Altera Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
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3.9
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
10 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/life balance is pretty good (in 31 reviews)

  • great people and working environment (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • Still you can not have work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Senior management has no idea what the company direction is (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Altera Toronto Tech Center

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice location, good facilities, good perks (free drinks, ping pong and foosball), very nice benefits packages and salary. Challenging work. Managers tries really hard to develop employees. Fun group to work with

    Cons

    Demanding work. Very flat organizational structure, which means the chance of promotion to management is slim. Very competitive working environment. A lot of documentation, rules and procedures to follow.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to lower level staff as much as possible. They would like to know what the management are thinking. Instead of issuing a one sentence strategy statement, try to present it in a more meaningful way to individual contributor at different function.


  2. Altera is Awesome

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Very friendly people. very helpful and awesome community.

    Cons

    The job is very demanding and the workplace is very fast paced. If you're a smart person it's for you.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Altera Toronto Rocks!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people are so smart here. The work is very interesting. There is a ton of career development and the managers & directors really care. Love the free Metropass and social events.

    Cons

    Dealing with the San Jose headquarters can be challenging at times- the time zone and cultural differences can be a big deal. We never seem to have much travel budget.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more effort on product planning - we seem to be behind in this area.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Software Engineering Altera Toronto

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time

    Pros

    Altera Toronto is an awesome place to work. The people in the software group are hands down amazing. There is this rare combination of smarts, friendliness, and competency that makes the group a joy to work with. The lower-level managers lead by example and genuinely care about the ones they supervise. Another big plus, the office itself is situated in downtown Toronto at the intersection of two major subway lines making it highly accessible.

    Cons

    Job security is a concern. Altera makes the high risk high reward play of going all-in on FPGA technology in free market capitalism. The company has no government or regulatory protections so if the market turns against it, be it from execution problems, recession, natural disaster, or new disruptive technologies, then jobs are threatened (and they have historically been cut). Also, a great team is a double edged sword. It is very hard to stand out and expectations are high. Although this results in excellent skill development, any one of those engineers may feel that their career will advance further in a weaker company where competency is confused with talent.

    Advice to Management

    Trust leads to better teamwork. There is trust within engineer but much skepticism between engineering and marketing... much much skepticism. This is a classic problem but should be considered and dealt with.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Best job I've ever had

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    At Altera Toronto, you get to work with some of the smartest and most innovative people in the industry. Several people here literally written the book on FPGAs, and working alongside them is an amazing experience. You also get to work on some really cool, innovative projects that have the potential of changing the industry. Some of our interns leave with patents! And finally the office atmosphere is just fun. We do tons of social events, a ski trip in the winter, beach picnic in the summer, and a bunch of other stuff. Plus free drinks and free metro-passes.

    Cons

    Being surrounded by brilliant people is a double edged sword, because you have to be able to keep up with them. If you can't, you're not gonna have a good time.

    Advice to Management

    Focus less on short-term goals and more on doing the right thing for the company.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Too much intelligence

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    *surrounded by talented world-class engineers, self-development can be easy. *work-life balance is great *free drinks and snaks

    Cons

    too many genius, you can feel lots of pressure. bonus is not that much for individual contributor.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Exciting challenges at every turn

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Intern - Software in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altera as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's exciting working in an industry where the mantra is always "faster, smarter, smaller, lower power". Innovating and optimizing are necessary for success, and are a big part of Altera's culture. Working at Altera, you are constantly exposed to cool new ideas, you get to work with extremely intelligent people, and you get to tackle challenging problems that have real-world impact. It's also interesting to work at a company where the worlds of software and hardware are so intertwined. Altera produces hardware and software that are deeply connected, and co-optimized to work together. This gives you some big-picture perspective that you wouldn't necessarily get elsewhere.

    Cons

    The products that Altera delivers are generally complicated and monolithic, which means that they require coordination from a whole bunch of different teams. This means that sometimes your freedom when developing is limited; you can't really implement what you want because of previous decisions / existing code / interference with other teams / cultural inertia / etc.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Possibly the highest concentration of competent, intelligent engineers in the city. You will learn a ton by working in this environment. -Free drinks and snacks -Flexible hours -Continuing education program (allows you to take courses part-time, and pays for them too!). -Excellent benefits

    Cons

    -High expectations of employees, which can lead to long working hours -My cubicle is in a noisy part of the office...


  10. Very positive - learned and developed a lot as an engineer.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Intern - Intern Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Altera as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work environment, nature of work (very challenging and intellectually satisfying), pay and benefits are excellent

    Cons

    Long hours but this is typical nowadays

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in new grads and interns!


  11. Excellent learning experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altera as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent salary TTC pass Good location in downtown Free breakfast once every month

    Cons

    Work can get boring if you don't like to deal with hardware.



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