Altera

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Altera Reviews in Toronto, ON

Updated 25 January, 2015
Updated 25 January, 2015
21 Reviews
4.4
21 Reviews
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Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
21 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Average work load and work life balance as a design engineer (in 31 reviews)

  • You have the opportunity to work on interesting, cutting edge technology (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Still you can not have work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Not much options for career advancement (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

21 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Very positive - learned and developed a lot as an engineer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern Software Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Former Intern - Intern Software Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I worked at Altera as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    Work environment, nature of work (very challenging and intellectually satisfying), pay and benefits are excellent

    Cons

    Long hours but this is typical nowadays

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep investing in new grads and interns!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Former Intern - Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I worked at Altera as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    very competitive salary. Get to work with very very smart people. The training and daily work are very challenging, you never get bored of it.

    Cons

    work long extended hours sometimes. Get to work with very very smart people but at the same time a lot of pressure on you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera

    Pros

    -Possibly the highest concentration of competent, intelligent engineers in the city. You will learn a ton by working in this environment.
    -Free drinks and snacks
    -Flexible hours
    -Continuing education program (allows you to take courses part-time, and pays for them too!).
    -Excellent benefits

    Cons

    -High expectations of employees, which can lead to long working hours
    -My cubicle is in a noisy part of the office...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Exciting challenges at every turn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Software in Toronto, ON
    Current Intern - Software in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    It's exciting working in an industry where the mantra is always "faster, smarter, smaller, lower power". Innovating and optimizing are necessary for success, and are a big part of Altera's culture.

    Working at Altera, you are constantly exposed to cool new ideas, you get to work with extremely intelligent people, and you get to tackle challenging problems that have real-world impact.

    It's also interesting to work at a company where the worlds of software and hardware are so intertwined. Altera produces hardware and software that are deeply connected, and co-optimized to work together. This gives you some big-picture perspective that you wouldn't necessarily get elsewhere.

    Cons

    The products that Altera delivers are generally complicated and monolithic, which means that they require coordination from a whole bunch of different teams. This means that sometimes your freedom when developing is limited; you can't really implement what you want because of previous decisions / existing code / interference with other teams / cultural inertia / etc.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera

    Pros

    Interesting, challenging and potentially rewarding work

    Cons

    sometimes a little too competitive

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Two sides of the same coin

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Advanced in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Advanced in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera

    Pros

    You have a great number of smart engineers around the office to work and bounce ideas with.

    The work is technically challenging and engaging with lots of interesting problems to solve in large scale software and semi conductor development.

    You feel as though you work hard, but still get to enjoy time at home as well. Base compensation is good for the region.

    Cons

    A lot of smart people might make it an intimidating place to work, and difficult to get ahead.

    Many of the technical challenges are self inflicted (taking on too much), result of technical debt (shortcuts in the code base) or deal with infrastructure issues.

    Bonuses could be higher.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is hard operating in a duopoly market, but we should try to be more proactive than reactive. Also, don't work on features 'because the competition has them' but instead whether they make business sense. We should use our influence in the market to simplify the next generation of products rather than go for a spec war.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Too much intelligence

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    *surrounded by talented world-class engineers, self-development can be easy.
    *work-life balance is great
    *free drinks and snaks

    Cons

    too many genius, you can feel lots of pressure.
    bonus is not that much for individual contributor.

  9.  

    Best job I've ever had

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    At Altera Toronto, you get to work with some of the smartest and most innovative people in the industry. Several people here literally written the book on FPGAs, and working alongside them is an amazing experience.

    You also get to work on some really cool, innovative projects that have the potential of changing the industry. Some of our interns leave with patents!

    And finally the office atmosphere is just fun. We do tons of social events, a ski trip in the winter, beach picnic in the summer, and a bunch of other stuff. Plus free drinks and free metro-passes.

    Cons

    Being surrounded by brilliant people is a double edged sword, because you have to be able to keep up with them. If you can't, you're not gonna have a good time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus less on short-term goals and more on doing the right thing for the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Software Engineering Altera Toronto

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera full-time

    Pros

    Altera Toronto is an awesome place to work. The people in the software group are hands down amazing. There is this rare combination of smarts, friendliness, and competency that makes the group a joy to work with. The lower-level managers lead by example and genuinely care about the ones they supervise.

    Another big plus, the office itself is situated in downtown Toronto at the intersection of two major subway lines making it highly accessible.

    Cons

    Job security is a concern. Altera makes the high risk high reward play of going all-in on FPGA technology in free market capitalism. The company has no government or regulatory protections so if the market turns against it, be it from execution problems, recession, natural disaster, or new disruptive technologies, then jobs are threatened (and they have historically been cut).

    Also, a great team is a double edged sword. It is very hard to stand out and expectations are high. Although this results in excellent skill development, any one of those engineers may feel that their career will advance further in a weaker company where competency is confused with talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust leads to better teamwork. There is trust within engineer but much skepticism between engineering and marketing... much much skepticism. This is a classic problem but should be considered and dealt with.

  11.  

    Having a great time interning here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Altera as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    Technically challenging and interesting work that requires tons of non-trivial thinking - you really develop your engineering skills and thinking skills from your day-to-day job. You meet the most talented group of people u've probably ever seen, and they're down to the earth. Great support from manager and peers - you can learn a lot from your them. Management cares about and encourages personal and career growth. Great pay compared with other tech companies in Toronto. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    More execution than innovation before you get more technical credibility. Due to the nature of EDA software and how long the code has been evolving for, the code base is huge and hard to read if you're a newbie. On top of coding and designing, you spend lots of time running tests and experiments, and our test infrastructure makes the procedure a bit slow and time-consuming.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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