Zynga

  www.zynga.com
  www.zynga.com

Zynga Reviews in Seattle, WA

364 Reviews
3.1
364 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Zynga CEO Don Mattrick
Don Mattrick
100 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free food & stuff if that is important to you (in 56 reviews)

  • Benefits, cool office environment, in house Gym, breakfast, lunch and dinner (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Most employees have a very poor work-life balance, especially around holidays (in 42 reviews)

  • Low morale coupled with long hours at my studio (in 27 reviews)

More Highlights

6 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Thanks Zynga, it was fun!

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, great co-workers, work-life balance was definitely better than most tech companies (IMO), fun, vibrant, always changing work flow.

    Cons

    Management decisions that seemed half hazard or last minute, lack of clear goals or direction for the long haul, no "level up" or mentoring possibilities for anyone who is NOT an Engineer, volatile environment (fearful, worrisome, unsteady footing).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I loved my time at Zynga Seattle and wouldn't trade it for anything. I also wish the company the very best going forward, I hope Z can pull out of their seeming tail-spin and right itself for the long haul. My co-workers (the team of folks I worked with in Seattle, at HQ, and other remotes) were AMAZING people, some of the best I've ever had the pleasure to work with or for. I hope you'll remember that when making decisions to close locations or shut down departments in the future. You can't "create" good people, be careful how quick you are to cut them loose.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    The ads team had great leadership and the coworkers were experts in their field. I learned a lot and had fun doing so!

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

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

    Pros

    + Great coworkers
    + Great office atmosphere
    + Free lunches and snacks
    + Excellent benefits

    Cons

    - The company's currently in transition which can randomize you at the high level some times.
    - Code quality varies from team to team. Some partner teams might not be as fun to work with at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To Don: Keep cracking the whip and running a tight ship. In the process of running the business though, don't forget about the games!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great people, never a dull moment.

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There are a ton of smart people, working with cutting edge technology. There is always something new to learn and can often translate that to your working life right away.

    Cons

    Things are a little turbulent after the IPO. The change to a public company has worn away some of the startup feel that the company once had.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Additional communication to the lower levels would go a long way. A lot of things don't seem to filter down so sometimes it feels like nobody is at the helm. The recent CEO change could help with that?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Frenetic yes. But also a lot of fun!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Office Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. A really great team of guys to work with every single day. They make work fun!

    2. The "Perks" - e.g. daily catered lunches, chair massages, "wine down" Wednesdays and Friday "happy hours", encouraged to bring your dog to work, fun work environment (work hard, play hard!).

    Cons

    1. No real "level up" opportunities (or recognition) for Admin staff, especially at our remote locations. Focus is 99% on Management, Devs and Engineers.

    2. Divisiveness between teams/groups that seems encouraged (and even perpetuated) by managers.

    3. Feel disconnected from the Mother Ship (HQ) because of being a remote studio - would really like C-staff to visit more often.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More transparency, especially with the remote team folks who may not otherwise get information from their manager, the studio GM, etc. about changes, re-orgs, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Fun / Flexible / Great Compensation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Fun / flexible place to work. I think they spend $16 / head on us for lunch and drinks / snacks (remote office) - which if true, is a fantastic value for what we get. I'm not super happy with our (remote office) food provider, but the San Francisco food is phenomenal. I'd list the snack available, heathy and otherwise, but there really isn't space in this box. Outside of lunch which is frequently skip (not a huge fan of this office's caterer) I mostly stick with the "talking rain" waters, coffee, peanut butter pretzels, and the deli sandwich stuff. So it's pretty comfy. I've got the computer equipment needed to get my job done, access to spinning up servers if I need them, plenty of food / water / coffee. It's how I'd run an office because it lets people focus on work, not tactical BS.

    You don't get hassled over stupid stuff. No one counts how many "vacation hours" you have accrued. I had a bunch of trips pending when I joined, and ended up taking 4 weeks in the first 6 months (this is a lot - way above the norm), and as long as I get my stuff done - "have fun, see you in a week". It's a good policy and it's slightly self interested, as there's no pent up vacation balance to cash out if you leave the company. Again, I'd probably run my company the same way.

    Fun people - we go out for drinks every week or so, though SF drinks a lot harder. :). Lots of bikers, skiiers, gamers, runners, hikers, etc. Genuinely like most of the people I work with - which isn't true at all companies (ever worked with a "boring" engineer). And I'm not a huge gamer, but I play a few games -- my game is Starcraft, which we play at work at least once a week. We also had a whole-office TeamFortress match once which was pretty cool.

