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One of the best companies to work for in San Diego

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Development Manager in San Diego, CA (US)
Current Employee - Development Manager in San Diego, CA (US)

I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Bleeding edge technology in a field that has huge growth potential and the company is the market leader. Work on something that will actually impact human health and understanding.

The senior management has a proven record of guiding the company through many strategic decisions and is still positioned really well in the market.

Campus is amazing, possibly the best in San Diego (beach volleyball, basketball, soccer, gym, amphitheater, koi ponds, cafe, Starbucks) and is being expanded with even more amenities.

Software is becoming a key part of the overall strategy and there are tons of interesting projects and opportunities. Great place for talented software engineers. Lots of interesting "Big Data" problems that don't involve 140 character messages...

Cons

As most companies that have such extreme growth there are plenty of growing pains, but there are also plenty of opportunities. Departments that are cost centers don't get enough support, but this is not unusual.

Layoff late in 2011 probably sparked more negative reviews than the company deserves. I've personally never been approached for weekend work, again this could be different in other departments, but this is 1600+ person company.

Internal systems are sub-par and under-staffed.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Re-invest in your employees and internal systems for the next 10 years...

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

142 Other Employee Reviews for Illumina (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    If the company had any respect for my profession, I'd love to work there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Illumina as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Interesting technology, great business "space" to be in
    Lots of smart people as worker-bees
    Awesome campus
    good place for someone who in the scientific part of the biz

    Cons

    My comments mirror many of the others....this company spends its money on the people who are developing the technology - the chemical, genetic end of the house is difficult to staff, and Illumiina works hard to find and attract talent to that area
    BUT
    the rest of the business suffers as a result. Business process infrastructure and systems are old; documentation is bloated, poorly managed, delivery of information is neither nimble nor scaleable. Current systems - like SalesForce - are so poorly implemented their use is avoided. Software is old and cobbled. There is little project managment (ya know, a schedule, critical path, risks, a goal..?), and I was a little amazed at the arrogance of some people who insist on ignoring best practices..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This place needs a PMO office yesterday. Perhaps its acquistion by Roche will help push it into reality. My other advice would be to reconsider the grandfathered position bestowed on staff. The place uses a lot of contract workers. Good contract talent seems to be sacraficed and less productive staff remains. Bad for long-term health of the org. (See: teacher's union; tenure).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    The company gives out a strong "holier than thou" vibe but could use a reality check.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hot technology, hands down leader in the market right now. Plenty of opportunity to learn new things. Revenue and cash flow have been good, and the company now has some weight to throw around. This means good facilities, infrastructure, growth. Good upward mobility and perks, but only for certain departments (Sales and Marketing are definitely living it up here). Company offers a preferred stock plan, good benefits overall.

    Cons

    1. You really need to be ready to drink the proverbial Cool Aid here and show maximum enthusiasm for whatever that gets put forward as a product, policy, or initiative. If you don't - you're not a team player and your career outlook will suffer greatly. And the middle management is the worst in this respect. Not all, but way too many are caught up in this cheer-leading as a way to hide their own deficiencies.
    2. The company is extremely disorganized! It drives you crazy, because this is what's causing the overwhelming work load that others here have mentioned. Sure, the fast evolving technology/market will throw curve balls at you all the time, but the management treats this as something to be proud of (ala 'we like it this way because it makes us innovative and flexible') rather than trying to organize things a little bit better. But who cares about inefficiencies when you've got no competition, right?
     3. Poor access to information about company's products, both released and in-development. Combined with really fast product turnarounds, this means you're always frantically looking for the most up to date info. Unlike points 1 and 2, this is something the management has tried to address, but so far with limited success.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come down from the clouds

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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