Zynga

www.zynga.com
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1 person found this helpful  

Dinosaur game making process.

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

I worked at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

Pros

Great benefits along with some great people you meet along the way.

Cons

The game making process is not evolving fast enough. Too much following of what's trending right now instead of being innovative and unique. Management seems to think there is a formula to make a successful game but they forget the number one factor of a successful game is the fun factor. Too much focus is made on their amazing ability to gather data, which makes them over reliant on it.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

You have some great teams over there, start believing that they can make games without all the ridiculous approval proccess. It stifles creativity and just makes teams cater games to what you guys want instead of the players.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

380 Other Employee Reviews for Zynga (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    A Learning experience

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    As the title said it was a learning experience. The scale of the games gives you immense opportunity to learn if you are on the back end services team. We used relatively new tech stack such as redis, node.js, coffeescript while it was still a up and coming thing. Free food and snacks are good and did offset some of the salary cut the pre-ipo hired took. No limits on hardware and quality equipment to work with.

    Cons

    I personally felt the cons outweighed the pros and thats why I decided to leave.

    * While the learnings were fun, it was a short lived experience. The learnings stopped once I realized that the company tends to repeat itself again and again and is not keen on taking a step back to realize what might or might not be working.
    * Company is risk averse w.r.t technology. Proven numbers around performance with modern stack was dismissed in favor of PHP only because the company had lots of PHP developers/ops and thought they OPS might not be able to support it.
    * Working in a remote studio was absolutely painful as we got work that SFO didnt want or didnt care(this was fatal as it meant your quarterly bonus was non existant)
    * Merit increases were highly political. It went to SFO people always and unless your manager had good impressions about you, you end up getting nothing.
    * Product managers and directors can be extremely political. Our remote office clearly felt the directory preferred young engineers as they put more time at work that than the ones that had families.
    * Not all perks werent matched as SFO even for a US satellite office. No parking match.
    * Zynga does not value engineers at all. I would be surprised if any thing like a Spanner, Hive, HipHop, Kafka or any such innovative tech stack come out of Zynga as its just not valued or rewarded. If you did a quick fix that ticked unique users up in a month then you will be recognized as a star or an atlas or whatever crap they paraded in company meeting. On the other hand you spent weeks to improve a bad PHP code base and reduced server count, you get nothing.
    * unprofessional executives - The way the chief people officer behaved was shocking. Their on stage interactions with other executives on quarterly company meetings was awkward and embarrassing.
    * Mark Pincus - Extremely reactive founder. It doesnt take much to spook him and he will quickly change directions. For instance when the Sims took off he killed projects to put those folks on "the Ville" game only to realize in a month Sims dying off. Ville met the same end.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start valuing engineers..you spend a lot to hire the best yet you dont listen to them. Product managers run the ship and their focus on short term returns is coming back to hurt you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't lay off your best talent

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    While it lasted, it was a great gig. The perks were nice and the people were fun to work with.

    Cons

    Their recent round of layoffs were "wrong place, wrong time" with no consideration made to skills, positions, seniority, value, etc. The company blindly cut teams right and left giving no consideration to who/what/when/why.

    Company sent an entire team to Hawaii not one month prior to laying off 500+ employees.

    If you are currently there or one of the new hires (Yes they are still hiring....explain that...) you need to get yourself on the Poker or FarmVille 2 teams as quickly as possible. It doesn't matter if you think another team has potential...Poker is the safest place to be. The company is crumbling one team at a time and those will be the last to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Layoffs have to happen, we understand that. Don't screw over your most passionate, loyal, and skilled workers (unless you were actually doing us some kind of favor by letting us out early before the entire place shuts down)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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