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1 person found this helpful  

Terrible place to work for talented developers

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

I worked at AOL full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

Was a fun place to work for the first few years I worked there, but the ratio of managers to developers became higher and higher over time.

Cons

Very "top-heavy" - some projects on which I worked as a senior software engineer had almost 50% management. The management is proficient at political maneuvering but inept at independently making competent decisions. The bureaucracy is so bad, they had to use outside firms to develop new products/software. Owners of these outside companies were often personal friends of those AOL managers which hired them.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Hint: build products and services that customers not only want but are also willing to pay for. Making money is not a crime.

Another hint: if you put advertisements on it is NOT sufficient reason to for a customer to come to an AOL site.

Overall, the company is very "top-heavy" - some projects on which I worked as a senior software engineer had almost 50% management. The management is proficient at political maneuvering but inept at independently making competent decisions. Everything had to be done by committee ("scrum") - and frequently that committee included neither the people who would pay for the services (i.e. the customers) nor the people who would build the services (i.e., the developers). The bureaucracy is so bad, they had to use outside firms to develop new products/software. Owners of these outside companies were often personal friends of those AOL managers which hired them.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

626 Other Employee Reviews for AOL (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Glad to have worked there; Glad I left

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

    I worked at AOL full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Incredibly talented technology team
    -A good feeling of "team" in some places despite being such a large organization
    -Opportunity to work on products and services that are used by a lot of people

    Cons

    -Large stakeholder groups make it difficult to get things done
    -Multiple layoffs distract from doing real work (it's hard to concentrate when everyone is buzzing with worry)
    -Frequent reorganizations also distract from doing real work (it's hard to concentrate when everyone is trying to figure out new groups and management structures)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Not a great place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Dulles, VA

    I have been working at AOL full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice people, fun atmosphere, nice office space.

    Cons

    Lack of talented, competent management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in talent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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