WillowTree Jobs

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13 hrs ago

QA Team Lead – new

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

• Represent WillowTree’s Mobile QA vision to potential clients and at industry conferences. • Collaborate with development teams, product… WillowTree


3 days ago

IT Support Specialist – new

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

You’re a natural organizer. You can identify patterns and see where convention is necessary and where it isn’t. You can put yourself in the… WillowTree


10 days ago

Senior UX Designer

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

WillowTree thrives at working on applications for a wide array of clients, industries, and platforms so as a Senior UX designer you’ll excel at… WillowTree


10 days ago

Web/CSS Software Engineer

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

* You know pretty much every rule in every module of the CSS3 specification. * Even if the rest of the world has given up and uses divs for just… WillowTree


10 days ago

Best of the best software engineers wanted!

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

Much more than a mobile app development company -- WillowTree is a new breed mobile engagement partner focused on creating great software to improve… WillowTree


10 days ago

UX Designer

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

Successful applicants... • are proficient with the normal Adobe tools • are all about the details • have experience wireframing mobile or… WillowTree


10 days ago

Mobile Business Development Manager

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

The Business Development Manager will field these leads, introduce WillowTree's business/capabilities, and work with the client to construct a… WillowTree


10 days ago

iOS Software Engineer for Research Triangle NC Office

WillowTree Durham, NC +2 locations

We need you to have stellar iOS development skills, a friendly personality, and the ability to collaborate with other developers and our clients. As… WillowTree


10 days ago

Software Testing Analyst

WillowTree Charlottesville, VA

We need you to have an inquisitive mind, a friendly personality, and the ability to collaborate with other developers and our clients. As a Software… WillowTree


10 days ago

Web/JavaScript Software Engineer for Research Triangle

WillowTree Durham, NC +2 locations

Do you want to build best-of-class web applications for mobile and desktop web? Do you want to work with talented developers using cutting-edge… WillowTree


WillowTree Reviews

4.9
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WillowTree CEO Tobias A. Dengel
Tobias A. Dengel
39 Ratings
  • Helpful (7)

    Great software company that values it's employees.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at WillowTree full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There's a lot of good things to say about WillowTree. Development: * There's a ton of freedom in choosing the technology you want to use. You're usually running your end of the project, so you choose the stack. If you have a better solution or a solution that works better for your project- great. You're not constricted. * More often than before projects have two people per platform. This is *great* because it leads to better code, faster deliverables, and less stress. There's also a sort of "built in" code review process when working in small teams that I think can be better than the traditional "some other guy sort of looks at the code and approves it" reviewing. * On the iOS side of things the company does a good job at following Apple's best practices as far as supporting the newest OS and devices goes. * I've made a few apps that have ended up featured by apple or other apple blogs, and that's an amazing feeling. A lot of personal goals have been met working on willowtree projects. You'll make stuff that will be used be millions of people- which is the coolest thing about software development in my opinion. Learning: * Having been at WillowTree so long I can say that I've never seen people grow as fast anywhere else (Including myself). We have a lot of great people here from all walks of life and they all have something new to bring to the table. * You may work on an AV project for a bit, then a health care project, then a location aware project, etc. This is great because you'll get to explore all sorts of APIs that you wouldn't get exposure to if you were always working on the same type of application. * If you want to flirt with technologies that aren't in your job description this is a great place to do it. I usually end up harassing the web and android teams about my little side projects all the time and they love offering their talent and knowledge. Clients: * I've worked with probably 10+ clients in my time here and I've really enjoyed all of them. I've have a lot of long lasting relationships with client's I'd consider good friends. * You interact with a lot of client development teams which can be a lot of fun. WillowTree is great at embedding itself into other companies when working with them. A few clients have told me that it feels more like working with co-workers than contractors when working with WillowTree. * You'll end up with some high profile clients and (though less often these days) some start up / new clients. Both of their upsides and downsides! Culture: * You are responsible for you and your project. Make sure you get your stuff done and always ask for help if you need it. You'll have no problems if you stay on top of things and keep everyone in the know. * WillowTree feels more like a group of friends then a bunch of co-workers. This has become more and more obvious as I've worked with more clients. It's rare to see the level of friendship and interaction that I see in our office in other offices. * As we've grown we're losing a little bit of the "everyone knows everyone" feeling but that's ok in some ways. It can be stressful to try to stay on top of every person and every project. * We all hang out outside of work. We do music, food, trips, sports, side projects, all kinds of stuff. * We've always had a hacker culture / R&D sort of motive. It gets awkward sometimes due to the space and amount of people, but there's something to be said for the fact that we're always trying to keep that alive and improve it. * I really love my co-workers and it's the best part of my day. * We do team lunches which is a fun way to share stuff with the team. We're getting to be a pretty big team (10 or 15 or so) so sometimes it's kind of awkward, especially when going out to eat as a team. Management: * Though I don't get to talk to them as much as I used to due to the growth and busy schedules, the CTO and CEO genuinely care about you and your project. They want you to be happy and writing good software, and they'll do anything within reason to help you do that. * Our new VP of software development is a really smart guy, and I think he's going to lead to a lot of good decisions down the road. * All of the team leads are very knowledgeable and great at what they do. My (iOS) team lead has been a huge influence on me and will always listen and help when he can. I really appreciate all the hard work these guys do and couldn't see myself being able to juggle so much responsibility they way they do it. * If you have a problem, a better way to do something, or a suggestion- tell someone. They'll actually listen. I was scared that as we got bigger this wouldn't be the case, but as we now have more resources we're able to do a lot more with peoples suggestions. Work / Life Balance: * "Back in the day" we all worked some pretty crazy hours, but we were so close and were having such a good time that it didn't really bother us so much. But that kind of thing isn't sustainable, and WillowTree is handling that. * If you manage your time and project correctly you'll work a fairly normal work week, 40-50 hours or so. * Towards the end of projects it's not unusual to have those few weeks of crunch time. I'd consider this normal for most any software company, especially client services. * Some people kind of end up getting screwed with 2 or more active projects and 1 or more maintenance projects. WillowTree is actively trying to ensure this doesn't happen with some new processes, but again with client service companies this is going to be a challenge. Location: * The office is right on the downtown mall. This means we're right by tons of great places to shop / eat / go out / coffee / whatever. This is a huge perk. * You'll get a parking pass to the water street garage. I live out of town so this is super nice when I want to hang out in cville on the weekends- prime parking for free! Design / UX: * Again having worked with a lot of other clients and their (lack of) design teams, we're very lucky to have the people we have. Our VP of UX has a good eye for hiring people who know what they're doing. I'm always impressed with what comes out of design and I think that's a lot more important to the development process than a lot of people acknowledge. * UX isn't just a buzzword at WillowTree- when these guys make designs they really think things through. QA: * We have an amazing QA team. I love these guys. You can submit your software to the app store and clients without being nervous and stressed out because it will have been hammered by these wonderful people. PM: * I really love interacting with clients and planning out how I want to do my project. I really don't love orchestrating all sides of a project on the WillowTree and client side. In the past it's usually been up to a WillowTree designer or developer to do this, but we're moving to PMs now (thank you thank you thank you) which is amazing. I *love* our PMs and they do an amazing job. Let's get more! Hardware / Software needs: * You'll get a nice new Macbook to work with, and if you ever need anything else they'll get it for you. Same goes for software. Salary / Benefits: * 401K is great. They'll have a guy some in and explain how it all works now and then before you go guess how to setup the stock things and pretend you know how to do that sort of stuff. * Insurance is good as far as I've had to use it.. * A lot of us got stock options (I'm uncertain if they're still doing that). * For the area the pay is great. I'm very happy. * You could probably make a little more relatively speaking if you wanted to live in CA or NoVa. But once adjusted for cost of living it wouldn't be a deciding factor in another job for me. * You get to go to one conference a year! I've been to WWDC twice- both times were amazing experiences. * Before working at WillowTree I'd never been on a plane or visited many places out of state. Now I've been all over the place. I really like traveling for clients (If you don't like to travel they will make sure you aren't on projects that need it.) * I've been to a lot of Hackathons which is so much fun. WillowTree is good about sending you out to do events if you're into that sort of thing. I think this is a great way to let people know about who we are and see our talented people.

