Amplify
2.5 of 5 25 reviews
www.amplify.com New York, NY 1000 to 5000 Employees

Amplify Reviews

Updated Apr 13, 2014

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2.5 25 reviews

                             

64% Approve of the CEO

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Joel Klein

(11 ratings)

36% of employees recommend this company to a friend
25 Employee Reviews
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Great Autonomy depending on what team you will be in

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Brooklyn, NY

I have been working at Amplify full-time for more than 3 years

ProsI am working in a team that has great autonomy and great teammates of 15 people. We work on multiple products so everybody in our team get to work on few projects at the same time. There are very little involvement from senior / executive level and team has so much freedom of developing own idea, prototype, test and go through the lean style. Because there are very little guidance, who stands up and voice out gets more opportunity. This company has a structure as a corporation but very young in terms of maturity. So there are tons of room for you to propose new thinking and try out.

Most people leave work by 6pm. At 6:30pm, company is 90% empty. That means you rarely work late.

Very liberal for letting employee to work from home for any reasons, or leave early for any emergency. For example, if you have to be out of state for few weeks for family emergency, you may request to your team and supervisor to work remotely for that duration.

So, if you have a passion in other stuff, like arts, music, etc, this is a great work place that enable you to pursue both. In fact, many people are doing it.

ConsManagement always talk about salary should not be compared to other companies outside of education field.

If you need a lot of guidance in your career development, this may not be a good place since you can pretty much get left alone without being assigned much. So if you are not self started, self motivated people, then this is not a good place. Design thinking is not truly practiced here. People with that kind of training do struggle a bit since entire company is not striving to become design driven company.

Unlike Google or other tech firms, office environment is decent but not fantastic. They certainly put less money for office environment compare to Twitter, Skype, Google or Airbnb.

Services for employees are limited.
No free lunch, no free healthy snacks, no massage service, no laundry service, no play room. They do have shower room, bike racks, free sodas (and orange/apple/grapefruit juice), popcorn, etc. Occasionally, there are company parties offers some food and drinks.

Too much divide between teams and divisions. Very difficult to learn what rest of company is doing unless you make friends with people outside of your team, division or business unit.

Company is not yet practicing design thinking in full scale.

Advice to Senior ManagementInternal communication needs to improve. We don't get to learn what other team or business units are doing. Also, company should spend more money for training people to improve their skill sets.

Since company is striving for innovation, needs to put more resources to build a culture of innovation. Company will surely benefit if they truly practice design thinking.

Create positions for design strategists (not UX directors and UX designers) who can bridge gap between business/design/tech/contents, help teams to improve their product development methodologies, bring process innovation and conduct facilitate workshops for business innovation.

Hire people who can code and design. There aren't enough 'design engineers' who can design via coding, like John Maeda.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Three Companies, One Name

Visual Designer (Current Employee)
Brooklyn, NY

I have been working at Amplify part-time for more than 3 years

ProsThere are many nice people on the development teams who sincerely want to work with teachers to make technology work for them.

ConsSenior management is terrible at communicating company goals and syncing up the three divisions. It is quite common that employees in one division have no idea what is going on in the other two. The best we get is a company-wide blast PR email linking to media coverage after product announcements. The last several all-company meetings have largely been ego strokefests where the executives show off that they know famous people. Those of us that actually build the products don't care if you know the guy who co-wrote Game Change.

Implementing great user interfaces is given low priority. There is a real dearth of front-end development specialists.

Too much capital-A Agile process, not enough agility.

In my case, several years without a raise despite consistently high-quality work and skill growth (under my own initiative).

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to be the "Apple of education" as the founder once said, design has to be given higher priority.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Complete joke

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amplify full-time

ProsOwned by Newscorp. OH WAIT. That's not a pro!

ConsOffers QA jobs to real engineers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Circling the drain

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amplify full-time for more than 3 years

ProsUntil recently, hours were decent- more so in DUMBO office than midtown office.
Working in the growing ed tech industry is good experience for future jobs.

ConsManagement is divided, disorganized and divisive, and the pressure they feel to produce trickles down to employees who are running in all different directions, working on projects that come to only part fruition.
Corporate team is snobby.
I've heard maybe one "thank you", zero "pleases" and about two "good jobs"- albeit begrudgingly.
Last thing on management's mind is your professional development, learning and growth- which is too bad, because that could help them a lot in the long run.
This company is bleeding money yet still spends wildly on stupid crap.

