Valve Corporation

  www.valvesoftware.com
  www.valvesoftware.com
There are newer employer reviews for Valve Corporation

22 people found this helpful  

possibly the best game company to work for

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

I have been working at Valve Corporation

Pros

good quality of life, and being surrounded by creative people. there are many reasons to work at valve. the standards are pretty high, but they push you and really make you strive for the newest, best thing. there is no formal management structure, and responsibility is given on a competence level or if one asks for it. there is lots of room to try new things, so you feel like you are learning all the time. i have been at valve for many years and found it to be extremely rewarding, both in a business sense and personal one.

Cons

very competitive internally (high standards).

Advice to ManagementAdvice

more insight into what's happening at the company, future plans.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

9 Other Employee Reviews for Valve Corporation (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Challenging, chaotic, interesting, surprisingly similar to other great companies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Bellevue, WA

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great work if you can get it, and by "get it", I mean "understand it"

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

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

    Pros

    Good compensation, unbelievable perks. Very smart and talented coworkers with impressive high-profile experience in the game and film industries. Got first-hand experience with the fabled Valve flat hierarchy. Family-friendly schedule (at least for me). Enjoyed almost everyone I worked with directly.

    Cons

    The downside to the lack of hierarchy for me was a huge amount of confusion over roles on given projects. Employees are encouraged to take risks and chart one's own course in terms of initiating projects and/or choosing projects to work on, which sounds good, but ultimately left me constantly second-guessing my bigger decisions. I also don't think I picked up many skills that have benefited me outside this company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Valve Corporation

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