There are newer employer reviews for AOL
There are newer employer reviews for AOL

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Helpful (1)

Terrible place to work for talented developers

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dulles, VA
Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dulles, VA
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

I worked at AOL full-time (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 Management

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.

Other Employee Reviews for AOL

  1. great team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    telecommuted, flexible, good benefits. I never go the opportunity to visit an actual AOL office my entire term there. so my opinions are strictly from a remote standpoint. I think the company is fairly friendly to telecommuters.

    Cons

    not much choice in what teams you can move between, but that may have been partly due to telecommuting. I think teams could be more enabled than they are. Several groups seemed very top down and didnt allow teams to figure out the best way to solve problems.

    Advice to Management

    Empower teams, let them innovate, try to not be top down.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Dulles, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AOL full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Culture: Things have really started to turn around over the last few years with Tim Armstrong. People really seem to work well together and while we still have our challenges ahead, I really feel a culture of winning in the air. Comp: Compensation is fair and overall better than most companies in the industry/area. Flexibility: For the most part, we are empowered to do our job where and how we do it best to get the job done. Transparency: Our leaders have done an admirable job of keeping the masses informed about the state of the business, the current initiatives and challenges without placating. They treat us like adults, imagine that! Career Growth: The paths to growing your career are many. It's fairly self-directed, but very attainable.

    Cons

    Change is the only constant. If you can't handle change, look somewhere else. You have to be able to thrive in an environment where you may work on something for months only to have it no longer be part of the strategy. If you can shrug it off and say "what's next", you'll love it, otherwise it can be a challenge.

    Advice to Management

    Be deliberate in your hiring of senior executives and make sure they are culture-appropriate, not just the hot name in the industry. You've proven with some of the mis-hires that that way doesn't work.


There are newer employer reviews for AOL
There are newer employer reviews for AOL

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