Netflix culture and career development

Mar 26 138 Comments

My understanding is that all engineers in Netflix has the same level. How do people feel on career development in such an environment?

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TOP 138 Comments
  • Google / Eng
    euos

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Nvidia, Nokia
    euosmore
    I am leaving Google for Netflix specifically for this reason. I’ve been Google L5 for 5 years, did great job (my solo work was mentioned on the first page of Hacker News quite a few times) but was unable to get promotion due to bogus promo requirements. I am looking forward to not have my comp limited by a random committee that doe not know me and does not care about what I’m doing.
    Mar 26 29
    • Evernote ji32k7au4
      @nf care to share your experiences?
      Mar 27
    • Cisco NowGoogle
      Leaving Google for Netflix? It seems to be an emotional decision, but hey you may come back to Google to get the promo. Lol.
      Mar 27
    • Uber
      2muchblind

      Uber

      PRE
      Apple, Microsoft
      2muchblindmore
      TC at Google vs Netflix?
      Mar 27
    • Google / Eng
      euos

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Nvidia, Nokia
      euosmore
      Google matched what NF offered, so comp is roughly on the same level. It’s just because I’m so sick of Google antics that I want to leave.
      Mar 28
    • Are you sure you want to be comparing matching on the dollar amount from both these companies? With all cash from NF, you will end up in higher tax bracket and end up paying a good chunk on taxes. At google, you get to hold for long term gains or offset losses with your other investments.
      Jun 22
  • Bayer macys
    From what I know, your compensation is revised every year with a good faith effort to assess your top of the market rate.
    Mar 26 15
    • Intel qazwas
      What happens when your market value decreases?
      Mar 27
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      @chacha I think I used to work for you.
      That was brilliant.
      😂😂😂
      Mar 27
    • New / Eng young$$
      Going to put down @google’s comment and use it the day I become a leader.
      Mar 27
    • Amazon / Eng
      rxXH40

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon, Oracle
      rxXH40more
      I am going to save google Chacha’s comment to troll someone else
      Mar 27
    • Nutanix hmbsjc1
      “majority of them have evolved overtime to take market dynamics, fluctuations, up and down into serious consideration.”

      This is pure genius right here.
      Mar 27
  • Microsoft momin
    Your career is limited to the needs of Netflix. It has been documented they will fire you anytime without any help to make you better.
    Mar 26 13
    • Cerner / Data *P*lik
      Most companies are like that
      Mar 26
    • BlackRock xis
      I will say a lot of people are luckier with management decisions. You cannot predict how a lot of things will play out in reality based on limited information.
      Mar 26
    • Apple / Eng P e w
      The point of the interview to me was less her being “moved on” but the explanation of the whole system. I think it’s an awesome system
      Mar 26
    • Netflix bread
      I was at Microsoft before coming to Netflix. I prefer working my ass off at Netflix to get better and keep my skills relevant (with others doing the same) than be surrounded by potatoes like I was at Microsoft. Barf.
      Mar 27
    • Microsoft cWww76
      It looks like a rat race. It is fun how she didn’t understand why people where upset when she fired them, but at the same time she didn’t want to talk about her experience.
      Mar 27
  • Netflix
    nf

    Netflix

    PRE
    Google, Amazon
    nfmore
    There is no career growth for ICs here, only management track has levels and defined growth plan.
    Mar 26 12
    • Bloomberg
      YUNOSlayer

      Bloomberg

      PRE
      Bloomberg LP
      YUNOSlayermore
      Bombastic?
      Mar 26
    • Evernote ji32k7au4
      Bloomberg? Oh...
      Mar 27
    • Travelport / Eng buttnpushr
      It doesn't make sense though. Bloo Mberg makes BM
      Mar 27
    • Bloomberg
      YUNOSlayer

      Bloomberg

      PRE
      Bloomberg LP
      YUNOSlayermore
      BMW?
      Mar 27
    • Docker / R&D
      SQL_Inject

      Docker R&D

      PRE
      Google
      SQL_Injectmore
      Bowel Balls. It’s some kinky thing the Netflix execs do to each other
      Mar 27
  • Netflix / Eng Narcos
    Netflix wants to hire seniors that already know how to get things done. It is not responsible to train you for new skills. But it is willing to pay to help you get the new skills.

    Think of pro sports team. Team is willing to pay for a trainer. But if you don't make the cut, then you don't.
    Mar 26 11
    • Netflix / Eng Narcos
      Rand55. I am an old timer that had dismissed the use of some new technologies a few times because they were not proven. And in a case that I didn't get the chance to review. It led to a big disaster and the leadership and some engineers were let go.

      We are not a company that needs to be cutting edge in many new technologies. High reliability, high availability are much more important. And unlike Google, we don't have many resources to work on tooling. It's OK to experiment, but experiment with something small that won't hurt the team if it's a failure.
      Mar 27
    • Facebook chromeo
      I just read that and it makes me not want to work at Netflix.

