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Adap.tv Reviews in San Mateo, CA

Updated January 13, 2015
Updated January 13, 2015
41 Reviews
2.6
41 Reviews
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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was fun while it lasted

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Started off as a strong start-up with lots of momentum, freedom, and fun. I still think if you have a strong enough personality, ideas, and work ethic, you can make great career moves here. Free lunches everyday are a nice touch. Company is still in a growing industry.

    Cons

    Major brain drain post acquisition. All the good engineers are gone. Tough to push new products out on time with the small army they got. Meaningful salary bumps hard to come by.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck!

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

    Are you a low performer not looking for a challenge with a love of bureaucracy? Then come on by! This place is for you!

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This was an amazing company where you were challenged and pushed to your limits on a daily basis. We all worked together and accomplished great feats. Year over year we grew by multiples and were even profitable in our own right and there was an amazing leadership team that you believed in and trusted.

    Alas......those days are over and there is nothing left of this once great company.

    Don't expect any big raises or promotions. Your going on AOL plan of +2% year increases and bonuses/commissions that are paid annually! Woo Hoo! Maybe they will even try to convert your 401K match to an annual base so they can squeeze you for some more cash.

    Cons

    Leadership: Anyone you wanted to work with or look up to has left the building or is rapidly on their way out. Whats left is all fluff and utterly lack substance. How many times can someone show you a chart with up and to the right and then tell you that that company missed all of their goals.

    Fun: Just compare the Christmas parties in 2013 and 2014 to get an idea. In 2013 we rocked it out and celebrated our massive success with drinks, music, and tasty treats. All put up at fancy hotels in downtown SF. In 2014 under AOL we had an ugly sweater party in the cafeteria with cheap beer.

    Challenges: We solved complicated problems in the past and today its more about politics and bureaucracy

    Culture: We had a great culture in the past. There is nothing left anymore. Walking in here everyday is a complete energy suck.

    Vibe: This is not a tech company anymore. It was bought by a dial-up internet dinosaur who couldn't help but take their new shiny toy and destroy it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What management? We don't even have company meetings anymore. There is no one to advise.

    The truth is go find something better.

    The rating on the CEO is not applicable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Growing industry, smart people, not the best technology choices

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

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time

    Pros

    * Advertising industry is growing rapidly and the business is doing great.
    * Smart people and very good intentions of doing the right things
    * Free lunches, happy hours, BBQs, wine tasting..

    Cons

    * Product development has really slowed down.
    * Use legacy technologies instead of adopting newer technologies. Give lame excuse that external technologies may have bugs which would take time to fix
    * Over dependency on the RIBS framework. Its a great framework thats useful for Adserver. Dont make it a framework for all your components/products.
    * Over reliance on one/two people and these one/two people have very strong and outdated ideas(like using RIBS for everything).
    * Some of the technical managers are not the right fit for the company (culture and competency wise).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * There are a lot of smart folks in the company, recognize them. Stop over reliance on one/two people.
    * Take a look at your managers(especially engineering). Are they really capable of scaling the teams.
    * Bad technical decisions were made. Accept the fact and move on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Promotions based on politics - not merit, sexism and overall high turnover across the organization

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - HR works hard to make the culture fun
    - Client engagement is readily available for many teams
    - Free food
    - Decent work/life balance

    Cons

    - Management mocks people who leave
    - Inability to launch products
    - Promotions based on campaigning - not merit
    - High turnover
    - Company values are not even held by senior management
    - Sexism and inappropriate comments made by management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Hire executive team leaders that can lead
    - Value your employees
    - Stop the weekly company meetings unless you have a meaningful update
    - Investigate high turnover and clean up management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people 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 (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
  7. 5 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 (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
  8. 4 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
  9. 2 people 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 (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
  10.  

    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 (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
  11. 2 people 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 (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

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