DreamBox Learning Reviews

Updated February 27, 2015
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  1. 13 people found this helpful

    Like to watch and be a part of slow motion train wrecks? This is the place to be!

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

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good product and some great people that are very intelligent. Creativity manages to thrive even though environment was perfectly designed to stifle it. Software is supposed to help kids succeed, which is a noble goal. Excellent rooftop views for periods of unusual weather. High level of staff churn means you get to work with new people all the time and don't need to develop more than superficial relationships with coworkers. Almost 100% chance that the human resources staff that hired you won't be there to fire you.

    Cons

    As with bad reality TV, the DreamBox Learning experience could use better scripting. Can only imagine that senior management meetings are most in need given the stuff that comes out of them. But, if you're looking for a place to use as the basis for writing a business case study someday, you couldn't pick a better company to join. As long as business success isn't a criterion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Collectively resign under the guise of wanting to spend more time with your families. Or, stop dreaming and start thinking. Adaptively.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 12 people found this helpful

    A dsyfunctional CEO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning

    Pros

    The product is amazing! Unfortunately, the current leadership had nothing to do with it so they don't understand how to think about product creation.

    Cons

    The CEO is simply ill-suited to run a company.

    Management doesn't have a plan -- they have randomizing ideas that cause huge shifts without data to support them.

    EVERYONE I know there is looking for another job. So there is no lasting loyalty or long-term views.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Students and shareholders are being poorly served by naked ambitions.So, my advice is to the Board: please remove the leadership and look at what worked in the past.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. 14 people found this helpful

    Fantastic product - terrible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning

    Pros

    DreamBox has one of the best math products around! The potential is huge.
    Most co-workers are great to work with and everyone works hard.
    Medical benefits are wonderful - but costly to add spouse.

    Cons

    Very high stress environment with little or no support from senior management. Turnover has been high (especially in HR) and many employees are looking for other jobs. Raises and promotions, (if and when you can get one) are given grudgingly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the treating employees like second class citizens. You've got a phenomenal product that employees believe in. Time to believe in your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
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  5. 14 people found this helpful

    Company has a great product but that's the only positive aspect of working there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning

    Pros

    The location of DreamBox is great, parking is provided without cost to employee, excellent product with a thoughtful approach to children.

    Cons

    The largest "con" of working for DreamBox is the management. CEO and HR are clueless! The company is slow in making decisions with constant changes to original plan. A lot of time is wasted chasing the wrong idea and listening to the "vision/direction" from upper management. It's a mess!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove the leader. She isn't a leader, isn't a visionary or a mentor on how to conduct an effective company. She treats employees as sub-par. Employees are actively looking for new jobs and very dissatisfied with working for DreamBox. Look for turn-over!

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 15 people found this helpful

    Jessie is a disaster!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning

    Pros

    DreamBox has a wonderful product and some great co-workers (although the best of them are leaving or looking).

    Cons

    Jessie has no idea how to be an effective CEO. She is smart but devoid of leadership skills that build trust, loyalty, and confidence. The company is run like a big company, spends too much money with little results, and has no strategic direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the pretty speak and trite expressions. Please treat people with more respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
  7. 11 people found this helpful

    Our hope is gone

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

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning

    Pros

    The company attracts caring people, not always competent mind you, but caring. The product created by the original (pre-acquisition) team remains the best the market has ever seen. It was the reason I came: I saw student learn in ways I never imagined.

    Cons

    Management, management, management.

    The company lost its soul and direction when Lou left -- he was the perfect leader for this kind of mission-driven start-up. As a result, a once inspired team is now either gone or in shambles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to Senior Management – Please consider your happiness and fit in your job. Sure, you helped get the product into schools but you're fast approaching a dead end with no compelling content for higher grades and no idea how to build it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 13 people found this helpful

    Not interested in excellence or learning

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

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning full-time

    Pros

    The product is amazing, especially the parts that went through multiple betas before being shipped. Feedback from kids, parents, teachers, and the education industry is quite good. If you are a mid-career professional and just want a job that you can feel good telling the relatives about then you'll probably be happy here. If you are looking for anything else, look elsewhere.

    Cons

    The company does not value excellence. You will be asked to ship a sub-par product and do things that are not in the best interest of customers. When those customers are disadvantaged children that is hard.

    DreamBox is woefully behind best practices in software engineering. They fail the Joel Test and although they claim to do "agile" it is really frantic waterfall. If you've read the Pragmatic Programmer and liked it you will be miserable here.

    Management plays favorites and cronyism is common. Favorites get the interesting/easy assignments and promotions. Non-favorites get impossible assignments that make it feel like you are being managed out. Skill or output doesn't determine who is a favorite, in fact lack of skill seems to help.

    Salaries are below average and there are no bonuses. If you are a young professional trying to build a career it won't happen at DreamBox. They won't invest in you. They won't give you training or mentoring or feedback to help you improve. They won't give you a promotion so that you can be on the same level as someone doing the same work an another company. If you choose to invest in yourself they won't support you and may be openly hostile to your efforts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all the engineering leadership. Replace them with people who are leaders in the technologies you use. If you do this you'll get better software in less time for less money. You'll need fewer engineers. Your employees will get mentoring to improve and it will be easier to hire for open positions since people will have actually heard of your company and will respect their boss.

    Invest in your people. The recession is over. Your employees can go elsewhere and make more money, improve themselves, and be recognized for their accomplishments. Hire experts to help you instead of stubbornly insisting that your people are the best at everything. They aren't. They were average 5 years ago and have fallen even further behind. You need someone to give you objective feedback instead of patting yourselves on the back or saying that everyone has the same problems you do. You'll fail if you don't start getting advice from those who've been successful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  9. 6 people found this helpful

    Frustrating, stressful, occasionally rewarding experience

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

    I have been working at DreamBox Learning full-time

    Pros

    Employees are working towards a great goal of teaching kids math. Great coworkers & a good and friendly office culture. An educational experience you will learn from great people. Every once in a while there's a moment when something truly special is accomplished and your department will share that moment with you. The company is successful because we offer a unique and effective product.

    Cons

    Upper management gets accused of playing it fast and loose. Raises and promotions never seem to happen. Lots of "leaders" getting hired but we can't seem to get actual "workers" to do all the new work the managers keep creating. Overall it's a very frustrating experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you ask for advice then actually do something with the advice. Don't just hang it on a wall or completely ignore it.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 4 people found this helpful

    Mission Driven Startup

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

    I worked at DreamBox Learning full-time

    Pros

    DreamBox is a place where everyone is excited about helping young children master math concepts. It's small enough to know everyone, and is located in a nice building in downtown Bellevue. If you have a passion for frontier software that serves students, families and schools, you will get great experience at this company. Most of the people are really nice.

    Cons

    There is more turnover than one would expect for a company of this size. There are good and bad causes of this, so if you are interviewing, try to understand that and make your own decision about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Same as the advice to any management team with strong aspirations for good leadership; listen to employees, listen to customers, listen to each other and then act on what you learn. And over communicate.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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