Illumina

  www.illumina.com
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Illumina Reviews

Updated Jul 31, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 131 reviews

69% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(97 ratings)

56% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights
131 Employee Reviews
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    3 people found this helpful  

    One of the best companies to work for in San Diego

    Staff Business Systems Analyst (Current Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    ProsTons of time off. There are two company shut downs annually (summer / winter) where you get at least a week off that doesn't count against the regular paid company holidays or your regularly accrued vacation time.

    The facilities are amazing. The buildings are beautiful with a lot of amenities. The gym is great and has a lot of equipment and is very open. The locker rooms and shower areas are first class. The convenience of the iCafe for fresh meals, salads and everything else you could want. The coffee shops, and the free coffee pods in all the breakrooms keeps you going!

    The pay is very competitive, especially if you are granted stock. Between bonuses, salary, equity, benefits, 401K match, employee stock purchases, the total compensation package is very good.

    It's an innovative company that is exciting to work for. The speakers and seminars are current and interesting and it's exciting to understand what other parts of the business are doing to contribute.

    ConsAs the company grows, it's becoming more bureaucratic because of the new global business processes and committees you need to get approval from before working on projects. The ability to innovate and move quickly is hampered.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManage the ERP implementation more carefully. This change alone has the ability to paralyze the company. Don't get rid of best in class applications like SalesForce in an effort to bring everything under one SAP solution. SAP is a kludgy system comprised of acquired systems and isn't a single architecture. It is cumbersome and requires highly paid consultants to make changes and fix breaks. The future is cloud-based, multi-tenant SAAS solutions. It would be great if Illumina had a dedicated CIO.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    It doesn't get better than this--- great company, great products, great people!

    Director (Current Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    ProsWow- where to begin..... this is an amazing company- filled with dedicated and genuine people. My colleagues are here because we are changing healthcare in our lifetime. Coworkers are earnest, driven and real. Very low ego company.....it's not about the politics, it's about the people whose lives are changed using our technology.

    I've been at Illumina for three years- yes, it has a few growing pains. All companies do. The difference is that management here genuinely cares and tries to remedy pain points.

    How many companies do you know that take time out for a competitive dodgeball tournament, concerts in the amphitheater, the occasional happy hour, and gives employees a paid week off before July 4th (in addition to the paid company shutdown in December).

    Yes we work hard- but we are doing really important work....and I know that the work done will at some point, change the course of a family member's illness or treatment in the future. No complaints from me.

    ConsNone- beautiful campus, competitive pay and beneftis, challenging but rewarding work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Innovative, Smart, Driven and Passionate. What more could you ask for?

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    ProsIf you are passionate about what you do, hard working, like to be challenged, and aren't intimidated by working with a bunch of people smarter than you, then you will likely love working at Illumina. The consistent growth at Illumina provides tremendous learning and opportunities for growth. In addition, sr. management really listens to their employee and customer feedback and implements real programs to address concerns.

    ConsIllumina is not for everyone. It is predominantly Type A, driven personalities that typically thrive in a start-up, low structure, high-paced environment. The sense of urgency is always high, and so are the demands on high quality work. This permeates the culture so if this doesn't describe your personality, you are probably better elsewhere. Other than match, the other challenge is that Illumina is no longer a start-up, and now must prove it can succeed as a larger organization with more complexity, increased processes, etc. This will not be an easy process, and some may not be up for the challenge.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work, stay close to the business, and keep listening.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Company that is changing the world and lets you keep your personal life

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    Pros- Very open environment, upper management is approachable and friendly
    - Lots of opportunities to stay physically and mentally fit while at work (pickup soccer games at lunch, mindfulness class, organization sports tournaments)
    - Great pay and stock options are very lucrative as the company continues to grow
    - Company is making a major difference in how healthcare will evolve over the next decade, it feels great to be a part of a company that is truly changing the world

    Cons- Many business process are still in start up mode and need to mature (this is being addressed by an internal program, but progress is slow)
    - Some expectation of constant availability

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave a larger vision of where we are taking our information systems and how we can utilize this amazing data we have

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Everybody was really passionate about what they did and I loved it!

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    ProsFlexible times, good people, nice campus.

    ConsContractors don't get a lot of the benefits (like using the gym...)

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great work environment with incredible people!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    ProsThe culture at Illumina is one of a kind. The company really embraces core values such as innovation and collaboration, allowing them to be extremely agile and move quickly to position themselves as leaders in the market.

    This creates an energetic and motivated environment. There are high performance expectations, but with that comes the reward of working in such a positive, exciting atmosphere with INCREDIBLE people.

    The leadership additionally, does a great job at recognizing and rewarding employee contribution- both at the management and senior leadership level.

    ConsWith extreme growth definitely comes challenge- the organization moves VERY quickly and sets high performance expectations. People who don't thrive in a high-change, fast-paced environment will likely not enjoy it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you're doing.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Best company to work for in San Diego

    Global Marketing (Current Employee)

    ProsExciting culture of innovation, rapid growth. Focused efforts on improving employee satisfaction. Passionate, smart people will change human health.

    ConsLong hours, some work/life balance challenges, management practices somewhat outdated, few women in senior leadership roles

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to seek opportunities to communicate with employees in relatable ways, take feedback seriously, and be good role models.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great team dynamic and company culture!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIllumina's open and collaborative culture makes work enjoyable. I can see huge strides in promoting work life balance and more structure. Overall just a great experience and the company just keeps on growing!

    ConsThe fast growth needs to be paralleled with established process and structure.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Along for the ride

    Marketing (Current Employee) San Diego, CA (US)

    Pros* Market leader in a hot field in science.
    * Work-life balance really isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things (as another poster pointed out, the parking lot is nearly empty after 6:30pm).
    * Because of the appreciating stock, the equity grant and employee stock purchase plan (15% discount) become very lucrative rather quickly.
    * Campus is beautiful and centrally located. Very nice gym.

    Cons* Base pay and bonus are a bit low (which is mostly offset by a generous equity component).
    * Leadership is entrenched, and most senior leaders are more interested in keeping favor with Jay (the CEO) than actually doing a good job. The new President seems to lack any real authority.
    * The organization is a bit top-heavy, with limited opportunities to rise out of middle management.
    * The culture is chaotic, in part because management is too short-term focused. Get used to arbitrary and completely unrealistic timelines, all for the sake of pleasing Jay. Putting out fires becomes a daily activity.
    * The company's push into the clinical/diagnostic markets is unstructured and poorly executed.
    * Reorgs every 12-18 months can make or break your career. In the four+ years that I have been at Illumina, we have reorged three times - mostly for the worse. The company can't figure out how to align itself to push into critical new markets.
    * The company lacks even basic processes to operate like a grown-up company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to delegate (especially at the senior executive level). Create more opportunities for young talent to rise into leadership positions. Listen to your employees (I mean, take off your rose-colored glasses and really dig into the employee surveys).

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Excellent scientific challenges

    Bioinformatics Scientist (Former Employee)

    Proscutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees. Perks include: free gym membership, healthcare, stock options

    Conslimited movement/advancement within organisation. Scientific progress is possible, but organisational improvement is hard. Possibly the side-effect of an organisation grown to global dominance. They have a habit for taking researchers straight from PhD studies and paying them little more than a postdoc salary.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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