      1) A mistake in technology was made and people were fired for it? That’s how you handle technology mistakes?

      2) No resources put toward tooling?

      3) Expectations that experiments won’t fail?
      Mar 27
    • LinkedIn
      Yotube

      LinkedIn

      PRE
      Goldman Sachs
      Yotubemore
      Very good points @chromeo. Can’t imagine those are the common patterns exist in Netflix. Tech companies usually don’t do that - we embrace new solutions and anticipate failures, then learn, share and grow.
      Mar 27
    • LinkedIn
      Yotube

      LinkedIn

      PRE
      Goldman Sachs
      Yotubemore
      @rand55: how do the new hires and young ones succeed then? Accept what ever the old timers suggest and do average work? Do they get pushed out?
      Mar 27
    • Netflix / Eng Narcos
      You have the freedom to pick the technologies but you are also responsible of the results. Experiments shouldn't lead to disasters. If it does, it's lack of judgements.

      Inexperienced engineers jumped into these buzzwords technologies, ending up instability of critical services and long delay of important projects. That's why engineers would be let go. Timeline is called bottom up by engineers, no excuse for long delay. And the leadership is always responsible for timely delivery of projects.

      We are not a start-up. We are a big company with very few engineers compared to peers. A bad decision can be very costly.
      Mar 28
  • Netflix login
    No career growth at Netflix for most IC's. This is good and bad. Good is because you can concentrate on doing good works and forget about the need to move up to get paid more. Bad is that if later on there is no netflix or you want to leave the company, you are stuck as an old IC where not many companies want to hire.
    Mar 26 8
    • Netflix login
      Not many companies will do "I want to do engineering work but you gotta pay me $500k in cash". Only a handful of companies can do that. And even when they do, walking in with gray hair and a slouch back don't really impress the 30 something years old interview panel.
      Mar 26
    • Netflix bread
      Not everyone wants to be a people manager and that’s ok. The majority of leaders (manager and above) were promoted into those roles, so if you want to manage people and have the capability to do so, you can.
      Mar 27
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      Mate, if somebody making 500k a year didn't save enough to retire by the time they're 50 they suck at planning.
      Mar 27
    • Netflix login
      First, I was talking about being in the 40s, I don't even want to work at 50. Second, making $500k is just a recent thing for the past couple years, before that I wasn't making anything closer to that. Last, either you are a young lad or an old 50 something still working at Microsoft. Why limit yourself to only $500k when you can make millions before retiring?
      Mar 30
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      What matters for retiring is Net Worth not tc. Also, companies might want a 50 yo director but definitely don't want 50 yo IC.
      Mar 31
  • Netflix enjoylyfe
    I like the culture as a top performer but I've also seen cases where a top performer struggles due to personal reasons like illness of kid, death/illness in family, depression, etc and get booted because they are not at the top of their game.

    While I still think having only people at the top of their game is awesome, I also know how much it wrecks families and people.
    Mar 26 10
    • Netflix Johnny5
      Taking 10 weeks off for vacation per year would be a problem. 4-6 weeks, no problem at all. I encourage my team to take 3 weeks minimum.
      Mar 27
    • Microsoft liveordie
      Are you the exception or the norm in Netflix? Maybe I should join your team!!
      Mar 27
    • Netflix QiyG21
      On my team I think the average is a little higher, 6 to 8 weeks a year is normal. Some people take a yearly one month trip home to see their family that lives far away and still take other vacation during the year. This varies team to team though.
      Mar 27
    • Netflix QiyG21
      As for being let go because of dealing with something in your personal life, Netflix stood by me when I had a personal situation that took a couple of weeks to resolve. I can imagine though at some point (a couple of months maybe?) they'd have to let you go. Again this is a team by team thing.
      Mar 27
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      Sorry, top performers don't get booted. I think you're confusing with average performer (which likely is a good level at Netflix).
      Mar 27
  • Netflix / Eng Narcos
    We have one title for engineers, SDE. Pay can be 250k, or 700k.
    Mar 26 9
    • Netflix Johnny5
      Yes, VPs and Directors make bank. High six figures and into 7 figures.
      Mar 26
    • Netflix bread
      There is no max. We don’t have salary ranges, bands, or comp budgets.
      Mar 27
    • Facebook / Eng delete[]
      E7 and above at FB often make 1M+. I always feel Netflix is somewhat limited to E6-ish. E6 comp is 450-700K mostly.
      Mar 27
    • Netflix bread
      E7 is manager equivalent at Netflix, and managers frequently clear 1M+ TC. And we do have managers and directors without direct reports.
      Mar 27
    • Facebook fburl
      So E7+ eng is just called director? Weird but ok
      Mar 27
  • Amazon / Eng
    ex-netflix

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Netflix, Salesforce
    ex-netflixmore
    Liberating!!! You are what you say/do/deliver than what your title says you are. No promos to work towards, just concentrate on solving business problems.

