Autodesk Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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3.8
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Autodesk President, CEO, and Director Carl Bass
Carl Bass
346 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/Life flexibility is not be confused with work/life balance (in 85 reviews)

  • Also a fair amount of telecommuting / work from home options depending on the group you're in (in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/Life Balance is not as good as it could be (in 14 reviews)

  • Poor job done by senior management to motivate employee base and create real momentum around business changes (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

589 Employee Reviews

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  1. I love working here

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Executive Diversity Officer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Chief Executive Diversity Officer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Autodesk

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They are very conscious about historically represented groups! I love my co workers and the very real conversations they have. This company isn't just about profit. They care about the community and their employees and it shows. I have never loved a job as much as I love this one and all the people who I work with and for!

    Cons

    No cons. This place is awesome and incredible! It is such a privilege to work here!

    Advice to Management

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!


  2. Do your best work here!

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

    I have been working at Autodesk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The culture created at Autodesk is one of innovation and collaboration. A good idea can come from any level of employee and we are encouraged to push the limits on what is possible! If you are looking to work with a very smart, fun and talented group of colleagues, look no further.

    Cons

    Extremely fast pace and you need to be ok with change. A very dynamic environment that is ever-changing so make sure you are ok with that! Pretty flat organization and titles tend to be a level below what they would be elsewhere. (ie. a Director here might be a VP elsewhere with the level of responsibility)

    Advice to Management

    We need a COO for day to day operations!


  3. Good benefits, hard to navigate corporate structure

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

    I worked at Autodesk

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Sabbatical for every employee: 6 weeks paid time off every four years

    Cons

    Constantly re-organizing corporate structure made it feel like everything was in transition; hard to figure out who owned what.

    Advice to Management

    Work on change management


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Thoughts from an Autodesk veteran

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Strategy and Marketing Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Strategy and Marketing Executive in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Autodesk full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I never expected to be a veteran of Autodesk or any company for that matter. I like change. I like big ideas. I like to make big ideas happen. In my 10+ years at Autodesk, I've had many different opportunities to work on big idea initiatives and drive positive change in the company, and this is the main thing that has kept me here. If I were to find an opportunity to make a bigger impact somewhere else, I would probably take it. I've considered a few opportunities at other companies over the years, but none has been as compelling as what I've been able to do at Autodesk.

    Cons

    Since Autodesk is a company that embraces change, those who are uncomfortable with change are typically uncomfortable working here. While this isn't a con per se, it's something that people who are considering working for Autodesk should understand.

    Autodesk Response

    Jun 29, 2015Talent Brand and Social Media Manager

    Thanks for your comments! An excellent picture of what it's like to work here. All the best. -Andrew


  6. Very corporate....

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

    I worked at Autodesk full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Talented people
    Good Benefits and Salary
    Innovative company

    Cons

    Upper management doesn't really know what is going on in the frontline. Its all about numbers but they don't understand that not everything is created and treated equal. Can make for stressful days.

    Advice to Management

    Have a better understanding of the products your employees are working with.


  7. A great company doing great things

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

    I worked at Autodesk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Autodesk employees are working on some great products that do great creative and impactful things.. Most of the people are great and working for a common cause.

    Cons

    Open floor plan is great looking but distracting to work in.

    Advice to Management

    Employee retention can use more focus, a lot of great and talented folks have left. Brand awareness needs more focus, people don't know what a great company it is.


  8. Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Autodesk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    It is a great environment for highly motivated individuals. Autodesk provides excellent growth opportunities. Careers at Autodesk are very rewarding.

    Cons

    In some cases the opportunities and the compensation drive you to go the extra mile. While not a con, it can detract from work/life balance.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Great mission and environment

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

    I have been working at Autodesk full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    One of the best things I found in the company didn't really occur to me before I got in. The mission of the company, to build quality software, tools and even frameworks for today's industry is something rewarding to be part of.

    They really take care of their employees in terms of benefits, I have nothing to complain about and the environment is just great. I had the chance to experience many ways of working with sit/stand desks, treadmill desks, couches all over the place and many resources to make your work environment comfortable.

    Socially is also a good environment and management and H.R. often promote activities that help you integrate and get to know very well your colleagues. Most people are highly creative and friendly.

    Cons

    Due to the size and complexity of the organization, getting anything done paperwork-wise often involves external companies that due to the scale that they operate, hardly makes it an easy process to you. Fortunately it's only hassle every few months.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good job!

    Autodesk Response

    Jun 30, 2015Intern- Social Talent

    Thank you for your review! As you mentioned, part of being a larger company does pose certain challenges but we appreciate your feedback and honesty as to your experience at Autodesk.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Realpolitik

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

    I worked at Autodesk full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Autodesk is a rich company that benefits from a legacy of market dominance, monopoly power, and accordingly luxurious margins. Even as the company has been forced into increasingly competitive markets, their cash and channel have enabled them to thrive as an acquisition machine.

