Airbnb Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Airbnb Software Engineer Reviews

Updated December 22, 2017
42 reviews

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US - All CitiesSoftware Engineer

4.2
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Airbnb CEO & Co-Founder Brian Chesky
Brian Chesky
33 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • work life balance is reasonable (in 23 reviews)

  • Some great benefits, lyft for work,travel coupons etc (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • But work/life balance is possible (in 53 reviews)

  • Some growing pains around organizational grown (in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  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.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "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.

  3. "Amazing culture, impactful work, cute dogs!"

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

    I worked at Airbnb as an intern

    Pros

    The work environment and development cycle here is very fast-paced and agile. As an intern, you get to work on very impactful projects and are entrusted with pushing to production right away! There's tons of events (both intern and company) like workshops, tech talks, and social events throughout the summer, so it's easy to meet other Airbnb employees and learn/grow very quickly from a technical/personal standpoint. The company is also very mission-driven and places heavy emphasis on its core values. I would definitely recommend an Airbnb internship to anyone who's interested in helping to transform the travel industry!

    Cons

    During peak seasons (primarily before a big product launch and depending on the team), people tend to work late. Also, Airbnb is growing so fast, which comes with the problems of scaling the engineering side of things quickly and effectively.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to better scale the engineering side of things to prevent increasing tech debt


  4. Helpful (10)

    "Great Engineering Culture, Great Talent, Tons of Potential"

    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

    - They're doing a great job at bringing in engineering talent to shore up their infrastructure. Over the last 6 months, they've brought in top talent from companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google. It really shows when you see what's planned for the next year.

    - Some great tooling. The development environments leave something to be desired, but their core infrastructure (esp. some of the backend services) is really impressive. Tons of companies in SV are using many of the tools Airbnb has open sourced and this is only a fraction of what's been built.

    - They're aware of technical debt. Current stack is very ruby heavy and monolithic and they're migrating to well-defined java/scala microservices which is great.
    - Very little red tape to actually deploying code.
    - The culture is a thing. If you're a "gilfoyle" you'll probably hate it here. Thankfully, they do a good job at bringing in people that actually want to be there and care about the product.
    - Food is amazing. Better than Facebook. Also great benefits and fantastic compensation if you're on the more experienced side.
    - Massive potential. The exec team is focusing on the right projects to get to a point where we can IPO. We're not quite there yet, but it's an exciting time to be here.
    - They actually care about their customers.
    - Brand new hardware
    - Epic office. This place is an interior design marvel.
    - Health insurance, etc. are excellent.
    - You can pick your team as an engineer! This leads to better chemistry and keeps all teams focused on making themselves appealing.

    Cons

    - Last year or so they promoted some people to management that really need more training. So on some teams, you're not going to have a great time.
    - If you're not an engineer, YMMV. I've heard the food team, facilities, etc. is largely being phased out for contractors.
    - Tiny 401k match. But this should probably change when they IPO.
    - You really have to carve out your own path here. If you want a clear progression this is not the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Don't screw over food staff and CX just to bring costs down. These people are integral to the culture of the company and indirectly shape the community here and the product as a result.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "4-star place to work at"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Still experiencing good growth in terms of everything.
    Extremely liberal culture.
    Much faster getting things done comparing to some big corporations.
    IPO prospect looks good.

    Cons

    Growth not as great as a few years back.
    Bureaucracy is starting to build up.
    A- people hiring B people and B people hiring B- people.
    IPO is always "2 years down the road".


  6. Helpful (13)

    "People are nice, sometimes overly nice, almost hypocritical"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People are nice to each other. Lots of positive thinking; lots of cheerleading. My team is hosting birthdays, anniversaries for every member.

    Definitely politically correct, sometimes feel like overly correct.

    Cons

    Cannot speak for other teams, but in my team, performance is purely based upon results. And not on any good results, but certain results desired by the management. You could easily find your contribution "annulled" because those results aren't what are cared about by managers.

    People tend to avoid direct confrontation and being nice in the first place, then you might find yourself backstabbed. Are there lots of politics? I've seen worse in other places. Lots of people pretend to be caring about core values, cultures, goodness but actually what they care might just be stock units and compensation. This is frustrating to me as I sincerely joined because of some idealistic belief. Now I'm just loathing myself for being naive and stupid.

    Well, guess I'll just have to eat the xx up and carry on....

    Advice to Management

    Needless to say. There are a ton of surveys carried out every half a year. Any improvements?


  7. Helpful (50)

    "Amazing place to work BEST EVER"

    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

    Culture (It's all about love, love guests, hosts, employees, the societies, the communities, THE WORLD)
    Collaborative environment
    Extremely friendly and talented staff and coworkers
    Benefits (Free & healthy food, early dinner)
    Events (Belo day is amazing, talent show (This is new this year), a lot to come...)
    Bootcamp(This is amazing!)
    countless earning opportunities (training, hands on)

    Cons

    No match for 401k plan :(

    Advice to Management

    Keep the culture

  8. Helpful (2)

    "An inspiring and fulfilling 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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Genuinely supportive and invested coworkers
    - Founders are very focused on not stagnating as we grow
    - Engineers can choose their own team, so you can find a team that suits you in terms of work-life balance / productivity. There's no global company culture of "workaholics" or "slackers", you really can just find the right role for you
    - Similarly, it's easy to find the kind of eng role you prefer (product, front-end, infra, etc)
    - Diversity efforts are the best I've ever seen or heard of in a large tech company. Estaff is very committed to increasing our internal diversity and also making sure there are no problems with discrimination of any kind. (Our mission is "belong anywhere" and leadership takes that very very seriously, including internally.)
    - Leadership is constantly working to fix any employee issues that arise, we take tons of happiness surveys and have lots of communication on how they're planning to improve things that are issues
    - Basically Airbnb has always seemed very committed to employee happiness, via perks and transparency and inclusion, and it works!

    Cons

    - Sometimes the growing pains can get frustrating and things can move kind of slow, but in my experience it's better than most companies this size
    - Gym memberships are not included in perks

    Advice to Management

    - Don't let Experiences make everyone else feel like second-class citizens!
    - Keep on focusing on the culture, it's the reason I don't want to leave.


  9. "Amazing environment"

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

    I worked at Airbnb as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The best part about Airbnb is the brilliant working environment. It's the best I've seen in my life

    Cons

    I don't think there was any. It was the best experience of my life. But one thing they could possibly work on would be a smoother integration of interns into the company.


  10. Helpful (12)

    "High expectations, low impact"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits and pay. Definitely a cool company to work for resume-wise. A good IPO will be a big pay day to employees but if you don't care much about money maybe other companies can be more challenging and better for your career.

    Cons

    Engineering management is really bad. Managers do not pay attention to career growth given that career ladder is taboo inside the company, nobody talks or knows their position is, so don't expect your manager to advice you much about how to go from level a to level b, c ... etc.

    When people get bored at their current position they either switch teams or branch out to management (lateral moves) which feeds back into the problem where management focuses on reporting green numbers to upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in training managers to focus on people and their careers, less on project and risk management.