Ancestry.com

www.ancestry.com
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Ancestry.com Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated February 20, 2015
Updated February 20, 2015
9 Reviews
3.1
9 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Ancestry.com President & CEO Tim Sullivan
Tim Sullivan
9 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The SF atmosphere is very friendly and there is a good work-life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • The benefits are good and people are very friendly (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • If you are looking into member services(the call center) the company culture is completely different (in 5 reviews)

  • Notice the only ones who rate the company high is upper management (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

9 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Solid but imperfect place to work

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

    I have been working at Ancestry.com full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great product that really impacts and helps people, lots of interesting data challenges, great work life balance and good people. Growth opportunities are ok, but the company isn't growing quickly right now.

    Cons

    If you're not married or about to be, you might feel out of place. Technology organization is huge and disorganized, making getting things done across teams difficult. The company is not as data driven as it should be.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    The best and the worst place to work.

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

    I have been working at Ancestry.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The location is awesome (right across the street from the Giant's stadium), the view is amazing, the hours are flexible and you can work from home a few days a week. The benefits are good: people with a few years at the company get about 4 weeks/year vacation. Most people in the public know the company and have a good feeling towards it. You hear a lot of stories about people finding their ancestors who are excited about the product. When we were public the stock options were good, too.

    Cons

    There are a lot of people working here from management on down who just live off of the work of everyone else and don't have the skills that they should have for their position. They don't spend much time with the product and can't make valuable decisions for the product and so they rely off of everyone else's ideas in numerous brainstorming meetings and they are really just dead weight.

    The product team gets most of the credit for creating anything new, even though they just sit in meetings all day brainstorming and aren't really building the product. HR is unsympathetic. Managers don't really care either. They want you to be happy, but they don't want you to succeed more than themselves. They don't want to hear if things aren't going well and would rather fire you than try to resolve any issues. They really just want to be left alone and take any glory from the work that you do to make themselves look good. If other people start to recognize that you're doing a good job, your manager will usually try to swoop in and take the credit for themselves and any kind of perks that come along with it.

    People generally look friendly, but everyone is vying for position and stealing one another's work. Your work won't get anywhere unless you're friends with the right people, and you'll have to constantly argue with your coworkers who have poor ideas about how things should get done.

    If you're late on a deadline, you may get a good PM that will just push out the date. Otherwise the PM will make everything look like it's your fault and they won't take any responsibility for their inadequacies. (Deadlines are usually just made up dates anyway and aren't tied to any solid event). PMs may give you a shout-out in a meeting, but they're the one who will get the attention from senior management for the project.

    The company outsources a lot of work to overseas contractors who do a poor job and increase the image that engineering is just a cog in the wheel and product really does all the work. Even if engineers are doing fabulous work, they get reprimanded by managers and their peers for something petty (or something that's made up) and don't get the thanks or recognition for the work that they are doing.

    Compensation is low, about $20-30k under other company salaries.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize the talent that you have, especially in the engineering organization and recognize that we are the ones that are actually building the product. Keep the good talent that you have and get rid of the people who aren't holding their weight and making the company a toxic environment. Also, bring back the stock options.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Mormons rule you

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

    I worked at Ancestry.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good work like balance
    good age range as there is no discrimination if you're older/married with kids.

    the place has a nice new office right across from the ball stadium, but that can be really annoying. Food on mondays, but only mondays for some reason.

    Cons

    stuck about 10 years in the past tech wise and policy wise
    can't say anything about politic,religion since your owned by mormons in utah. who always get seniority over you no matter what if they went to the same church
    no advancement strategies whatsoever. people leaving in droves because no incentives plan whatsoever for over a year, and no plan to hire or rehire people leaving.
    got bought by people who don't care about employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Focused on Career Development

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

    I have been working at Ancestry.com full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Ancestry is very good at communicating business strategies to all parts of the organization. Managers are encourage career development, encouraging attendance for cross-department meetings and lunch-and-learns with guest speakers. The SF atmosphere is very friendly and there is a good work-life balance.

    Cons

    No major cons that I can think of.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to share the business's plans and goals with ALL employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Innovative culture and lots of office perks!

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

    I have been working at Ancestry.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Innovative engineering culture! Catered lunch Mondays! Modern office space with diverse workforce. Great benefits and work/life balance.

    Cons

    Not always the most exciting stuff to work on. Can be a bit of a challenge to work in San Francisco when most of the stuff is going on in Provo HQ.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring even more development to the San Francisco office to take advantage of the Bay Area talent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great products, but highly political environment with little transparency

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

    I worked at Ancestry.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Product with lots of growth potential. Cool SOMA office space for easy commute w/public transportation, free lunches

    Cons

    Highly political environment, little promotion opportunity unless you're boss quits or you're a favorite. Lots of lay-offs since they went private in December '12 and there was little information and transparency prior.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure what to say here since they're now working for the Private Equity company that now owns them the company...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great place to love what you do while you have a life outside of work

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

    I have been working at Ancestry.com as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Ancestry.com is very supportive of career development and doing interesting work while working normal hours. There is no stigma in working from home as well. There is a lot of great technology being developed within Ancestry: any interest that you may have within software engineering can be satisfied within the company.

    Cons

    I personally don't see too many downsides in working for Ancestry.com: it is a great place if you have relationships or activities outside of work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great company, worthwhile product, nice work/life balance

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

    I have been working at Ancestry.com full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, smart people, a good place to work if you want a life

    Cons

    Not a clear vision for the future of the company, management and responsibilities a little fragmented, no direct career path

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Good work life balance but has some "cultural" quirks and a political environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Team in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Team in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Ancestry.com

    Pros

    Great life work balance. It's 9-5pm unless you really want to work longer. You can work from home when needed, take time off when needed, as long as you get your work done. The pay is good. The company is generous in giving you all the tools you need to do your job well. The San Francisco office just got free snacks and sodas and drinks. There are pockets of good people to work with.

    Cons

    The culture-not so good. It has more politics and hierarchy than Washington! And if you didn't already guess, Ancestry.com has a very conservative culture. The San Francisco office is changing a bit though, with more new people joining. The employees are on the older side, with most being married with kids. (So don't expect fun company events and parties.)

    The San Francisco office is considered a "satellite" office to the headquarters in Provo, Utah. So most of your team mates are out in Provo. Which makes communication difficult. There's a lot of teleconferencing and traveling back and forth that goes on.

    The benefits are not so great either. For the San Francisco office the health insurance used is Select Health, which is super hard to find providers for in California.

    It's also a very rough onboarding experience if you join the San Francisco office. You will not get much help from HR, since they are in Provo, nor will anyone around try to help you out. Not because people are unfriendly, but because there are so many travelers in and out that its' hard to tell who is new and who is just visiting from another office. If you are one of the unlucky ones to be the only one on your team in the SF office while the rest is in Provo, you will have a really tough time integrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The remote teammates thing doesn't work very well, so staff accordingly.

    No opinion of CEO

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