Twitch Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Twitch Engineer Reviews

Updated March 20, 2018
35 reviews

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2.7
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Emmett Shear
28 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The perks are great; free food, snacks, bar (in 16 reviews)

  • Free food great people nice place (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • We're in a unique position and experiencing some growing pains (in 10 reviews)

  • Because of mandates from upper management pushing a product or idea because they think it will drive minutes (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Twitch is a great place, which went through a rough patch"

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

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

    Pros

    - Our biggest problem (at least on our team) is that we have a vision to build systems and tech much larger than today's, and the problem set is hard. It's rare to get to work on technical problems like this as a day job.

    - Amazon honestly is very lenient on us. We get to choose our tech stacks, tools, methodologies, etc. Their approach is not a top down one where you are told which CI system or tool to use. There are teams building support systems, and as an engineer you literally own your destiny and pick the best tools for the job.

    - The amount of freedom we have in terms of proposing projects that actually happen is really good. We have practically no restrictions on equipment and tech resource availability. The amount of freedom to pick and use open source or AWS resources is really, really good. As some one who worked in the past at places penny pinching, or where asking for compute resources were months long requests to finance, this availability makes me super happy.

    - The company does listen to feedback and take it seriously. Management actually cares about people and give priority to this. There has been a lot of movement lately to actually address pain points brought up.

    Cons

    - Office coffee leaves much to be desired.

    - Late 2016/2017 were rough. We suddenly got a TON of external competition from heavy hitters (youtube, facebook). The company went gung-ho on features and catch up, which was hard but necessary. We are in a much better spot today, but it was hard on people.

    - Twitch had a mix of legacy systems from the justin.tv days, along the newer ones. Literally the whole company spent last year a large amount of time to work on the very unsexy problem of cleaning debt. This was also hard on everyone, but we got rid for the most part of massive chunks of tech debt.

    - Some parts of twitch do suffer of "not-invented-here" syndrome. We could leverage more external and amazon's tools, which will free up time to work on other larger technical challenges.

    Twitch Response

    Feb 12, 2018 – VP

    Thank you for your feedback. We are leveraging Amazon (tools/tech) where it's best suited for Twitch and continue to review this on an ongoing basis. Also, we will ensure the Workplace team at... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good work life balance but lower salary compared to competitors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer L5 in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer L5 in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Good perks. Complementary food, snacks, juices..
    2. Flexible work from home policy..
    3. Great work culture in many orgs
    4. Great work life balance..

    Cons

    1. Salary is lower compared to other competitors in the area. It's difficult to live and work in SF at this salary.. ppl in Seattle get kinda same salary.. if Amazon stock stops appreciating, employees are screwed with such low bar of salary..

    Advice to Management

    We need at least 50k increase in salary caps.. Seattle salary cap plus few grand won't work in SF..

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Not perfect, but overall great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    I've worked at 4-5 large tech companies in the Bay Area, and when I started at Twitch it totally blew me away. The perks were better than most companies I've been at (Snacks, Swag, Gear, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), and Twitch had a diverse mix of talent- super smart senior engineers, as well as new interns and college grads. The scale of the stack we run is insane, at a scale that only a handful of companies operate at, including Google and Facebook. I can't speak for other parts of the organization, but my manager is very laid back and gives us a lot of freedom to achieve our goals.

    Cons

    Since I started, things have shifted and many older employees are on their way out as they vest stock. Some of the perks, like swag, have diminished quite a bit, and some frustrating IT processes have made life difficult, either in the name of security or for management reasons. The tech debt has started to catch up with us, and we spend a lot of resources troubleshooting incidents and replacing old systems.

    However- despite all this, I have a very positive outlook on Twitch. We are growing at a rapid pace, and Twitch can deliver insane amounts of video around the world and does this very well. Twitch also has an amazing community and culture that is 100% grassroots, and not artificial and forced like it is at places like Facebook. Also the compensation is good, and you get the benefits of working for Amazon (Stock, etc) without a lot of the downsides that they have. It's the best of both worlds.

    Twitch Response

    Feb 12, 2018 – VP

    "Thanks for your review! Appreciate your thoughts feedback. We are actively working to better our IT processes and systems. I will make sure I share your feedback with our executive team. - Sally... More


  4. Helpful (13)

    "Stay away from this company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Twitch full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Home to many gamers. If you are into video games you can easily find someone who plays the games you like. Twitch offers perks that are similar to any other tech company, however these perks are getting worse and worse.

