Twitch Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Twitch Software Engineer Reviews

Updated December 9, 2017
24 reviews

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Software Engineer

2.3
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Emmett Shear
18 Ratings

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Pros
  • Great perks, nothing to complain about (in 14 reviews)

  • The company seems to endorse work life balance at first glance (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • We're in a unique position and experiencing some growing pains (in 9 reviews)

  • The work/life balance is sometimes non-existent (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  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 :)


  2. Helpful (24)

    "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.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Things Happen"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Twitch has a very good culture. In specific, it is very nice that I am able to play video games during work hours.

    Cons

    I do not feel very connected to my team mates. We do not spend a lot of time with each other during work or not during work, so that makes sense. I spend a lot of time with my computer though, we are pretty close.

    Advice to Management

    I think that overall twitch is a great place to work at and I don't really have any complaints for the management.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Ship good work then get out"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    What's great is you will definitely deliver impactful work with brilliant coworkers. Perks are decent (though should be judged as part of the compensation package), you get to watch Twitch all day and be ground-zero at the one of the newest, coolest movements out there.

    Cons

    If you want to progress your career or learn from experienced mentors, look elsewhere. History has shown that Twitch is FAR more likely to promote from outside than from within. It's disheartening and we continue to lose brilliant, good-hearted people as a result. They are the smart ones that took control of their environments by leaving.

    Depending on how stagnant your manager is, prepare to have little to no mind paid to your professional development. Engineering more or less follows Amazon's leveling structure, but with more hurdles. Anecdotally most non-engineers don't have formal leveling guidelines/expectations.

    The HR department has been the worst of my career. When pressed, we're fed empty promises with a smirk. Virtually the entire HR team quit/was fired recently, and I'm wary of the ones that remain. Most do not feel comfortable working with them, let alone trusting them. I'm sorry for you lone decent ones, as the majority have besmirched you.

    Toxic culture around management and executives. Executive reviews often go off the rails and our leaders get petulant real quick. I rarely see genuine moments of humility. Instead its posturing, ego-trips. Also, and I hate to bring it up, but many of them are quite unhealthy, and its reasonable to question their mental/physical capacity to properly lead some of the brightest minds in the industry. Not the shining exemplars you'd hope were at the helm.

    Many of us would prefer Amazon just completely take over.
    If you're still keen on applying, definitely do research into the specific managers you'd be working with. There are some awesome ones, notably from post-acquisition (surprise, surprise).

    Advice to Management

    "Why am I not surprised?"


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Morale is low"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are some really good smart people at twitch. Some of the best people I've met in my life. Both genuinely caring and good at their jobs. There are fun and interesting problems that need to be solved.

    Cons

    At some point people just stopped caring about the product, stopped caring about stability. Morale started to suffer, the vision of where to go became unclear. Politics took over, infighting between teams became too much.

    We are either to integrated with Amazon, or not integrated enough. This half and half state is killing the company slowly. We don't have the management or TPM structure to deal with interacting with Amazon. At the same time we don't have the internal tooling teams or structure to not integrate deep into amazon.

    We either need to massively beef up the TPM structure and start adopting Amazon's internal tools and systems. If we don't want to do that then we need to massively increase the size of the devtools and systems teams to better support the company.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out the morale problem. Integrate with Amazon. Address the FUD about Amazon, it is the elephant in the room.


  6. Helpful (21)

    "Zero leadership, whole company in dumpster fire, stay away"

    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

    Benefits, while they still last, like massages and snacks
    are pretty good
    Some good people are still around
    Compensation being tied to amazon stock
    Kudos to recruiting/hr for posting 5 star reviews on a regular basis to keep the Glassdoor rating afloat

    Cons

    Twitch used to be a great company to work at. Too bad the CEO and the executive team has turned a great company into a dumpster fire.

