Illumina

  www.illumina.com
  www.illumina.com

Illumina Reviews

Updated 28 November 2014
Updated 28 November 2014
155 Reviews
4.0
155 Reviews
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Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
113 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fast paced, well well-thought our solutions/processes (in 15 reviews)

  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance, challenging to get ahead with all the great people (in 19 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    IA - no one is driving the bus

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    It is a lovely facility. During the interview I found it refreshing that they were more concerned with practical skills and experience. This is a big change from the majority of companies that are more concerned with degrees and licenses that would have been obtained decades ago even though they are asking for an "experienced" employee. Yes, I have a Master's Degree in the field, but not the trendy license!.

    Cons

    I was interviewed by the 4 people in the IA department, but only worked for one and she had absolute control over what was done to me. This includes firing me for completing a project that when she gave it to me she openly stated she did not know how to do it or where to get the information. There was not any recourse or even any warning I was about to be fired. No one looked at what she did. She was just allowed to act as a spoiled child.

    I was under a woman who was in over her head. I was hired as a contractor to take some of the workload off her. I have extensive experience in this area so it did not seem to be a problem to me. It soon became clear she did not understand her job and was going to lash out at anyone who was a threat to her, i.e. know how to do the job. She got to the point where she spent many late night hours (seen on the emails) finding completely ridiculous, petty things for me to change on my work. I made the changes for her without saying a word.

    Upon completion I offered to walk her through the project she had told me she did not know how to do. Since it was complex and contained a lot of information it is not easy for anyone to follow. She immediately accused me of insufficient documentation and refused to listen to anything I had to say. In 2 days I had 5 different versions of the spreadsheet from her. She was not even looking at the most recent version I had which was available to her at any time. Clearly she was more interested in picking at it.

    Since she refused to accept that I knew anything, she got the person who did the project last year to review mine. She kept insisting last year was "easy" to understand and very consistent so I should just do it like it was done last year. On several occasions I tried to explain to her why this did not work. She was unable to discuss any of it. They, my supervisor and the person who did the project last year, decided to limit me to certain screen shots on the software because they did not know what many of mine were and did not bother to ask or read the explanations/documentation. When they decided to gang up on me for 2+ hours to "show me how to do it", the numbers did not work in the formula they required me to use! We all sat there and saw it. I was then told to use an alternate method and just explain to the auditors what I did when the formula did not fit the back up. Clearly their numbers and "consistent/easy to understand" system did not work. I was about to find out I was going to be held responsible for last year's work being less than consistant.

    I went in the next day and began to work on other samples of this test. I believed I had found a way to give her something she could understand as well as make the numbers work as I needed them to do with the formula they required me to use. I will not give numbers that do not work. If the incorrect numbers/documentation were discovered I would clearly and rightfully be responsible for unacceptable work. She did not speak to me the next day. How childish can you be? I worked all day coming up with the new system and combining all the spreadsheet versions she had created. Sat, the next day I received a call from the recruiter saying they claimed I could not take constructive criticism and was fired. No one in the dept. did anything. It seems she was not required to ask anyone before firing me and/or no one thought it reasonable to ask me what was happening or look at my work. Why interview me when you are going to let her be the immature and incompetent person she is and take it out on whoever you all hired? Clearly maturity and competence are not required for a position in this company.

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Innovation and progress on the forefront of genomics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Scientist in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Scientist in San Francisco, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Illumina values innovation and progress greatly. The work environment is quite dynamic and allows for growth of the individual. It is the frontier in a fast-growing industry.

    Cons

    Depending on what team/part of the company you are in, you might have to deal with some internal politics, but then again that is the case almost everywhere.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    A Company of Contradictions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Test Engineer in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Software Test Engineer in San Diego, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Great people, SW tries to maintain somewhat of a relaxed, fun startup culture. Lots of opportunity to learn new skills and build resume. More PTO for first year employees than anyplace I know of, good stock benefits.

