Conductor Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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4.3
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Conductor Co-Founder & CEO Seth Besmertnik
Seth Besmertnik
12 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. conductor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Conductor full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great salary. The benefits of working her are awesome. Great company.

    Cons

    You will have to change your lifestyle to be good at the job

    Advice to Management

    Help the employees be able to live a life instead of being away from home


  2. Helpful (3)

    A great place to work where you can learn a lot

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Conductor offers a great culture for the engineer who wants knowledgeable colleagues, a variety of challenges, and many engineering learning experiences. There's a good balance of new tech and established process in the stack. Work-life balance is very good for a company of this size (mid to large startup) in an emerging space. People do work hard and put in long hours, but there is also enough flexibility to live a healthy life. There is a very high degree of visibility across the company, with weekly summaries from each department. Management is very accessible. Mistakes are used constructively. The annual C3 trade show it hosts really drives home how much your work means to the people who use the product. Having worked at other places that stumbled on numerous organizational pitfalls, I can say Conductor has managed to hit a difficult sweet spot. The culture here is well balanced, positive, and I enjoy coming to work.

    Cons

    It's sometimes hard to balance new development while addressing preexisting tech debt, but these factors are well accounted for in task planning. It would also be good to see faster hiring - the company has a lot of features it wants to release, and a lot of responsibility rests on our shoulders.

    Advice to Management

    The department grew a lot last year, and it needs to keep growing in order to meet product expectations. The only way to get more features out the door faster with fewer bugs is to keep up the long term investment in hiring and training tech personnel. Matching 401K would be a nice perk!


  3. Helpful (2)

    A rewarding place to work but growing is a challenge.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Some companies succeed because they have a strong sales team. Other companies succeed because they have an effective engineering team. Conductor has both. This is because there's a high level of transparency across the company. Every week the entire company attends product demos hosted by the engineering team. There's even a prize for the team that gets the most endorsements. Everyone is kept informed about our renewals, sales and overall customer satisfaction through goal based charts that are updated weekly. This motivates people to take pride in the product and gives everyone a sense of ownership over the customer experience. Everyone is made aware of how important their contributions are to the company. Feature releases, product milestones, important renewals and new sales are announced and celebrated with a speech, an honorary gong bang, a round of applause or all three. The leadership makes a concerted effort to bring people together for fun activities as much as possible. I suspect that its motivated by a shared interest in soccer, flag football, basketball, picnics and good times. The kegerators are usually kept stocked even though people are often draining them on board game nights or tech meetups. Ardie Fuqua performed at the last casino night which was pretty awesome and the annual c3 conference where we meet the customers is always fun. Overall I would say its a great place to work, certainly the funest for me personally. The engineering team encourages innovation and innovation is rewarded. I've been able to beef up my resume with many of the latest open source technologies like backbone, marionette and canjs on the frontend and thrift, hibernate and s3 on the backend. The application team is responsible for the entire web stack from the database down to the browser and we are moving towards the concept of a new feature team that will own an entire vertical from data collection and processing with hadoop and cloudera down to the graphs and reports in the webapp with highcharts and backgrid. As an engineer I am trusted with a larger role than the development of a specific portion of the stack. I personally have a great deal of interest in the latest developments in front end technology and I am encouraged to explore that. However I'm not limited by my interest and I have the freedom to expand my skills and grow in different directions as an engineer.

    Cons

    We've had to hire a lot of new engineers in the last year or so and the market has been tough because the demand has drastically outweighed the supply. Most good engineers are happy at their jobs but some of the ones that are looking may be difficult to please. We have a great culture and managers that genuinely care about people's happiness but it can be hard to satisfy everyone. This market can inflate a person's ego to the point that they are impossible to please. A few of the reviews I read made me sad for the people who wrote them. There are great schools in the east coast but there are more tech companies in the bay area. Its not hard to find talented engineers but its an ongoing challenge to find talented engineers with lots of experience.

    Advice to Management

    Conductor has an opportunity to leverage its San Francisco office as a place to recruit and assemble a feature team. We already have some engineers who are working remotely and they are very productive. I think we could take advantage of the terrific talent pool near our San Francisco office to help grow the team with great engineers.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great people, but management has a difficult relationship with reality

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Many of the people working at conductor are very smart, friendly, and a pleasure to work with. Most people make themselves available to answer any questions you may have, about how the product works, or technology in general.