    There is no long term vision for twitch. The executive team just care about hitting their numbers, on this meaningless metric called "minutes watched" that doesn't actually mean anything, can be be easily gamed, and doesn't drive value. They're so desperate to hit their goals that they've resorted to shady accounting of minutes. Every single month half of the company gets sucked into these mbrs and wbrs, and while they're good concepts, the goal for these at twitch isn't to actually report what happened, but to write a narrative that changes every single month to pretend we are actually doing great while in reality most things are terrible. This way amazon can be confused while the execs inch their way another month closer to their next vest.

    Zero product vision. Micro-managing CEO. Zero long term thinking or strategy. PMs can't establish their own vision for products, instead they become mere puppets for the CEO, who is far too deep into the weeds. Wish he would give the PMs the freedom to decide the color of a button and instead focusing on actual important things. Incompetent executive team (70% should be fired given the performance of their orgs). Ineffective communication due to the changing requests every week/month. Good people leaving left and right. How this company is still being run this way for this long is beyond me, but I expect significant changes soon.

    Advice to Management

    If you can't do the job, let someone else do it, rather than ruining the lives of everyone around you and the whole company. If all of the products coming out of your org is a complete failure, you should be fired, not own more stuff because of some kindergarten friendship. If you are terrible at hiring and leading people, you probably shouldn't be a VP of anything. If you keep having to fire people in your org, including those you hired yourself, because of one issue or another, maybe you are part of the problem. If you don't have a company strategy, why is there even a chief strategy officer?

    There are plenty of people who are both experienced and willing to step up to steer the ship in the right direction. Do us all a favor and get out of the way. I'm sure you've already conned enough money from amazon to not have to work.


  7. Helpful (19)

    "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.

    Twitch Response

    Sep 15, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. Please know that we take this type of feedback seriously and are actively addressing where we’re not on target. I've personally... More

  8. Helpful (7)

    "No Focus On Quality"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Product is interesting, at least.

    Cons

    Engineering takes a back seat to getting releases out. Frequently these releases have key features (or sometimes even central features) removed to hit deadlines. We used to have centralized quality teams, but they've been cannibalized for feature team headcount. The result is slower development because each feature team is having to create their own operations and development tools because what's left of devtools can't support the company anymore. There's no good way to share these tools cross-org. A lot of teams have insane deadlines and overwork themselves trying to hit them. Product quality is in free-fall and everyone's more interested in tricking amazon into thinking we're accomplishing things than improving anything. Quality of life is trending downward- perks are being cut, food/drinks aren't being restocked, wage increases were below inflation last year org-wide. Half the company's manager upline doesn't go through the CEO and instead goes through some Amazon guy now. Things are going bad real fast. A new building is opening up next year but they're cutting 6 inches off everyone's desk to make it work, it's not clear how we'll fit our monitors in our workstation at that point.

    Advice to Management

    I think you're going to be gone soon, best of luck.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Software Engineer"

    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 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice snacks
    Has a solid gaming culture
    I love watching Twitch streams

    Cons

    1. Too much company politics. 2. Career growth as a software engineer is basically nonexistent. There are basically 4 levels of Amazon software engineers. L4, L5, L6, and L7. L6 and L7 basically being virtually impossible to achieve here at Twitch. They seem to hold it hostage against you and never grant it. Most of the L6 engineers have been hired in. Promotions are very very rare and almost never happen at Twitch. If you are joining this company, my advice for you is to be happy at your current role and pray that the product is enough for you to stay at this company despite no career advancement. If that is not enough, you will not be happy at Twitch. I have known L5s who have been at this company for a long time and have had no career growth with their manager being fully aware of their aspiration for a promotion. I'm leaving this company once I get another offer

    Advice to Management

    Please look out for the interest of your direct reports instead of yourself. That is the definition of a good manager.

    Twitch Response

    Sep 15, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    Thank you for your feedback, this has been delivered to our executive team and we are working diligently to solve for career advancement. I encourage you to speak with your manager or HR business... More


  10. Helpful (15)

    "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.