Netflix Reviews in San Jose, CA | Glassdoor

Netflix San Jose Reviews

Updated July 7, 2017
238 reviews

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San Jose, CA Area

3.7
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Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings
196 Ratings

238 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    "Interesting challenges but not the best culture."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fast pace, much change, always trying to do better. Lots of opportunity if you work hard and are willing to reinvent yourself.

    Cons

    Long days. Lots of turnover. Most decisions made by upper management. Not focused on team building. The bottom line is the bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your people. Listen to your customers. Stop micro managing. Enable growth. Build traditions. Build a culture. Focus on the next five years, not the next board meeting.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Recruiter"

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

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

    Pros

    The people are the reason I joined Netflix and continue to enjoy my job every day. The culture is true when it says Netflix hires stunning colleagues.

    I am empowered to make decisions without manager approval. Unlike other companies I have worked for, Netflix trusts that the employees are using good judgement to make the best decisions for the company. (No hiring committee or CEO approval to hire)

    Your job is as big as you make it. If you see an opportunity for impact you don't need to ask permission, make it happen.

    Cons

    It takes time find and hire stunning colleagues so roles often go unfilled for longer than desired

  3. Helpful (2)

    "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?


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Culture of Fear"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Pay is amazing, and kitchen is well stocked.

    Cons

    Hiring is a joke. There is a culture of fear you will get fired, so everyone tends to hire people who are less talented then they are. So you are starting out with B level players hire C who hire D. And all live in fear they will get canned. The code base is blogged about and presented very well, but it's a streaming company. Their value is content and your technology doesn't matter. Rarely do/did we hire anyone away from a real tech company (Google, Apple, Facebook, etc). Those who work here want the money, and then stay to defend their employment status b/c they now spend more and change their lifestyle, versus change their skills by being better engineers.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great product, great company, great culture, with a few kinks"

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

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

    Pros

    Total freedom to do outstanding work if you are up to the task. Great coworkers and colloberative environment to supply the best entertainment possible anywhere, any time all over the world.

    Cons

    Having that freedom to excel comes the same freedom for everybody else, including your boss. If they just don't like you they have the freedom to fire you without any buy in from anybody else. They have complete freedom to do so without any solid justification, no matter how good everybody else thinks you are. Hence frequent shock when people hear so and so got fired when everybody that worked with them thought they were a rock star. This is setting the seed for large scale office politics.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the stellar work, Netflix is going gang busters. Continue to work on those barriers to entry. Keep a close eye on the culture, of course it will evolve but steer it in the right direction constantly. Also because senior execs have been at the company a long time does not necessarily mean they are the right fit for the company currently.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work if you can keep up"

    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

    You have a lot of autonomy in technical decisions.

    It's a very respectful place to work. Racism/sexism is not tolerated.

    Really no barriers to getting things done. If you have a great solution to a problem you can roll with it.

    Cons

    That same autonomy can make getting consensus on technical choices more complicated.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Can be a great place to work if you "fit in""

    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

    Incredibly bright individuals to work with. The product is incredible. LOT's of perks and comp is ridiculously good.

    Cons

    It makes sense why they comp so well. The idea that there is a culture fear is very real. Everyone ramps up differently, but if you don't fit in, then you get cut. Everyday there were constant reminders of consequences if you didn't fit their one hundred something culture deck. Managers give "challenging feedback", but it's really an excuse for them to judge harshly and put you down.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to understand peoples strengths and weaknesses. Everyone thinks and works differently, so before giving challenging feedback, consider if it would actually improve the situation.

  8. Helpful (15)

    "the culture of fear is real"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    top of the market compensation and good product.

    Cons

    Very political and the culture of fear is real. People will bad-mouth you behind your back, just to save their jobs and since there are no HR processes/rules or documentation, your entire existence will depend on manager. Talking of which, personally I had two managers so far:

    One who never led bigger teams before, he said inappropriate/unprofessional things all the time (mind you, Netflix is supposed to hire only experienced people).

    The other one was a macho, drinking type. He always favored the ones who went out with him drinking. If you were not into drinking/socializing/alpha male communication style - too bad!

    Summary: If you only care about money, this place is for you but if you want an environment with a positive culture you should look elsewhere.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Best company culture I've experienced!"

    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
    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!


  10. Helpful (21)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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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