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Ask HN: What's it like to work at Adobe?
43 points by aboutadobe on Mar 19, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
I am considering offers as a university student.

Adobe has made me an offer, but I can't find as much information about it as I can for companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft.

What is good about working at Adobe? What is bad about it? What is its reputation like in the industry?


I worked at Adobe for a bit over 2 years before joining Khan Academy last year. I left only because KA's mission resonates for me, and wouldn't hesitate to go back to Adobe.

I was working with a team of really great people who had all been there for years (IIRC 4 or 5 of them had been there more than 10 years) when I joined. Those people could certainly have gone elsewhere if they had wanted to.

Depending on what you're interested in, there is a lot of interesting work available. Adobe has two big product areas (Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud) and a few other things that I don't think are put into those two buckets. Broadly, Marketing Cloud work is mostly web-facing frontend and big data backend kinds of work. Creative Cloud encompasses the desktop apps like Photoshop and the cloud services that connect the desktop and mobile apps (among other things).

It's a really solid company, good work/rest of life balance, generally sharp business people and technical people to work with. They're also really good at putting on events and I was fortunate to go to 2 Tech Summits (internal tech conference) and 2 Adobe MAX conferences (conference for users of Creative Cloud) in my time there.

The only "bad" thing isn't really a "bad" thing but rather something that I have mixed feelings about. I've mostly worked for organizations under 1,000 people during my career (KA is about 100). Big company scale makes a lot possible (like Tech Summit and discounts with some national companies, etc), but it also introduces various bits of red tape and occasional systems that feel outdated (Adobe is more than 30 years old!). That red tape never got in the way of getting products shipped, though!

Adobe's reputation is going to vary a lot depending on who you ask and what they're interaction with Adobe is. A huge number of people know of Adobe because of Flash or Adobe Reader update prompts. Most usefully, though, Adobe's customers generally live in Adobe products and have created workflows that let them get things done in a way no competitor does.

As SteveMorin says, your own personal experience will depend on your manager/team which is true everywhere. My own experience at Adobe was great.

(BTW, Khan Academy is hiring too ;)

I know a couple of people who have worked for Adobe. I can't offer anything super insightful but they both liked it there. It isn't "glamorous" like Facebook, Google, etc. It sounded just like most other big IT companies. They were both working on the transition from a boxed product to their cloud platform so not the core products (Photoshop, etc.) but more the back-end platforms.

Do you know what you will be working on?

I spent some time at Adobe (in San Jose), and your experience is going to vary wildly from team to team and from campus to campus. There were teams with managers chasing stragglers out at 5pm, and teams with engineers working bleary eyed well into the evening. The San Jose campus is pretty nice in isolation, although there were like two restaurants that anybody went to for lunch (the joint with burritos and some kind of orange sauce was super good though). Everyone used to get their own office but I think this has changed recently. I got to work on some pretty fun low level GPU stuff, but at a company as big as Adobe you could end up doing just about anything. Can you share a few hints as to the position?

I'm assuming that the role is related to software development so this post may not be relevant but as someone who worked at Adobe for a couple of years it really resonates for me.


I worked for Adobe India for ~2 years. The experience varies with projects/teams. I know a lot of people who were content with the work, and also some (this includes me - mostly because of the project) who weren't. The quality of peers is very good. Reputation-wise its a highly respected company in the industry. It would be a good idea to find out more about the project you'd be working on.

I have been with Adobe (India) for over 7 years now, starting as a middle-level developer - my journey has been pretty awesome from day one - ample opportunities to grow, learn, experiment and fail, learn and then try again. The work culture is awesome, mostly devoid of politics, and more focused towards delivering an awesome experience to customers.

I have worked as a consultant at Adobe, it's very 9-5 on the teams I have worked with. People are nice, campus is good. Pretty corporate but overall think would be good experience. Like anything else who your manager is and which team your on will greatly affect your experience there.

I have a number of friends who do/did work there. They all seem happy and are doing cool stuff. The company has turned around recently and is pushing innovative tools and mobile.

The couple people I know who left did so not because of any problems w/Adobe.

If you email me I'd be happy to connect you.

i had a friend who worked there in a non-engineering role. they treat their people very well -- he was the only one in my entire friends group that had his own office (with a couch!) a couple years out of school while the rest of us were sitting in cubes, hellish open plans, or working as traveling consultants.

he said the engineers were treated like royalty and were highly respected within the company. this was close to 10 years ago though, no idea if/how things have changed but that's a data point.

Large companies are like countries, and their teams are like cities/neighborhoods. It really depends on your team / city.

Great work life balance. Mature people (rather than youthful exuberance per Se). Solid (but not top) pay.

Don't think it does, there are two comments (three but one is a double post), one is advertising a no longer existing job review website, the other is from an intern who says she had an amazing 3 months there but doesn't specify why she didn't choose to work there. I'd definitely dig deeper, cause there are polls such as this one:


High pay (to retain employees), low meaningfulness and low stress most likely means you'll be doing very boring stuff, judging by the quality of their latest products it wouldn't surprise me if this chart is accurate.

To OP, this is one of those times that you're better safe than sorry, make sure you make an informed decision as there are a few red flags.

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