    Cons

    Management is more than willing to run engineers into the ground by requiring late nights most of the week and required weekends. Honest feedback is dismissed and discouraged. Management becomes upset when they hear anything less than positive then blame the messenger rather than focusing on the problems surfaced. Hard work is rarely recognized, and managements solution to virtually any problem is to put more hours in, rather than think critically in the planning phases. Product road map is not organized or communicated, making forward progress with development chaotic and disjointed. The benefits have been getting drained pretty significantly, the medical insurance was switched early 2014 and it felt like a pay cut. There's a big divergence between Tech and Sales/Marketing. Sales/Marketing seems to look down on tech and openly badmouths tech departments. There seems to be little communication, cooperation, or trust between the leaders of these departments.

    Advice to Management

    Put more time into planning so engineers can plan and manage their work better and feel more like a contributor, rather than a cog in a machine. Be respectful of personal time, particularly the weekends. Don't take advantage of ambition and drive by burning people out. Close the gap between sales and tech, it's very unpleasant to work in an environment where half the company badmouths your work. Don't be dismissive. If you ask for feedback, either listen, or explain why you don't feel the suggestions made are helpful.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Great Company lead by Honest People who Care about Employees, Customers, and our Industry

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    All Conductor employees are cool people you'd actually like to hang out with outside of work, including Management Good growth opportunities, even for new Conductors just starting out Awesome office, good perks (keg, food, xbox, etc.) CEO is super transparent, and so all management follows suit - communication is very good, both good and bad news Our product, Searchlight, is the best product in our industry. Good pay, good benefits, good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Like any startup, it's not the easiest job in the world - but I like to think that's why I work here. Very competitive market. Our biggest competitor spends more on marketing, sales, etc. and plays dirty so winning can be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    A pool table would be nice!


  7. Helpful (4)

    Some good things but poor working culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cool technology and problems, some very smart people. If you're young you will make some friends here if that's important to you. Enough perks to make it ok working here. No dress code, some snacks, and beer. Pretty good place for a first or second job out of college. It's not great but it's not that bad.

    Cons

    Promotions seem almost made up in Sales and there might be more demotions/firings than promotions in technology. Culture of micro managing, passive aggressiveness, big egos, and a lot of politics considering what the company is right now. Although there are smart, good people to work with, there are a lot that are not. Company direction is poorly communicated and there is a new marketing spin on what the company/product does basically every year. There is a features race with competitors and the result is rushed, buggy features, and downtime. Hiring more and more people, working longer hours, and having impossible goals is leadership's answer to everything. Managers sometimes lead multiple teams and have too much responsibility or are only in charge of themselves and maybe one other person. As someone else mentioned, management refuses to acknowledge outsourcing. There is a clear dichotomy between Sales and Tech/Product and have even heard technology referred to as a "non-revenue" team even though they create the product. As an engineer you are expected to be available at all hours of the night and at all times and always have your laptop with you. If you are not, everyone assumes you are less dedicated. A lot of turnover recently especially in Technology. Some good people have left or moved away to work remotely. There are a lot of "cliques". Frat bros, hipsters, sales people, etc. And a lot of people are having relationships/hookups. The perks have been cut back recently also. No more free bagels, almost never enough food for everyone on friday lunches, and the "gym membership program" is made up. Vacation days total includes holidays. A lot of this stuff seems like it's just for recruiting. Healthcare and dental is not fully paid for, no 401k matching, bonuses are less than promised although cash bonuses are nice, and don't count on making money off of your stock options. Even though it's not really a startup anymore, some of that should be expected given where the company is.

    Advice to Management

    Those may not be cons for everyone and a lot of people will drink the kool aid but there is a reason Conductor has dropped in the best places to work in NY from 4 to 35 in one year. Half the company has been hired in the about the past year or less and the culture has changed quickly. Make sure you recognize people who are contributing and what it takes to keep talented people. Focus the product and the company instead of trying to see what sticks.


