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Riot Games

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Riot Games Senior Software Engineer Reviews

Updated Apr 4, 2021

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Found 14 of over 771 reviews

4.1
99%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
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Riot Games CEO Nicolo  Laurent (no image)
Nicolo Laurent
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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 8 years

    One of the best places in the Industry to work

    Mar 7, 2019 - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing Benefits. Passionate People. Diverse Teams. Progressive Culture. Good work/life balance. Actually cares about its employees deeply. Great pay.

    Cons

    Different teams can give very different experiences. Not given a ton of direction, need to be very self-guided. Has grown very fast recently, and sometimes left some teams and structures disorganized.

    8 people found this review helpful
  2. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Passionate Coworkers

    Apr 4, 2021 - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great teammates, Good WLB, Interesting work

    Cons

    Poor upper management Lack of pay transparency

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  3. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Excellent Place to push you to your limits and surpass them

    Aug 12, 2012 - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    From a technologists stand point and a former Yahoo where the people made the company I can only say nice things about Riot Games. The people, The people, The people. Everyone hired there is cream-of-the-crop and because of this you learn, and learn, and learn, and become better at what you do. The leadership structure allows those they hire to dictate where and what they should focus on something completely awesome if you're into technology. But of course to have reasons WHY something should be a certain way and follow though with it. The WHY is what makes this place great. They challenge your ideas and at the end of the challenge you come out with a very solid, FOCUSED roadmap to help the players of LoL.

    Cons

    1. Long hours. But they go by really really fast. 2. While I was there they put in a Starbucks coffee machine. it takes forever and a line starts to form,. Spark up conversation with the person next to you and itll go by faster. 3. Lunch time eateries. Not so healthy but with an onsite gym you cant complain. lol. 4. :-| No real cons to be honest.

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    4 people found this review helpful
  4. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Best job I have ever had

    Dec 6, 2012 - Senior Software Engineer in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    This is the best job I have ever had by a long shot. I love working with such passionate, intelligent and fun people! The work is challenging and interesting and the sky is the limit in terms of personal and company growth. There is a growth path for everyone in the company that works hard. Rioters have the choice to contribute as an individual or grow into a leadership role, it’s up to each person – even the hiring and recruiting process is open for involvement. I was brought in as an engineer and now have been able to build and lead a team! The perks are great too – we do a lot of fun activities (e.g. movies, baseball games, weekend getaways, paintball, etc.). There is a great coffee machine and a kegerator at the St. Louis office :-D and travel perks include traveling to other Riot offices across the globe. Overall, a great place to work!

    Cons

    Honestly, not many cons come to mind. As with many companies that have experienced the amount of growth that Riot has in such a short time, we have growing pains such as the accumulation of tech debt. The tech debt is understood and being addressed.

    2 people found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    If you like building Software, then RiotGames is an awesome place to work.

    Dec 12, 2012 - Senior Software Engineer in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - A flat organization, engineering driven culture. - The company rewards risk takers that deliver awesome experience for our players. - I get to have an impact on millions of players, how cool is that? - I work with smart, passionate people. They make me a better engineer and developer and I am constantly trying to keep my skills sharp to keep up. I love it!

    Cons

    - The flip side of a flat organization is a bit of chaos. A bit of chaos can drive innovation, but sometimes it is a bit much. We're working on it. - We need to improve our ability to create processes that help us build our game better and reduce errors in our pipeline.

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  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Riot understands what engineers need to be happy doing their job.

