Netflix Senior Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

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Netflix Senior Software Engineer Reviews

Updated Dec 30, 2019

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3.2
57%
Recommend to a Friend
79%
Approve of CEO
Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings
72 Ratings
  1. Helpful (3)

    "Easily the best company to work for"

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

    I worked at Netflix full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Managers tell you what needs to be done and why, giving you the freedom to decide how to achieve the goals. - Deadlines are reasonable and rarely require late nights or weekends. - Very little process getting in the way of coding. - No junior engineers, no slackers allowed. - Managers are very willing to fire employees who do not get their jobs done or who have bad attitude, so everyone is good at their job and easy to work with. - Base-pay is at least double what you're currently making (though there are no RSUs)

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    Cons

    - It lacks some of the fun corporate secrets that Apple & Google have - The only thing that will grow is your salary. No real opportunity for a bigger/better title.

    Advice to Management

    - Do not lower hiring standards or you will lose that magic.

    Netflix2019-09-20
  2. Helpful (137)

    "Netflix is not for everybody"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA

    I have been working at Netflix full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The best part about Netflix is that they try to pay 20% more than everybody else, so the compensation is good. They are not shy about spending money, so travel is business class, you'll get a new MacBook Pro every year, etc. The people there tend to be very nice, the catered lunch is delicious, and so forth. While there is still a lot of action in Los Gatos building the technology (although arguably it is becoming mature, as streaming is a commodity), the real drama is in Los Angeles, relating to content.

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    Cons

    Netflix has very strange politics, because people's jobs are at the whim of their manager. In other words, if a manager decides that a particular report is no longer a "star," he or she will get a package. So, given that employees are not stupid, there is a lot of kissing up, resulting in a lot of comedy. Netflix believes in "360 feedback," but everybody I know only does that to their peers, and they become very political with their management chain.

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    Advice to Management

    It's creepy when management sends out letters to their reports that read, "today is X's last day at Netflix and I fired him/her because of...."

    Netflix2019-05-23
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Competitive salaries to compensate for a toxic culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    * Competitive salaries * "Freedom and Responsibility" - access to pretty much all data/applications internally which eliminates barriers and promotes transparency

    Cons

    * Sexist and racist hiring practices * Only interviewed women in my final year there and this wasn't just my experience. This topic was broadly discussed in a room of 20+ engineers with HR present * Heard instances were management told staff to "lower the bar" to allow for more women to be hired * Managements role seemed to be centered around creating chaos * Layoffs were regular, often without warning * Reorged fives times in two years * As an engineer there is not much growth potential outside earning more money or switching tracks to become a manager

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    Advice to Management

    Netflix likes to use an example where they fired 20% of the staff in the early days of the company and in the aftermath saw an increase in productivity. This strategy worked once in the past and is not a reliable benchmark. I witnessed high quality engineers and managers fired throughout my two years there. It was regular, and often, each time crushing team morale and weeks of productivity lost. In my one on ones I'd probe at everyone's happiness and never once did I hear anyone say they were happy to work there. All seemed to indicate they're sticking around for the pay - knowing their days are limited and one day will be rewarded with a "generous severance package" - as the culture deck describes. As for the sexist/racist hiring practices, making radical short term adjustments to account for years for bias hiring practices is not the correct approach. Improving diversity within the company should be organic. What I witnessed in my last year there was nothing short of illegal hiring practices.

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    Netflix2019-12-31
  4. "strong culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Netflix full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    strong on freedom and responsibility. but requires a big commitment in return.

    Cons

    being on call on a regular basis and a high stress environment.

    Netflix2019-07-24
  5. Helpful (36)

    "culture of tension and uncertainty - H1B visa holders think twice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - good compensation - free lunch and snacks - engineers smart and competent

    Cons

    - atmosphere of fear and uncertainty prevails - the management can be ruthless, egoistical and political - projects get cancelled, groups consolidated and employees get terminated - most managers are stressed out all the time and encouraged to weed out employees no longer useful or not performing to "high standards"

    Advice to Management

    - start caring about your employees more and stop treating them as disposable - take constructive criticism positively - show some empathy

    Netflix2019-02-18
  6. Helpful (37)

    "Incompetent engineering managers, average engineers"

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

    I have been working at Netflix full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay is great Free food Good 401k match

