Netflix Reviews in Los Gatos, CA | Glassdoor

Netflix Los Gatos Reviews

Updated October 16, 2017
30 reviews

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Los Gatos, CA

3.0
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Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings
23 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good but worsening environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time

    Pros

    Pay is good, but matches the pay from other big tech companies, except that it can be all base salary.

    They provide free food and a lot of snacks.

    Your peers are mostly very good.

    There’s very little bureaucracy for expenses or computer assessories.

    Flexible hours.

    Cons

    No bonus.

    The culture document is mainly a PR document. The culture in much of the company doesn’t actually match the culture document. The document is interpreted differently by the different orgs, VP’s and managers. At most, it’s applied to some IC’s, but doesn’t apply to management.

    There's a lot of politics between teams and orgs when there are overlapping projects and services. And having overlapping projects on different teams happens often. Negative and deceptive politics exists between teams in different orgs. It’s more rare, but it appears to be accepted and ignored.

    There’s a large amount of internal team politics, as each engineer needs to make himself look better (and others worse) to keep their job, to get to the next pay level, to become a manager, etc. This will get worse as the company grows in size. Management is purposefully oblivious to all of this.

    HR is a weak org. Their main job is recruiting. They do very little to make the company culture adhere to the culture doc.

    Management is self-centered and arrogant. They won’t acknowledge real problems until it smacks them in the face. This creates the appearance of a cool-aid environment. Most employees will ignore the issues to get along and reduce friction. The environment will worsen over time.

    Management does not help with career growth.

    No official IC titles other than Senior Software Engineer. This practice is likely followed to reduce turnover so people don't realize that they’re not paid enough money or promoted high enough, as compared to others there. They are deciding your pay based on external info, so they’re probably privately assigning a title to you, anyway. As far as career growth, this becomes an obstacle.

    Many managers are technically deficient and some are just poor managers, regardless of their technical knowledge. Most are mainly people managers.

    Be aware which way the wind is blowing as far as trends within the company. If you have a skill set that might become obsolete in the company or a skill set less valued than the hot new areas, than you can either be fired or your pay will stagnate.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good Compensation, Some Politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Compensation, Work Environment, Progressive Culture

    Cons

    Heavy Group Think, Politics, Cross-Group Collabroation Tough

    Advice to Management

    Encourage Organizational Dissent

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Getting worse as Netflix grows"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time

    Pros

    * Salary
    * Perks (transportation / lunch / swag / celebrations)
    * Business is great, customers are happy
    * Internal tools are generally quite good

    Cons

    * Too much coordination required to get anything accomplished / too much coupling between systems (in contrast to stated culture)
    * Poor engineering practices on most teams and very difficult to get teams to move to newer technology
    * As company has grown, managers have taken a more active role, to the detriment of the code and architecture
    * No leadership/seniority path for engineers - which also implies all engineers believe that they are special snowflakes. This makes it hard to push for big changes.
    * Engineering talent is decreasing over time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the business growing, but realize that the tech organization needs a re-prioritization of effort.


  4. Helpful (10)

    "One of the best companies to work for, one of the worst company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Great Base pay.
    - Some of the engineers are really smart and know what they are doing.
    - Free food and well stocked kitchen.
    - Good benefits including unlimited vacation.
    - Stock is doing great!
    -Hackday is always great and something to look for.

    Cons

    -Innovation is dying at this company. If you compare what the product was in 2011 vs. now, they are mostly playing with video playback in the UI and minor features. Probably the reason being, everyone wants to keep their job and want to have as many projects to continue.
    - Does lot of A/B testing, even for minor text changes. I'm glad they are not in hardware business else would have ruined the company. Felt product team is good, but not sure about what is right and don't have gut feeling on any thing.
    - Engineering teams competes with each other to build tools. Sometimes the work done for 9 months is thrown because other team built tool with cutting-edge technology.
     - Freedom and responsibility is there but it all depends upon on your leader & how much he allows to exercise it.
    - NIH within team syndrome.
    - Managers are sometimes pain and always want to build their 'own' team with 'own' people which discourages existing team.
    - IF you are looking for growth in the team, be careful of which team you are joining.
    - Favoritism is there and if the Mgr is really bad with employees, but good with his boss, he will get promoted. 360 only matters from peers and not from whom you manage.
    - Can't raise question on why we are doing this.If you are not aligned with manager's vision, sorry but you will get axed soon based on ground of technical imcompetency.
    - They try lots of recommendation A/B tests and merch logic but they are not sure if people will watch the title or not.

