Roku Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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4.0
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Anthony Wood
22 Ratings

29 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    This is a fairly large and mature company, without the beauracracy of typical big companies

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

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

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

    Pros

    As another person pointed out, yes HR asked us to write what we felt about Roku online. This is not surprising, considering that most of us don't use social networks. Unlike the hip kids in Mountain View and San Francisco who spill every secret on Snapchat and Whisper and Glassdoor and Facebook, we're considerably more mature. Many of us value our family over everything else (and yes, that even includes work), and that's one of the reasons why I joined Roku. I'll explain this in a bit. I work in the software team. I haven't worked with other teams (e.g. hardware, firmware), but I've seen a few negative Glassdoor reviews regarding crazy deadlines on shipments and all. Since I'm in software (not hardware) I'm not really qualified to defend or say anything insightful about those comments, but I totally empathize with the fact that hardware manufacturing business is very different than software, and I really appreciate the hardware engineers who worked super hard to get the company to where it is today. Now on to the software team. It's a relatively newer team than the rest of the company. I've been here less than a year. We use pretty modern and mostly open stacks. But, the main reason why I joined Roku has nothing to do with the technology or the mission. Overall, the software team has been pretty good to me. Most of the people here are level-headed. I haven't seen any big dramas. At Roku we set our own schedules and the pace. And I haven't yet to see anyone from our team having to come in on weekends and/or shoot emails late at night. Most of us have other priorities such as our families. It's rather nice for a change, knowing that there is so much trust from management.

    Cons

    There is no massage, free lunch/dinner, foos balls, ping pong, anything of that sort. We don’t hang out with each other late at night and on weekends to play video games and to drink beer. ROKU IS NOT A CULT. There is no startup Kool-Aide, and we don’t pat ourselves in the back for “making the world a better place”. If those things are important to you, this is not the right place to be. Nevertheless, there are many positive points at Roku that you will not see in other companies, such as the ones I mentioned above. There are several old style arcade games in the lunch area (maybe 20?). I could only get 5 of them working, it would be nice if there's a sign/instruction on how to get the other ones working. There's an air-hockey game that I play every other week. I would love Roku even more if it offered better insurance than Kaiser and Anthem BlueCross. For someone with a family, Roku offers 2 types of BlueCross insurance, one costs $1300 and the other one costs $2000/month. Roku pays $900/month, and the rest comes out of your paycheck. This is the most I've ever had to pay, but not surprising considering the age of the people working here. At any rate, I can't tell you how many times Anthem BlueCross has denied certain coverages for my family, and had I known about the lack of insurance choices I might have had second thoughts about joining. The second negative point about BlueCross (not related to Roku) is how badly they handled identity theft of millions of customers (including my own). And each time I have to pay something out of pocket that accumulates towards my deductibles, I miss my old insurance. Third, Anthem’s web site is simply hideous. It consistently takes 15-30 seconds to connect to Anthem dental and Anthem pharmacy/express script. Too much legacy software trying to connect to each other, and sometimes it just doesn’t work so you have to keep retrying! FYI I had wonderful experiences with Blue *SHIELD* PPO and also fairly good experiences with United Health Care EPO (UHC), and I would much prefer either of these options than BlueCross which is known to have a horrible reputations and I’ve had a lot of first hand bad experiences. The free purple T-shirts are embarrassing to wear. We really want to show company pride, but not with these obnoxious purple colors. Purple color hasn’t been cool since the mid 1990s since that famous search company imploded. I hardly see anyone wearing purple colors even in the company, and most of our execs don’t even wear them during company events. It would be better if you offer normal looking company shirts that employees can wear anywhere. Just make them white or black background. Next time you make free shirts, please, please, consult with designers. White background or black background, or else they’re just going to end up as monitor wipes. It’s just common sense. Lastly, I would love Roku more if it offered lunch a few times a week. It is not so much about making employees stay on campus and saving time, but more about increasing employee-to-employee and team-to-team face time and bonding time, which has shown to indirectly increase productivity and happiness.

    Advice to Management

    I would really like to rate this company 5 stars, and will be more than happy to come back and revise the ratings if you offer good health insurance options other than cheap Kaiser/cheap BlueCross. Lunch once per week would be nice as well. In the 3 to 4 star range for now, but us employees are willing to change the ratings on Glassdoor only if management is willing to change.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Great company with lots of growth potential

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

    I worked at Roku

    Positive Outlook
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent product. Great leadership team, collaborative teams and open environment to express opinions and feedback. Offers great balance of work and life.

    Cons

    Benefits and compensation can be improved. Some decisions made only at the top.


  3. Helpful (9)

    Great place to work, and enormous potential!