    Cons

    Culture deck is a bunch of lies. The reality is this: a) It hard to find "stunning collages" because hiring is broken. If you are good at talking, and repeating culture jargon in the interview, you can easily get it. You can look in LinkedIn to see the qualification, background and education level of our engineers. Many engineers here are from bodyshop Indian IT firms (the likes of Infosys, TCS etc), who came onsite and simply switched to Netflix - because they can TALK. b) Informed captions (mostly managers) are technically incompetent and has no clue on making any informed data driven decisions. Decisions are heavily driven by politics. c) The whole push of open and honest feedback is just a sham to make things look good. Providing critical feedback is impossible here, as it mostly backfires and results into getting fired. So people just keep providing rosy feedback. d) If you were hired into a bad team or don't like the work, it is very very hard to switch teams. Even if some other manager is willing to take you in their team, the current manager usually retaliates by triggering keeper test and you get fired. Essentially your manager tells the new hiring manager that this person was bad performer so switching team to not get fired. e) There is no career growth for ICs here, everyone has the same title and level. However, on management there is clear growth path - double standards.

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    Advice to Management

    Provide opportunities for anonymous feedback - otherwise leadership will keep living in the dark. If feedback is your value, accept all form of feedbacks.

    Netflix2019-03-11
  7. Helpful (4)

    "Best company I have worked with"

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

    I worked at Netflix full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great culture, a lot of independence, they truly live the culture

    Cons

    Very few opportunities to move to other roles, especially in upper management positions

    Advice to Management

    Have more mentorship programs. Create a career path to hire from ''within''. Instead of always bringing new people, help the people already there to grow.

    Netflix2019-01-23
  8. Helpful (46)

    "Senior software engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Netflix full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Perks like free food, unlimited vacations (though a double edged sword really), swag, sometimes exciting projects and some good coworkers.

    Cons

    Too much of hiring and firing. As a result everyone is looking out only for their roles and jobs. A lot of political crap. Esp not good for single income families or H1B visa holders. I've had people cry when they are let go because they don't have any other options. Take the good salary with the risk it gives. You will be let go, it's just a matter of when. Growth opportunities are non-existent and your salary bumps are very subjective. Work life balance is a joke at times but it depends on team and manager. You can't have great work life balance for long since either your manager will be let go or you will be let go for not working harder. Unlimited vacations are good in a good team but if your manager is a micromanager forget about it. It then becomes worse than limited vacations.

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    Advice to Management

    Change the way you reward your employees.now there are a lot of people that would push their colleagues under the bus. Sadly Netflix has changed for the worse in the past decade.

    Netflix2019-01-14
  9. Helpful (101)

    "Weaponization of culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineering Manager in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Netflix full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are some teams doing progressive, technically interesting work- content encoding, some machine learning teams

    Cons

    Most teams aren't working on anything very innovative. The tech is your standard microservices architecture, and everything gets open-sourced, with a blog post and a nice conference talk. Eventually these projects wither because no one maintains them, and sometimes they don't even solve very effectively the problems they tout, but it's good PR for the engineers and 'leaders'. Culture of fear is real. My manager was toxic, he loved to talk about diversity even though he was the biggest mansplainer in the room. My interview was interesting, it was a monologue of his rather unique theories of engineering management, most of which was a bunch of gibberish culled from the culture deck. When I got there I found him to be a pretty ineffective manager. He didn't have any engineering vision, no idea of strategy, and wasn't technical. If you get into an interview room and the manager spends 45 mins talking about himself, that's probably a sign to run! Pick and choose what team you join. You can have either a pretty cool time with some smart folks, or have to deal with narcissists who believe their own PR. Everytime I run into a Netflixer- they've either 1) just been fired or 2) tell me stories about the people in common we know who've been fired.

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    Advice to Management

    Management doesn't care about my advice, and they won't care about yours too. lol.

    Netflix2018-05-06
  10. Helpful (17)

    "Great diverse culture, work-life balance"

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

    I have been working at Netflix full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Smart and talented colleagues, you work with mature people who know a lot but not full of themselves and take feedback seriously - Freedom and responsibility in day-to-day work, no micromanagement - Working with cutting edge tech and freedom to pick your tools/frameworks - Great work-life balance, there is no fear of being let go - The most diverse team I've worked at in Silicon Valley - Top of the market compensation - Company is super transparent about everything

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    Cons

    Netflix hires mature people and trusts their employees to prioritize their work the best way based on all the business context they have. There is not a lot of manager oversight or direction when it comes to what to work on. While I personally love this, I realize some people can find it challenging especially during first few months at the company.

    Netflix2018-08-09
Found 81 reviews