    Sep 9, 2012 - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Engineering: - Engineer driven - Very low "paperwork" style tasks other than documenting my code and APIs. - Other engineers and management are happy to hear "this isn't as good as it could be" and want to improve - Culture of continual improvement - Engineers understand where we are and where we need to be with regards to technical debt accrued during startup phase - Ambition and performance are encouraged and rewarded - Development process for my team is very efficient. We have very few wasted hours in meetings or management overhead. - Allows open sourcing code written on the job (http://github.com/RiotGames) General: - Very intelligent people - Most managers are former engineers - Very flexible schedules... don't miss meetings and get your work done. No other requirements, generally - Strong gamer culture (as might be expected) - Vast majority are hardcore LoL players. There are even dedicated training sessions to teach lower and mid level players how to play the game. Occasionally we even have advanced training from former professional LoL players. - Every major game release in the industry ends up with a dedicated group of players who buy the game and play together and discuss it - Everyone in the company is encouraged to interact with players on forums and in real life, regardless of title - Pay is solid - Standard benefits are generally what you'd expect from a company this size. Some nonstandard perks are unique to Riot, however: there are many company trips big and small. In the past we've traveled to Ensenada, Mexico and Las Vegas. For smaller trips the whole company attended an advanced screening of the Dark Knight Rises and an opening night screening of The Avengers. Riot also paid for shuttles to MLG Anaheim for any Rioter who wanted to go. This year, any Rioter who wanted 3day pass to PAX Prime got one free. Other perks include subsidized vending machines in the office (25c sodas, for example) and Starbucks coffee machines in every kitchen. We get dinner paid by Riot and delivered to the office for every night you work past 8pm. I could go on and on. It's really awesome to work at Riot.

    Cons

    - Riot has growing pains. LoL EXPLODED in popularity and there are a lot of things that Riot has to deal with and clean up to continue growing. - Underperformers are not always let go as quickly as they should be, though this is getting better - The quality level of the software is improving, but it has a long way to go before much of the code base could be considered solid. There are many efforts in motion to raise the quality bar, but there's a lot to be done. Test coverage particularly needs a lot of work for older projects. Newer projects tend to be much more solid. - People can be a little on the immature side from time to time. It's funny and all, but sometimes I just want to get stuff done. - It's not always clear how underperformance is being addressed in other parts of the company.

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    4 people found this review helpful
  7. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Great place to grow.

    Oct 26, 2012 - Senior Software Engineer in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I've been involved in a few start-ups in my life ; I like having the chance to work in fast paced environment, having input into technical and business decisions, and not feeling like a suit is directing my movement. Riot is an established company that feeds those needs for me. This review is skewed toward that perspective. Riot has a very flat organizational structure. Regardless of your title you're expected to provide input and go "above and beyond" the basic duties of your job. There are no "closed door" offices in any location I've visited. The president and CEO have the same size desk as everyone else and sit amongst developers and producers. They make themselves available to anyone in the company to chat with. Although many employees have been here "since the beginning" I haven't seen any sense of entitlement amongst them; everyone is humble and appreciative that we're growing as a team. Outside of my technical duties, I've gotten involved in the community with Riot. I've had chances to attend conferences and seminars (GDC, E3, local entrepreneurship events), work on a couple internal "level up" initiatives, participate in collegiate events, attend hackathons, and work on some PR ideas. None of these things are in my job title, but I'm interested in it so the sky is the limit. Finally on the decision-making front... Riot has a bottom-up culture that values employees making decisions instead of management dictating them. I feel like my opinions and matter and are taken seriously.

    Cons

    Riot attracts "Type A" personalities. Your ability to verbalize your goals and set a direction for yourself might not be for everyone. If you're a strong introvert who can't make an argument for a technology or idea you will be easily drowned out. There's technical debt to pay down. Much of the debt was created during the "just get something out the door so we can survive as a company" days. It's slowly being paid down but don't expect the cleanest code everywhere. That's probably true of many companies though.

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    3 people found this review helpful
  8. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    The place where technical dreams come to die.

    Jul 3, 2015 - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    * Great salary range for senior level employees. * Nice offices, good kitchens with free food. * Management doesn't micromanage. * Big operations budgets.

