Working at Roku | Glassdoor

Roku Overview

www.roku.com
Los Gatos, CA
501 to 1000 employees
2002
Company - Private
Information Technology
Unknown / Non-Applicable
Roku, Inc., is a privately held company located in Los Gatos, Calif., and founded in 2002 by Anthony Wood, the inventor of the digital video recorder (DVR). The market leader in streaming entertainment devices for the TV with millions of units sold, Roku has always believed that ... Read more

Roku – Why Work For Us?


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Our Company

In 2015, Roku streamed over 5.5 billion hours of content, up 72% from the prior year, and ended the year with about 9 million monthly active accounts. We grow the reach and scale of our platform by distributing our operating system through our streaming players and licensing arrangements with global TV OEMs and pay TV operators. We generate revenue from selling Roku® streaming players in retail, through our licensing arrangements with TV OEMs and pay TV operators, and from content consumption, promotion and advertising sales on the platform.

We believe that all television will be streamed, and that all TVs and set-top-boxes will be powered by software-based operating systems that provide a dramatically better user experience than has existed historically for the TV. Like the computer and mobile markets, a similar dynamic is happening with the big screen TV where only a small number of highly competitive platforms will exist.

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Roku pioneered streaming for TV, and we aspire to power every TV in the world.

We're hiring. Be a part of the best TV streaming team in the industry.

At Roku great talent is everywhere. Employees are independent thinkers who are able to take action and accomplish huge things by working as a team. 

Our culture is simple – great individual contributors who are even stronger together as part of the team, independence and leadership abound, politics are minimized, and employees are proud of their and Roku’s accomplishments.

We believe there is no contradiction between being highly productive at work and having families and other interests outside of the office. We have a generous unlimited time-off policy.

Come Join Us!

Roku Culture

Anthony Wood | CEO & Founder May 2015


High Performance

Working at Roku is like being part of a professional sports team. We put extreme care into recruiting the best people; we pay well in a competitive market; encourage excellent teamwork, and expect everyone to perform at a high level. We are independent thinkers who are able to take action and accomplish huge things by working as a team.

Proud to Work Here

Roku endeavors to be a great place to work. Not through lavish perks (alas no massages, dry cleaning, concierge or volleyball courts - although we have classic arcade machines). Instead, we provide a workplace where the company is a recognized leader in its market, the team plays to win, great talent is everywhere, politics are minimized, and employees are proud of their and Roku’s accomplishments.

We value ability. Our culture and the complexity of our business call on employees to walk in to Roku and contribute immediately. You need to have the experience and the maturity to be able to make independent decisions, work quickly and be able to perform in a team environment. We see no contradiction between being highly productive at work and having families and other interests outside of the office. We aspire to maintain a good work / homelife balance.

Trust & Responsibility

Employees at Roku are trusted, encouraged to make decisions, and to be leaders. Strategic decisions at Roku are inclusive with an appropriate amount of consensus building. Employees, managers and executives make use of the broad talent base at Roku for advice and diverse points-of-view. If consensus cannot be achieved (often because of legitimate different points of view), decisions are still made quickly. Difficult decisions are not delayed. Once decisions are made, everyone supports them and takes appropriate action.

An example of trust is the Roku vacation policy. For salaried employees, we don’t track vacation or have official holidays. Employees can take as much vacation as they think is appropriate, so long as they get their job done and do not block others’ work or deadlines (We simply check and give notice before taking vacation).

Roku expects you to take responsibility for your career, yourself, and your outside interests. R

oku generally doesn’t support charitable or political causes, though many of our employees do. Our employees have diverse interests and beliefs, and so we believe that individuals are in the best position to decide which causes they wish to support.

Talent

Roku endeavors to hire the most talented individuals possible. We like working with people who are great at their jobs. We also want co-workers who are easy to work with, and who keep their egos in check. We appreciate a sense of humor. We believe a fewer number of very talented folks can do more for less cost than a larger number of less talented teams.

We pay well and at “market” rates for top talent, and review compensation quarterly to proactively ensure employees stay paid at market. Pay is not tied to performance reviews; it is tied to “market” for a particular individual. Other than a few sales-oriented jobs, Roku does not use bonuses tied to “MBOs” (objectives). We have objectives and goals, but they often change in our dynamic market. And the type of employees that work at Roku want to do a great job, regardless of a bonus. Instead, we pay a “total comp” that is market (matching other companies total compensation that might include a bonus component and benefits). We prefer to pay employees cash+stock, rather than offer specific benefits or perks that might be valued differently by different employees. We provide our employees with benefit options, but maintain the philosophy that employees should have the ability to use their cash for whatever purpose they want (Some might buy a gym membership, others might prefer donuts.)

We interview rigorously to hire talent that matches our culture and is top of market. We don’t “settle” to close a position quickly. If we make a mistake, we ask people to move on with a generous severance package. There are lots of companies in the world, probably one that is a better match.