    Cons

    Before going into Cons I want to say that WillowTree is *very very* good about listening to any issue you may have. They care if you're having problems, and if you have a solution or want to talk about it, they will listen. I've had various issues throughout the years and more often then not things get solved and improved. WillowTree is always trying to find new and better ways to do things- which is awesome. Projects: * Sometimes we accept or make deals with some fairly "of course this isn't going to work" conditions, then are surprised when things go south. Setting unrealistic deadlines against undeveloped / non-existent client APIs and unknown requirements is a recipe for unmaintainable code, pain on both us and the client, and burnout. We've been getting much better at this but now and then I hear about a new project and it's deadline / requirements and think really? * From time to time you'll end up with a somewhat "boring" / easy project- but sometimes these are nice between the more stressful ones. Depends on what you like. * We could be better about helping clients tone down their app to core functionality. Sometimes we end up doing apps with a lot of "ok" features instead of an app with a few really solid "core" features. Development: * A lot of the time I find myself having to write "get it done code". I'd like to be able to write more tests and take more time with my software, but sometimes due to deadlines we can't do this. I want to give the client what I think is my best work, and I'd like to think the client would be willing to pay for the time it takes to get quality software they can rely on. Growth: * Some of our meetings and things we did from the old days of the company aren't really scaling that well. We're not a big company yet but we certainly aren't a small one. * R&D / Beer:30 / Monday morning meeting all need to be thought out a bit more as we grow. I know we're working on this so that's a good thing! * The open office is pretty terrible most of the time. It's an awesome environment to learn and help others and know what's going on, but sometimes you need to do work too. The office space downstairs will fix a lot of problems with conference rooms and personal spots, but I'd rather the "default" be a quiet environment and you could go to a more communal spot if you wanted to. Web apps / BizDev / DevOps all have a pretty good setup. This being said I'd rather take the open office on the downtown mall than a more quiet office away from the mall. Sometimes we'll go work at the coffee shops on the mall when it gets so loud that you can't even think. Sometimes when I have a doctors appointment or am sick and I work from home, I'm amazed that I can do what feels like 2 days of work in a single day. * Our network and internet access is bad. Frequent drops throughout the day and slowdowns. Another problem we're working to fix, but we've been working to fix it for about 2 years. Transparency: * For the most part WillowTree is very transparent. A lot more than companies I've read about / had friends tell me about. But every now and then there's a decisions made that's sort of surprising.

    Advice to Management

    * New hiring process is great, old one was great too! Keep hiring more good people! * I'd like to do more stuff to make WillowTree "known" for having great talented people. More speaking engagements / hackathons / etc. * Maybe a work from home one day a week / sprint setup could be nice? I can get *so* much done without distractions, and this could be very helpful for those end of sprint "lets get things done" scenarios. This would be good for the client (more work gets done) and us (more deadlines get met!) * Keep trying hard to maintain the small company culture. * I love the PMs- more PMs! * I really like the focus on self improvement. The social things we do, encouragement to do side projects, conferences, and hackathons are all great ways to do this. I wonder if we could do something with taking classes at UVA after work?


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