    Yesterday, we went bowling. Don't really like bowling, but went along for the beer and BS. We ended up betting pushups on the outcome, and the losing team had to do public exercise at the next day's stand-up.

    Professionally, I've learned a ton of new stuff here. I've always been a backend guy, and I got lots of exposure to modern front-end design patterns. The upside of my team flipping priorities a few too many times is that I've spent a huge fraction of my time here learning stuff that, in the end, grows my skillset and makes me more valuable. Zynga has a huge scaled out datacenter footprint - massive services and problems of scale, and all that jazz. Having worked on AWS, that's normal to me, but it's still pretty cool.

    Quarterly reviews. Also great. After a year-long review cycle, who really remembers what you did 9 months ago, if you even have the same manager. Again, I'd run my own company the exact same way. Also, with quarterly reviews, if you are "killing it", you can fly up the levels and get wild sums of cash / stock dumped on you. Seems fair to me.

    Overall, not a bad place to work. No one hassles you over BS, they do everything possible to enable you to get your job done. Social games isn't my cup of tea, but there plenty of technical challenges here to keep me from getting bored. Good people. Good pay. Good times.

    Oh, I almost forgot - there's almost always a case or two of beer in the fridge - I heard that's not normal other places.

    Cons

    Most of the negative stuff written about Zynga is BS or blown way out of proportion. eg, the whole "stock takeback" thing - if anything happened it was politics between 3 or 4 of the original founders. After all the bad PR, my (overly generous, way beyond market value) stock grants are more safe here than at any other company. what else? Pincus does NOT have 3 heads - he's actually pretty nice and a fun guy - though he will rip you a new one of you are in need of a "course correction" - so what? Have a thick skin, take the feedback, and move on. Oh, and Pincus DOES read and respond to EVER SINGLE email that is sent to him, typically within minutes. It's scary ... I think he may be a cyborg. But seriously, it's pretty goddamned impressive (just as a human feat), and I guess it lets you know that "management is listening", which is good.

    Nowhere is perfect. Lots of people in the main office and in the game studios pull crazy hours. But lots of them love it too, and most of those guys have eye-popping stock grants. There's also plenty of people who _successfully_ work a 40 hour week. Hours are flexible.

    Biggest con, and this might be related to my division, - there is some level of confusion / randomization on mission - things can change rapidly, one thing this week, a new thing next week. Though, in balance, I'll take that any day versus being back at Microsoft where a broken team could spend 5 years (literally, was there for 2 of them) doing something that was obviously never going to succeed. Less of that happens at Zynga, but it does happen. And in my case, it seems to have gotten much better .... at least for now.

    It's not a 30 person company anymore (not been for some time). There's a ton of studios, a ton of infrastructure teams, and several thousand employees. Same downsides as any big company. Politics and interest alignment issues do exist. Getting visibility for your work matters as much as how much you did. Same story. No worse than any other company of this size ... and perhaps a bit better... I haven't really seen any truly cynical politics like I've seen at other large companies; just the standard stuff of a ton of people semi-chaotically trying to figure out what things should get built and by whom. Only way to escape that is to work at a company of 1.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think they are doing a decent job. Standard boilerplate advice about figuring out how to align a 3-4k person company and avoid organizational chaos. Not sure I could do much better, or that other companies do it any better.

    I would like to see more "long-term" focus. Much decision making happens on a "what makes me money tomorrow" basis. This is beginning to shift, but we have a ways to go.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    So far, so great!

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Medical/Dental/Vision for employee 100% paid (very affordable to add spouse and dependents)
    Free lunch and snacks
    Choice of Mac OS or Windows laptop
    Latest/greatest technology
    Ergonomics evals available for every employee
    Commuter 1:1 benefit
    Gym membership
    Casual dress code
    Dog friendly work place
    Work hard, play hard!
    Great co-workers
    Team mentality
    Encouraged to take personal ownership of your job & your contribution to the team.

    Cons

    Working long hours, weekends, after hours, etc. is the norm.
    Would like more frequent communication from management about launch dates, long and short term goals for our studio, space planning, career advancement, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be nice if upper management, facilities, HR, IT, etc. had a better sense of what goes on at the off-site locations, and by that, I mean VISIT our site instead of doing everything remotely. Additionally, an ocasional visit from C-Staff would be great. Even if only for a 1/2 hour just to say "Hi!" when they are in town for other business.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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