    Cons

    Low salary for industry, chronically understaffed projects, and the expectation that exempt employees work frequent OT to makeup for understaffing. Promotion based on personality contributes to inexperinced/immature SW middle management. SW test department lacks experience/understanding of test documentation. A systemic problem due to relience on science graduates over professionals with solid understanding of what creates quality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train existing testers to understand what quality documentation and testing entails. Staff projects adequately or risk continuing talent drain. Don't mistake education for experience, or growth will be exceedingly more painful than necessary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Changes Science and Medicine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Illumina offers the ability to be part of a company that is truely changing the was people will be treated with life threatening diseases from personized medicine and therapy to early diagnosis. Also, the culture here is very collaborative and offers opportunities in all different areas as the company continues to grow and expand into new markets such as Oncology, Software, Reproductive Health, Life Sciences, etc. This is company for people that like change....that like a challenge....that like to learn!!

    Cons

    As the company continues to grow and expand, we are constantly looking at ways to more efficiently scale. This sometimes forces us to be reactive vs proactive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep hiring great people and diversifying who we hire.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Back-breaking and Soul-crushing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Just Another Software Engineer in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Just Another Software Engineer in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Illumina full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    They actually paid pretty well. I was even told once that there was some concern that I might have been getting paid too much. Lot's of pretty, young folks.

    Cons

    Back-breaking work. Unrealistic expectations. No real chance to forge any lasting relationships. Horrible communication. Horrible HR. Projects are *extremely* well-guarded. Preference is definitely given to the younger, more attractive women. Expect to deal with a senior management staff more concerned about popularity, politics, and extra-curricular relationships than with actual production.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't terminate someone the very next day (without any written reason) when they bring up possible non-compliance with FDA regulations.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Illumina is a good company to work for. The work is fast paced and engaging. Good benefits and nice campus, and smart coworkers.

    Cons

    The work here can move really quickly which makes prioritization very important, and understanding that you can't get everything done all the time.

  8.  

    Great company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research and Development
    Current Employee - Research and Development

    I have been working at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    It is an extremely successful business with highly skilled and driven employees. Great opportunities to learn from some of the best in the industry. The benefits are top notch but the pay is average which has in part been compensated for by the great stock performance recently.

    Cons

    There is a lack of career paths outside the headquarter but this seems to happen in other companies as well. It is difficult to get promoted from within so try to join at a high level. Sometimes overlapping or competing projects at different sites.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline communication between the different offices, provide clear career paths and guidance for employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Beware!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA (US)

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Salary...the pay is definitely in line with top organizations

    Cons

    Lack of employee support, Department Managers appear to be more interested in own personal agenda than working with employees to improve overall performance and team dynamics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure your Management team is looking out for the good of the Stockholders and not themselves when working top performers in the organization. Keep good employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Growing really fast

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Intern in San Diego, CA (US)

    I have been working at Illumina as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Company is really fast paced, a lot of work if you like to stay busy, and has a relaxing outdoor campus.

    Cons

    Not enough resources, understaffed, lack of tools to expedite work processes, and there aren't a lot of opportunities for employee outings to make new friends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    It doesn't get better than this--- great company, great products, great people!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Director in San Diego, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Wow- where to begin..... this is an amazing company- filled with dedicated and genuine people. My colleagues are here because we are changing healthcare in our lifetime. Coworkers are earnest, driven and real. Very low ego company.....it's not about the politics, it's about the people whose lives are changed using our technology.

    I've been at Illumina for three years- yes, it has a few growing pains. All companies do. The difference is that management here genuinely cares and tries to remedy pain points.

    How many companies do you know that take time out for a competitive dodgeball tournament, concerts in the amphitheater, the occasional happy hour, and gives employees a paid week off before July 4th (in addition to the paid company shutdown in December).

    Yes we work hard- but we are doing really important work....and I know that the work done will at some point, change the course of a family member's illness or treatment in the future. No complaints from me.

    Cons

    None- beautiful campus, competitive pay and beneftis, challenging but rewarding work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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