is a
      KEY responsibility along with ensuring team members are motivated and engaged.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Running on heavy, stale fuel

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

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation and, if adept at organizational politics, you don't need to work hard or smart.

    Cons

    High technology? This is a company which is a founder in a founder-dominated ecosystem, ruthless at eliminating challenges to its dominance. The game is, sell from reputation, touting benefits which cannot be objectively measured, at high prices, and then deliver as little as possible, using QoS measures which are not objective, and, in a pinch, just give refunds. HR has been inconsistently automated and outsourced. There is a strong "old boys network". The gender imbalance is shocked compared to other companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have a dissonance with reality. The "great future" advertised to employees is based upon little investment in R&D and new ideas and, rather, upon marketing savvy and slogans. How is your responsibility to shareholders balanced against high senior executive compensation? Why do you find new employees difficult to attract and retain? It's not about compensation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Very convenient

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Project Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Project Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours
    Work from home
    Good benefits
    Smart people
    Interesting projects
    Akamai anywhere (work from home program)

    Cons

    Politics
    No clear career path
    Negative people might stab you in the back
    Lousy sales team takes credit and throws you under the bus for any mistake

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Politics, politics, politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior SQA Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior SQA Engineer in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Akamai full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Awesome benefits and compensation. Lots of smart talented people to work with. If you can cope with chaos and survive in an environment where every little piece of domain knowledge is something that you will have to dig out of the cold, hard frozen ground, you can be happy here. It is possible to learn a lot of new skills, depending on your situation.

    I personally feel that I have grown by leaps and bounds in terms of my software automation knowledge even though my projects are constantly cancelled at the whims of capricious management decisions from people who never even talk to me personally or even look at the work I have done. Despite this, I feel confident in calling myself a Selenium expert after just 14 months of working here and I started with no Selenium experience whatsoever. I also have grown in my Java skills by leaps and bounds. I have gained valuable, solid OO development experience as an automation developer that I have not been able to get anywhere else.

    Cons

    The company relies too much on antiquated tools and technologies and WAAAAAY too much on homegrown tools when there are more modern, better designed, often open-source options out there. There is no consistent tool chain in place for basic things like: bug tracking, source code management, build management, project management, test case management and release management.

    The SQA process here is nothing like the industry standard best practices that you would find in another company of this size. In fact, I don't think that management really even understands what SQA is or should be. Requirements development and documentation is a joke. Requirements are often not clearly documented anywhere nor is there any standard process for formulating them and communicating them to development teams and testing teams. Trying to find out how to do basic things is a nightmare. Lots of people will tell you, 'It's on the wiki.' The 'wiki' is a rat's nest of outdated, half-written broken pages where there is occasionally a nugget of useful information, but you will be forced to take a long and frustrating journey through nuggets of incorrect information before you find it.

    Don't get me started on the test environment systems. Okay, do get me started. Test environments are a mess. People are forced to share a few systems where there is incomplete oversight regarding what is or is not actually installed on them. It is not unusual for people to step all over each others' toes trying to test out something because of the lack of communication between various parties using the systems. The architectural limitations that are baked into the products makes the challenge of spinning up a cleanly separated test system for anyone who needs one impossible and there seems to be no impetus to fix it even though countless hours of productivity go down the drain because we don't have this ability.

    There is a consensus that there is something 'broken' about the SDLC process and the tool chain, but effecting change for the better seems almost impossible because it doesn't appear that anyone with any authority to make change happen even understands what the problem is or how to hire people who can figure it out. People who try run into a wall of politics that would make the Great Wall of China look like a pile of paper mache after a monsoon.

    This company operates as if each separate team were a start-up company where people are just free to do whatever they want. There is a culture that is openly and actively hostile to the idea of submitting to standards and practices they didn't pick themselves. To be fair, it is not uncommon that someone trying to impose a 'standard' is trying to make people do something stupid and ineffective because they don't have the technical understanding that is necessary to pick a good one. So, even though we need some standards rather than our current cowboy wild west way of doing things, there is a history here that justifies hostility and suspicion regarding anyone who tries to impose one. With the eagerness of a small child on Christmas Eve, I await the day that the right set of people with the right personalities and skills are able to surmount this situation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You really need to make building a consistent SDLC process based on industry standard best practices and designing a productive, modern tool chain C-suite priorities. The CTO should be all over the problem of enforcing a consistent standard tool chain and process for all the stages of software development and release. And the SQA situation needs a czar level authority who understands exactly what SQA is and how to build it because, at the moment, it is a hot mess and no one seems to understand why SQA is important and how to make it good here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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