MZ Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

MZ Software Engineer Reviews

Updated May 19, 2017
22 reviews

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Software Engineer

1.7
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MZ CEO Gabriel Leydon
Gabriel Leydon
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Fully stocked kitchens with catered lunch and dinner (in 15 reviews)

  • And my fav part is the free food :) (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • Long-ish hours, this is a con if you require strong work life balance (in 30 reviews)

  • No culture, no work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great company, often misunderstood"

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

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

    Pros

    Have worked at MZ for more than 2 years.
    Great team, solving complex problems, creating our tech.
    Huge opportunities for growth.
    Feel like our voices are heard.

    Cons

    Lack of telecommute options for family balance.
    Crazy growth resulting in lack of process.

    Advice to Management

    Rely on the teams to deliver - we will!
    Realize that balance doesn't always mean lack of productivity.


  2. Helpful (21)

    "Avoid MZ like the plague!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Games make money, benefits are pretty good and if you're good at being a "yes" man/woman, then the compensation can be pretty good as well.

    There are some VERY smart people working at the analyst level and, as a previous review mentioned, strong friendships are forged out of the mutual hatred for the company that people have here.

    Cons

    Oh boy, where do I begin?

    1. I've never worked at a company that is as emotionally unintelligent as MZ. There is absolutely no compassion or empathy for your personal life here. At MZ, you can either be successful at work because of the hours you put in, or you can be happy in your personal life. The hours you spend in office count more towards career growth than the actual quality of work you do here.

    2. This is a place where work/life balance comes to die a painful gruesome death. There have been all hands meetings where the CEO has proudly proclaimed that they don't allow working from home and they're proud of people who work 14 hour days.

    3. Dozens of people have quit across all departments of the company for the same reason and yet the upper management is bamboozled and puzzled as to why someone would quit the best company in the world?!?
     Sometimes people need more than financial incentives to feel appreciated.

    Advice to Management

    Please for the sake of the smart employees that are still around, wrap your head around the reality that the company culture is toxic and that is the real reason that people are leaving in numbers.

    Fake 5-star reviews won't help as much as actually operating like a company that wants to be up there with the industry's biggest.

    Have some compassion, empathy and treat employees like the people they are instead of just a number.


  3. Helpful (21)

    "Really really time to go..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free food, unlimited vacation, pushy games, strong marketing, cheer leaders

    Cons

    It's really time to go for me, I truly regret having joined this company.
    Meaningless projects, unfair, political and toxic culture, cruel work/life balance, no ethics, ridiculous management, and... so many people are already leaving!

    Advice to Management

    Really have nothing to say here, management wouldn't listen anyway.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "The 1-star company that really deserves it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Back-end Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Back-end Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    free lunch and dinner but food is unacceptable
    it's DTO but your manager will never approve your time off
    there's an annual bonus - enough for you to get an ipad...
    really time to go

    Cons

    Literally, every week, there're a few folks that are fired for unknown reasons

    I don't think things are going very fast - There're projects that have been running for 2 years and it's in prototyping stage, aka, data platform...

    Mandatory office time from 10am to 7pm: literally you have to physically stay in the office, as management has been taking pictures of your empty desks!

    Advice to Management

    focus on your games
     do something meaningful to care about your employees
    Hire some qualified middle management!


  6. Helpful (66)

    "Some matter of facts from small data analytics"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at MZ full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    free food is the best one
    and that's it

    Cons

    Out of the reviews here, Some matter of facts from small data analytics:

    - Most reviews are on the 2 extremes: either 1-star or 5-star.

    - Usually there's a series of 5-star reviews after a couple of 1-star reviews.

    - Those 1-star reviews have much higher number of "Helpful" votes than those 5-star reviews. Most 1-star reviews have around 30 votes while most 5-star reviews have nearly 0, for apparent reasons.

    - Keywords in 5-stars: hyper-growth mode, best company ever to work for, smart people

    - Keywords in 1-stars: bad management, firing, no work-life balance, no ethics, too much politics,

    I'd say my opinion aligns with most, if not all, of the 1-star reviews.

