Twitch Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Twitch Engineer Reviews

Updated August 6, 2017
21 reviews

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2.8
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Emmett Shear
17 Ratings

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Pros
  • The perks are great, you can't really ask for more (in 6 reviews)

  • Hard working environment, but there is work/life balance, if you want to work out middle of day, fine, just get your job done (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • The company is going through some growing pains, but overall they have been relatively smooth (in 7 reviews)

  • Upper management has lost control of the company; people say and do whatever they want (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Great company to work for"

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

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

    Pros

    The people you work with

    Cons

    The hours were long but they do take care f you

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring the people you do

    Twitch Response

    May 8, 2017

    Thanks for the review! - Arthur Yamamoto/ Director of Recruiting


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Twitch used to be a great place to work, don't expect that for much longer"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great food perks, though these have slowly been dwindling for each passing week
    - Smart people, there are a handful of bright individuals that help you learn
    - Strong brand, great loving community
    - Flexible work schedule

    Cons

    - Misguided CEO that tries to take on too many rolls (We have no CTO, CPO, or arguably CEO)
    - Constant reorgs without clear alignment and direction
    - Inadequate management, while there are a handful of good managers at Twitch, an overwhelming majority are poor (first time managers, usbpar engineers)
    - Toxic culture, there are adversarial relationships rampant at the company and the product reflects this division
    - Compensation and vesting schedule is below market
    - Morale has been slowly taking a dip

    Advice to Management

    Replace ineffective leaders with the right people. Align priorities across all organizations and teams.

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Company going sour"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free food and drinks
    Gaming room
    Good work equipment

    Cons

    Culture has changed with the growth of the company. Twitch was once a very positive placed, which is turning sour. Very cliquey culture and far too many people are now very negative default to say no to everything.
    Career growth opportunities are a joke.
    Companies small and large are eating Twitch's lunch. Discord, Youtube, Facebook.
    Surprisingly large amount of people work at Twitch who do not use Twitch. RIP customer focus.

    Advice to Management

    Growth is needed but hire the right people. Be wary of the large groups just large for the sake of being large.


  4. Helpful (16)

    "Looking back at almost 2 years at Twitch"

    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

    Competitive pay if you join now. Typical benefits of startups

    Cons

    A year ago, I left a negative review hoping that Twitch would move in a positive direction.

    While I agree with many opinions here that an Amazon takeover is imminent, I would argue that an Amazon takeover is the only way Twitch will survive into the coming years.

    Twitch execs have proved that they are unable or unwilling to steer the company in the right direction. They lack the means or ability or authority to unify Twitch under one vision and direction. The countless failed features, products, and expansions are indicative of the total dysfunction, particularly in engineering, of Twitch. We still operate in a shout loudest get attention environment, we still cannot coordinate, we still cannot come to an agreement on any sort of standard or baseline. We cannot even properly hold a new hire Eng edu class because nobody can agree on what to teach or how to properly do things.

    As a side note, it's absolutely unacceptable that a director chooses to walk around the office with no shoes or socks. Or run up and down the hall like a giggling child.

    On compensation, it's insane the salary disparity here. Basically anyone hired roughly the year since the acquisition is woefully underpaid. It's an uphill battle to try to promote or even increase salary. Yet, new and unproven employees are given ludicrous salaries and hiring managers are basically told, "it's just a number".

    I welcome Amazon. While it'd be great to keep Twitch culture alive, I'd rather be unhappy but functional than unhappy AND dysfunctional. More to the point, Twitch culture is just a formality now - a way to trick star struck people to join the company. It's already gone, might as well move on and at least try make Twitch functional.

    Advice to Management

    We are in desperate need of a CTO. We need a CEO that understands hwo to run a company not a startup CEO.

