Altera

  www.altera.com
  www.altera.com

Altera Reviews in Toronto, ON

Updated 17 December 2014
Updated 17 December 2014
296 Reviews
3.3
296 Reviews
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Altera Chairman, President, and CEO John P. Daane
John P. Daane
187 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Average work load and work life balance as a design engineer (in 31 reviews)

  • You have the opportunity to work on interesting, cutting edge technology (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Still you can not have work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Not much options for career advancement (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Interning at Altera

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera

    Pros

    It's hard to think of a better place in the GTA to work as a computer engineering intern. You'll feel challenged, work with incredibly smart people. Working there as an intern, you will be given significant responsibilities and will feel like you are making a real impact. Altera is a really cutting edge technology company, and I can't think of many companies where you get to be at the forefront of technological innovation. Knowing that you are contributing to building the technological infrastructure of the 21st century is what gets many to show up at work every day.

    Cons

    Learning curve can be steep. Expectations can be quite high, as everyone is extremely hard working and competent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain company culture as it is growing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Having a great time interning here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    Technically challenging and interesting work that requires tons of non-trivial thinking - you really develop your engineering skills and thinking skills from your day-to-day job. You meet the most talented group of people u've probably ever seen, and they're down to the earth. Great support from manager and peers - you can learn a lot from your them. Management cares about and encourages personal and career growth. Great pay compared with other tech companies in Toronto. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    More execution than innovation before you get more technical credibility. Due to the nature of EDA software and how long the code has been evolving for, the code base is huge and hard to read if you're a newbie. On top of coding and designing, you spend lots of time running tests and experiments, and our test infrastructure makes the procedure a bit slow and time-consuming.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Best job I've ever had

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    At Altera Toronto, you get to work with some of the smartest and most innovative people in the industry. Several people here literally written the book on FPGAs, and working alongside them is an amazing experience.

    You also get to work on some really cool, innovative projects that have the potential of changing the industry. Some of our interns leave with patents!

    And finally the office atmosphere is just fun. We do tons of social events, a ski trip in the winter, beach picnic in the summer, and a bunch of other stuff. Plus free drinks and free metro-passes.

    Cons

    Being surrounded by brilliant people is a double edged sword, because you have to be able to keep up with them. If you can't, you're not gonna have a good time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus less on short-term goals and more on doing the right thing for the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Too much intelligence

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Advanced Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    *surrounded by talented world-class engineers, self-development can be easy.
    *work-life balance is great
    *free drinks and snaks

    Cons

    too many genius, you can feel lots of pressure.
    bonus is not that much for individual contributor.

  6.  

    Software Engineering Altera Toronto

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time

    Pros

    Altera Toronto is an awesome place to work. The people in the software group are hands down amazing. There is this rare combination of smarts, friendliness, and competency that makes the group a joy to work with. The lower-level managers lead by example and genuinely care about the ones they supervise.

    Another big plus, the office itself is situated in downtown Toronto at the intersection of two major subway lines making it highly accessible.

    Cons

    Job security is a concern. Altera makes the high risk high reward play of going all-in on FPGA technology in free market capitalism. The company has no government or regulatory protections so if the market turns against it, be it from execution problems, recession, natural disaster, or new disruptive technologies, then jobs are threatened (and they have historically been cut).

    Also, a great team is a double edged sword. It is very hard to stand out and expectations are high. Although this results in excellent skill development, any one of those engineers may feel that their career will advance further in a weaker company where competency is confused with talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust leads to better teamwork. There is trust within engineer but much skepticism between engineering and marketing... much much skepticism. This is a classic problem but should be considered and dealt with.

  7.  

    Great workplace, smart engineers

    Former Employee - Senior Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Design Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Altera full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    downtown office, professional work environment

    Cons

    work can be overwhelming at times

  8.  

    Interesting research-oriented problems to work on; Great group of engineers to work with.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Altera full-time

    Pros

    Extremely talented group to work with. Great opportunity to challenge yourself with several research-oriented projects.

    Cons

    Product/segment roadmaps are unclear. Unsure of growth potential of company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Altera Toronto Rocks!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people are so smart here. The work is very interesting. There is a ton of career development and the managers & directors really care. Love the free Metropass and social events.

    Cons

    Dealing with the San Jose headquarters can be challenging at times- the time zone and cultural differences can be a big deal. We never seem to have much travel budget.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more effort on product planning - we seem to be behind in this area.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Rewarding hardwork, company direction unknown

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Intern in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Really intelligent people
    -Fun work environment
    -Good low level management

    Cons

    -Senior management has no idea what the company direction is.
    -Keep changing goals.
    -Laid off people without reason

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what you want to do ... make up your minds.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great tech and opportunities with some annoyances

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Altera full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    All of the problems we work on are cutting-edge, so there's always something new - so new that lots of people get to publish their work in journals.

    There's always more work to do than there is time, which might seem bad but it means that if you automate your current job away, you have nothing to fear since there will always be another valuable project for you to work on.

    There's a lot of room for creativity, and with some persistence you can get new projects going. People also move around frequently, with entire teams sometimes changing their mandate from one area to another. At least from a technical perspective, it's easy to get unstuck if you get bored. You can even switch from high-level software to next-generation hardware design - there aren't many places with that kind of flexibility.

    Cons

    Software engineering hasn't always been valued as much as "getting things out the door," because we're ultimately about selling hardware, and the software has to be ready to do that come hell or high water. As a result, some of the code quality has suffered over the years. Similarly, our testing and building infrastructure is sub-par. Both of these appear to be improving but there's a way to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encouraging people to be more efficient is nice, but technical leadership and investment are needed as well.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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