Recently 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 Netflixs policy of unlimited time off for vacation, the employee said, I think removing the number stressed that theres no magic amount youre 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 companys needs, and I know from personal experience that sometimes its hard to schedule any vacations at all. So the coin falls both ways. The longest time Ive 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 wont 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 doesnt 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 youre technically capable. Youll talk to about eight or so people, some from HR, some higher-ups, some of the team youre applying to. Typically, if even a single person doesnt like you, its unlikely youll be hired. Ultimately the decision is with the team thats hiring, but its 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 dont 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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