    There is a lot of chaotic, frenetic activity that occasionally results in bona fide internal innovation within the product engineering teams. If you are young and just starting your career in software engineering or related disciplines such as product management, product marketing, etc., then Autodesk is a wonderful training ground. And, you'll be handsomely paid while learning.

    Autodesk often ranks near the top of, "Best Place to Work" type of surveys. This is mainly because it suffers from what Marissa found at Yahoo: a culture of exploiting "work life balance" to the extreme. If you don't mind a work environment where people regularly work 5 hour days and "work from home" whenever they feel like it, then this is the place for you. You can also always find a seat in the supposedly overcrowded 1-Market (SF) location, which is some of the most beautiful corporate real estate you'll ever experience.

    Finally, if you're pursuing a future as a manager/leader, then Autodesk will give you an intense training in the toughest variant of politics: the politics of passive-aggressive consensus. While most quality leaders tend to avoid or flee this sort of environment, clearly some folks thrive within it. If you can rationalize this within your own value system, then climbing the management ladder in Autodesk will teach you how to equivocate like a pro.

    Cons

    Autodesk's overall culture can best be described as passive-aggressive, conflict-averse, and consensus-driven. Read through the reviews you'll find here or elsewhere and you'll see this theme over and over again. Talk to someone at a senior manager level or higher, and they'll confirm it (unless they're someone who loves that sort of thing; they're usually blind to it). Everywhere has politics, of course. But Autodesk's culture significantly amplifies the internal politics to many times greater than they should be for a company of this size. Example: making a decision which might take 3-5 meetings over the period of 2-3 weeks in even a much larger, more complex company can easily take (no kidding) 15-20 meeting over a period of 6+ months. And even then, the decision or agreement is at least 50% likely to be reneged upon by some passive-aggressive manager who had no intention of cooperating, resulting in a reset of the entire decision process.

    The politics are most intense within the corporate GnA functions, most notoriously corporate finance and IT. Deep in the recesses of the back of the back office, the politics amongst the heavily bloated middle management and their executives truly defines realpolitik. Coercion, threats, dishonesty, doublespeak, intimidation and deception wrapped in euphemisms and culture programs are the norm.

    The bottom line is there are a ton of massively overpaid directors who enjoy working 20-25 hour work weeks, living in Marin, and never having to miss one of their kids' midday sports. They've managed to carve out their little feudal fiefdoms, and if you find yourself in any sort of situation which requires their cooperation--or worse their agreement to change anything--then prepare to defend yourself from an onslaught of smarmy politics. While I could provide examples, I'm pretty sure they would come off as exaggerations or hyperbole. All I can say is, Autodesk is a place where the unimaginable happens every day: especially within the realm of politics.

    Lastly, Autodesk is a place people intentionally try to go to to retire. It is a lifestyle company. Many people don't go there to work hard, they go there for generous benefits, flexible work schedules and generally not to have to think too much. The company has an abnormally high tenure. There are lots of 15-20, even 25+ year lifers who enjoy "untouchable" status which they happily exploit. If you're a manager, you'll end up with at least a few of these folks on your team. All I can say is, good luck. Many of these folks literally have zero experience anywhere else but Autodesk, and they will not even recognize skills, experience or ideas you may have brought in from elsewhere as valid, let alone sometimes better.

    This matters because Autodesk has an incredibly effective "tissue rejection" culture. You can be there for years, be very successful, and still end up crossing paths with an untouchable lifer and find yourself on the fast track out.

    Advice to Management

    Autodesk would make a great HBR case study in middle-management gone awry. This company could quite literally operate the same, or likely much better, were you to eliminate half of middle management. Even more in the above mentioned bowels of the back office.

    Listen to the avalanche of feedback you've received over the years on how ridiculous the politics have become at Autodesk.

    C-Staff have lost touch. I directly experienced, multiple times, when the SVPs would quite clearly describe a strategy, set goals, and even make specific decisions only to walk out of the room and see their VPs and Directors "reinterpret" the prior conversation so as to completely invert it. While C-Staff are very approachable, they don't tend to listen when the feedback about their own leaders' behaviors are uncomfortable or negative.

    A good place to start your investigation would be finance and IT. Start at the top, and figure out what everyone is really doing, what kind of programs are they spending all their time on, how do those things even remotely relate to the company's goals and strategy. If you're willing to look beyond the narratives, euphemistic storytelling, and Orwellian level of realpolitik, I think you'll be very surprised.


  11. Operation

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

    I have been working at Autodesk

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great products, smart people, work flexibility, 6 weeks sabbatical every 4 years

    Cons

    Big organization so lot of administration, processes. Take forever to get anything done - Slow to adapt new ideas -

    Advice to Management

    Need to have less top down approach.
    Need an improvement in a quality of leadership skills of middle management.



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