5 Things We Learned From a Netflix Employee’s AMA




Netflix FamilyRecently a Netflix software engineer using the name Netflixandreal posted an AMA on Reddit. In this case an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, is where the employee took questions from Reddit and gave us a look inside Netflix.

We learned some interesting things. Here are the highlights.

#1 Netflix Employees Get Unlimited Time Off

When asked about Netflix’s policy of unlimited time off for vacation, the employee said, “I think removing the number stressed that there’s no magic amount you’re entitled to, but also no magic maximum the company can expect you to take. I know of cases where people have taken more vacation than they could have before, especially if they time them well around the company’s needs, and I know from personal experience that sometimes it’s hard to schedule any vacations at all. So the coin falls both ways. The longest time I’ve seen is six weeks or so.”

#2 The Netflix Test Videos Are a Mistake

Have you seen any of the test videos, such as the hour-long test patterns, Netflix has on their service? These videos are used by Netflix to test different back ends to improve streaming. It turns out they were not meant to be on the public side of Netflix. They were mistakenly added to the public side. At some point people found them and thought they were really cool, so Netflix left them on the public side.

#3 You Need to Watch the Credits

Ever wonder why a movie you have seen still shows as unfinished on Netflix? Well it turns out Netflix won’t count it as viewed until you have finished the credits on some movies. “I find this super annoying, too. Sorry. We try to auto-detect where the credits are but sometimes this process doesn’t work. There are too many movies/shows to do this manually. We just need to improve that tech.”

#4 Getting a Job at Netflix Is Not Easy

So it turns out half of getting the job at Netflix is personality and personality tests. “The rest is about making sure you’re technically capable. You’ll talk to about eight or so people, some from HR, some higher-ups, some of the team you’re applying to. Typically, if even a single person doesn’t like you, it’s unlikely you’ll be hired. Ultimately the decision is with the team that’s hiring, but it’s very rare for them to overrule a single ‘no.’”

#5 Sorry No Porn on Netflix

Sorry Netflix is very firm: There will be no porn. “For one, think about Aunt Doris, having gotten her new TV and thinking about signing up for Netflix, sees a headline in her newspaper that mentions ‘Netflix’ in the same sentence as ‘porn.’ There could a huge negative PR backlash even if the site was totally separate. Second, we know this market well, and don’t know the adult industry at all. And third, and probably most important, the competition is intense and huge.”

Oops! Looks Like Netflix Found Out About the AMA

Well it looks like the person who made the AMA on Reddit has taken it down and deleted all their answers but thankfully some of them have been saved. If you want to see what is left of the AMA, you can find it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/4xay9k/iama_netflix_employee_amaa/

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