Qualcomm Reviews

Updated July 4, 2015
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  1. Helpful (7)

    "Senior Staff Engineer" who jumped from a "Sinking Ship"

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

    I worked at Qualcomm full-time

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

    Pros

    I have been helping employees to escape for the past few months, many of them are asking me for leads now, and more and more of the most talented Qualcomm employees from the 1990's - the ones who built this company and made it successful - are moving on to better opportunities.

    Cons

    - It's appalling to see a company lay off 600 engineers so they can bonus the CEO $98M.
    - When they finally got the idea to do CPU chip design, they under-invested and got caught with their pants down by Apple, this is why there is a public fiasco with power management on the Snapdragon 810. It's an outsourced design because Qualcomm didn't have the balls to invest the money to design a 64-bit chip at the right time.
    - Qualcomm was a very frustrating place to work, they waste money on the stupidest ideas. They pick research projects that only your grandfather could understand, such as mobile broadcast TV, a completely dead-and-buried concept.
    - Promotion is nearly a 100%-political game at Qualcomm, when they finally gave me a bonus after many years, I used the bonus to take a far better job at a far more elite employer, at a level that would be 2 ranks higher than my Qualcomm job, and I gladly kissed my Qualcomm years goodbye.

    Advice to Management

    - Stop treating the company like a personal piggy bank.
    - The telco systems engineering development model is 19th century. GROW UP!
    - If you can't think of a useful R&D idea why don't you hire a futurist who can.
    - Stop investing in stupid demo features just to scare people into buying your chips.
    - Not every project has to have coding theory hardware component to make it a worthwhile investment!
    - Consider saying "no" to an evil operator like Verizon just once? Please???


  2. Helpful (6)

    Suffering from big corporation symptoms in various ways

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

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

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

    Pros

    1. Good starting point for new grads, easy interview;

    2. Good pay in San Diego area;

    3. Free on-site gyms;

    4. Good benefit and on-site hospitals;

    5. Nice and talented people to work with, and you can learn a lot of new things.

    Cons

    1. You will regret for being hired so easily and cheaply in a couple of years;

    2. Low pay with trivial increase/promotion opportunities compared to the Bay Area, while San Diego's rental home and real estate markets aren't cheap at all, compared to the Bay Area; you save $10,000 per year at maximum in renting a home at San Diego, but your annual salary is at least $30,000 less than your peers in the Bay Area, and every one can do the math;

    3. Workload is heavy all the time, and that is the way how the Project Management wants to hire you. You won't have time for exercising in the gyms;

    4. Benefits will be significantly cut starting from 2016. In the past, $0 out from the pocket; the 2016 deductible plan requires self-pay for the first a few thousand dollars. The company seems to encourage senior people to leave by themselves and discourage employees to take sick leave and see a doctor by announcing this benefit change;

    5. Apart from those good people, there are too many bad people as well. Some guys refuse to collaborate every time, and they just blindly throw issues to other teams and wasting other people's time, even without doing a simple checking by themselves; some guys with Electrical Engineering background are really bad in their coding styles. Those poorly written implementations create a whole lot of traps for other people, and they are creating bugs everyday for their owners too;

    6. A lot of politics. When an issue comes, every team declines their responsibility. A poor guy with a politically powerless leader will usually make the fix and gets blamed at last.

    7. Too complex and unscalable systems with crappy design. Every team stays in their own technical area, and do not know what other teams are doing. This partially contributes to the politics mentioned in (6).

    8. Greedy and unrealistic scheduling with no software engineering methodologies. For instance, to bring up a feature with teams from layer-1, layer-2 and layer-3, and a high layer has functional dependency on a low layer. If the water-fall method can be used, i.e. let layer-1 to start first, and resolve all their issues before delivering things to layer-2 and layer-3, things will be much easier. The reality is that, the Project Management always wants all teams to work in parallel and expect things to get done within a month. It seems like the Scrum method is always the choice at QCT, and in fact every day is a mess with this SW engineering method. In order to have the bring up to happen, every team is making temporary but dirty workarounds, which should be replaced or discarded in the near future. So, why not start earlier and leave more time for the ultimate clean solution? It turns out that, all the efforts for those dirty and temporary solutions get be wasted.

    9. Long hours throughout the year, and promotions takes long for ordinary people. I am not a racist but I did realize that some guys with the same race as those mid-Management guys seems to be favored by the mid-Management, and they can enjoy their days lazily and get promotion even quicker than other employees who work really hard. For ordinary people, it usually takes 5-6 reviews to get a promotion, no matter how hard you work. It's not worth it to work so hard, and sacrifice your health and your family.