    As some pointed out already, there is no structured career development, PIP, educational resources, etc. That doesn’t mean you cannot do any of these. You just have to do these on your own and Netflix will just pay for it - no other help offered.
    Mar 26 5
    • Apple / Eng P e w
      No educational resources? Like straight up they won’t teach you stuff?
      Mar 26
    • Netflix / Eng Narcos
      That's not true. There are all kinds of training happening in the company. And you can pay for external resources and get reimbursed. No preapproval needed.
      Mar 26
    • Facebook chromeo
      Yikes. Sounds horrible. It makes me appreciate how much Facebook focuses on career development.
      Mar 27
    • Facebook RNNAtttn
      Facebook focuses on career development?
      Mar 27
    • Facebook chromeo
      In my group, yes. Lots of internal time focused on improving the company. Tons of investment in developing managers. Lots invested towards internal education. Managers held accountable for development.

      If you’re not seeing it and taking advantage of it, that’s on you. Or you’ve never worked elsewhere and take it all for granted.
      Mar 27
  • Pinterest zlakhdg1
    Ask the question about why you think you need a level to feel successful, then take a step back to assess whether you can accomplish that without a level. It appears Netflix is trying to accomplish that. As someone who has seen the scratch and claw for being at the top because "only the top 10% get promoted" and then feeling completely demoralized because I know my stuff is great, I'd welcome being in a culture where my development isn't in direct competition with others, but rather driven purely by what I can do.
    Mar 26 4
    • Netflix bread
      You should really consider coming over to Netflix...
      Mar 27
    • Microsoft liveordie
      bread@ - If you elaborate with some detailed insights, it will help others. How bad is it to work at Netflix?
      Mar 27
    • Netflix bread
      Bad? It’s not bad at all. I love it here compared to when I was at Microsoft. The edgy parts of the culture deck are always blown out of proportion. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM.
      Mar 27
    • Microsoft liveordie
      Oh ok, sorry I misread your post. Thanks for clarifying. I guess some teams in Netflix are not hell after all.
      Mar 27
  • Amazon fHsj42
    I didn’t know that netflix has no IC levels. If that helps on the focus and reduces politics, sounds great to me!
    Mar 26 0
  • Intel / Eng mr_pleb
    They don't feel. They get fired before they develop any feelings.
    Mar 26 0
  • Amazon Handsolo
    Sounds like Hunger Games and their training was paid for as well.
    Mar 26 1
    • Netflix bread
      Nobody is going hungry with all the food they give us.
      Mar 27
  • Adobe / Mgmt
    TXus40

    Adobe Mgmt

    PRE
    Google
    TXus40more
    Level, money, etc are forms of rewards, so it really boils down how you will be rewarded. If you believe in reward by merits, then you should agree that whoever drags down the team should be fired, then you should join Netflix. You will be rewarded handsomely at Netflix not because of titles nor associations, but by your merits your team agrees on.
    Mar 26 0
  • BlackRock xis
    Netflix culture is great for the firm, because the firm defined the rules to benefit itself. There is no ESG or other considerations.

    For the employees its System A vs System B, where ( and when) you feel comfortable or better. Netflix doesn’t care if you burn out in a year or 10, when you do you are out.
    Mar 27 2
    • Pinterest zlakhdg1
      No company cares if you burn out in a year or 10. When you do, you should be out!
      Mar 27
    • Kaspersky Lab / Other
      aye daisy

      Kaspersky Lab Other

      BIO
      Hwe
      aye daisymore
      And the saddest thing that in the end only people who can game the system get promoted.
      Mar 31
  • Netflix
    nf

    Netflix

    PRE
    Google, Amazon
    nfmore
    The problem with Netflix way is that every engineer has the same responsibilities, which is not how most of the industry works. People with 20 years of experience are doing test fixes and managing build failures. Other places your title (principal for instance) requires you to do more impactful works, because there is a clear expectation from your title/level.
    Mar 27 2
    • Netflix QiyG21
      I generally agree that it would be nice to have some Jr engineers to push a bunch of work on that doesn't require a lot of experience. On the flip side I've seen issues in other companies where the senior engineers build stuff, it had problems and they just throw it over the wall for the Jr engineers to fix. At Netflix most people seem to own their apps end to end so if something goes wrong the engineer who built it fixes it. Getting paged after hours on a regular basis can be a good incentive to get things fixed. I understand it's not for everyone though
      Mar 27
    • Amazon fHsj42
      What is more “impactful” are often subjective. Terms like “across multiple teams impact” provide the soil for unnecessary meetings, collaborations, planning reviews, operational readiness reviews and tons of others. In reality, I often see a team of 15 can be reduced into 3~5 strong engineers that will deliver faster and with higher quality, as there will be less politics, less showing my across team impact but more focus real work etc. In an inflated organization, people are eager building their hierarchy and showing influence but poor at real impact.
      Mar 27
  • Oracle blindHaker
    Can someone refer me for Netflix? I have 9 yoe on distributed system n big data experience
    Mar 27 0

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