Valve Corporation Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Valve Corporation Reviews

Updated Jun 17, 2019

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3.5
61%
Recommend to a Friend
59%
Approve of CEO
Valve Corporation CEO Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell
29 Ratings
Pros
  • "Work/life balance, if you choose to prioritize it(in 5 reviews)

  • "Free food, smart people, casual working enviornment , gym(in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "Avoid teams that don't have strong support from Gabe or a board member(in 5 reviews)

  • "(in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Awesome Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Orlando, FL

    I have been working at Valve Corporation full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay, they help you quickly

    Cons

    They dont have any so far

    Valve Corporation2019-06-18
  2. "Awesome company with good perks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Steam Support 

    I worked at Valve Corporation full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working on creating games in different languages

    Cons

    Corporate atmosphere, competition among teammates

    Valve Corporation2019-05-17
  3. Helpful (9)

    "Valve is a disappointment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Valve Corporation full-time

    Pros

    Good perks used as a smoke screen to distract you from the real problems

    Cons

    Disorganization, favoritism, excessive emphasis on horizontal structure but, in reality, some people are managers and some are not. Herd mentality: if you are not part of the herd and think with your brain, instead, you’ll be undervalued. It is absolutely risible to say that there are no bosses when they even have titles such as “supervisors”, “managers” etc . They will say that they do not check how many... hours you work, but, they’ll sit you strategically in a corner to check what you’re doing on your computer, which is fair, in itself, but, please, stop pretending you’re so nonchalant. A lot of people there are very unhappy and disappointed. Valve is a very conservative and archaic company with the presumption of being progressive and modern.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop saying that this is a company with no "bosses" because there definitely are bosses, even in the job titles. You’re losing momentum because of your nefarious practices.

    Valve Corporation2019-04-28
  4. Helpful (7)

    "No Games!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Valve Corporation full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    We get to go to Hawaii!

    Cons

    I feel like I'm going to lose my job, I'm only making 15 dollars a year, and I've been put in the basement.

    Advice to Management

    Please take me out of the basement.

    Valve Corporation2019-03-09
  5. Helpful (16)

    "High pay, Low morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Valve Corporation full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company pays well and has plenty of office perks.

    Cons

    The company is a like a ship without a motor. Lots of failures and low risk, poorly thought out ventures. Senior people have been checked out for years.

    Valve Corporation2019-02-05
  6. "Dream Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - UI/User Experience Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Valve Corporation full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay, Benefits, People, Projects, Self-Management, Vacation.

    Cons

    There are vague expectations at times. Learning curve when starting is bigger than other companies.

    Valve Corporation2019-01-07
  7. "Great Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Valve Corporation full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Friendly Staff Good Pay Good Benifits Good Experience Lifestyle

    Cons

    Difficult Role Long Hours Slow Content Hard Entry Hard Interview

    Advice to Management

    None

    Valve Corporation2018-11-24
  8. Helpful (31)

    "Toxic Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Level Designer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Valve Corporation for more than a year

    Pros

    -High salary -Freedom, however short lived

    Cons

    -Highly toxic work environment with heavy politics -Random firings -Random cancellations of projects -CEO only fires people

    Valve Corporation2018-09-12
  9. Helpful (41)

    "A flawed experiment but still viable, if you can hold your nose from time to time."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Valve Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Valve’s flat structure and relatively limited bureaucracy really unlocks your ability to produce. If you are a multi-talented individual who can run a million miles per hour and are tired of other people getting in your way, Valve is probably the most productive environment you will ever see. Compensation can be excellent and the perks (annual paid vacation, laundry service, personal training for self and spouse,... great office views) are wonderful. You can work with the smartest people in the world at Valve and just sit down for lunch with them whenever you want, and learn a ton about everything from hardware manufacturing to software engineering to network operations at scale.

