Netflix Reviews in Los Gatos, CA | Glassdoor

Netflix Los Gatos Reviews

Updated April 24, 2017
219 reviews

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Los Gatos, CA

3.8
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Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings
182 Ratings

219 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • you will see people you like let go because they weren't the right fit for their role (in 48 reviews)

  • Finance lives in a culture of fear (in 21 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "SRE Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA

    I worked at Netflix full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Freedom and responsibility, very transparent, well respected, hefty base salary. flexibility with work hours. specific responsibilities.

    Cons

    There is no concept of bonus. medical and health benefits are not there either. You are responsible for your area of tasks and hardly find someone covering for you. you will be an expect and also kind of silo'd

    Advice to Management

    I don't have any specific advice to management other than that Director and above are given way too much freedom to do whatever they want and not considering the senior employees


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Best company culture I've experienced!"

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

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

    Pros

    The company culture was extremely empowering - as an employee I really felt like I was listened to and had the freedom to do what I felt was best for the business. Knowing that management wanted employees at every level to understand the long and short term business strategies so that they could themselves make the best decisions for the business was extremely empowering - this kind of transparency is rare in companies. Coworkers were really smart and passionate about what they did. Management was self reflective and introspective. The company was constantly innovating and looking for ways to improve, so you never felt like you were sitting still. Perks and compensation were also the best I've experienced in my career.

    Cons

    Due to rapid growth over the 4 years I was there, perhaps a little bit of the culture was lost or watered down, mostly in terms of feeling like you perhaps knew fewer people as the company grew. No opportunities to work remote - when I moved out of state I would have loved to have continued to work for Netflix (at the same time, I understand why they don't want remote employees).

    Advice to Management

    Keep leading the way and revolutionizing both the entertainment industry as well as corporate culture!


  3. Helpful (13)

    "Fast paced, high performing, high turnover, engineering-first"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior User Experience Designer in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Senior User Experience Designer in Los Gatos, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my time at Netflix, it's a bold company to work for and you are surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do. I always say the health of the company starts at the top and Reed Hastings is someone I highly respect as he can see through people's BS and keeps those around him honest. He's the kind of person that will give you personal and professional advice even at an all hands with hundreds of people in attendance. The work will feel like you're being 'thrown to the fire' due to the culture of high performance and no subscribed process, but if you know what you're doing and stay dedicated to your team's goals in a productive manner, you should be fine.

    Cons

    While there are incredibly bright and talented designers at Netflix, I learned through my time there that this company was an engineering-first company. I mean, look at how long it took them to change the logo and get some design standards going. Design often times felt like a luxury than a necessity and there was a bit too much dependency on A/B testing to make decisions. I swear, I heard "have we A/B tested this yet?" in my dreams. A few times, I would point out that the results of the A/B test resulted in bad design solutions. It just seemed like upper management didn't understand design. As long as people are watching content and streaming patterns are on the up, then don't rock the boat. Also, watch out for those who play politics, sometimes the drama that plays out on projects or team dynamics is just unreal and some people just want to be the hero and get Reed Hasting's blessing. Unfortunately, there are some "brilliant jerks" in the company, learn to work around them and get stuff done right! Lastly, if you want a more life/work balance, this is probably not the place for you. I had some coworkers who didn't see their kids for days.

    Advice to Management

    Everyone looks so serious at work, address this lack of fun or effect on morale. Also, make design matter more to the business.


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  5. "Great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Engineering Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Data Engineering Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great culture, great company, nice technology stack

    Cons

    Can not think of any cons

    Advice to Management

    Keep at it.


  6. "The lack of diversity and lack of initiatives to change this is depressing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Senior Project Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Contractor - Senior Project Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Netflix as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free food, fun projects, shuttles to many places in the Bay Area. If you're full-time the culture makes it easy to make your little slice of work your own.

    Cons

    They treat contractors like crap. Well at least this is the case in the department I was in. You are hamstrung by being a contractor and not having access to all information, not even knowing that you need access to this information or not even realizing you are missing information until it's too late. That might not be a problem for all contract positions, but as a project manager, it's essential that we are least made of aware of any news that might possibly affect the components we are in charge of.

    The diversity is tragic. It's not as bad as many other Bay Area tech companies, but there is a lot of instances where one sibling gets another one in, one spouse will get another one in, friends from previous employment hire each other to recreate whatever made them leave the original company, etc.

    I worked in a department with mainly an international team and when I started there were several comments made by my coworkers about how, because of my nationality, I therefore couldn't possibly understand certain issues like internationalization. I found several of the people to be very condescending if you didn't come from X school or worked at Y company.

    The lack of feedback from your manager is non-existent. Again this might just be a contractor thing but for me I found that the majority of my coworkers were happy with my work, my stakeholders were happy with my work, I'd received kudos from my manager, etc. Then when a full-time position came available I applied and was essentially told by my manager that I wasn't good enough. I won't argue that decision because it's subjective but isn't it the Netflix policy that if a manager isn't happy with their employee it's best to just let them go and then find the best fit? After all, if I'm not good enough to be at Netflix then why are still keeping me around? I can only speculate as to the reasons so it's not even worth me writing them here.

    Also in general, I know very few contractors since the time I've been here who have been converted to full-time. Some have been here as long as 2 years or longer.

