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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Kingland full-time (more than a year)Pros
- Work schedule is, more or less, flexible and allows employees to work from home if necessary.
- Even entry level employees are given incredible amounts of vacation days to use, prorated based on start date, immediately after starting.
- Cafeteria with granola bars, yogurt, milk, cereal, etc. all free for employees.
- Decent learning opportunities working with some very intelligent people.Cons
Unfortunately, Kingland needs to work on quite a number of things.
First: compensation. Salaries are incredibly low across the board, especially for developers. Salary information for every position are publicly available to the company, except for those in the 'executive hallway'. This leads to suspicion about what they are paid. The structure of compensation is in dire need of a remodel. A large portion of 'total compensation' is based in 'incentive'. This means that part of your pay can be taken away for whatever reason the company chooses to give. To my knowledge, this has never happened. Also, bonuses are taxed at a much higher rate than normal salary, so the 'total compensation' number is a little deceiving.
Second: career development. There is a program set up at Kingland that provides a set of requirements that each employee must meet before they can be promoted. Normally, this would be a 'pro' for me, however there is only one track per position. Example: A software developer can be promoted 4 times from entry level just by doing 'normal' developer things. However, after that, they need to start taking on leadership roles which takes them very far away from development work.
Third: tooling. Kingland is a process heavy company. They use an Application Lifecycle Management tool that is almost unusable. Written in Java Swing, the UI is not intuitive and is quite a RAM hog. Also, the laptops that are provided are not powerful enough to meet the requirements of everyday work.
Fourth: management. As previously mentioned, there is only one career track for people to follow and it is the path to management. Those who are in management positions now do not have any idea how to manage a group of people. As people, they may be nice, but as managers most of them fall very short.
Fifth: secrecy. Everything is done behind closed doors. This means that employee achievements are never recognized beyond the office of their manager. It also makes career development frustrating when a group of people are discussing what team they are going to move you to but not including you in the decision process. Lastly, bonuses are sometimes provided to employees who have gone 'above and beyond.' When those kinds of bonuses are given behind closed doors and kept "hush hush", it looks like favoritism and is disheartening to others.
Sixth: China. Kingland recently opened an office in China and has been ramping up the operation quite rapidly. Working with people halfway across the country is hard enough, introducing a language and culture barrier on top of that makes it harder. The difference in code quality is glaring and frustrating.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Fix the salary structure: tone down incentive based pay and up the base salary. Don't be afraid to reward your employees for meaningful contributions, but try not to bake it so heavily into base pay.
Train your managers: get all of your managers together and send them to management training. Effective management is not something that everyone knows inherently, they need to be taught.
Process: if you want to make a process around a certain activity, pull few people who perform that activity on a regular basis into a meeting room and talk about what makes sense. You don't need to write the process out right then and there, but get some feedback from the people that it will affect before you publish it into law.Doesn't RecommendPositive OutlookNo opinion of CEO