Illumina Reviews

Updated 3 September 2014
Updated 3 September 2014
140 Reviews
3.9
140 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
104 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Project Managers beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Current Employee - Project Manager

    I have been working at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    Growing industry, hiring loads of employees, fabulous building and campus with cafeteria and gym, great benefits

    Cons

    Poor office politics with lots of gossip, very cliquish environment among employees who have worked there for years and do not accept new employees or new management processes. The Marketing dept actively rejects project management processes. I keep hearing the phrase "that's not how we do things here." It's a shame such an innovative company is so short-sided to corporate management processes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't promote emotionally unstable people to management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    At the cutting edge of DNA innovation; however, be careful not to trade quality for velocity

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Very responsive to employee surveys regarding concerns. Provides ongoing training & education. Promotes a fun, open and high expectation working environment for all employees. Numerous amenities offered to employees at San Diego headquarters.

    Cons

    Growing quickly, but does not have correct infrastructure and procedures to support that yet. Should focus more on Information Technology capability gaps in order to realize full potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drive for innovation must also be balanced with maturity of that rapidly advancing technology.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    G

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of smart people and management is very accessible. Campus is very nice. Work is fast paced.

    Cons

    Too many meetings means you need to work long hours to get your work done (unless you are management because then meetings are work for you)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Illumina treated me fairly, and in addition to learning a lot, I had many positive experiences with my colleagues.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager
    Current Employee - Product Manager

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

    Pros

    Illumina is the leader in its industry, and is keenly aware of, and responds to, competitive threats.

    Cons

    Unless you are in the San Diego office, you are effectively a "second-class citizen". Communication to other offices is poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pay lip-service to developing the management skills of employees who are managers - actually do it, and take it very, very seriously. It would dramatically reduce turnover. While turnover is not great, it could be much lower.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Small company, large aspirations, life changing potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager  in  Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Being involved in a revolution of genetic analysis & understanding. An industry on the cusp of a human revolution. A leader in the industry.

    Cons

    Work / Life balance can be challenging at times. Growing pains of a small company becoming an enterprise but well understood and being dealt with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good and Dynamic

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

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

    Pros

    Lots to learn
    Best place to start career

    Cons

    No Process and not effective since too much to work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employee more people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Dysfunctional and Proud of It!!

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

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

    Pros

    Nice campus, iCafe, company parties are fun, stock is going up, some nice people

    Cons

    If you love working then this is the place for you because you'll be here morning, noon, and night. La Jolla in the dark will become a very familiar sight. It's not just the aggressive schedules that will keep you at work. A good part of the work will be created by the overall lack of planning of the projects that you'll work on. This is kind of amazing since Illumina is filled to rafters with middle managers. I guess they spend so much time falling over each other that they don't have time to manage anything.

    The cherry on top of all of this is that your hard work is unlikely to be rewarded. Illumina makes no bones about the fact that it will not give internal candidates preference in hiring for open positions. It's quite frustrating to see external job postings for positions that you (and likely many of your colleagues) are qualified for. The best strategy for advancement at Illumina is to do good work, leave for a few years, and then come back at a higher level.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not great

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

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

    Pros

    Cafeteria, RSU (stock), company is doing very well

    Cons

    Schedules are unrealistic, work/life balance suffers greatly, bloated middle management that slows everything down, lots of silos, and a growing number of people who don't seem to have a clear function in the organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Illumina should be one of the best places in San Diego to work. It's not.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    A Veterans perspective.

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

    I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice facility.
    Some good perks all around.
    Fair PTO system.
    Good benefits package.

    Cons

    After serving over 12 years in the US Military I landed a position with Illumina at first all seemed good the facility is very large and the benefits were great for a family person like me. I was glad to be a part of such a large organization because typically that’s good for career growth from within.
    Later as a prior service member who was in a leadership position I noticed that at almost every level they have no leadership per say, they rule by committee & political alliances. If you find yourself inside certain circles you will be fine; but if you’re out of the circles you may as well start looking for a new job.
    I felt certain mid-level managers saw me as a threat to their positions due in part to my experience in leadership and my technical ability and went after me. They kept it legal and the HR was of no help at all this stopping this harassment so I gave my notice, in my exit interview HR did not want to hear me and just kept repeating “prerogative” like a parrot.
    I cannot and will not recommend anyone working at this place especially mid-level career people because they will suffer the most while a person fresh out of college may be able to stand it.
    *This Company if not illegal certainly is an unethical company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None- but one day this behavior will bite you in the end.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    No Work Life Balance

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

    I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Location of company
    Campus environment
    Facilities
    On-site gym with multiple cafes
    Equipment provided to employees for their use

    Cons

    All work, all the time, all day, night, weekend long
    No career development from what i can see, just a lot of smoke and mirrors
    Incredibly elitist and arrogant attitudes by most of management
    Management acts as though its a privilege for anyone to work there
    Micro management all the time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We have a life outside of Illumina
    There are other companies just as good
    Stop your self-centered focus on your equity
    Trust employees
    Recognize technically sharp managers are not the greatest of people leaders

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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