    Cons

    The problems really start at the top of the ladder. There's way too many inexperienced directors who are only in those positions because they were pre-acquisition. Twitch really should have hired these people from outside. Another issue internally is racial bias. Yes, while we claim to support diversity and inclusion, it is pretty obvious that the white male is superior in this company when put side to side with people of color. I want to be clear that it isn't intentional racism. It is the fact that most of the people who hold higher positions are white males and white males naturally see other white males as superior.

    Another con is the lack of job promotion opportunities. Managers seem to be very easy on promoting somebody from L4 to L5 just to inflate their stats about their supposed promotion numbers. L5 to L6? good luck with that. You're better off at a different company if you want that to happen. L6 to L7? yeah that's only happened to one person in the entire company the past few years. For those without context, our levels are L4-L7 where L4 is a new grad hire and L7 is a staff engineer. So if you see yourself as an L5, just turn around and use Twitch's offer as a way to negotiate with other companies.

    Lastly is the way directors run the company. They are very narrow minded and are clearly inexperienced. They are way too black and white on something. The way they talk makes it seem like it is always either one thing or the other. If this then that. They think when any single person complains about something, it is invalid because it is just "a few people speaking very loudly". If they have not heard feedback from a good amount of people it is not a problem to them, but rather a few outlier individuals having a uniquely bad experience.

    Advice to Management

    News flash to the directors: many people are afraid to escalate issues because of the power gap between you and them. So of course you haven't heard anything. It is YOUR job to identify these issues without needing people to specifically tell you via some feedback form or in person. Us employees don't like complaining because we don't want to lose our jobs. We are submissive to you guys so please treat us better without us having to ask and fight hard for it. We want Twitch to succeed just as much as you do.


  5. Helpful (30)

    "Glassdoor and Blind App are not the problem"

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

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

    Pros

    There are some really smart people here.

    Cons

    Hiring: getting increasingly difficult. There are enough better tech companies out there (better culture, better leadership, better benefits, better pay).

    Leadership: there is none. Too many incompetent and political people who only care about their own reputation. Decisions force smart people out.

    Career progress: nonexistent. L4 -> L5, ok. L5 -> L6 can happen. L6 -> L7 - huh? (eng and PM, not sure about rest).

    CEO: insane. Can't and won't delegate. Passionate about product, but not actually good at it for the scale where things are now. Can't align people.

    HR: useless. Don't even know where to start with them... Care only if you have something that could damage company publicly.

    Twitch is all about gaming. Especially the game of politics.

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing on Glassdoor and Blind App. Fix actual problems and these two will no longer be on that list!


  6. Helpful (13)

    "Twitch has lost it's way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Don't need to work hard
    Perks are on par with most
    Amazon stock is the best

    Cons

    - Vesting schedule is horrible
    - HR team is the worst of any team I've encountered
    - Morale is miserable
    - The pre-acquisition people don't care and are burning the place to the ground before they exit with their cash
    - Too focused on stopping negativity on social media than fixing the reason people are being negative

    Advice to Management

    Make wholesale changes to HR leadership before the company implodes. Find a way to break free of the compensation structure that ensures a 2 year exit for most.


  7. Helpful (26)

    "Twitch could be great if it got its act together"

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

    I have been working at Twitch full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Twitch is a great product. Twitch has a massive customer base so you'll get to work on a product that is used by millions daily around the world.
    - Fun people. Generally speaking, the people that work at Twitch are awesome folks.
    - The company isn't too huge so you have opportunities to make an impact.
    - Lunch and dinner provided every day, breakfast three times a week. Food and drink selection is great and the happy hour after All Hands every week is a nice touch.
    - Compensation is pretty good and being an Amazon subsidiary, you'll get Amazon stock.

    Cons

    - Company organization is a disaster. There is so much siloing without a strong overarching vision so everything feels fragmented. I've seen management at All Hands admit not knowing what some of these silos are doing.
    - Bad quality. The website goes down for hours at a time almost once a month. Everyone talks about improving quality but I don't see any meaningful steps being taken to remediate the issues. There are even groups of people in the company that see "quality first" as anti-Twitch culture which is ridiculous.
    - A lack of CTO and strong technical leadership has left Twitch pretty far back when it comes to engineering. Of all the companies I've worked for, Twitch is easily the company that has the most work to do to power up its engineering chops.
    - Career advancement appears to be pretty daunting and challenging. It's not enough to meet all the requirements; you'll need some luck and a manager willing to put in some effort on your behalf.