    Advice to Management

    Don't say you are committed to diversity if you really aren't paying attention to the hiring practices of the B and C level managers who are all too often just hiring their buddies.

    Netflix is scaling rapidly with new people and new products. My suggestion would be to find a way to facilitate interdepartmental learnings, this way you don't run the risk of people duplicating efforts.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Netflix hires the cream of the crop... But be prepared to work hard!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Anonymous in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Intern - Anonymous in Los Gatos, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Netflix as an intern (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    High Salary
    Great co-workers
    Beautiful South Bay location
    Relatively "small" company
    Free hot lunch, stocked kitchen
    Lots of SWAG
    Great PTO policy

    Cons

    Lack of internal growth opportunities
    Stock "options" not "shares"
    High turnover - can be cut throat
    Lack of diversity
    No recognized holidays.
    Double standards for executive staff.

    Advice to Management

    Reevaluate prioritites and distribute the wealth more evenly.


  8. Helpful (19)

    "Fool's Gold"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time

    Pros

    * Great pay
    * Smart coworkers
    * Good product
    * Business casual dress code

    Cons

    * With no ladders or levels your performance is 100% based on your direct manager's perception of you.
    * Every person interprets, and practices, the culture deck differently which means you could have a very different experience based on the team you are hired into.
    * Lots of gossip - people try to pass it off as "gathering feedback." Conversations are never truly over or resolved.
    * Recruiting/HR weighs heavily on hiring decisions (the culture piece), however, they have the worst turnover out of any of the teams at Netflix (maybe not so great at assessing culture fit).
    * Recruiters will tell you, "We have the same turnover as any company our size in the Bay Area it's just that our approach is different." However, no one in recruiting can give a specific number as it relates to "normal" attrition.
    * No referral bonus
    * Not enough diversity
    * Quick to fire people and make them think it was their decision.

    Advice to Management

    * Don't just promote people into management roles because of tenure.
    * If a team has high turnover, it's time to do something about the management of that team.
    * The "Keeper" test should not just be actively used on IC's but all levels of management as well.


  9. Helpful (88)

    "The best job I've had, and at times, the worst job I've had"

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

    Pros

    Netflix has some great pros. You'll be working with mostly extremely competent people. Dealing with teams within the company is extremely easy, as most people are very helpful and efficient. They pay you a lot of money, and give you perks like free food, paid cell phone bill, 401k, etc. This is all great, but for me, the biggest draw is always people, and your team will make or break your experience here, so make sure you know what you are getting into at the interview, and don't accept jobs with teams that you don't feel excited about being part of.

    Cons

    The high salary leads some people to ramp up their lifestyles, they then become dependent on being here. This in turn creates a culture of fear where people are constantly stressing out that they are "not doing enough" and might be fired any minute. This also extends to the directors of teams, and when your management is stressed, it will always trickle down to create a lousy experience for you.
    This makes for an extremely toxic environment at times where teams are often working on similar projects, thus competing against each other to stay relevant, which is just utter idiocy. The high pay ensures that there is way more politicking than would be needed or appropriate in such situations. This in turn can have a very demoralizing effect on the peons doing the actual work, who often feel compelled to work on nights, weekends and public holidays for goals that are often vague, and projects that are often shelved. The most insidious effect of this is observed when people contemplate taking PTO, when many employees have told me that they weren't able to relax or take as much time off as they needed, as they were constantly wondering what would happen to their jobs, and whether or not they were doing enough to "deserve" time off. If you've never felt this, it's a rotten state of mind, and you will feel it quite a bit here.
    Many times, I've felt the need to quit the field altogether, but the money and my team makes me stay for now, so I'll likely stay till my team changes.

    Moral of the story here is: You'll get paid a lot. You'll also likely be laid off sooner than you expect. You'll also likely make a LOT less at your next place. Adjust for your standard of living appropriately so you can keep your head above the circus fray, and don't get used to the good things.

    Advice to Management

    More communication with your teams is absolutely essential if you want to retain good people, but you don't need a Glassdoor review to tell you that. Empower your HR teams to instill the idea that taking time off is a healthy part of working here, and no one should feel nervous about taking time off. You will need to say this many times before it becomes part of the culture.

    Ensure that teams are not competing against each other, specifically in the Engineering department. We are not here to throw each other off our respective ladders, but to learn, and to help the company grow as a result of what we learn here. Cross-collaboration between teams should be of the utmost priority, not working at cross-purposes as is the case with many teams now.

    For the most part, this is a good place to be. Make it better, and make more of an effort at every level to keep the organization flat. We already have job insecurity, we do not need hierarchy to make it worse.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Software Engineer"

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

    Pros

    Great development culture, tons of opportunity, big problems, lots of independence - the motto "freedom and responsibility" is not just a platitude.

    Cons

    Make sure you agree with the Netflix Culture Deck - if you don't you won't be successful.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Rockstar coworkers, freedom and responsibility"

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

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

    Pros

    Rockstar coworkers, no brilliant jerks
    excellent pay, no vacation policy or tracking
    fast paced environment, minimal distractions and no unnecessary process - get loads of work done everyday.
    I can tell my friends I work in showbiz :)

    Cons

    None that I can think of, really. I guess the culture might take a bit adjusting to if you are not used to it.


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