  8. Fun, fast-moving and rapid growing company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Conductor is a lets call it "very mature startup", its very well organized for most of things and things usually flow pretty well. There's a lot of fun events all the time, and usually evenings after work there's usually some people just hanging around the keg (yes there's always one or two beer kegs in the office!), so you get to know people a bit more socially. The C3 conferences is a lot of fun to go to, I think its probably the best event you'll go to in the year, although end-of-year (actually this year it was done beginning of year) party is a lot of fun. Open bar, dinner and a ton of tokens at Dave and Buster, it was a lot of fun.

    Cons

    Not the most welcoming place to female engineers, there's only 3 female software engineers and two of them just started. Not uncommon in tech anyways. Work-life balance is not that great, specially if you are doing your on-call engineer shift and specially depending which of the three engineering teams you are supporting (Application, Infrastructure, DevOps). I know of plenty of people going to bed at 4am because of things going wrong over the weekend. Being on-call simply sucks and there's no real reward for doing on-call shifts, other companies that I've worked for whenever you do on-call, you accumulate a set of hours that you don't have to work the next week. The speed of growth at conductor worries me, hiring at an incredible velocity and now there's even some outsourcing (although management doesn't want to refer to it as 'outsourcing') in the Ukraine, I'm not yet convinced that the growth is either sustainable or needed, I think there might be a leadership question to be answered in these regards.

    Advice to Management

    Be careful with the growth, don't hire just for the sake of hiring. Unqualified people will only hurt overall engineering performance and output. There's not a clear path for career growth in engineering, this will eventually be a problem.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Amazing Place to Work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager, Account Development in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager, Account Development in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I love this company and think the culture, the people and the product are all amazing! It is so refreshing to know that you can be happy and do great things at the same time. I wake up every morning knowing I love my job. I look forward to growing with Conductor and believe this will be the last stop of my career journey. I feel like I finally found a home. Everyone from the CEO down are very positive, knowledgeable, and are always willing to help.

    Cons

    I cannot think of a single con.


  10. Great place to be an engineer or sales, your mileage varies in other departments

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Conductor full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Some of the people I worked with were really incredible, and there's an admirable culture of giving back through their foundation and other initiatives (volunteer paid time off, group-organized activities). Because I was hired here at an entry level I gained a lot of varied experience which has created a good base for my future career. The CEO, Seth, cares a lot about the company, industry and employees and I hope he does well. He's a good leader.

    Cons

    HR seems to be a policy of staying as hands-off as possible, which is great for everyday life but pretty awful if you actually have a legitimate issue with another employee or are trying to work through something with your manager. There are some obnoxious ego issues within a few departments, which may or may not affect you depending on your role. I left because there was clearly no way to develop my career and move ahead past the role I was originally hired for. A scheduled discussion about my review/professional development with my department head was continually pushed off for weeks.

    Advice to Management

    I suspect there's some churn not only because there's normal growing pains (rapid employee growth) but because there's not too much invested in actually developing/retaining the employees you have versus attracting new ones. The veneer of the culture and benefits (scooters, toys, video games, etc) for attracting new employees seemed more important than the actual daily lives of real employees (taking away little perks like weekly bagels, cutting back on snacks, no 401k matching).


  11. Helpful (2)

    Unique, wonderful...on the cusp of something truly special

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Market Development in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Market Development in New York, NY

    I have been working at Conductor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Even though Conductor is undergoing tremendous growth, the caliber of people we hire is exceptional. There has been a decision to not just fill positions with bodies, but to take care to ensure that the people we add truly fit together. You have ti be smart, you have to be great at what you do; although that is a given to get an interview, in order to get the job you have to care. It is about the team, it is about making a difference, it is about making others around you better. The philosophy is to make something that is the best of its kind, to help transform the business of search. For someone who has traveled down a few roads, finding a place like this reaffirms that you can have a company that can care, that can make a great product, make money, treat its employees with respect, and have a social conscience.

    Cons

    Because it is in a high growth phase, there are going to be a lot of changes and communication will be key at making sure that we can be on the same page at the same time. Needs to get better at long term, consistent planning.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to communicate, both the good and the issues. You have hired smart people, listen to them and trust them to help you get there/



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