    Advice to Management

    1. Hire a CTO.
    2. Make plans and stick to them. Stop changing them halfway through. No one appreciates "gut decisions" halfway through implementation.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Best job of my life"

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

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

    Pros

    - Perks are great
    - Lots of interesting work and projects
    - Leadership has clear and reasonable goals
    - Nice work life balance
    - Coworkers are awesome to work with

    Cons

    - Grew a bit too fast and made some bad hires
    - Some conflicting business goals and metrics across teams

    Advice to Management

    - Raise the hiring bar
    - More Friday happy hours pls :)


  9. Helpful (35)

    "Poor morale; weak engineering culture"

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

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

    Pros

    - Perks in line with other SF tech companies
    - Decent salary and benefits
    - Flexible work schedule
    - Some good people
    - Games? I guess?
    - Nice office if you're in Bush or Sansome. God help you if you're in 2EC.

    Cons

    - Widespread lack of confidence in executive team
    - Employees openly mock CEO
    - Cliqueish
    - No career progression
    - Low diversity
    - Not-Invented-Here syndrome
    - Massive technical debt that's only getting worse
    - Stack is so fragile that any big event of real importance entails a company wide code freeze because otherwise we're guaranteed to go down
    - Reaction to instability is to slap restrictions on engineering teams instead of addressing fundamental architectural and cultural problems ("operational excellence" -- el oh el)
    - HR is unprofessional. Actually included a curseword in a companywide e-mail.

    Many if not most core employees at Twitch, including managers and directors, have never worked anywhere else. It shows. Twitch decided to triple in size before investing in a solid foundation built on tooling, DevOps, quality control, and building an engineering culture.

    Twitch does not have an engineering culture. When most people talk about culture at Twitch, they're talking about the food.

    Writing code is not engineering. A lot of people don't seem to understand this. You want documentation? A knowledge base? Best practices? Mentoring? Some standard kind of bug tracking or requirements management process? Tests? Local development environments? Staging environments? Continuous integration? Forget it. Forget all of it. There's variation here on a team by team basis -- some are better than others -- but that just underscores the point that there's no *coherent* culture across the wider engineering org. It's chaos.

    As a result of this lack of coherence, not just every team but every project ends up spending 60-70% of its engineering effort on deployment, monitoring, alerting, and metrics. Everything is bespoke, and there is massive duplication of effort all around. Every project and every line of code written only makes the situation worse than it already is. God help our skeletal DevOps and systems teams.

    An enterprising individual could write a whole new antipatterns book based entirely on case studies taken from Twitch. The executive team has no understanding of how software development works at scale.

    Advice to Management

    The executive team needs some... adjustment. Product development should be massively slowed down or halted entirely until we aren't going down every other month. We desperately need an empowered CTO who understands how to build an engineering culture. Even with the proper investment and focus, it's going to take a long time to dig out of this hole.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "high paying, good (free) catering, brilliant people, can't complain - type of experience"

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

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

    Pros

    This company has lots great things to offer, way better than previous personal Full Time / Part time jobs in the industry. Just a few to mention: great perks, good in office kitchens / food and drink (unlimited), covered transportation, hiring bonus options, RSUs, great office spaces / equipment and most of all brilliant video / web engineers. A lot of room to grow ( all depends on self )

    The company is innovating the space in many ways and I believe has great potential that I am sure most around the world will see in a short time

    Cons

    People talk about company morale these days.., but I would recommend for anyone try and go work for a company of the same industry out there and compare, - one will be running back to the 'purple parachute' in no time.
    On the other side even giants* have their problems, and probably a lot more in comparison, considering Twitch has gone from a start up to a moderately sized one in just 1-2 years.
    (on the Geo side: San Francisco has it's weather, but not a great city, has lots of problems and food is lacking - comparing to other metro cities in the nation. City is old)

    Yes not everything is perfect, but I see heads of departments are wary and are working on, it trickels down and the differences are made a lot faster than in some other more stagnant env.

    Advice to Management

    - Keep the interaction trickling down between Upper management and general populous.
    - Keep up the reviews and giving feedback
    - Don't forget to celebrate the wins