Counsyl Reviews

Updated July 31, 2014
Updated July 31, 2014
14 Reviews
4.3
14 Reviews
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Counsyl CEO Ramji Srinivasan
Ramji Srinivasan
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fantastic Company

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people here are awesome. You have the ability to have your voice heard, and the team is always open to constructive criticism and pushing in the right direction. Work-life balance is something they really value as well; it's a great feeling to know that I don't have to pick between the two. Management is right in the weeds with us all the time, there's no task that anyone from the CEO on down that they wouldn't do.

    Cons

    Right now, I got nothing!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Changing diagnostic medicine through cutting-edge bioinformatics and software

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    First, a caveat, most reviews on glassdoor tend to be pretty polarized, either gushing with praise or sour grapes. I'll try to be more even-handed here. Also, I can only speak from my experience as a software engineer at Counsyl, so this review will be pretty heavily biased in that direction.

    The software engineering team is overall incredibly strong compared to most other software startups out there, probably up there with other top-tier startups of its size. These are A players that want to work with other A players. Consequently, the interview process is fairly rigorous, and a strong emphasis is placed on culture fit. Salaries are comparable with Google, Facebook, et al. but the equity portion has a much higher upside than what you would get at those places.

    Engineering management culture encourages bottom-up innovation instead of stifling with top-down imperatives. In fact, there is not a whole lot of management as the hierarchy is fairly flat and most engineers are given a ton of latitude to identify, spec, and implement solutions to problems.

    The engineering organization prefers people to become strong generalists instead of specializing on one particular thing. Teams are fairly fluid, and moving to different project areas to learn new skills and keep your mind fresh is encouraged.

    This is a culture that's focused around shipping code and products. There are cons to this, and I'll address that below.

    Overall, I would say that the most refreshing thing about working for Counsyl is the shared passion that everybody has for the company mission. It feels good to say that you're helping to change medicine in a positive way using software and technology, instead of using those skills to sling ads slightly more efficiently, or build exploitative freemium mobile games. I think there are very few companies in the valley today where you can confidently say "I am helping to make the world a better place".

    Cons

    As alluded to above, this is a company that wants to ship fast. The consequence of shipping fast is technical debt, so there is always a compromise to be made. This was a fairly large problem in the past (messy code, monolithic apps, poor tests), but it has improved a bit over time.

    Also, as mentioned above, there isn't a lot of management or hand-holding on the software engineering team, so sometimes projects are given to people without a whole lot of guidance on how to execute on them, causing them to spin their wheels for too long. This is perhaps a relic from the earlier startup days when one would just be expected to Figure It Out.

    While most engineers are very solid in terms of background, there is a strong bias towards the backend side of development, and less experience on the frontend, user-facing side of product design. I don't necessarily mean frontend web development skills, but rather having the proclivity to think deeply about user experience and how to design products to delight users. There are some, but there needs to be more.

    Probably the biggest con is that Counsyl is growing quickly and consequently it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a cohesive company culture. I think all startups face this crisis at some point or another in their lifetimes, the "how do we not become too corporate?" crisis. I don't know that there's an answer to this one yet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Disintermediate do-nothing middle managers. Keeping things flat throughout the company is how you avoid becoming sclerotic and bureaucratic.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Culture, People, Values--all great. Career Advancement--ok for now.

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Smart people
    -Pretty transparent in news relayed to entire company
    -Small enough at this point to feel intimate and make a difference
    -Technologically advanced company. I've never felt like we were ever stuck in the dark ages regarding the way we work and the tools we use.
    -A young energy that is thriving (company seems like, 80% under 30 yr olds)
    -Good perks. We do a lot of fun events and a lot of people tend to hang out after work. There are also stocked fridges, fully catered lunches and dinners 5 days a wk, and a pretty good gym.

    Cons

    -Some managers need training. I acknowledge this in part is not entirely their own fault--at the time of their hire, this probably wasn't as big of an issue. However, there are actual teams of people begin established now, so this is super critical for employee retention.
    -Career advancement for certain teams is questionable. It's unclear right now for those teams, especially non-engineers. However, this seems to be a work-in-progress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please work on career mentoring, especially since our company hires quite a few young people early on in their careers. Some people don't know how to speak up for themselves.

    Also, please give the members of your team credit where it's due! The bonds of trust between a manager and his/her team can only be strengthened if you simply acknowledge them once in a while.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Rebuild healthcare from the ground up! Go to work every day excited to make a difference!