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

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

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

    Pros

    A great upstart coming that is doing a great job competing against other companies 10x its size (Apple and Amazon). Definite success in the streaming video space but need to keep innovating and closing the big deals to supply the platform with great content. Fast-paced (like any tech company) but good work/life balance. There are always going to be those crunch times, but thankfully they are few and far between. A place where you can have a family and a career. Very much like being @Apple minus the politics, back-stabbing and narcissism that runs apparent there. (Though you also don't have fancy bldgs, cafeteria or huge Corp presences)

    Cons

    Benefits could be better. They model from Netflix, but Netflix pays higher salaries so balances out the higher cost of benefits. Roku tries to offset but still I pay over 3x what was paying at previous company. Need to figure out a better way. They want Sr people which means they usually have families, but benefit offering is more for young single guy. Sometimes communication could be better, and in making decisions. Also no reviews (which is a good thing) but it also means very difficult to get a raise (or promotion)…so come in as high as you can…may be at that salary level for a while..

    Advice to Management

    Please go public soon. realize there is many factors at play, and it cannot openly be discussed but for many of us that was a big part of why we joined and was factored in as part of our compensation…until we go public though ….its just numbers on a page. Also maybe have box lunches brought in, would be nice.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Sr Software Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saratoga, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Saratoga, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Talented engineers. Work independent. There are so many creative mind and talent to improve and create new products. I wonder why my capable colleagues don't start or join Startup with their ideas.

    Cons

    Competitive market of products. Company is in a growing pain. No time to execute most ideas since it is bogged down by maintaining the exploding current product releases

    Advice to Management

    Better use of talent and prioritize products line with limited Startup resources.


  6. Great company to work for

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

    I worked at Roku

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

    Pros

    Great company with good work life balance . They hire senior people who can self manage.

    Cons

    I cant think of any


  7. Helpful (5)

    It was fun for the first few years....then it got old.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    I got to work with some smart people. I had fun working at a smaller company. The messaging from senior management of the company going IPO in 2012 was exciting.

    Cons

    CEO is a nice guy but doesn't like people or managing them. Growing pains which leads to operational failures. Senior management who won't speak up and is afraid of the CEO. Failure of new marketing team to put a cohesive ad campaign in place. Leadership failure by CEO and HR to provide a team-driven culture and failure to provide half way decent benefits. Diluted stock options. Doubtful they will go IPO.

    Advice to Management

    Change fast! You don't have much time and many people are jaded. You are losing talent and HR doesn't care.


  8. Helpful (8)

    Great potential dampened by big internal issues

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Time Employee in Saratoga, CA
    Current Employee - Full Time Employee in Saratoga, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Pre-IPO. Super talented, mature workforce. Great products. Great industry with a great future. Huge potential to go big. Accessible and approachable executive team. Passion to deliver great solutions and challenge big competitors. CEO understands the industry and navigates it well.

    Cons

    Stock is way too diluted; stock options granted are insignificant. Benefits are slightly less than average. No bonuses or other forms of recognition. Pre-IPO, no frills work environment. Engineering-centric culture. CEO and executives operate in the weeds too much. There's more of a "command and control" culture (less empowerment and collaboration) Executive team = "yes-men". CEO doesn't see or get the value of a great culture. Growing pains = poor operational excellence. Stress levels have been way too high for way too long.

    Advice to Management

    Create a better culture that values employees and empowerment. Executive team should challenge CEO more often and speak up.


  9. Helpful (5)

    An experience of a lifetime

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

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

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

    Pros

    Exciting market to be in Stands out despite big competitors - a feat very few companies have pulled off Lots of smart and experienced people Unlimited time off policy

    Cons

    The company is growing quickly which for any company poses challenges Not a lot of structure and policy which worked better when the company was smaller


  10. Helpful (6)

    Great product -- great place to work

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

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

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

    Pros

    Roku makes a well-known, popular, and well-designed consumer product. I take great pride in working at a company where my friends and neighbors say things like "I have a Roku--I love it." I've worked in the computer software profession for many years, most of them in Silicon Valley. While I love the excitement of working on leading-edge technology, I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with the constant pressure applied to engineers to get more done in less time. Roku is like a harbor from the storm. Yes, we have deadlines, but we take a realistic approach to setting those deadlines. Moreover, even when there is a crunch to get something done, I don't feel squeezed to work day and night. Also the quality of the technical staff here is very high; I never feel like I'm working with turkeys. We don't have scheduled vacations here (a common trait in Silicon Valley companies these days and all too often a furth ploy to get more work out of people.) I didn't like that at first but I've come to feel comfortable in taking a fair amount of time of. We also don't have performance reviews, a fact at which I rejoice. HR dogma has turned reviews (which are potentially useful) into an exercise in bureaucracy that serves neither the managers or the managed.

    Cons

    No reviews == no raises.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring managers with a laid-back "carrot" (vs. "stick") style of management. I don't consider pre-IPO stock as current compensation.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Roku is a great place to work, very happy here.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Surrounded by lots of very smart very talented people. There is very little politics, which I like. People are asked to take responsibility and make decisions. I find the company very open. If there are people who don't fit in, they are not kept on, which is good. Outlook is very good, still pre-IPO and lots of opportunity. I believe that Roku is scrappy smaller company who is going head to head with larger companies and doing a great job at it.

    Cons

    There is a lot of pressure to perform, so just make sure you can do the job. Still somewhat of a startup, so there are times times when going the extra mile is required.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing the same thing. Keep working on adding process as we grow, and keep the focus on a simple high performance product that is easy to use for anyone in the family.



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