    10. A lot of global testing/technical support offices, and they are generating issues at late night or on weekends. All issues are shoot back to San Diego and you are expected to resolve them ASAP. Why can't those offshore teams resolve issues locally? Why can't they wait until business hours in San Diego?

    11. A lot of inefficient weekend support which turns out to be a waste of time. When those leaders tried to resolve an issue during weekends, it takes a long time for engineers to wait for each other. Time for relaxing the body and recovering from tiredness is wasted in such meaningless waiting. An issue that can be resolved in 30 minutes in a business day will take almost a whole day to get resolved on weekends. So why not do the work quickly on Monday? Engineers cannot take a rest on weekends, as a punishment, they won't work efficiently during business hours in the next week. What is gain, what is the benefit for rushing on weekends? Even worse, weekend support is forcing good engineers to leave the company.

    12. No investment to the growing technical areas from the high management. In recent years, QC has been creating trivial feature combos, which Customers do not even pay attention to. Those nasty combos had created millions of bugs, and had exhausted QC's engineering work-force. As in a negative feedback loop, everyone is busy fixing bugs everyday, and won't have time to invent for the future.

    13. Bug fixing is preferred over a clean design. Things happen too quickly, and there is always no time for a good and clean design. There are far too many poor designs were implemented in products, and they simply do not work in reality. Various teams are forced to hack out dirty workarounds that might break something else tomorrow. Test teams are testing the same thing over and over again, before things can work.

    Advice to Management

    Invest new technical areas and invent something unique, stop creating trivial feature combos that will waste all of your resource. Use some kind of software engineering methodologies, and do not learn from your crappy asian competitors. If you learn from them, you become crappy too. Treasure your employees as you treasure your money. Many Bay Area tech giants want your employees too. If you lose your good engineers, your new hires won't get good guidance and your source code database can get completely polluted within a month.


  3. Good Remote Location

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Qualcomm

    Pros

    Working at remote location is a great location that gives a small company feel with big company benefits.

    Cons

    Working at remote location is remote from the main campus which sometimes gets in the way


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Ehhh....

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm

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

    Pros

    None, full with people doing nothing but talking.

    Cons

    Executives are not helping the company grow.


  6. Generic Corporate Life

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Work life balance, friendly people, easy (if you want that)

    Cons

    Political, lack of culture, management


  7. Excellent place to work

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to work. Great benefits, work environment. Innovative technology all around. Management is very good. You are rewarded appropriately for your hard work.

    Cons

    Not many come to my mind. Being in a satellite office sometimes has its cons. Work wise there is no difference.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  8. product support specialist

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    company doing well, supportive, cutting edge

    Cons

    can't think of any cons


  9. Qualcomm Package

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time

    Pros

    Work-life balance.
    location
    freedom to choose technology
    experienced people

    Cons

    not the highest paying company.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Company in decline

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

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

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

    Pros

    - Work with a lot of very talented engineers working on high quality technology.
    - ESPP provides good opportunities to boost investment returns, although the stock has gone sideways the past few years.
    - Depending on the team, we get a lot of flexibility to choose what to work on, so we can be exposed to a lot of different aspects of the technologies.

    Cons

    - Management has been significantly cutting back on benefits, bonuses, and promotions recently
    - Health care benefits used to be one of the largest selling points, but for 2016 they've been slashed back to being clearly below our peer tech companies. Worse, HR seems to insist on hiding this, trying to make it seem like things are actually being changed in our favor. Very sleazy feeling watching them claim added benefits when you can easily calculate that it will cost you more money.
    - Employee morale is plummeting and the executives seem completely disconnected and unaware
    - HR is rigid and inflexible, so it doesn't matter how you perform or what your background is, you have to follow their timelines and structures. This makes it feel like hard work isn't rewarded and encourages people to just skirt by.
    - Company seems to have shifted from investing in the future to stay on top of tech trends to cutting back, playing financial games, and focusing solely on the demands of short-sighted Wall Street investment firms

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget about the importance of employee morale and happiness. Previously, I was enthusiastic about referring friends, but between major market missteps, layoffs, and constant cutbacks recently, I've completely stopped encouraging others to apply. After months of relentlessly bad news, the employees really need to feel like we have a "win" or there will be an even bigger mass exodus of talented people.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Recent Changes over the last few years

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Can't really say there have been many pro's over the last few years

    Cons

    - Big company mentality - out for the company and the executives not the work bee's
    - Benefits changing (while probably still good by some standards) - issue is the negative benefit changes only affect the work bee's - these changes are not going to affect the executives. So those with the higher salaries will still pay next to nothing and those that work harder will have to pay out of their pocket
    - less opportunity to move around within the company
    - less projects
    - nothing exciting in the pipe line

    Advice to Management

    Lesson to the people who do the heavy lifting of the work; QC is quickly falling in ratings among those that work for the company.



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