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    Cons

    Flat structure really means an informal power and influence hierarchy, so you have to be socially adept or you will get blindsided repeatedly. Some employees are more equal than others and are the ears and mouthpieces of board members. Cash compensation can be average or below average for people with solid but not exceptional skills. Company leadership is allergic to the word “policy”. Libertarian to the extreme -... unwilling to even agree on matching basic humanitarian charity contributions, lots of “both sides” arguments in debates about online behavior. Being a jerk or worse to your coworkers is largely tolerated because the leadership does not place any value on “being nice”. Tiny HR department tries but they are necessarily subservient to the leadership, and at the highest levels, the company doesn’t believe that HR should get involved in anything except hiring, benefits, and logistics. If Gabe takes a personal interest in your area, you could find yourself suddenly overruled in ways that feel surprising and whiplash-inducing given the otherwise autonomous nature of employment at Valve.

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    Advice to Management

    Pretty much everybody on the board should just retire already. The company would be in better hands if you abolished the hidden power structures and let your employees truly organize and make decisions by consensus instead of letting the loudest and/or scariest and/or most-connected people win.

    Valve Corporation2018-07-17
  10. Helpful (57)

    "Toxic teams, traumatized workers, opaque management hierarchy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Valve Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Valve used to make good games, is well known, and it provides a somewhat competitive benefits package.

    Cons

    I'm writing this as an act of kindness to other developers. I worked here for many years and I still speak with insiders after leaving, and nothing fundamentally has changed yet. I waited a while before posting this review, so I could think about my overall experience here and what I would like to tell others about it. Overall, I highly recommend you avoid this company right now, because your long term health... and sanity are more important than anything they can offer you. There's nothing negative I can write that hasn't already been said here publicly on the web already. If you do decide to go, then please remember this advice: First, if you are a new hot developer who's done something amazing for some other company, Valve will desire you basically like a trophy. If you do decide to go here, demand options, demand a startup bonus, and negotiate your initial salary upward. *Always* do each, without exception. The power is in your hands here, and Valve definitely has the ability to handle the upward pressure on its wages and benefits you and others will be applying. If you are someone Valve *really* wants, someone that they can proudly show off around town, they will have one or two workers discretely coach you before the actual interview. I witnessed this occur on two occasions. It won't matter if you flub the interview, you will be hired. If you aren't couched, they don't really want you. If you do get coached, then you better negotiate your butt off. If you can do so, talk to several teams before going to Valve. Try to find the least toxic team to join up with first. Find a team that is truly excited about you coming on board and helping them out. Ask them about their goals, when they are going to ship, who their customers are, and about the milestones they've already completed. Try to determine if results actually matter to this team. Identify the leaders of the team, ask them how long they've worked there, and see if you gel with them. Avoid teams like the plague that haven't shipped anything in years or are filled with old timers, as they will tend to be incredibly toxic. Avoid teams that don't have strong support from Gabe or a board member. Avoid teams without crystal clear product goals and a ship dates. The way to shut down these toxic, zombie-like teams inside of Valve is to starve them of new hires, and if Valve won't do it internally then ex-Valvers will do it externally by informing the world's developers about what to look for. Before you go to Valve, speak with at least a couple ex-Valvers about what it's actually like to work there. Do not go there unprepared, and do not believe the developer marketing.

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    Advice to Management

    Perhaps someday, the company will change. But in order to do so a lot of the old timers will have to leave. New management will have to be brought in, cliques broken up, and the hierarchical and non-self organizing structure of the company will have to be candidly acknowledged and tended to. I predict that this is exactly what's going to happen, sooner or later, especially as the old timers with stock retire to... obscurity. The thought leaders and people actually in charge here completely externalize the health, sanity, and happiness of its workers. These people need to be quietly shown the door. Valve needs to discard its cult-like culture, its outdated slogans, and its crackpot philosophies about "self organization", or it will remain an extremely unhealthy workplace overall. Acknowledge that there are bosses, managers, and hierarchies here.

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    Valve Corporation2018-05-17
Found 44 reviews