Working at Vulcan | Glassdoor

Vulcan Overview

Seattle, WA
501 to 1000 employees
Company - Private
Computer Hardware & Software
$5 to $10 million (USD) per year
Vulcan is the engine behind philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen's network of organizations and initiatives.
We share a commitment to improving our planet through catalytic philanthropy, inspirational experiences, and scientific and ... Read more

Mission: Empowered by our founder Paul Allen's vision, our mission is to be catalysts for change and make a positive difference in our world."

Company Updates

  • Companies that are committing to being a force for change must take steps beyond social media posts. We are working to establish meaningful, concrete actions our organization can take internally and externally that will positively contribute to the fight against racial injustice. To start, we’re organizing allyship events, developing mandatory racial equity training for all employees (on top of our existing DEI strategy, resources, and anti-bias training), and creating processes to increase diversity in the Vulcan supplier network. We are also including more Black and POC voices in content and social media across our ocean health, conservation, and climate change programs, and exploring how and where our community-focused philanthropy can contribute meaningfully to racial equity in the U.S. We’ll share more as our journey continues.

  • There's a growing threat facing elephants and other threatened species and we're not talking about poaching.

    Human-Wildlife Coexistence and the Future of Wildlife |

    From helicopters to fences, bees and innovative tech, here's a look at how these organizations are working to solve a growing problem.

See AllSee All

Vulcan Video

Provided by employer [?]

Vulcan – Why Work With Us?

We're a nimble private company based in Seattle, Washington with a portfolio as diverse as the challenges of the universe. Driven by the interests, ideas and intuitions of founder Paul Allen, Vulcan invests in brain science and basketball, retail space and outer space, traditional libraries and AI-enhanced textbooks. At Vulcan, we strive to answer big questions asked by our founder, and by the world. If we can discover the mysteries of the brain, we can pave the way towards understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s. If we can change the economics of space launches, we can enhance space travel. If we can get the formula right for a new kind of downtown neighborhood, it becomes a guide for the innovation centers of tomorrow.

Despite the diversity of Vulcan’s initiatives and investments, our efforts are tethered to a simple principle; if it has the potential to do good, then we should do it. With a local focus and global reach, the Vulcan umbrella covers our work in philanthropic and capital investment, real estate and community development, sustainability and conservation, arts and music, space, technology, science research, and education, and uses unique delivery mediums including documentaries, social campaigns, open-source databases, legislative action and partnerships. As a company, Vulcan’s mission is to discover and develop smart solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges.

People usually guess that our company was named after the extraterrestrial humanoid species from Star Trek, renowned for their logic and reason. However, our founders actually had something else in mind when they created Vulcan Inc.

Vulcan was the Roman god of fire. Tossed from the heavens as a child, he grew up as a strong-willed outsider and free thinker, indifferent to the whims of the gods. This independence fueled his approach as a smith and craftsman, helping him forge works that no one else thought were possible. When Paul Allen and Jody Allen first thought of creating a company whose mission was to find smart solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges, the myth of Vulcan seemed fitting – and in 1986, Vulcan Inc. was formed.

With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, Vulcan today oversees and managers a broad compilation of the Allen family’s projects, investments and companies all over the world. We are that big umbrella company under which a host of signature entities fall under including Vulcan Real Estate, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Seattle Seahawks. These are just a few of the projects, initiatives and investments in the Vulcan universe. We are also constantly innovating in-house, serving as an incubator for fledgling inventions, ambitious global campaigns, and new philanthropic efforts. After all, it’s a big universe.

An idea is just an idea, unless you have people willing to follow it down every pathway, twisting and turning and running after it until it’s finally realized. Vulcan is full of seekers and explorers, those who are eager to ask the tough questions and dig in on the wide range of projects always in the works within our walls. Whether we are solving problems at the local or global level, we embrace hard work and don’t blink in the face of a challenge. We look for professionals who are innovative, agile, and able to perform at the highest level


Vulcan’s main office is located on the border of two of Seattle’s most vibrant, eclectic neighborhoods: Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square. Situated on the south end of downtown, Vulcan is within walking distance of CenturyLink Field, Safeco Field, and dozens of restaurants that serve cuisines from around the world. 

Seattle is a hilly town on the Puget Sound, ringed by islands, mountain ranges, forests, and our beautiful slumbering volcano, Mt. Rainier.

Rain? Yes, we do get quite a bit of it, but you may be surprised to find out we don't even rank among the top 10 rainiest cities in the U.S. In fact, Pensacola, Miami, and New Orleans receive more rain than Seattle. Those of us who live here are used to our share of overcast days, but we don’t let a few raindrops spoil a good time.

Blessed by geography, our state is famous for its recreational opportunities: skiing, hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, sailing and more. For those who prefer more urban pursuits, there's a thriving arts culture here, too, with a renowned independent music scene, the nation's largest film festival, and world-class museums, theatre and dance companies. We're proud to say that Seattle is a city of book lovers, and our wealth of bookstores, libraries, readers and authors attest to that.

Boasting an entrepreneurial business climate and talented labor pool, the Puget Sound region has among the strongest economies in the United States. Anchored by tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, the city is one of the best places in the country to do business.

Vulcan Reviews

  • Featured Review

    "A wonderful, supportive place to work"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Coordinator in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Marketing Coordinator in Seattle, WA
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Vulcan full-time (More than a year)


    Vulcan is working hard to change the world for the better and treats their employees very well. Benefits and work life balance are great!


    High expectations and slow turn around on some projects needing approval at all levels.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing.

See All 113 Reviews

Vulcan Photos

Vulcan photo of: Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin joins Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf on stage at a recent company meeting
Vulcan photo of: Field work for the Allen Coral Atlas
Vulcan photo of: Volunteering at Lowell Elementary
Vulcan photo of: Russell Wilson and Ciara stopped by recently to meet with Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf, Mary Cadera and Art Min to discuss philanthropic endeavors
Vulcan photo of: Sporting our custom cycling jerseys
Vulcan photo of: At Vulcan we take the dog days of summer literally and invite employees to bring their dogs to work for a fun-filled day. This year we had more than 75 dogs in the office.
See All PhotosSee All

Vulcan Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (1)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience


    Initial phone screen with recruiter who gave me an overview of the org, its history, and the role.

    Scheduling was very easy, they worked with me to accommodate my work schedule and other company interviews I was trying to navigate. Recruiter and manager were very responsive to my questions and emails.

    Met with the manager of the team next to get an overview of the role and learn more about the team.

    Third interview was on site, 4.5 hour loop. I enjoyed the collaborative discussions I had with folks.

    Spoke further with the recruiter about the org, did a software architecture exercise round, a pair programming code exercise with a future teammate, a algorithm exercise, then got to ask any follow up questions to the manager.

    Received an competitive offer shortly afterward. The manager offered to (optionally) schedule chats with two engineers on adjacent teams to learn more about their Vulcan experiences. Took the time to meet up with them to ask more questions about the day-to-day, and then accepted the offer!

    Interview Questions

    • Pair programming and unit test exercise with a future teammate   Answer Question
See All 51 Interviews

Vulcan Awards & Accolades

  • Washington's Best Workplaces, Puget Sound Business Journal, 2016

Work at Vulcan? Share Your Experiences

  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
Click to Rate