Communication & Context

Roku teams communicate clearly, in real time with each other and with other teams across the company. Plans, milestones, and strategic context are broadly known. Leaders provide the context to allow co-workers to make the right decisions (we believe that talented people, given the right context, usually make the ‘right’ decision). Email is used heavily at Roku. Wins are celebrated, and bad news isn’t hidden, so that we can course correct and improve.

Employees understand that much confidential information is communicated, and are careful to make sure it stays confidential.

Be present in meetings and only attend if you need to – if you use your laptop during the meeting for email or other non-meeting activities, that’s a sign you don’t need to be in the meeting.

Ask yourself which decisions your boss wants to be involved in, and solicit advice on those issues. Learn and judge what decisions need approval, which needs to be communicated, and which should just be handled.

Roku relies on everyone to identify problems and opportunities, propose solutions, and try to build consensus – even if it's not clear it's your job.

World Class Product

Our success is based on building and shipping the best consumer products in the world. We focus on ease of use, great value for the customer and having the best content. This focus on exceptional products permeates everything we do.

We value and try to protect our intellectual property. We are especially careful (particularly in engineering) about unnecessarily sharing our innovations with partners that may pass them along to our competitors.

Process

Process is as simple as possible, but no simpler (to paraphrase Einstein). For example, when we release software it goes to millions of customers so checks and balances are in place to prevent a disastrous mistake. But if you need to buy a simple piece of equipment to do your job, you should do so without “asking”.

Ask yourself, “What is this the simplest, but effective, way to do this?”

Partners

Much of our success is based on being an excellent partner (for example, with media companies, OEMs, CM’s, retailers and suppliers). We endeavor to be a great partner for them, easy to work with, transparent, and value building (for them and us). Partners may not always reciprocate, but we still treat them with respect.

Content

Standards As an “open platform” there is a broad range of content on our platform. We believe in free speech (which means speech that may offend someone). We don’t censor content, except in these cases:

  • Illegal content (in the region it is published)
  • Pornography
  • Content encouraging violence

Ethics

We have high ethical standards for ourselves and our vendors. Lying, either overtly or through holding back information, is not something Roku teams do. To avoid being conflicted, we don’t accept material gifts, tickets or trips from partners and vendors.

Our sole standard for hiring an employee is “How good are they at their job?” and “Do they fit into our culture?” It goes without saying that race, age, religion, gender, political beliefs, sexual orientation, country of origin, being a nerd, and the like don’t factor into our hiring or pay policies.


Okay, we prefer nerds, but don’t tell anyone

Roku employs top talent with advertising, billing, data, mobile, marketing, TV and software expertise. The company is headquartered in Los Gatos, CA and was founded by Anthony Wood, inventor of the DVR. The company is backed by top-tier investors including Fidelity, 21st Century Fox, Hearst, Sky, and Menlo Ventures. We have R&D offices in Silicon Valley, Austin, and Cambridge, England. We have media and advertising teams, and operations in New York, Los Angeles and Shanghai.

Roku Reviews

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42 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Best job I have ever had."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Free lunch/snacks/beverages. Competitive salary. Plenty of freedom and independence. Work life balance is great if you do things the right way. No set amount of time off. I've never been more challenged! I'm growing as both a person and a professional. My peers are some of the best folks in the industry. This place treats you like an adult.

    Cons

    You can have fun don't get me wrong, but you are expected to act like an adult without special training, prodding, etc.

    Freedom and independence means you also have to be willing to take personal responsibility. You can make things good and easy for yourself and your team or you can make a mess.

    If you are a mess maker by nature or don't like personal responsibility this is probably not the environment for you.

    Advice to Management

    You're doing a good job. Keep doing what you are doing with the quarterly updates on the state of the business. I love seeing how my group and others have contributed to the companies goals. It's also great to be reminded where the company is trying to go.

    I like that the CEO Anthony Wood is more than willing to sit down to lunch with his employees and shoot the breeze from time to time.

    He's a good and visionary guy.

See All 63 Reviews

Roku Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience
34%
24%
41%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
42%
28%
21%
5
2

Interview Difficulty

2.9
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy
  1.  

    , Wireless Testing Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Roku.

    Interview

    I sent my application in and heard back from a recruiter a couple weeks later. She was nice and cheerful and encouraging. The conversation was informal and easy-going and she seemed really excited to move forward with me. She set up a phone screen with a hiring manager in wireless testing. It was definitely a different vibe, he just wanted to know about my experience with Python, JavaScript, databases, and networks. He asked technical questions, which weren't hard, but were a bit difficult for me because I am not well-versed in many languages except Java and C. Overall, not a bad process. Just wish I had been more experienced

    Interview Questions

    • What's the difference between dictionaries and arrays in Python   1 Answer
    • Have you used closures in java   Answer Question
    • Explain any technical project you have worked on, and any APIs or open sources that you utilized   Answer Question
    • If I told you to test a cell phone network, how would you approach it   Answer Question
See All 44 Interviews

Roku Awards & Accolades

  • Market Leadership Award for Streaming Media Devices Market, Frost & Sullivan, 2015
  • Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award (Television Enhancement Devices), The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, 2014
  • 50 Most Innovative Companies, Fast Company, 2013
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