Canonical

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Canonical Reviews

Updated Jul 27, 2014
Canonical – London – “Lunchroom”

Canonical – London – “Lunchroom”
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 23 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

Canonical CEO Jane Silber

Jane Silber

(15 ratings)

68% of employees recommend this company to a friend
23 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great technology; smart engineering; lots of politics.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood pay.
    Excellent technology.
    Great engineers.

    ConsLittle/no room for advancement.
    Strategic focus is lost on pursuing contract engineering.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Canonical or Comical?????

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsDecent Salary. Most people work from home. Worked with some great people who become great friends. Technology is very cool.

    ConsSr. Management is clueless. No logical business sense. The sales organization is very very small compared to the overall size of the company. Sales are not respected or even encouraged to tell you the truth. Every year the focus changes to a new product or new vertical. ALL of the products are free, 100% and there is no reason for any other company to seek help or resources from Canonical.
    One guy runs the show for the whole company, if he ever gets bored with Ubuntu or Openstack watch out.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHow about take some management training and learn how to actually run a company to make a profit. 10 years later the company is still not profitable. Much of this failure comes from Senior management in London and Boston. They have no authority or skill to run a global company.
    Do your homework before you take an offer to work here.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    US-based outlook: Mixed experience for software professionals.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsFriendly co-workers that you want to stay in touch with. Most have prior industry experience and behave professionally. I saw the young ones starting new families, which is always a good sign. While benefits are thin, new employees are welcome to negotiate salaries aggressively.

    ConsUbuntu has a lot of cache among techies. As a Linux/GNU operating system, that's rightfully so. But Canonical is another matter. It's a tech company where people can have good and bad experiences. A software developer's experience varies, depending on the project, the job function and the manager.

    For example, prior reviewers in the Lexington office expressed disappointment with "packaging" jobs. This is true. Yet at the same time, there's a lot of excitement and enthusiasm among those involved with other parts of Ubuntu. To be fair, this is true at any tech company.

    When I was there, I saw a rotating door for technical staff. A good number voluntarily left; others were let go. Personally what sank my commitment was the remark I heard from one technical manager, something that goes like this: "Ultimately, (software) engineers are replaceable."

    That last point isn't too big a surprise so long as one keeps in mind that Canonical is a for-profit company sitting atop a system built on open source sweat and devotion, huge in numbers and enthusiasm. In this situation, engineering talent is, to be blunt, cheap. At least from the top looking downwards, it appears so.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOn employee morale. The last few years have been recessionary, at least in the US. Common wisdom says that there's one thing that makes employees jump ship during a bad economy: poor experience with immediate management.

    However, the company isn't faced with a deficit in enthusiasm (*enthusiasm* — 3rd time I used this word here!), technical talent and leadership potential. Promote engineering supervisors/managers from the rank and file. Lean into existing line managers to beef up their game.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Let's reinvent all the things!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsWorking from home, travel, and if you really want, you can surely get away with producing like 0 value, but still get paid.

    ConsUnlike virtually every other technology company in the world, not even top engineers get equity. You better negotiate a high salary, because that's all you get!
    (and they will pay top of the market - you probably have to lie about your previous salary. do it)

    And the man who owns it all, makes seriously questionable decisions - often spending a year reinventing technology that already exists, because they can't work with the community. And in the end the new version is worse.. anyway...

    I don't actually ever see Canonical making it big. Nothing ever works right, at the technology level, and internal turmoil is rampant.

    Almost the entire rank of VPs were re-hired in 1.5 years. And there are completely dysfunctional teams run by pets of the owner, who are ruining Canonical, but are un-fireable.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Small, dynamic company behind Ubuntu Linux operating system.

    Alliances (Former Employee)

    Pros- Opportunity to work with other bright people on projects with some of the world's largest technology and IT companies for some of the world's largest IT users
    - Strong technical capabilities
    - Opportunity to stay current with latest trends and emerging opportunities.
    - Strong community and awareness supporting the popular Ubuntu operating system.
    - Opportunity to work from home in Canonical's highly distributed company.
    - Opportunities to see new places at periodic Company gatherings.
    - Growth opportunities in tackling new challenges.

    ConsWorking from remote office can be challenging. (With colleagues around the world someone's always working and depending on your role you could be "always on call.") Requires personal discipline to stop working and focus on personal life.
    Takes more personal effort to know what's going on, avoid feelings of separation and isolation.)
    I missed live social interaction with colleagues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide stable enough vision and direction for employees and partners to sustain efforts. Avoid moving to the next new thing so quickly the "baby gets thrown out with the bathwater." It's good to be "in the game" but need wins along the way to sustain ongoing efforts and confidence.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Very mixed - can be a startup experience without the financial rewards, or drudge work

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Lexington, MA

    ProsA lot of smart people, potential for interesting work and technology for the right person in the right place. As long as you're enthused and energized it can be very rewarding. The company suits top notch hackers with diverse skills and unbounded enthusiasm.

    ConsPackaging OSes has a lot of drudge work around it. A lot of positions in Canonical are quite tedious. The more interesting work is around the company's effort to redefine itself as a products company. However, those efforts seem very scatter-gun.

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good company

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil)

    ProsFlexible, friendly, great projects. I love to work here

    ConsNo career plan, is difficult to understand how the rules are divided on the company.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Operations

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsChallenging work
    Fast paced, dynamic environment
    Exciting and innovative

    ConsLong hours so can be difficult to balance with life

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great vision, poor execution

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood if you are an autonomous person who doesn't need direction from immediate management. Very flexible environment although it can be extremely demanding at times if you work for the business side of the company.

    International travel to many interesting destinations as the company doesn't operate regionally yet.

    Great place to learn fast and work with the best engineers in the industry.

    ConsNo benefits such as laptop or private health insurance.

    Lots of very skilled people leaving all the time, the company lacks an employee retention strategy. Senior management doesn't have a long term strategy and things may change any minute.

    Acting as a start-up in many ways but limited hiring also limits the execution ability of the current teams and burns out most people trying deliver quality, especially those coming from more mature companies used to have resources to do their job.

    Depending on the internal organisation you work for, the work-life balance can be inexistent, one must be ready to leave everything aside and just work for Canonical.

    It can be very frustrating to see how great potential and great opportunities can't be executed properly because lack of resources.

    In general, the feeling is a permanent chaos which doesn't seem to get better any time soon.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire more senior people in all the positions in the business side of the company.Hire real professionals with proven track record in their fields. Build a senior HR team that can bring in and retain great candidates.

    Work on a regional strategy rather than having people travelling globally, hire locally, develop business locally.

    Create a company culture, train people in their areas of specialisation.

    Build actual products rather than work-in-progress products around the rock-solid Ubuntu OS which customers can compare to existing solutions from competitors.

    Change the name of the company to Ubuntu. Use the value of the brand in the industry.

    Develop a strategy to be profitable, just copy the structure of successful companies and make them better. Copy Marissa Mayer.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, awful senior managers

    Project Manager (Current Employee)

    ProsWork with open source software, good salaries (if you work at the offices), some great, fun people around

    ConsSenior management is totally oblivious, after almost 10 years the company still can't make a profit; lack of focus (they are always looking for the next big thing); there is no training for employees; fail to recognize talent, keep hiring external managers instead of promote internally; HR (they call it People and Culture) is a joke.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease stop and look. Seriously, you guys must have been on something. You managed to alienate the community, let incredible talented people go, I heard you completely left Latin America. In short: you are destroying what was once a great company to work for.

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

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