Yelp Engineering Levels/Culture?

Jun 28, 2019 20 Comments

Evaluating an offer and have some questions.

What do the Yelp levels mean? Does it progress like Amazon levels? Is IC3 senior?

Is it a good place to be an engineer? Is the morale high? Good culture? Good learning opportunities?

Are there any talks of free food?

Are the benefits good and is the low PTO sufficient?

How's the location?

Why did I see so many engineers who have been there for 4+ years?

TC 200K. 4 YOE. Offer is comparable to


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TOP 20 Comments
  • Yelp Yafka
    IC3 is the terminal individual contributor level. IC4-6 is tech lead types of engineers.

    4yoe @ 200k is a good offer.
    Jun 29, 2019 3
    • Amazon / Eng gldnhndcfs
      That's what I make now in Seattle. Yelps was a tiny bit higher but unless Yelp allows for heavy negotiation then it'll be a pay cut.
      Jun 29, 2019
    • Yelp Yafka
      yeah go for negotiating. I know someone who negotiated +40k from their starting recentlyish
      Jun 29, 2019
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      If you’re being offered what you make now in Seattle to work in SF, that’s effectively a pay cut due to CoL. If you want to live in SF itself, you’re going to need at least 40-50% more to break even (and try to get most of that in cash — rent doesn’t wait until stock vest day).

      Even if you live in the East Bay (which, BTW, will involve at least a 40 minute commute, no matter where you live), you’ll probably need at least 10% more to break even.

      TLDR: Even if you negotiate hard, you’re unlikely to get enough of a boost to justify moving that far, unless you just hate Seattle or are moving for non-career reasons.
      Jun 30, 2019
  • Yelp


    Don’t take it
    Jun 29, 2019 2
    • Intuit a212drape7
      Why? How’s the culture at yelp with engineering and applied ML
      Jun 29, 2019
    • Pivotal Axe Cap
      Aug 18, 2019
  • Yelp gzsg58
    > Is IC3 senior?

    It's about the median. It takes a relatively long time to go from IC3 to IC4 (2-ish years).

    > Is it a good place to be an engineer? Is the morale high? Good culture? Good learning opportunities?

    It varies a LOT by team. I'm pretty happy on my team. Generally infra teams seem better than feature teams.

    > Are there any talks of free food?

    Nope. Typical tech office free snacks of course, but they got rid of even free Friday lunches a while back (they claimed due to logistics). Kinda BS.

    > How's the location?

    It's great if you want to work in SF. It's right next to Montgomery BART. Hard to find a place easier to commute to, especially from the East Bay.

    > Why did I see so many engineers who have been there for 4+ years?

    Not sure. I would actually say it's typically the opposite, we have very few senior people and tons of new grads.
    Jun 29, 2019 1
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      IC3: I wouldn’t exactly say it’s the median, but it is a terminal level, meaning that as long as you perform up to level, you won’t get hired. You can be a tech lead at IC3, but you’re probably doing some things at IC4 level at that point, anyway.

      Infra vs features: I would actually say backend vs front end myself, but sure.

      Location: Hell yeah, 5 minute walk from BART, unless you want an extra 10 minute walk in the morning and get off at Embarcadero.

      4+ years: probably those people are more likely to put their info into
      Jun 30, 2019
  • Yelp pvvHjk8
    What is the offer
    Jun 29, 2019 1
    • Amazon / Eng gldnhndcfs
      Peanuts higher than my current TC but I'm in Seattle.
      Jun 29, 2019
  • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
    OP, any update? Are you planning to join us in SF?
    Jul 15, 2019 3
    • Amazon / Eng gldnhndcfs
      I just saw this. No I didn't end up taking it.

      I negotiated for TC 270k which is about equivalent to my Seattle 200k but that was including sign-on/relo so I was worried about my year 1/year2 TC.

      Also, I saw myself jumping ship in a year or two, hating life outside of work in SF, and having to move to Oakland to afford a 1BR. Maybe for FAANG/more money I would make the jump but it wasn't worth it for now.

      On the bright side, the recruiting process was one of the best I've ever had. Fair questions, really sociable interviewers, and just really good vibes overall. Most FAANG interviewers are nerds in a hoodie asking Leetcode Hards in a thick accent, not the case at Yelp.
      Aug 10, 2019
    • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
      Sounds about right all around. We take a lot of pride in having a good interview process, and especially on the candidate experience. Not too surprised they weren’t able to pay what you needed, either. :/
      Aug 10, 2019
    • Yelp Person3
      That's the best description of FAANG interviewers I've heard.
      Aug 17, 2019
  • Yelp / Eng SQN
    IC3 is equivalent to a senior role at other companies. The benefits are okay - they're starting to make us pay for some portion of health insurance, which is really annoying. 401k match and PTO are also really underwhelming.
    Jul 2, 2019 3
    • Yelp / Eng SQN
      Parental leave is 8 weeks which is less than many other places.
      Jul 2, 2019
    • Yelp / Eng SQN
      It does seem to be one of the more chilled out places I've been to, so WLB is pretty good. Engineers on most teams seem to do 7 hour days (10:30 to 5:30) with a solid hour long lunch and get away with it. If you have a hobby you care about or a family, this is a good place to be.
      Jul 2, 2019
    • Yelp


      On Internet, anything can be debated.
      ^^^ I think WLB is one of the highlights at Yelp.
      Jul 3, 2019
  • Yelp / Eng tvvolf
    My team has been going out to lunch on the company card a few times a month, but other than that you're on your own for the most part. There are some free options (ramen, frozen burritos, sandwiches), but I got bored of those pretty quick. I don't believe there are any talks of catering lunch for the employees.

    The location's pretty good, assuming we're talking about SF. Tons of restaurants within walking distance. Right off the BART line.

    I don't have any complaints about the benefits, but I don't know how the compare to other companies. I do have to plan out my PTO a little bit, but we have unlimited sick days, so take that as you will.

    I like my team quite a bit, but I think morale and culture varies by team.

    1.5 YOE
    167 TC
    IC 2
    iOS Eng
    Jun 29, 2019 0


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