Illumina
2.9 of 5 115 reviews
www.illumina.com San Diego, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Illumina Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 115 reviews

                             

65% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(82 ratings)

52% of employees recommend this company to a friend
115 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Illumina is a fast-paced and exciting place to work with bleeding edge product development"
    in 10 reviews
  • "Some amazingly dedicated and smart people work at illumina"
    in 10 reviews
Cons:
  • "The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance"
    in 17 reviews
  • "No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • No Opinion of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Great, Till I was laid off

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Illumina

ProsGreat people, good money, poor management

ConsLong days and short nights

Advice to Senior ManagementGet a clue

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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What's all the complaining about?

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

ProsI keep reading reviews about the horrible work-life balance and how people work endless hours. Then why is the parking lot mostly empty before 9am and after 6pm, and a ghost town on weekends? Don't believe me? Just drive by and see for yourself. Perhaps maybe by San Diego standards Illumina is a demanding employer. Can't get my afternoon surf in, oh my. By most other measures the workload is moderate at best. Contrary to other reviews, the politics are not overwhelming, and collaboration is pretty good. Never had an instance of asking for help from another group and not getting it.

ConsSo many layers and titles. OMG! For a company with 2000 people, new scientists and engineers can count at least 11 layers of titles between themselves and the CEO. It is absurd. Decision process is not particularly crisp, but not to the point of getting in the way (too much). Benefits are decent but middle-of-the-road at best. Payscale is on the low side, they can probably get away with it for a while as the dominant company in a hot field, and as long as the overall stock direction is up. Internal systems are either non-existent or abysmal. Fortunately senior management knows it, is fairly open about it, and is working on a solution

Advice to Senior ManagementPush decisions down the chain of command. Seems that directors wait for VPs to decide, VPs wait for the SVPs, and the SVPs waffle until Jay speaks up. If there is one organizational thing that can endanger the future health of the company, it is this very issue. So add "decision making" to the GBP process and institutionalize a healthy level of decision ownership at the appropriate level.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Project Manager Intern

Project Manager (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I have been working at Illumina as an intern for less than a year

ProsGreat people and atmosphere. It is a huge company that is really at the forefront of groundbreaking technology. The position was fun with a lot of flexibility and responsibility. Great mentors.

ConsDesk job so there was not a lot of interaction with other employees.

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Average

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Illumina

ProsGood benefits. Great products. My direct coworkers were nice. Very consistent 9 to 5 kind of job.

ConsDidn't see much growth. Hayward felt like the step-child of the company, always had to prove that we were worthy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Innovative Technologies

Mechanical Engineer (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

Proscan grow fast, plenty of opportunities to learn new technologies

ConsHayward facility is not good compare to San Diego

Advice to Senior Managementexcellent work

– I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Excellent Learning Experience with Good Pay

Technical Applications Scientist (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

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

ProsExcellent compensation
Great growth opportunities
Colleagues are very intelligent and motivated
A great challenge
On site gym including group classes
Decent cafeteria
Beautiful campus

ConsCan feel like a small fish in a big pond
focus on improving instrument quality
Improve customer experience by tailoring products to how our customer use instruments and software. Sometimes it feels like these are not designed with customer in mind

Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to improve customer focus

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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4 people found this helpful  

Don't let the great products fool you

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Illumina full-time

ProsIllumina has cutting edge products and is #1 in every market that it competes in.

ConsIllumina suffers from executives who have not grown with the scale of the company and therefore think they are better managers/leaders than they are. It is much different to manage 100 employees vs. thousands. Execs need to lead by example and inspire others for the demanding work they place on their employees desks. The company is a bit of a country club where the execs reward each other and are very demanding of their employees with little rewards other than the stock price continuing to go up. I remember asking an exec one time if we should benchmark against other companies and their response was "We don't need to benchmark, we're Illumina." Overall I would descrite the culture as stuffy, arrogant with a depressing work environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementDouble-down on process and leadership. Hold your executives accountable include getting feedback from their employees.

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Located in the heart of San Diego Biotech center.

Systems Engineer (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I worked at Illumina as a contractor for less than a year

ProsPay rates are very competitive.
Near UCSD and many other Biotech companies.
Currently the leader in gene sequencing.
Good experience for Biochemists.

ConsCompany is growing too fast for management to mature.
Cheaper technologies threaten dominance in gene sequencing.
Not a good place to work if you do not have an advanced degree in biochemistry.
High churn rate. Best employees ping-pong with Life Technologies (competitor).

Advice to Senior ManagementNone.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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A bit chaotic but worth a look

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA (US)

I have been working at Illumina as a contractor for less than a year

Pros- Beautiful campus
- Many smart people
- Continuously trying to improve

Cons- No free snacks!
- Fast growth has led to patchwork levels of maturity in business processes, policies, capabilities. You have to land in the right group.
- Fast growth has resulted in many people managing more than their skill set supports.

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on hiring the best of the best.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fast paced and making a difference

Scientist I (Current Employee)
La Jolla, CA (US)

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

ProsThe people I work with are amazing. Incredibly supportive and brilliant. One of the reasons I enjoy my work so much is because I really enjoy the group of people I interact with on a daily basis.

ConsMany of the projects appear very under resourced. It appears that it is very hard to advance within the company. Illumina hires outsiders instead of promoting within.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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