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.  

    Interview Process

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

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

    Pros

    I joined Illumina due to the promising work environment here. The HR who interviewed me, Nathalie Becker, was able to help me see the great opportunities to improve my career here. She also showed me how illumina was helping to make this work a better place to live in. The contributions illumina was making to improve the life of people was really overwhelming. I believe it is a great privilege to be a part of an organization like Illumina.

    Cons

    Space constraints, and company is actively working to improve it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    iAspire Intern Program - QA Intern

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

    I worked at Illumina as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The culture at Illumina is incredible. Everyone I met during my three months with the company is incredibly driven and intelligent and very willing to lend a hand and teach you about what they do. As an intern, you will have a major project, but otherwise you can enjoy all the perks the full-time employees get, like gym access and fitness classes (highly recommended; nothing beats coming back to work cleansed after a yoga class!). But the intern program provides even more; different workshops, strengths finder, the ability to meet and talk with senior leaders at Illumina, and otherwise quite a bit of exposure. I had the opportunity to present to the VP of my division, as did my friend in marketing. Illumina cares deeply about it's interns, and it really is an incredibly valuable experience. And outside the internship program, the company is very unique. I'm hoping to get hired after I finish gradate school because Illumina is such a open, innovative, and creative company, and I truly believe the next-gen technology is the future of personalized medicine.

    Cons

    As an intern, particularly at the beginning, I was very overwhelmed. Everyone works very hard at Illumina, so prepare to do so as well. The learning curve is pretty steep, particularly if you are not very familiar with next-gen sequencing or the operations of the department you will be working for. I was very new to QA, so the first weeks were very tough, but with some persistence, you get a feeling for it. Another con is that during the summer, a lot of full-timers go on vacations, so a lot of your coworkers may be in and out, which can be frustrating.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Right choice - will not regret it

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

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

    Pros

    Very supportive and friendly environment. Monthly company meetings to help the employees better understand their role in Illumina's vision of making personalized medicine a routine in the clinics. The managers trust the employees in doing their jobs instead of micromanaging, this helps the employees to give their best. The team is really nice and everyone is always willing to help each other. My manager is also very nice. The HR team is amazing is arranging the interviews and communicating important decisions. Always willing to help.
    Illumina hires the best candidates. The interview process is very rigorous. I applied on the companies website. Few days later I got a phone interview scheduled directly with the hiring manager. A day later I was scheduled for a phone interview with the HR following which they decided me to call onsite.
    Onsite: it was half a day interview including presentation, a written exercise and one-on-one interview with each member of the team.
    I will definitely recommend Illumina to candidates who are willing to challenge themselves with a fast pace and a very satisfying job.

    Cons

    Can't think of any cons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Great work environment

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

    I worked at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    Team work oriented and really strives for personal career growth.

    Cons

    takes a while to convert temporary employees to full time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11.  

    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.

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