    Twitch Response

    Mar 6, 2017

    Appreciate the feedback. I sincerely encourage you to talk further with our VP of HR or myself. I will absolutely make sure your feedback is relayed to the exec team. I hope to chat with you... More


  5. "Fun, friendly place to work"

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

    I have been working at Twitch as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly work environment where engineers on my team genuinely cared about my personal and professional growth. Individuals were willing and eager to help, impactful work on my team, great perks and food

    Cons

    Sometimes conflicting interests across teams are resolved poorly. Communication is lacking and can sometimes lead to individuals just pointing fingers and not taking ownership of certain parts of projects

    Advice to Management

    Encourage better communication across teams for your engineers


  6. Helpful (14)

    "Sadly slowing down"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Twitch full-time

    Pros

    Great product, inspiring engineers, hard challenges to solve and a breathtaking office in central San Francisco.

    Cons

    Managers. The current way of solving issues is hiring more managers up until the point where nothing moves anywhere.

    Advice to Management

    Make the company move fast again before someone else overtakes the market position.

    Twitch Response

    Aug 9, 2016

    Appreciate the feedback. if you're ever interested, would love to chat directly about your manager concerns. I don't think we're just hiring "managers", I believe the rate at which we've hired... More


  7. Helpful (19)

    "Obsessed with making employees happy"

    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 3 years)

    Pros

    It's very clear that Twitch believes the best way to have productive engineers is to make them happy. I'm often asked in 1:1s for feedback, pain points, and general well-being. My managers have been very transparent with their own goals in managing and I feel comfortable bringing up anything on my mind with my manager, even touchy subjects.

    Twitch has done a great job keeping its startup gaming culture after the Amazon acquisition -- playing games at your desk is commonplace. Where another company may have employees walking by say things like "Games in the middle of the day eh?", Twitch employees instead come at you with "What deck you running?" or "WHAT A DEAD GAEM".

    On the business side, the company cares deeply about broadcasters and it's refreshing to see business goals align so well with making users happy. Risky products that we're unsure about often go through talks with broadcasters for feedback, and the Partnerships team has gotten really good at facilitating these connections. I feel proud to work at a company that's so well-loved by its content creators.

    Emmett is one of the smartest people I know and I could listen to him talk for hours.

    Twitch employees are very open to ideas, arguments, and being wrong. Dozens of times I've joined into an ad hoc conversation I overheard and within minutes directly affected a product with my input.

    The postmortem culture, in most areas of the company, is well-intentioned and blameless. Problems don't often come down to "I screwed up, won't happen again"; they correctly go beyond that into "together we've built a system that allowed a screw up to take down the site; how do we fix that?". Some areas of the company lag behind here -- the video team's culture is infamous for being isolated from the rest of engineering and its ideals, for better or worse -- but in general it's good.

    Cons

    I said above that Twitch has kept its startup culture, but there are other things that it hasn't kept. Initially, Amazon was completely hands-off with the acquisition, which was great. But very, very slowly they're creeping into the scene, needing to approve all compensation adjustments, wanting to build coordinated products, Amazonifying all Twitch laptops, teaching us about interviewing, requiring periodic security training, getting Amazon badges and turnstiles, etc.

    Each case individually isn't a big deal and is backed by good reasons (lots of these are "we need to fix <scaling issue> and Amazon already has so let's use their solution), but I can't deny that over time it becomes more and more apparent that we're an Amazon company whose large decisions need to go through our friends in Seattle. For now this doesn't affect me a ton, but I imagine within a couple of years I'll be ready to leave for something smaller.

    Advice to Management

    Identify and fix the issues that cause people to think of Amazon as Big Brother. This isn't an easy thing to do. But if the creep keeps happening at the same rate, people will leave.

    Twitch Response

    Jun 6, 2016

    Thanks for the review and feedback! To be clear, while I understand your perspective - all of the decisions on the things you mentioned were made by the Twitch executive team. At the end of the... More

  8. Helpful (35)

    "Unsuccessfully Dealing with Corporate Puberty"

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

    I worked at Twitch full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Some incredibly smart, motivated people work there. If you can engage them you will do amazing things. Dogs allowed in the office, which is incredible. Support staff and contractors are hard-working and friendly, and the office is in a convenient location.

    Cons

    I relocated internationally for a job at Twitch. Unfortunately the company was moving and hiring so fast that I got sidetracked into fulfilling a need that was not really what I do, and I'm not particularly good at. I was yelled at a lot for not being particularly good at this thing that is not what I do.

