Airbnb Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

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Airbnb Software Engineer Reviews

Updated March 13, 2019
50 reviews

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US - All CitiesSoftware Engineer

4.0
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Airbnb CEO & Co-Founder Brian Chesky
Brian Chesky
38 Ratings

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Pros
  • "Airbnb offers an amazing Work/Life balance with amazing benefits" (in 32 reviews)

  • "500 in Airbnb credits per quarter, free food (breakfast/lunch/dinner), and all the cool Silicon Valley perks" (in 42 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (14)

    "Great perks, pay, and people"

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

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

    Pros

    Most people are extremely nice and driven at Airbnb.

    You can really find whatever you are looking for in a team.

    The tech stack is a priority for the company, which makes the company a great place to work as an engineer. We have tech talks at the office, open source projects, stipends to attend conferences, etc. We encourage novel/optimal technical solutions even when the project may take more time, and we (at least recently) are trying to build with the long term in mind.

    Cons

    Office politics can be frustrating
    Designers have too much power and many don't know how to build UX or be on top of projects
    The quality of engineers is highly variable

    Advice to Management

    1. Let go of more engineers who aren't meeting expectations - they are difficult to work with and continuing to play nice is a lose-lose situation for both parties involved. It hurts our brand, wastes money, and lowers the quality of our product. I think we also need to revisit our interview process to make it more fair and filter out more low quality engineers.
    2. Being kind ("Be a host", etc.) does not need to translate into padding every piece of feedback with niceties. I would prefer if the office culture tended more towards radical candor and less towards "fake nice"


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    beautiful office, good pay, technical projects

    Cons

    engineering culture gotten worse, inexperienced and bad managers, lots of politics

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Good in general, serious issue in data tech stack"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The business has good potential. Culture is great. Most people are very nice. Benefits are above average. Office very beautiful. Great IT equipments.

    Cons

    The management is mediocre. I heard there are people got promoted to very high level of for trash product. I never seen the cases though. Tech vision and leadership is weak. The data tech stack is absurd, I can't get my work done under such Dev environment.


  4. Helpful (23)

    "Good business, toxic culture, lame technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good business. Beautiful office. Good work-life balance. Competitive compensation. Some 401k match. Overall nice people.

    Cons

    Rather political environment - it seems to me that making "friends" and pleasing your manager is more important than doing solid work. Fake and hypocritical. I feel they don't practice what they preach.

    Another complaint I have is on the engineering side. There are many talented engineers hired from top schools and FB/GOOG/AMZN/LNKD/MSFT, but miraculously the quality of Airbnb's engineering is not that good, as you can tell from how slow the website and the app are even today. Again, this probably is related to the culture of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of those senior managers who only care about their own "career" and how to make their managers happy. Foster more transparent, real merit-based incentives and culture.


  5. Helpful (38)

    "Decent company, poorly run engineering org"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Visually appealing office
    - Good salary and benefits
    - Free food
    - Company has a good external reputation, solid growth potential

    Cons

    - More of a hospitality company than a tech company. Engineering isn't a core part of the culture, and it shows in the quality and visibility of the team's work.
    - Systems receive low traffic levels (compared to those in search, ads, social networking, etc.), so little need to improve efficiency or innovate in the backend space
    - Weak engineering leadership that won't make hard technical decisions, push through cross-team initiatives like SOA
    - Senior IC promotions and external hires based more on visibility than technical skill and impact
    - Steady stream of departures by strong engineers and managers
    - Culture of niceness and praise to the extreme. Hard to provide constructive feedback, push back against bad projects.
    - Cramped, noisy desk areas with low-quality monitors and office furniture
    - Below average meals and snacks


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Software Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great Product
    - Very friendly people
    - In hypergrowth mode, lot of learning opportunities.

    Cons

    Pain of hypergrowth, processes being put in, can slow work down.


  7. Helpful (18)

    "Great Place to Work But Company Culture Feels Like a Cult"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - great benefits and work life balance
    - good hiring bar
    - friendly co-workers
    - relatively little office politics

    Cons

    They love promoting their work culture and thinks it's absolutely amazing. It's great if you fall very much to the left of the political spectrum like the rest of the company (and SF). But if you happen to have a couple right-wing sympathies like me such as expressing your admiration for Ben Carson in a team lunch, you will be met with frowns and disdain. I overheard an argument where a co-worker said he opposed universal income and everyone around him started to argue with him. I'm pretty sure if you said you liked Trump in any way, you'd be out of the building with all your possessions in a box.

    Also the co-founders are infallible and worshipped by everyone on the team. Their "Is Mankind" campaign was a terrible "Emperor's New Clothes"-esque flop but no one dared to correct them.

    Advice to Management

    Please include "free speech" as a company value

  8. "Amazing place to work"

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

    I have been working at Airbnb full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Fast paced, mission-driven, technically challenging, amazing growth and trajectory

    Cons

    Engineering is still concentrated in only a handful of offices

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great company culture and talented co-workers!"

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

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

    Pros

    Positive company culture.
    Talented co-workers.
    Management owns mistakes and listens to feedback.

    Cons

    Some growing pains around organizational grown.

    Advice to Management

    Be deliberate about scaling the company.


  10. Helpful (15)

    "It has changed..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Pre IPO, great pay
    - Nice people
    - Relaxed environment

    Cons

    - No upward mobility
    - Chaotic management
    - Boring work

    Advice to Management

    Learn to prioritize and listen.