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Pocket Gems Overview

Headquarters San Francisco, CA
Size 1 to 50 Employees
Founded 2009
Type Company - Private
Industry Information Technology
Revenue $5 to $10 million (USD) per year
Pocket Gems is building the next generation of wildly engaging mobile games. Our games are free-to-download, making them accessible to everyone, and pack the most fun per square inch on any gaming platform!

Mission: We have 2 missions: Build the world’s best mobile engineering team & Become a global leader in the mobile entertainment industry.

Company Updates

  • Carrie Simonds (our VP of People & Brand) on what it takes to be a Gemmer: http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vIG03

    How to get a job at San Francisco mobile developer Pocket Gems

    People One of the doyens of F2P game development, San Francisco developer Pocket Gems is busy, thriving and hiring. Thanks to recent investment from Tencent, it's targeting distinct audiences, with a clear demarcation between operations in core games, casual games', and those pertaining to the interactive story platform Episode.

  • Demi Lovato: Path to Fame Season 2 takes YOU to Europe! http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vIGdq

    'Demi Lovato: Path to Fame' is Taking YOU on Tour to Europe in Season 2!

    Going Global This summer, your life changed forever in Demi Lovato's app Demi Lovato: Path to Fame . It was the app where you had to juggle friends, your love life, oh, and just thousands of new fans! Well Demi fans, season 2 is finally here, and we're going international!

Pocket Gems – Why Work For Us?


At Pocket Gems, We’re Serious About Fun

Pocket Gems develops free-to-play mobile games that are ridiculously fun. We were founded in 2009 by Daniel Terry and Harlan Crystal, engineers and gaming industry outsiders, who wanted to bring the excitement of social gaming to the mobile platform. Our 15+ titles to-date have been smash hits, each landing at the top of the charts and entertaining millions of customers across the globe.

We have two missions:

  • Build the world’s best mobile engineering team – Mobile is the platform of the next decade and gaming will feature some of the most compute- and memory-intensive applications. We want to be the place to work for engineers who are as excited about pushing the limits of mobile hardware as we are. Think that sounds fun? So do we.
  • Become a global leader in the mobile entertainment industry – Over the past 20 years, entertainment has evolved. What once existed only on the TV screen or computer monitor now fits in the palm of your hand. This platform enables experiences never before possible and represents the next wave of innovation in entertainment. Using a combination of creativity and analytics, we want to expand that frontier by delivering the most engaging mobile experiences available.

With funding by Sequoia Capital, we have the resources to be able to pursue these goals and build upon our successful track record.




Create. Innovate. Play.

Working at Pocket Gems

Pocket Gems is hiring! We were founded by engineers and are dedicated to building a company that attracts the best talent in the world.

What Makes Pocket Gems so Rad?

There are a lot of companies out there, so why choose us? To paraphrase Shakespeare, let us count the ways.

We’re an awesome group of people – Trust us, we’ve done studies. On top of that, our mothers describe us to their friends as “go-getters” who are “really sharp”.

We’ve got serious technical chops and love to tackle tough challenges – Our team includes contributors to major open source projects and experts in machine learning, computer vision, and complex dynamics. If you look up “wicked smart” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of us alongside Matt Damon’s character from Good Will Hunting.

Collaborative / fun work environment – We are in gaming after all, not some boring industry! Bowling nights, witty banter, happy hours, and, oh yeah, we do play a video game or two on occasion!

Profitable since launch; well-funded by Sequoia Capital – We have the resources to expand our team and continue to drive the evolution of mobile gaming.

We’ve killed it so far… and we’re just getting started – Tap Zoo and Tap Pet Hotel were the #1 and the #4 TOP GROSSING apps on iPhone for in 2011!!

undefinedPocket Gems is looking for the best generalist developers in the world to join us in revolutionizing the mobile gaming paradigm. No pressure or anything. ;- ) 

As a mobile engineer for Pocket Gems, you will build games and features with rapid release cycles that have an immediate impact, allowing you to reach tens of millions of users instantly.