    Inside of the company is middle management hell. Emmett Shear is probably the smartest person I've ever met, and his corporate values are incredible, but they functionally don't exist. Middle managers have different agendas from other middle managers and sometimes these stack and are opposite to each other. By the time said directions reach workers it can be impossible to know which to follow. On more than one occasion I had been dealt with harshly by my manager for following the directions they gave me.

    The reality is that everyone's so afraid of the culture being warped that they hold things very close to their chest. If you ever raise a problem in someone else's department as Emmett specifically instructs, prepare for trouble, abuse, and people lying about you to your manager. I grew more depressed, made worse by the fact that the food made me sick almost every other day. I stopped eating with the team to avoid diarrhoea. This sounds like a joke. It isn't. I discovered some less-than-ethical behavior and tried to see if perhaps there was something I'd not understood, and instead was treated with disdain.

    This company will set you up for failure and then make it your fault when you do. It was utterly disappointing and an incredible yet awful experience. My volunteered time raised tens of thousands for charity, helped professional esports teams reach their goals, and spent as much time as any broadcaster was willing to input working with them to improve their show. But the time spent after work not wanting to speak to or see anyone from being burnt out more than overcame that.

    Not working at Twitch is an great feeling, and it's very conflicting loving the site and userbase so much but having the back-end running of an organization be so depressing.

    When people read this (and I know they will, having seen people publicly mock negative glass-door reviews of current employees), if they figure out who I am they will find ways to disregard this feedback by personally attacking me to invalidate the experience.

    Maybe there was a time when Twitch knew who it was. Maybe Emmett's ideals existed when there were 20, 50, 100 people. At 500, they haven't for some time. Overall, I guess it was a good experience, in the way that terrible things sometimes are for the roller-coaster they put you through.

    While there are many good things about the company, I cannot in any good conscience recommend a career here - only a job. No Kappa.

    Advice to Management

    - Make sure Twitch Values are known and reinforced at all levels
    - An org chart is funcitonally useless if no-one knows who to talk to when they have a problem with [blank], teams are heavily silo'd. Assign inter-dept liasons, publicly listed.
    - Prepare food on-site rather than catered, a small unscientific survey I took of 10 people showed 7 of 10 complained regularly of getting the runs
    - Improve reporting to Amazon; the overlords suspect many dodgy things are going on, hiding it won't help. They know, trust me.
    - More IT. Requestioning basic hardware takes 2 - 3 months (up from 2 - 3 days when I started)
    - The visionaries are either in management already, or leaving. Identify staff with leadership potential, foster their growth within the org.
    - Understand that your staff will receive at least 1 linkedin poaching request from a major tech company a month. Perks won't keep people around, they just make life easier. Perks aren't real - the relationships within the company are. Work to develop more relationships and ensure that people know how their products fill inter-departmental requirements.

    Twitch Response

    Apr 14, 2016

    Thanks for your feedback, the company is growing rapidly and we're all doing our best to keep this a great place to work. I haven't heard or experienced what you did with the food, but I'll... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Twitch is passionate about their product!"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks, great people, exciting work. Twitch is filled with people who really care about the product they're building, and that makes the work all that much more worthwhile. It's great to be part of a company that is transition from startup to a larger company; Amazon provides Twitch with support, but Twitch still retains the culture that made it unique in the first place.

    Cons

    The company is going through some growing pains, but overall they have been relatively smooth. From an engineering standpoint, the biggest hurdle is digging through legacy code that nobody seems to know about, since all of the people that wrote said code are now in management roles or left the company after the acquisition.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing; it's working. Listen to employee advice to improve the workplace, and it'll get even better!

    Twitch Response

    Apr 20, 2016

    Great to hear and thanks for the feedback. - Arthur Yamamoto / Director of Recruiting


  10. Helpful (1)

    "One word: Awesome"

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

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

    Pros

    Great company doing great things. Love everything about working here. Could not ask for a better company to work for IMO. Sure the work is hard and plentiful but what real job isn't if it's worth anything.

    Cons

    I don't care too much for San Francisco or the commute everyday (not that Twitch can do anything about that). Other than that no problems for me.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work. Totally love it!

    Twitch Response

    Apr 20, 2016

    Awesome to hear!