Adap.tv Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
34 Reviews
3.3
34 Reviews
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Toby Gabriner
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good people, good environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager
    Current Employee - Product Manager

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Recently I took a look and read some of the reviews. I was pretty shocked by a lot of the comments made. I have worked with Adap.tv for almost 2 years now, and I must say my experience has been overall very positive.
    It’s a fun and friendly work environment with a start-up feel. Great office space- catered daily lunches, endless snacks and refreshments. Work hours are flexible, as long as you get your work done. The people here are very smart, it’s a great learning environment. There are lots of happy hours, wine tasting after work events that allow you to meet people in the company that you may not likely speak with on a day to day basis. I like being able to know everyone in the office. They also offer yoga once a week. They really try to show employee appreciation with perks here and there.

    Cons

    I have seen the morale change after the acquisition took place. People have come and gone, but we have primarily stayed the same. Some job functions have changed, but that happens with all companies. I never felt horribly affected by the acquisition, and now with the time that has passed most people have adjusted. In my opinion the cool "Adap.tv feel" of the company is still largely intact, and the execs really work at keeping the culture and drive of Adap.tv alive and well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward current employees for their performance, so they feel recognized. Address the issues people have complained about and get to the bottom of it so it doesn’t become a trend.

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be great, now barely "OK"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible hours: everyone has slightly different hours and I've never had a vacation request denied, so good work-life balance in general.

    Bright future: programmatic advertising is thriving and I'm confident the direction AOL is taking is the right one (I'm definitely holding on to my stock).

    Free food: catered lunch and fully stocked kitchen. There has been a lot of complaints about the food quality but most of the time it's good enough. Sure, sometimes it's great and sometimes it's terrible, but quite frankly it's not that bad in general. Fridges are full of sodas, juices, yogurts, fruits (strawberries, raspberries) and the kitchen also has a bunch of cereals, snacks, more fruits (apples, bananas, mangoes), coffee, ...

    (Some) smart people: there are a bunch of engineers left from the pre-acquisition days that are incredibly smart and have built impressive software. I've definitely learned a lot working alongside them.

    Cons

    Racial segregation: employees have a tendency to speak using their native language regardless of who is around them and how many times you try explaining to them how disrespectful it is (mostly the Chinese, but also to a much lesser extent the Israelis / Indians / Russians). Depending on where your desk is located you might be hearing more Chinese than English at the office.

    Massive exodus: before the acquisition very few employees were leaving, then about six months after the acquisition things started to change. Now engineers are leaving faster than new ones are being hired, and few engineers are left from before the acquisition (barely a year ago).

    Low salaries: people leaving usually get much better offers elsewhere (30-50% more) which clearly indicates something is wrong with the compensation. New hires are getting paid ridiculously more than long-time employees, so don't expect your salary to follow market trends once hired.

    Disparate managers: if you're unlucky enough to be in one of the few teams that have terrible managers then your life will be a living hell. And nothing will be done to remedy the situation even if more than half your team complains.

    Valueless titles: phony promotions are handed out left and right to keep people happy. There are literally people who have been promoted to "senior software engineer" less than two years after graduating college or "senior engineering manager" barely three years after graduating college.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase compensation for long-time employees, encourage people to speak English when in the office, understand that when most of a team is unhappy with their manager the problem clearly doesn't lie with the team members.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Welcome to AOL

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Adap.tv

    Pros

    stability, low level engineering experience, flexibility

    Cons

    The company grew and transformed into something that it was not before. It is part of a large corporation now, thus there is no start up spirit. A large chunk of really influential and key people has left the company from one reason or another. A new core has yet emerged among the new engineers and leaders... One of the challenges will be to rebuild the company from scratch and develop the culture into being great, once again...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up, focus on engineers, not only business and product! Engineers are your precious asset!

    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Thriving business but a very frustrating working with managers that seem out of touch

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice and talented employes working.

    The business is thriving. With AOL, all signs point in the right direction.

    Cons

    Outsourcing - Make 2 meetings for everything because of time zone differences. Sit through meetings where you understand half the words thanks to broken english. Constantly pull up terrible code with no regard for quality and no willingness from the "engineers" to refactor at any point in time. People don't want to work with B or C talent, let alone D or F. I didn't even have to 'git blame' to know who was committing code that would make any competent software engineer's eyes bleed.

    Talent exodus - Most of the super talented employees have either left or are looking to leave. This is pretty devastating to morale.

    Hiring of Managers - There seems to be a common theme among managers: Israeli, lack of any social skills, and an affinity for engineering practices from the 1990's.

    Constant questionable decisions by management and those with authority - If you think that adding double clicks to a web app is smart, writing API's in C is awesome, or contracting to a designer using drop shadows is acceptable, you belong here.

    To quote one current employee: "This is a celebration of mediocrity where they don't realize it and think are the best.”