Advice to Senior ManagementMost people who haven't already left are looking to. Murdoch should just cut his losses and liquidate. Probably will if new product fails....and history repeats itself.
Also, lead by example. Arrogant and childish behavior abounds from top tier leaders and is more visible than they realize...
Showing respect, even to the lowest of the drones, would hugely improve the environment.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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It's time to jump ship!

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Brooklyn, NY

I worked at Amplify full-time

ProsYou can ride your bicycle to work. Conveniently located in DUMBO. Work alongside fairly smart people, especially if you're a software engineer. Enjoy job security in your role due to high turnover rate.

ConsWasteful spending in Amplify's Learning division. Plus, the Amplify Learning Division is nowhere near ready to roll out their digital curriculum and that's after tens of millions of dollars spent on R&D and 2.5 years of work...they still have A LONG ROAD AHEAD. High turnover throughout the company over the past year. Also, the company typically pays lower salaries.

Advice to Senior ManagementFind your next replacement and jump ship.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Frustrating because it could have been great

User Experience Designer (Former Employee)
Brooklyn, NY

I worked at Amplify full-time for more than a year

ProsSome really nice people who care about the work they do. The majority of people really want to do good for the world. Work/life balance is great.

ConsTerrible senior and middle management. Shifting business models and priorities. The only people who stay at this company are the ones making it a terrible place to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the complaints of your employees. As far as I remember everyone had the same criticisms of the company.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Disorganized, corporate, frustrating

Developer (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Amplify full-time for more than a year

Pros- Amplify offers a decent starting salary as it has the financial backing of NewsCorp (don't expect a raise though).
- There are still some people there that really care about doing quality work.

Cons- No room for career growth (rampant cronyism, value in previous title - not ability).
- Refers to itself internally as a startup without a hint of irony (Amplify is a business unit of NewsCorp) which leads to long hours without an equity package or a constructive, open culture.
- Serious culture issues -- saying that you have a startup culture doesn't make it so.
- Schizophrenic priorities as the company only seems to think one month out and doesn't value learning from mistakes.
- So. many. meetings.
- Negative feedback, even presented constructively, makes you a target.
- High turnover and difficulty retaining qualified people (see above points).

Advice to Senior Management- Listen to the negative feedback as it's the only honest feedback you're receiving (people that are drinking the koolaid are the ones that stick around for the paycheck).
- Start pulling favors with recruiters; even new hires are dissatisfied

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great colleagues, poor middle management!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amplify full-time for more than a year

ProsColleagues mostly some of the brightest and dedicated I've come across in my education career. The company's mission and goals for improving K-12 teaching and learning attract many who hope to make a difference.

ConsMiddle management is ineffective, rarely proactive, and often negligent of their role in helping those they manage do their job; no career path, and in fact, you feel pigeon-holed. Employees left to figure things out for themselves. Upper management seems very sharp and attuned to making goals clear, but their middle management does not know how to support and get the most out of their teams. The most skilled seem to be those in HR. They hire the right people and continue to support them, but the day-to-day management by project managers is poor.

Advice to Senior ManagementTrain your project managers in a professional, strategic manner before allowing them to actually manage their teams.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A feeling of community in small teams, but not the larger company.

Senior Software Developer (Current Employee)

I have been working at Amplify full-time

ProsSmart people who want to make the world a better place. Lots of chances to advance career as people leave the company.

ConsToo much focus on time tracking (all employees have to fill our time sheets every week) and progress tracking (lots of metrics), instead of focusing on making software.

Advice to Senior ManagementReally empower teams and low-level employees, don't just talk about empowerment. Don't alienate teachers by building software that mainly reports things to district administrators.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Frustrating, disorganized, directionless, floundering.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amplify

ProsI was going to list the flexible hours as a "pro," but I believe they're trying to do away with that.

ConsPoor communication. The recent reorganization creates more problems than it solves--work see-saws between bottlenecked and incompetently spread too thin. Expect to work overtime on "Urgent!!!" projects that never go anywhere.

Management is utterly directionless; expect to hear completely opposite directives from different managers within the hour. I never heard an official statement of purpose that lasted longer than a week.

Perhaps worst of all, management selectively ignores feedback from employees. Crucial flaws in the product are blithely ignored and then passed on to the end user. Be sure to Google Guilford County before accepting an offer from this company--it's par for the course.

Advice to Senior ManagementFigure out *one* course of action and then let your employees follow it. Listen to what they have to say.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Amplify reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Amplify CEO Joel Klein. All 25 reviews posted anonymously by Amplify employees.