    Cons

    * Technically not innovative: running very old legacy architecture at some of the core elements despite the marketing hype for their culture about being at the forefront of technology. Too many examples to list... causes incredible frustration for engineers. Your career will suffer if you plan on implementing modern tech or want to advance your resume in technical prowess. Be prepared to work on decade old apps/configs and bad code that's dumped in your lap from the supposed "architect" employees that have been around since ~2008-2010. * Change management is the least efficient and least useful process I've seen in any tech company. Barely any adherence to ITIL process and most tech employees I asked about it had never heard of it. Shameful. * Bogged down in inefficiency at all levels of network and technical operations. * Management doesn't micromanage but they don't manage closely either - it's incredibly hands off and of the mindset that employees will either succeed or miserably fail without any guidance. * Pointless cultural frameworks exist in an attempt to brand Riot as "this that and the other". This was only instituted once a particular director was hired and that was the breaking point where the company changed from a fun place to work (about ~500 people) to a culturally immature struggle to be popular instead of technically successful. * Growth is out of control; ie management was efficient under 400 people, now the company is over 1,200 people and they haven't improved. * Re-org happens far too often and confuses employees, destabilizes teams, decentralizes reporting structure, projects lose focus, inter-team communication is massively broken as a result. * Employees kept in the dark about core changes to infrastructure and direction and efficiency metrics of operations and network. There used to be an all hands type meeting for many years but it was disbanded once the company grew too fast and spread too thin. * Technical direction is impaired by the above point, engineers are not empowered to know the overall architecture (game loop knowledge training is far too vague and doesn't cover the actual reality of the architecture like it used to because of how much things have changed since that required knowledge was implemented.) * Cultural hiring process fails to hire experts, instead hiring based on popularity. * WAY TOO MANY EMPLOYEES PLAYING LoL DURING WORKING HOURS. So much productivity lost here causing systemic laziness. * Majority of technical side of the company suffers from unhealthy lifestyles. Cultural fit tends to promote a lifestyle that results in a lot of obese and overweight employees. I lost count of how many employees went from healthy BMI to overweight/obese BMI during the 5 years I worked there. It's sad to watch people change this way and have the company not promote healthy lifestyles. * Terrible LGBT support overall despite the recent hype given to the charity donation for the Trevor Project. That was charity for marketing, nothing more. Highly homophobic and misogynistic work environment (I'm not LGBT or female but wow... the guys there are pretty crude and awful sometimes. It's like being surrounded by Gamer Gate sometimes.) * Work life balance is abysmal. Worst of any company I've worked for in my 16+ years.

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    37 people found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Amazing experience, i feel reborn...

    Feb 26, 2013 - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Just a bit of context: I relocated to LA from the UK to take the job at Riot. I guess I took a considerable risk - I already had a very senior and well paid job in a prestigious global investment bank as a lead architect, and had a family settled in London. I also left halfway in the bonus cycle. However, I wasn't really enjoying London or banking (or the commute). I've been at Riot for 6mths now. Without exception, I've found Riot and the work environment to be very refreshing and full of opportunities. I enjoy the gaming space, the company ethos inspires me, and I'm really enjoying the work and the company culture. I'm glad I made the move for the company as well as the location. Pros: - the game they make is an absolute phenomenon. I'm working on (and making a difference to) one of the most successful games in history. I'm having the time of my life! How often do you get the chance to work on such a prolific system? - senior leadership is made up of really good people. they think very clearly about complex issues, and are very approachable. - nearly all the original employees are still present - the quality and energy of the staff is extremely high. The average tech person here would walk all over the average tech person in investment banking. - the people are genuinely friendly and very geeky. I feel quite at home here. - the company is pointed in (what i consider) a very ethical direction by senior management - they have been genuinely flexible about work hours, areas of work and dealing with the complexities of an international move. I have really decent bosses. - politics is pretty minimal (and it's not really organized as a strict hierarchy per se)

    Cons

    - they've literally got too much work to do. Getting good hires through the door has been challenging and I've had to spend more time than I would have liked in interviews - being apart from my family (my wife and kids are still in the UK temporarily as my eldest is finishing GCSEs) has been tough. I'm glad I moved to California though, the weather in the UK was really starting to bring me down. - Riot is in transition from a startup to a more mature organization, with all the commensurate growing pains. Coming from banking I find this very exciting with lots of opportunities, but YMMV.