    Advice to Management

    Please read those negative reviews carefully to see if there's anything you can do better, instead of hiring review writers to move up the average scores.


  7. Helpful (62)

    "The only thing you can trust in an offer is the base salary"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    base salary can sometimes match those from bigger companies, and indeed you can get the paychecks every half a month, but that's all.

    Cons

    Literally, the only thing you can trust in an offer, from any recruiters at this company, is the base salary. I hate to say that, some (or even most) recruiters are bluffing too much, sometimes UN-ethically.

    They say that, the target bonus is 15% ~ 30% every year, but the fact is that, even for top performers (promoted), few could get even 20%, and on average, it is lower than 10%.

    They say that, the current equity value is X per share, but it is at least 5 times cheaper on the secondary market.

    They say that, the company is valued at very high and they're going IPO soon, but even the C-level already hinted publicly that's not the plan.

    They say that, the company is at hyper-growth mode, but you can see politics everywhere.

    They say that, the company culture is very laid back, but you can find all kinds of rules such as mandatory office time from 10 to 7.

    Advice to Management

    Please do something meaningful instead of just bluffing.


  8. Helpful (49)

    "Do not join this company if you have another choice"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The fact that their games are doing very well cannot be denied.
    Standard free meals.

    Cons

    The biggest mistake I made in my career was probably I trusted their recruiters and joined this company.

    The experience is like a nightmare: there's no sense of priority and everything should have been done yesterday. No work-life balance, and in fact, the C-level people are very proud of this. Most of the things recruiters told you about (options, bonuses, culture) are not true. Some teams are more messy than others and re-orgs and let-go's are happening everyday. I have been here for a few months, and half of my teammates are already gone.

    For me, it's really time to go... if you ever have another choice, do not even think about joining this company.

    Advice to Management

    Would you ever take advice at all?


  9. Helpful (45)

    "Team matters..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at MZ full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Some teams are doing very well, and the games too.
    And they have good managers.

    Cons

    but you know, some bad apples can really ruin the whole company... The data platform group is one such example:

    Management does not know either how technology works or how to manage people. They have been making random decisions and changing directions and all the new products have been unusable for 2 years. They are in no way like software engineering managers but political chit-chatters. There're no fair performance reviews, and they're really good at letting people go because they need to find scapegoats for their own under-performance. The attrition rate is very high in this group and people are leaving one by one while they also do not know how to hire. Having them in the management is totally a joke...

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the bad apples: totally agreed with one of the previous reviews - if you're good of firing engineers, do the same thing to the managers.


  10. Helpful (62)

    "A company that is not very ethical"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at MZ full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    free food
    activities from time to time
    unlimited vacation

    Cons

    This is a company without any ethics or principles:

    Part of the job of the HR and/or recruiters is to write "good" reviews on glassdoor
    They fire people for no reason
    Recruiters are exaggerating the value of the stock options, and possibly the annual bonus to lure you in

    Advice to Management

    Most of the good reviews or responses to bad reviews from the company share one point: the company is growing very fast, so no problem is a problem. Would you think that's a good excuse?


  11. Helpful (47)

    "Middle management is way too bad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free bad food that can make you full
    Stock options that can make you dream
    Very micro-management-style that can make you stay in office from 10 to 7

    Cons

    By middle management, I mean people with titles like "Head of XXX" and "VP of XXX" and "Director of XXX".

    Most of them do not know how to manage people, but just to fire scape goats if they are not performing well themselves. The only thing they know is to add more levels underneath so that they could manage more people.

    Cannot say too much about C-level people as they don't interact with employees very often, but only to send those cheer-leader type of emails with all kinds of bluffing.

    By the way, previous reviews about "spying employees" are very true, so be careful.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure that you have good management at all levels. If you're good at firing engineers, do the same thing for "Heads" and "VPs".