Xilinx Senior Software Engineer Reviews

Updated 3 Mar 2020

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3.5
51%
Recommend to a Friend
70%
Approve of CEO
Xilinx CEO Victor Peng
Victor Peng
3 Ratings
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great potential rarely realized"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Senior Staff Software Engineer in Longmont, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Xilinx

    Pros

    Challenging work, good tools with which to accomplish it, talented people. There are many good managers within Xilinx but a couple of the senior directors refuse to accept reality and continue pursuing dead end strategies.

    Cons

    Poor coordination among groups, silo-ing engineers to work on the same narrow tasks seemingly forever, too busy with continuing engineering to make the big leaps forward. Senior directors set technical direction without listening to technical marketing and their own engineers. This leads to development that is out of touch with cistomer desires and industry trends.

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "Average to above average company with significant potential that requires great change and effort to be realized."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Senior Software Engineer in Longmont, CO
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Xilinx

    Pros

    1. The core technology is very promising and remains an interesting proposition 2. Wide variety of projects to work on in many domain spaces 3. Employee Stock Purchase Plan can be very lucrative at times 4. 401K Match up to a certain amount 5. Health care options are pretty good covering more than typical jobs 6. Developer machines upgraded every three years or so 7. Nice people, often intelligent too 8. Lots of room to be a hero (i.e. there are lots of ways to shine if you are willing to devote all your time to work) 9. Health care options are pretty good covering more than typical jobs Xilinx is in a state of flux. It has been slowly changing from a small company to a large company for the last 15 years or so (maybe I ought to draw a comparison to molasses). Many people have commented on how happy they were in the big "group hug" that was the ecosystem Wim created. Unfortunately, as the stock price shows, that environment was not terribly conducive to making Xilinx competitive as a growth investment (that said, "kudos" to Wim for keeping us lumbering along and not falling off a cliff--there is talent in that too). The result of that legacy was once eloquently described as a ship with eleven rudders--try steering that one. From what I have seen I couldn't agree more. Luckily, Moshe is trying to change this problem and many other issues within Xilinx. It is a difficult task requiring many hard and unpopular decisions--decisions that often only involve a bad option and a worse one. The uncompetitive culture is still entrenched within some current staff and upper management. These are people that have trouble pushing back and asking the hard questions that result in high quality product and realistic schedules with flawless execution. Changing this culture with existing staff is analogous to making a competitive track and field team out of obese donut club members--not going to happen quickly without cuts and other measures. However, at some point in the future, if Moshe is persistent, this will be a great company to work for. Especially for disciplined individuals who are comfortable as competitors and not just looking for a position as a 'happy minion' putting in a meager 40 hours a week. It is important to also point out that some of the existing staff are competitors--they do put in the work--unfortunately, their impact has been thwarted somewhat by upper management and wild goose chases that were overly strategic. In the meantime, Xilinx will continue to change, people will continue to complain, but the truth is that there are many worse places that one could work. At this juncture Xilinx is average to above-average in my view.

    Cons

    1. Review period is too long to be effective. A concise review process that is much more tightly coupled to real employee goals and performance therein would be a significant aid to motivation. Presently the process involves that 'root canal' of a yearly review to fill out, where everyone wastes a day or so droning on about the last year and why they were not able to achieve goals from 6 months ago that changed 4 months ago. 2. Call it a silo, call it the tower of Babel, either way Xilinx is a disjoint organization with fractured processes that differ significantly amongst all development teams. Consolidating the teams and coming up with a light-weight extensible process while facilitating greater communication amongst all the teams is probably the toughest challenge Moshe and friends face on the engineering side of the house. This contributes significantly to diminished product quality and weak execution. Some projects are exceptionally executed while others are sorely lacking--this evidences the differences in process and approach that ought to be unified. 3. Stone-age approaches to problem solving. There are many examples where we try to do things internally that are not our core competency and would be better accomplished with existing technology and infrastructure. Xilinx will have trouble being a growth investment until it starts to leverage the state of the art in its solutions. Examples include better modularity with reduced build-time dependencies, enabling the use of farm and cloud computing both in internal projects and released product, and global caching of pre-computed results to improve customer experience. This same situation has been evidenced by our lack of, or late adoption of industry standards. 3. Encouraging Hero syndrome. What this really amounts to, is rewarding fire fighting rather than fire prevention. This results in employee burn-out and masks significant problems. These problems typically can include one or more of the following: - a failure to plan and design - an inability to push back or scope back a project - ineffectively tasking/staffing a project The burden of covering for these incompetencies then falls upon the developer, who is later rewarded in a public fashion, perhaps in an all hands meeting. This happens far to frequently to be dismissed as the kind of occasional heroism that is healthy. 4. Employee investment. Xilinx's internal training program needs some work. Employee skills in all domains are allowed to get dull, leading to an ineffective workforce that is not progressive in it's approach to solving problems. It is incumbent upon employees to strive to improve themselves to remain competitive, but Xilinx could do a lot more to help. I have witnessed this in management where I have seen supposedly experienced managers think that adding 12 more people to a 4 person project will make it go 4 times more quickly (try reading Mythical Man Month to start). That is a lack of training. I have also seen a lack of training in engineering, for example where people prefer using print statements over sophisticated existing debugging programs that we have licenses for. This can be corrected with investment in training and better tool standardization across development teams. The result would be a more effective workforce. 5. Review period is too long to be effective. A concise review process that is much more tightly coupled to real employee goals and performance therein would be a significant aid to motivation. Presently there are two six month reviews and that 'root canal' of a yearly review to fill out where everyone wastes a day or so droning on about the last year and why they were not able to achieve goals from 6 months ago that changed 4 months ago. I have never felt my rewards were tied to anything I ever did for the company and the review process really doesn't facilitate this in any meaningful way. I can already see where the executive team is taking steps to address some of the above problems and that is encouraging. Wim made great changes when he joined Xilinx, but for some reason that seemed to happen less as his tenure proceeded--I hope the same is not true for Moshe and his team.

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  3. "Open communication. People are supportive & willing to share knowledge. Friendly competitive environment. Not a lot of politics."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Senior Staff Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Xilinx

    Pros

    The hours are flexible, you can telecommute or go to part time and go back to full time if necessary (for family illness ex.) No layoffs during downturn of industry.

    Cons

    This industry is very specialized so there is really no where to go professionally unless you move to a competitor. Company is aware of this fact. They are not growing as fast as they were in the past.

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