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  10. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Great Game, Great Values, Great Company...but we have a few things to work on ;)

    Aug 12, 2012 - Senior Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Great Benefits - Flexible Work Hours - Great Culture - Value Individual contribution - Open Door Policy - Usually very little in the way of "office politics" - Playing League of Legends is almost - Lots of extracurricular activities - > 800 people and we still feel like a family (a really LARGE family) - Great positive energy around the office where people come to work because they WANT to...not because they NEED to. - Challenging / exciting problems to solve - Dedicated to helping their "Rioters" grow through effective mentoring - Competitive Salaries - Playing video games at work and it is ACTUALLY part of your job...need I say more :)?

    Cons

    Cost of Living: Santa Monica is beautiful, but it is not cheap. While I chose to move here after my first year, the first year I lived for about 35% less over by LAX in Westchester, giving me about a 20 min commute. Downtown Culver City or the Palms are also great options if you STILL want to be close to "things to do", without paying high rents, but if you don't mind a roomate or two, Santa Monica is a great place to live. Work / Life Balance: As the company has had explosive growth, sometimes people feel as though it is difficult to maintain work / life balance. Sometimes people complain about "mandatory events", but even our mandatory events have always been optional and usually come with a cool reward. For example, after our last "mandatory" event, we got to see The Dark Knight Rises a day before general release for free...pretty awesome if I DO say so myself ;). The people that tend to feel this way, In reality though, are those people are those who do not raise visibility that they feel inundated with work. How do I know? I used to be one of them :). As you grow at Riot, your manager WILL give you more responsibility. However, he or she will ALSO be very receptive to your needs. If you say that your workload is getting to high, managers are always willing to help and find additional resources to assist. I feel like a lot of people give Riot harsh reviews because this is their first job in the industry and don't know what to expect or don't know how to say no. Trust me...I worked at startups where the norm was > 90 hours / week. At Riot, I manage to still be a top performer and I honestly only work 50 hours on average per week. Granted...that's not 9-5, but it isn't a sweat shop either as some people have said. I would say about 2 days / month, I am at the office late because of a deploy or because there may be that occasional live issue. If you currently work here and you have done all of the above and STILL feel inundated...consider reading "On Managing Yourself" from the Harvard Business Review. It worked wonders for me ;). Communication: As the company has grown and new departments have formed, effective communication to ALL relevant parties has become more of a challenge. I joined when we had about 150 Rioters and it was much easier to keep everyone in the loop. Usually a quick chat with your manager can give you a clue as to who you should be including in your communication with other departments. Sometimes with regional offices around the world, you can feel the slightest tinge of a game of "telephone" where a message gets lost in translation. This IS something we have been working to improve though. Having worked with our international offices and almost every department @ Riot, I do feel this more than some people. I've found that it comes down to deciding in advance what is the most effective form of communication for the audience. Sometimes a meeting is the most effective, sometimes a powerpoint, sometimes an email. Sometimes it is a mixture of all three :). On-boarding / Training: Again...as we grew explosively, we are just NOW getting around to putting together many of our training programs. When I started about 2 years ago, it was very much a "throw you in the deep end with cement shoes on" mentality. People would be around if you started to "drown", but you usually were expected to grow organically by asking the right questions. Now that we're getting bigger, we have gotten more effective at on-boarding new Rioters in their respective departments and also in understanding our core values. Our mentoring structure has improved dramatically and on-boarding programs have become quite effective. We still have a ways to go...but we're definitely on the right track. Tech Debt: As with any company that grew at our rate, we have a decent amount of tech debt that we are now working through. We're getting better and our automated test coverage is constantly increasing, but we still have a long way to go. If you do join, I guarantee there will be at least one code base you despise working in, BUT...the great part? If you really don't like it, I guarantee you can find a team willing to take the time to rewrite it with you. Over the past two years, I've seen us steadily start paying back our technical debt that accrued during start up stages and the "despised code bases" are definitely on a decline. Not for Everyone: If you are used to a top-down organization or you don't like games, you probably won't enjoy Riot. We are hard core gamers and we lead bottom-up. You'll probably flounder if you don't embrace that ideal or don't enjoy games. Trust me...the pros far outweigh the cons :).

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    9 people found this review helpful
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