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    By far the most advanced technology company in Healthcare today.
    Silicon-valley mentality and talent in a space that truly needs it most.
    Using technology to make a direct impact on people's lives.
    Organic company culture that has maintained its strength through enormous growth.
    Leadership that you can trust.
    Very competitive compensation, including every great benefit you'd expect from a tech start-up!

    An opportunity to be a part of a company that is growing at a RAPID rate. A true pioneer in the industry.

    Cons

    With growth comes obvious specialization of responsibilities. Luckily, the company is still only in its infancy, especially relative to other larger tech companies in the silicon valley. The company hires young talent so I can see it being eye-opening to join the company with 15-20 years experience elsewhere. If the energy inspires you, you'll fit in great!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to treat your employees as your greatest asset. As we get larger, segregation between departments will become more imminent. Maintaining an open culture is crucial to employee happiness.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Ample opportunities, exciting environment all the while helping the public make conscious decisions about their future

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

    I have been working at Counsyl

    Pros

    -Company culture; great buzz in office
    -Potential to grow in role, lots of room for advancement
    -Still small enough where your voice is heard. A lot of face time with executive team
    -Product is helping others to make big decisions about their life while fixing problems in healthcare
    -Fast paced

    Cons

    -Teams can be cliquey
    -Tons of work to be done, a lot of hours to put in
    -Sometimes objectives are not clearly defined

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to invest in people with raw talent, extreme potential and a passion for Counsyl even if they don't perfectly match the role

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fast paced and exciting

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Product is ambitious and tangibly helps people and makes the world a better place
    -Deep sense of mission
    -Flat structure
    -Very Transparent
    -Lots of freedom to do your work
    -Leadership is very accessible
    -fun culture
    -great perks - gym, meals, happy hours, etc.

    Cons

    Onboarding can be tough - hard to be new
    Long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to promote a single cohesive culture

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Everything you want in a Silicon Valley Startup

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Immense freedom to explore and learn
    Minimal bureaucracy
    Supportive environment
    Fantastic perks
    All opinions and ideas are valued

    Cons

    Due to lack of rigid chain of command, one has to be proactive and take ownership of projects. Not a place for someone that simply wants to be told what to do.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fast-growing biotech company with positive outlook. Mission is commendable!

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - All employees seem to be well-respected
    - Promise for career advancement
    - Incredible learning curve (learned so much in 1 month with the company compared to years at previous in role, weekly webinars to learn more about the inner-workings of the company, etc)
    - Provides various technological equipment to perform work remotely with ease
    - Headquarters (newly renovated, lunch/dinner provided during business week, gym on-site, etc-remote employees rarely benefit from this)

    Cons

    - Some positions are remote (professional relationships may be difficult and slow to develop, though the company facilitates local and national meetings to encourage building relationships)
    - Work/Life balance (there's always work to do, and it can be difficult to know when to stop working; the company does strongly encourage maintaining balance though, so this may be more of a personal issue)
    - Benefits (getting better, but not comparable to clinical position in a hospital or similar)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    The best place I've ever worked at!

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Clear vision, which is communicated well
    - Management is very passionate and leads by example
    - Most highly automated clinical laboratory in existence
    - Working with some of the smartest people I have ever known
    - You are helping people learn vital information
    - Still growing very rapidly

    Cons

    - Heavy workload, partly due to still having much of the lean startup culture
    - Some HR decisions lack clarity, which can create confusion among employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rock on!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Smoke and Mirrors

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

    I have been working at Counsyl full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Interesting product offering
    Lots of young people
    Base salary is ok, as long as you don't expect or need to make bonus money

    Cons

    The company sounds great in the surface. But beneath the smoke and mirrors it is a disorganized mess, lacking a strong direction for the future, and inept leadership in the sales side. Seriously, I think one of the new sales director's is like 25. It all sounds great during the interview process and during on boarding, but unless you are in NYC, San Fran, or LA forget about making money. They keep carving up the territories knowing full well that reps in the flyover states, or basically anywhere outside the 3 cities I mentioned above, don't stand a chance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop adding so many new sales reps, until the business grows to support all of these positions.
    Improve benefits package.
    Get in network with more payors, so reps can get through the door at an office.
    Stop sending bizarre email communications to clients.
    Hire managers who are qualified and understand healthcare.
    Be honest with new employees, otherwise it'll always be a revolving door.
    And by the way, good luck to any women trying to get ahead here, seriously there is not one woman in upper management!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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