We are looking for talented engineers who want to:

  • Collaborate closely in small, nimble, cross-functional teams with product managers, artists and designers to define our next generation of games
  • Develop and code innovative features using groundbreaking technologies
  • Enjoy the freedom of writing native applications while exploring the latest cross-platform technologies
  • Participate in all aspects of the project life-cycle, from specifications through release
  • Design and implement scalable, reliable and maintainable technologies for our iOS and Android gaming platforms 
  • Control, manage and analyze big data flows, allowing us to fully leverage our massive data streams
  • Work with brilliant, great, fun people!


We also offer some awesome perks and benefits:

  • Amazing, open plan office in the heart of San Francisco
  • Convenient Caltrain and BART access
  • Competitive salaries
  • Generous medical, dental and vision plans
  • Pimp your computer – Mac, PC, one monitor, two monitor, red monitor, blue monitor. We let you choose your weapon
  • … And, an endless supply of double rainbows.


  • Top 50 Devs

    Founded: September 2009
  • Titles Released: 15 on the iOS platform – And 7 on the Android platform
  • Titles are free-to-play and allow users to personalize their experiences through the purchase of virtual goods
  • iOS titles that have hit the top 10 iOS free apps list: 14
  • Accolades: #1 and #4 Top Grossing Apps in 2011 (Tap Zoo & Tap Pet Hotel)
  • Downloads: 80+ million
  • Amount Raised: $5 million from Sequoia Capital and Angel Investors Michael Dearing (Stanford Professor and former eBay executive), Jeff Fluhr (co-founder and former CEO of StubHub), and Omar Hamoui (co-founder and former CEO of AdMob)
  • Founders: Daniel Terry and Harlan Crystal
  • Board Members: Daniel Terry (CEO), Harlan Crystal (CTO), and Jim Goetz (Sequoia Capital)
  • Case Sutdies: Google App Engine, Twitter

Pocket Gems Reviews

Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Pocket Gems CEO Ben Liu
Ben Liu
29 Ratings
  • Great Company!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Specialist in San Francisco, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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


    Smart people, great environment, great benefits, excellent growth, get to work on awesome mobile games


    Is a startup so sometimes you have to develop you own processes for getting stuff done. And when you or someone else leaves the company, those processes are usually taken with them since they're the only ones who know how to do it.

Pocket Gems Photos

Pocket Gems Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Pocket Gems.


    Had an phone interview with an engineer which was really easy and the questions were the same ones found here. Then, had a second phone interview with another engineer. This is where it went all downhill. The question was kind of tricky. I came up with a brute force solution and described it. The interviewer told me not to implement it asked how I would optimize it. I explained my thought process and came up with some ideas. Each time I improved it the interviewer kept asking to make it faster than that, which is important to writing an algorithm, but he didn't let me code anything because he wasn't satisfied with my ideas. It seemed like he was just never satisfied with what I said. I eventually just got to a point where I was really stuck and needed some hints. He gave me a couple hints that weren't very helpful. Like he pretty much just repeated the question, which wasn't helpful at all. When I would respond to these "hints', he was dead silent and wouldn't say anything for the next 20 seconds. It's my fault that I couldn't find the most optimal solution, but to just stay silent for the majority of the interview was just strange and uncomfortable. I've had other interviews with harder questions but still had a good experience because the interviewer actually responded to what I would say, instead of literally not saying anything. I want to also point out that the first interviewer was like this too. This was hands down the worst interviewer I've interacted with. There's some people on here who say they wanted to just hang up 10 minutes in and that's exactly how I felt. I didn't even ask other questions at the end because I was so fed up. Maybe I just got unlucky with the interviewers, but to have this happen for both phone interviews is just weird and reflects badly on the company.

    Interview Questions

Pocket Gems Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
  • Top 50 Developer, PocketGamer, 2012
  • Top Grossing App of 2011 (#1 Tap Zoo and #4 Tap Pet Hotel), Apple, 2011

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Pocket Gems

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