    Ultimately they need to realize they are streaming company which has value in only 1 thing : Content. If you build great product but content is not effective, you are relying on product and not content to sell. If rivals catch up on product , its an issue.

    Advice to Management

    Hire the people who have long term vision and who questions the authority on why we are doing this and not encourage who aligns with you. Don't want to see another qwikster debacle.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "Fun ride, fast pace and changes (including your job)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Good pay
    The base pay is very attractive. While it ends up being pretty equal to other companies' total comp, it is enticing to get it up front in your base pay. No guessing on how the company will perform. But understand it is iffy as to whether you will make much more beyond your initial offer.

    - Interesting challenges
    They really are willing to challenge the status quo and test new ideas. Things are not always arrived at efficiently, but it is great to see innovation throughout the company and not just in tech groups.

    - Growing company with solid successes
    After being at some tech companies in a downward spiral, it was refreshing to be on the upswing and enjoy the possibilities that come with performing well.

    Cons

    - Benefits are weirdly inconsistent
    Amazing maternity leave but I had to pay quite a bit out-of-pocket for decent family health benefits, bizarre stock option plan, weak vision/dental

    - The culture of fear is real in some groups
    This is because it depends on your leader. Some leaders manage up well and hide their incompetence by constantly changing their staff. I was the 3 leader of my team in a 4-year period. Also leadership does not enforce the same "stunning colleague" standards for non-critical orgs.

    - HR is fairly ineffective (except staffing is great)
    HRBPs enable incompetent leaders because they are dependent on them. If a leader gains new teams then typically the HR person gets bigger scope as well. If the business leader doesn't "connect" well with their HRBP, you are likely to see the HRBP get a "generous severance package."

    - Your job can change fast, both good and bad
    Be prepared that you can gain new teams and responsibilities quickly, but you can also go from being stunning to out the door in a matter of weeks. I think people get the high standards communication really well from the culture deck, but the speed with which your personal circumstances will change can be shockingly fast.

    Advice to Management

    Please apply the same quality standards to all parts of business leadership. And weigh a leader's ability by more than their ability to manage up. You know there are some weak leaders on your executive staff right now. Will you do what is easy for you (turn a blind eye to it) or do what is right and best for the employees?


  6. Helpful (116)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "good company"

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

    I have been working at Netflix full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    High-performing culture
    Unlimited vacation
    Pick your time to work
    Great pay

    Cons

    High performing culture
    If you get a manager that micro-manages it becomes annoying
    Too date driven while sacrificing quality - for a QA professional that's hard to take

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Meals provided and snacks; which is awesome since we are constantly working.
    Flexible.

    Cons

    Culture deck is whack. Freedom of responsibility is whack. A lot of favoritism is practiced and communication amongst team does not exist. Management does not communicate on changes only to secure job security.
    Always have to watch your back, two faced monsters

    Advice to Management

    Need to listen to all employees, not just management.


  9. Helpful (26)

    "Use them, don't let them use you!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    +Top of the line pay
    +Great benefits package
    +Free catered meals+snacks (vending machines here dispense electronics!)
    +Lots of free swag and of course a free account
    +"Freedom and responsibility"

    +Once you move on from Netflix, it's very easy to get a job anywhere else once you have Netflix on YOUR resume.

    Cons

    Amount of office politics and favoritism is downright ridiculous.

    They encourage "transparency" but the moment you speak out too much or to the wrong person, you automatically have a bullseye on you. Yes, people are often let go all the time with very little context or insight.

    Netflix culture stresses "stunning colleagues" but in reality, it's a very superficial environment where people who suck up to the right people or "SAY YES" types are the only ones who do well.

    Oh and despite being a "fast moving" company, there's little room for internal growth. What you get hired in as will most likely be your one and only position with the company.

    Advice to Management

    As a salaried employee, there's no reason why you need to treat hourly employees so poorly (no stock options, no unlimited PTO policy, etc.)


  10. Helpful (19)

    "Great product, OK culture"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great product
    - Top-of-market compensation
    - Flexible hours
    - Rapid expansion
    - The reaction you get when you tell people you work for Netflix

    Cons

    - "Culture of fear"
    - Office politics
    - Ambiguous vacation policy works against employees (many work over major holidays)
    - Difficult personalities and poor alignment/coordination between departments
    - Limited room for growth and internal mobility
    - Subservient attitude toward management

    Advice to Management

    While a culture of fear increases productivity, it can encourage finger pointing and stifle creativity.


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