    If your API server is crashing 5 times a day, your customer facing product takes 30+ seconds to load, and that customer facing product takes over a year to develop(no it should not take this long), maybe you should investigate the people leading you down this road.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out why everybody has been leaving. There are common themes

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Regrettable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time

    Pros

    1. Past - must have started during an interesting period of digital advertising
    2. Produced a new library for building infrastructure software
    3. Managed to convince AOL it was better than Brightroll @ $405 mil

    Cons

    1. Nepotistic, cliquish, stratified management (including engineering and product) - affects hiring, compensation and promotion
    2. Non-structured, ill-defined career path - promotion without adjusted compensation not unheard of
    3. Highly-skewed work-life balance - either over-worked martyrs or upward-moving charlatans
    4. Compensation far below market. The current CEO once emphasized in a meeting: there is no way it'll be comparable to Google and like. Otherwise, benefits and perks are nothing out of the ordinary.
    5. Abysmal employee retention (including co-founders)
    6. Engineering full of home-grown technologies that are still unstable, sometimes unscalable, and seem to have no future beyond the company (who codes exclusively in C anymore?)
    7. Non-citizen/non-resident employees' immigration process long, drawn out, inefficient, error-prone.
    8. Immigration status may affect compensation: non-citizen/non-resident employees conjectured to be paid lower

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase diversity, improve compensation and career opportunities, and bring transparency

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great environment but frustrating promotion process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good company culture, good benefits

    Cons

    Executive team doesn't really show the loyalty they say they will, career growth which is touted during the interview process isn't necessarily realistic, especially after the acquisition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote employees before they get tired of doing their new job without any recognition and start looking elsewhere.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great work culture, good people!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart motivated people. company pride, and opportunity are key drivers for joining Adap.tv. Compensation is fair and they offer quarterly bonuses to all employees, great benefits (free catered daily lunches, snacks, and refreshments), generous medical/dental/vision benefits and perks, and very positive culture.

    Cons

    Lots of change, recent acquisition by AOL has changed and slowed many processes, however the company has tried to maintain their own culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall strong leaders with great aspirations. Management could improve with better planning vs. re-active development. Engineering leadership has room for improvement. Technology used is outdated and they need to use more recent leading edge tools.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    It USED to be an Awesome, cutting edge company - true dreams of brilliant founders.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Free snacks, great people, first in the industry to create an amazing technology... Benefits are standard large company benefits that are great. Free lunch (I believe the only remaining division in AOL to still get this perk), and beverages. Flexible hours and schedules.

    Cons

    The amazing industry revolutionizing technology created by the founders is now lost in the crappy world of AOL. AOL is satisfied with "B and C" level talent and management. Layers upon layer of decision making, not up to par with the Valley - and they don't care. The folks at AOL HQ actually think they are a cutting edge company. The culture and overall morale in this place would be great if the new owners (aka AOL) actually knew what an efficient company was and how one operated. The salaries and compensation in places like Virginia and other far flung places in the US, should not be made a benchmark for deciding what salaries should be in the holy grail of technology - Silicon Valley. There is no comparison. AOL HQ does not care that companies like Google, Yahoo, Oracle, and the hundreds of other start-ups pay premium, and even more to attract the very, very best. AOL, for one does not care, and two have no idea what life is like outside Virginia. They are satisfied with not getting the cream of the crop "A" talent, nor do they care that their management style and methods are ancient and very concerning for a company that is struggling to turn a profit. Everyone has a Sr. Software Engineer title with no management growth, no team under them, or any decent bonus structure. Just make it here past 12-14 months and they will give you this title so you will not quit, all the while to see an outsider get hired to become a manager of the team over the people that have been here 2,3,4 years plus. The current management does not see this as an absolute morale buster.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Amir is no longer the CEO, so I put "no opinion" in the approval below. There is a newly promoted CEO. No advice but more of a suggestion - other companies are aggressively recruiting the employees. Any review before August/September 2013 time frame should not be used as a sample to the reviews after that date. You can not compare between the old company and the acquired one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stay away if you can! There are way better companies to work for out there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are no pros, as far as I am concerned. Everything that needs to be said is listed in cons below.

    Cons

    The acquisition changed everything and not for good. Mr. Ashkenazi is not even the CEO anymore. It's amazing how it took less than 9 months for the company to drag itself to the absolute bottom from what it used to be (as mentioned by previous reviews). Here are the main points:

    Horrible compensation, no where close to the industry. No road map for future, no challenges to tackle, nothing exciting to look forward to. There is no co-ordination between the product development and engineering leadership. No room for growth (you get to become a senior engineer, but that's about it). In fact as a reward to your hard-work, you are more than likely to get a manager one fine day in whose hiring you had no say whatsoever. Nepotism is rife in hiring/promotion to management positions. All in all its depressing and a celebration of mediocrity.

    To top all this, you get to deal with the worst legal services ever. If you are an employee needing sponsorship, good luck getting your immigration work done in time. And the catered food listed as a perk is not a perk at all. For most parts the food served is worse than food in prisons partly due to the reluctance to spend enough money to get good food.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving hollow promises. Address issues related to immigration and company perks. Put some effort in improving the culture and retaining the existing employees. Go visit some good start-ups if you don't know how to. Think about rewarding/promoting people who have actually worked hard for the company. Come up with a concrete road map of the future that takes the product in an interesting direction. Coming up with fancy new terms and mundane work is not going to help.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Focused on delivering quality products

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Everyone makes a difference.
    Quality is valued.
    People are valued and respected.
    Disagreement is valued.
    Mistakes are okay if not repeated.
    Hard questions cheerfully accepted at meetings.

    Cons

    Lack of internal documentation.
    Lack of clean product modularization.
    (Acknowledged) paucity of automated tests.
    Sub-optimal coordination between teams on different continents

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you pivot (even slightly), clearly announce it and have everyone check their projects for alignment

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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