Qualcomm Senior Staff Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Qualcomm Senior Staff Engineer Reviews

Updated June 15, 2017
131 reviews

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Senior Staff Engineer

3.3
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Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf
Steve Mollenkopf
51 Ratings

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance has leaned more toward work in the last few years (in 329 reviews)

  • No work-life balance and highly demanding (in 72 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Overall good company to work with work life balance"

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

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Can work with very smart and talented people
    Work load is reasonable and good to maintain work-life balance. Good compensation

    Cons

    Hierarchical organization is not attractive for a leading tech company.
    The San Jose building doesn't have any restaurants.
    Not much to complain more


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Lost its value"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good work life balance
    Great work satisfaction
    Working with good set of people
    Fellow employees work well with other people due to mutual feedback system

    Cons

    Top management is not good
    Lots of politics
    Underpaid engineers
    Management does not take care of top contributors
    Management does not recognize loyal people to the company

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Sr. Staff"

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

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

    Pros

    You live in San Diego.

    Cons

    Too stressful! HR has been trying to improve work life balance but the culture is suffering from the vicious circle. If you don't work late night and weekends your review and bonus suffers. Despite the lip service "we must reward productivity and not long hours".

    Too many a holes are being promoted despite the CEO's claim "we don't promote a-holes". HR does not protect the individuals from retaliation from higher ups unless where the retaliation might create legal problems (e.g. sexual harassment)

    Advice to Management

    No advice other than that upper management made way too many mistakes and stock price and the employees suffered as a result. Upper management must be fired. Thinking that the ones that made so many mistakes are the same ones that will improve the business is insane.

    Also Q must stop moving more jobs to India and China. Qualcomm is now too vulnerable if any destabilizing events took place in these countries (e.g. India Pakistan war)


  4. Helpful (3)

    "The ship has sunk."

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

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

    Pros

    Good work in some groups. Some smart engineers still in the company. Nice campus in San Diego. Weather!

    5G adoption might be an upside in 2020 possibly.

    Cons

    Pay is not comparable to other tech companies.
    Losing talent due to attrition.
    Massive cost cutting.
    Can't attract the best people currently as talent quality is going down.
    Severely understaffed in many groups.
    Cash bonuses and RSUs practically non existent for last few years.
    Leadership lacks vision and is risk averse.
    Horrible medical plan. (Previous plan was great)
    Annual review cycle from twice a year is just a cost cutting tactic.

    Advice to Management

    You have lost and continue to lose talent very fast mainly due to poor compensation, and reduction in benefits/cost cutting. It might already be too late to recover.

    Listen to employee feedback.

    Don't be too over confident and dismiss competitors.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Current employee"

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

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

    Pros

    Good working environment and still leading industry

    Cons

    Benefits get worse every year. So many underperforming middle managers degrade quality of projects outcome


  6. "not great"

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

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

    Pros

    Nice City and good freedom in work

    Cons

    Nothing much to complain about


  7. Helpful (14)

    "Cost cutting, churn and trouble executing"

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

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

    Pros

    1. Benefits still better than industry norm, despite significant cuts in 2016. Company chips in about $2,500 for HSA.
    2. Many employees get individual offices, although this leads to a somewhat solitary environment.
    3. San Diego location is good, although traffic has really gotten bad, almost like the SF Bay Area.
    4. Employees are pretty sharp and have a lot of technical rigor.
    5. Still maintains a semblance of the original California tech company feel, although what is left might die with the NXP merger.

    Cons

    1. Extreme cost cutting has become the norm. Even buying a $30 mouse can take a month after vetting by 4-5 people, including two bean counters, two managers and an IT guy. Any equipment over $200 could take in excess of 6 months and require approval up to CTO! It's so ridiculous it took me weeks to get a tape dispenser and I never succeeded in getting some other basic supplies.
    2. Constant churn in people and projects, including management. Projects are started and canceled almost on a monthly basis. Makes it impossible to accomplish anything, which gets taken out on the employee come review time. Your boss might leave right before review time, leaving you dead in the water.
    3. Extreme level of bureaucracy means it is hard to get any work done. Not even clear who is really in charge. Simple decisions blessed by CEO or CTO can be overruled by division leaders.
    4. Highly profitable IP licensing business (QTL) prevents company from embracing open source or other publicly available data or code. This leads to major execution problems as the world becomes increasingly tuned to shared IP.
    5. NXP acquisition is another market dominance play, trying to combine two old, slow growth companies to birth a young, fast growing firm. Seems unlikely to work and will mean jettisoning any remaining California tech firm culture.
    6. Managers practice extreme micromanagement. This lowers productivity and can make simple tasks take 3-5x longer. No real trust in the employee, even for long time VPs and directors.
    7. Company only knows how to play in its old business of licensing wireless IP and selling the corresponding chips. Lots of failed R&D investments simply because they either canceled them a year or two before the market took off, or couldn't figure out how to monetize it, even though competitors eventually were making a killing in the same spaces.

    Advice to Management

    You need a strong CEO and CTO that puts Wall Street in its place and fights the creeping effects of irrational cost cutting and quarterly capitalism. Return to a strategy of making bold investments that are forcefully executed until either success or failure is apparent. Return to valuing employees and hiring the best, not the cheapest, so that innovation stifling micromanagement is not necessary. Most of all, don't be afraid to take a risk and make an organic investment.

  8. "Engineer sr staff / mgr"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    good compensation structure, cutting edge technology

    Cons

    too much bureaucracy across groups

    Advice to Management

    Need to start keeping empolyee's interest in decision making process.


  9. "Good company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits.
    Challenging work environment
    Management strikes good balance between company and personal priorities
    Cutting edge technology
    Competitive field with a lot of potential for growth

    Cons

    Large company, mobility within the company isn't as good as it used to be. Roles are more specialized, which means you're either just doing managing, or just doing development, there are few roles that enable you to get experience in both areas.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Staff Engineer/Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Qualcomm full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation by San Diego standards, technically interesting and challenging work in most groups, facilities and benefits are quite good, though benefits have reduced somewhat in recent years.

    Cons

    Work hours can be crazy, many groups in QCT are poorly managed, highly political environment and beyond a certain level there's no growth at all unless you are close to a VP or somebody higher up who can get you the right visible roles. Future in many groups seem uncertain in the US since there is an consistent effort to move jobs to lower cost regions such as India to improve profit margins.