Autonomy

  www.autonomy.com
  www.autonomy.com
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14 people found this helpful  

The British are coming! Run away as fast as you can!

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Software Engineer in Pleasanton, CA
Former Employee - Software Engineer in Pleasanton, CA

I worked at Autonomy

Pros

I came to Autonomy from an acquisition and I don't have anything good to say about Autonomy. I have a lot of great things to say about the company that they acquired and destroyed, a company that had solid management and friendly co-workers and good communication and no insane paranoid policies. They provide free lunch on Friday, whoopee.

Cons

Management in England is arrogant and short-sighted. They acquired us with no plan for integrating the business units, and most of us left already in less than a year. Autonomy does not understand our business or our customers, and they do not value the people. They have no long term plan for the business and just move from one fire drill to the next, yelling at anyone in firing range. They are paranoid and impose policies that make it clear they do not trust any of their employees. Autonomy has no annual review process for employees and no annual raise. I talked to some longtime employees who had never received a review or a raise in years. HR is nonexistent, just a revolving door of clueless young cannon fodder with no experience with benefits or employee issues. In 15 months at Autonomy, not a single email was sent to employees from any of the Brits regarding the corporate strategy or plans. There is almost no actual software development happening at Autonomy. It is all bug fixes after customers complain that the software does not work. Press releases are issued before anything is implemented, just hoping someone will buy the vaporware.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

You cannot continue to acquire and destroy other companies, losing all corporate knowledge in the process. You should communicate with all employees and not treat us like cattle who can be led to the slaughterhouse and replaced with a new herd next week.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

330 Other Employee Reviews for Autonomy (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    try if you dare

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Autonomy

    Pros

    insane work hours, crazy projects, jetting everwhere, but huge bonuses if you do well and stock options that have 10xed in the last four years. never ending range of projects with lots of companies froma cross the countr (and the worlkd -- but i was always domestic) in every kind of industry verticle.

    Cons

    everyone good is a workahlocic. everyone who can't keep the pace gets fired or marganalized. people i knew when i was ther ewho tried to treat it like a regular company didn't work out. autonomy is more like an investment bank or a consulting company, from what my friends who are in those industrys say -- lots of work, very interesting and very high paid, but not somewhere you chill out and do your nine to five.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    iiits going to be hard to keep pace seeing growth in company recent times, but try if u can.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 12 people found this helpful  

    A horrible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Vista, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Vista, CA

    I worked at Autonomy

    Pros

    It's really hard to think of any - but to fair, if you're in the right place at the right time, you may get an interesting project to work on. Oh, and six weeks of vacation, but I'm pretty sure that's just because it was grandfathered in from the previous company that Autonomy acquired.

    Cons

    It would be really hard to list them all here.

    Senior management is somewhere between incompetent and evil. They come from the Karl Rove/George Bush school of PR - i.e. the belief that if you tell a lie enough times it will become true. One example: The day after there were company wide layoffs in the QA department (on the order of 50 people overall), the company newsletter was sent out containing the quote "You should be proud to work at a company that has never had economic layoffs". Perhaps including the qualifier 'economic' makes it technically true, but only in the most weasel-like of ways. The dismissals were definitely *not* due to performance or other issues.

    Senior management is also terrible when it comes to basic communication. If there is long-term vision or strategy for the company, they do a great job of keeping it a secret.

    As far as opportunities for advancement goes, there doesn't seem to be any. Nobody in this office has gotten a raise or bonus in the past two years. There are people working for me that are producing above their pay grade and have completed projects that have led directly to large sales, but all requests for raises or bonuses have been met with a deafening silence. I could handle it if we were given a reason why the requests were denied, or maybe some constructive feedback about what senior management would like to see before granting the requests. But there is none.

    Probably the most galling thing of all, and the thing that makes me most glad to be leaving, is the complete lack of commitment to producing quality software. We are being ordered, from the CEO level, to ship software that does not, for any sane definition of the word, work. It may install and launch (on a good) day, but there is no chance that it meet the customer's needs. None. The problems have been clearly communicated to the level of the CEO, but they don't care.

    It makes me especially angry that the current lapses in quality can be traced directly to decisions forced upon us by senior management:
    * Reducing the need for dedicated QA staffing by increasing the amount of automated testing that is done on a product is a good idea. But the rational way to achieve this is to first build up your suite of automated tests and train your engineers on how to produce testable code. Starting by simply firing your QA department and then ignoring the ensuing quality issues is just insane.
    * Replacing royalty bearing libraries with internally developed code can be a smart move. But the rational way to do this is to first work on your internal library until it's quality is on par with the third party library. Providing a library that runs four times slower with accuracy levels that might have been acceptable 12 years ago and forcing us to ship with it is insane.
    * Replacing royalty bearing libraries with appropriate open-source alternatives can be a smart move. But canceling all of your contracts before you've determined that the open-source alternatives can do what you need, is just insane.

    I could go on. But I will stop here.

    I feel sorry for companies who purchase Autonomy software expecting to receive value for the money they spend.

    And I am sickened by what is being done to what was once a proud company, and to the customers we've sweat blood for over the past 10+ years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tone down the arrogance a bit.

    Communicate more. Provide actual guidance with goals, expectations, etc.

    The company has had three straight quarters of record growth and profit. It is really hard to get excited about the good results when the only rewards are seeing your coworkers laid-off and yet another quarter with no raises or bonuses. Share at least a little bit of the wealth!

    Allow local offices a bit more autonomy in how they run their business. What works well in Cambridge, England might not play as well in California. Set measurable goals and then reward (or not) based on whether the group meets those goals. Having butts in seats from 8am-5pm is a poor measure of how productive an office is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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