There are newer employer reviews for Instructure

3 people found this helpful  

Overall great company, not without its challenges

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT

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

Pros

A very fun, laid back environment. Jeans and a t-shirt are preferred, and no one will get on your case for chatting with a coworker, or throwing foam darts at them. Company events are pretty amazing. Feel free to go running or cycling at any time during the day, as long as you're getting your work done.

Great pay and benefits, relatively to other Utah companies. Formerly there was no 401(k) matching program, but one seems to be in the works for 2014. 100% medical and dental insurance. As much PTO as you and your manager deem appropriate. The office is beautiful, big, and has a pretty stunning view of the Salt Lake Valley.

Really smart people. Because of the pay and environment, many of Utah's best engineers (and a number from out of state, as well) call Instructure their home. While the transition from startup to mature company has been rough, as the company grows, much of the leadership is becoming more and more experienced, as well.

Catered lunch once a week from decent restaurants. Pretty self-explanatory.

Huge growth, and a bright future. As others have mentioned, Instructure is headed for an IPO within the next 2-3 years, which will make a lot of folks significantly wealthier. It won't be anything like Facebook's or Twitter's IPOs (no freshly minted billionaires here), but it'll still be a decent chunk of change for a large percentage of the company. Not to mention the resume benefits.

Role flexibility. Because of the agile, startup-like environment, there's little likelihood of being stuck in one role and forced to stay there for years. People are constantly putting on different hats, and titles mean very little, for the most part. Yes, engineers write code and support answers phones, but there's still lots of wiggle room and overlap among responsibilities. Plenty of folks have moved from department to department, some even multiple times. As the company continues to mature, this may become less true, but up 'til now that's how it's been.

A CEO with former founding/startup experience. Josh knows the drill, and he's pretty well-informed as to what it takes to build a successful company, at least up to IPO. Post-IPO, I honestly am not sure where things will go, but we definitely have a solid direction for the next few years, at least.

A product that's well ahead of the competition. While Canvas is by no means the best, most useable product in the context of software as a whole, it is nonetheless dramatically better than other popular Learning Management Systems. An LMS is an incredibly complex application in general, and thus is very difficult to do right. As such, we enjoy a significant competitive advantage, and growth is likely for the foreseeable future.

Cons

The company culture is quite insular and difficult to break into. If you have a resume made of gold and are the brightest mind in your field, then you will likely be welcomed with open arms. Otherwise, though, there isn't much in the way of welcoming or outreach to new hires, or old ones, for that matter. If your first impression doesn't match the generally accepted view of what's cool or desirable, then you will likely feel isolated and under-appreciated.

There is very little in the way of training. Instructure employees are expected to learn on the fly and be extremely flexible in the way they do things. This can actually be a plus, but is often a minus because of the confusion and lack of organization it can create. Some people in management positions have very little experience actually managing, and can therefore miss some of the softer, but nonetheless critical, aspects of supervising people.

Impossible to know right now, but potential future difficulties because of the early pace of growth. I'm wondering if the breakneck speed at which we've been expanding and hiring will come back to bite us in 5 years.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Try and improve at making people feel welcome. While, yes, if someone doesn't fit the company culture, it may make them more difficult to work with, you might be surprised at who could grow into the culture if you made the effort to welcome them and help them adjust.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

34 Other Employee Reviews for Instructure (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Amazing Startup Culture

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

    I have been working at Instructure full-time

    Pros

    Incredible facility
    Uber smart people
    Great mission
    Fantastic management
    Everyone gets stock options

    I'm really glad I came to work here.

    Cons

    No 401k matching
    Going through growing pains
    Dealing with some technical debt, but the company gives us the freedom to fix it

    I can't think of a lot of other cons. It's a great place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    'Plenty of hype, plenty of ego, and noticeably unprofessional'

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - L1 Technical Representative in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Former Employee - L1 Technical Representative in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I worked at Instructure full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This position was a great place to lie low and take advantage of a decent startup paycheck.

    They are 'continually growing' and as such you may have room for advancement to higher positions and better paychecks, though not necessarily better positions.

    Unfortunately all of the benefits or incentives they try to sell to bid the company up are not worth the overall frustration you may feel in this position, or many other position in the company for that matter.

    I could list the 'great views', the stock options they offer you, maybe the food in the kitchens? But honest to god none of that makes a dent into the frustrations you might feel in your position after just 2 - 4 months of work.

    The people here openly encourage and accept their 'noticeably unprofessional' culture. Most people here believe their 'noticeably unprofessional' culture is a benefit of the company.

    If you are a yes man and know how to tell enough people what they want hear you'll fit right in at this company.

    Cons

    The L1 Technical Representative position is nowhere near a good position to work in.

    About 1/4th of the work you'll do has nothing to do with the 'tech' responsibilities you are familiar with in other tech support positions. You'll tell students and instructors they have the wrong number more times than you'll actually deal with a real troubleshooting case.

    You may wonder what the position responsibilities are, though don't count on getting any real idea of the responsibilities. They tell you you'll be doing technical support, though 1/3rd to half of the work you do every day is receptionist services for 5 of the nations largest colleges.

    After about 3 months you may learn the strengths and weaknesses of the product. Many times will be spent explaining to instructors why there is a ridiculously simple bug or why the product is missing simple features.

    In the year and 5 months that I worked in the position I had 4 different supervisors none of which, except the last one I had actually had a real idea of how to take the reigns of the position and be a true leader. Three of them were figureheads who were promoted simply because they were there and not because they were qualified.

    After constant efforts spanning many months to discuss my thoughts with the supervisors I saw very little effort on the supervisors part to help the position become any more organized, though this was also sometimes due to restrictions from their supervisors.

    When you become stressed because of the responsibilities of the positions the first thing they will tell you is that you need a vacation, as if the vacation is the fix to the real problem.

    In the L1 Tech position you are told to put up with so much nonsense after so long you may become chronically depressed due to the nonsense(stress) of the position. I myself became overwhelmed and saw other folks become incredibly disorganized due to the lack of organization of the responsibilities of the position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The largest and most unfortunate con about this company is their solid focus to IPO.
    The management team is in such a frenzy to do something the media and markets will hype up by the time they IPO. Because of this they are distracted to the core of their business.

    The management team has changed so many times you'd think this company was toxic by the rate people are leaving.

    About one out of every 8 or 9 people that have hired on in the past 5 years have left within a year or so.
    The folks that leave the company are more often dissatisfied with the experience because of the management or the lack thereof. This company is more becoming a resume piece than a career place.

    Because of frenzy to IPO the CEO is pushing many projects on the engineers. There is no customer focused or driven development. The product dev strategy is to get features out and fix stupid things as customers find them.

    The main software product of the company, Canvas, is not anywhere near the best out there and is no way any less confusing than competitor products. Yeah maybe it does have a visually attractive 'color scheme', but the layout of the features on the pages are too busy and unattractive.
    The user interface and the layout of the features are fresh from the dev box and unintuitive, they could spend a bit more time thinking about how the user interface could be tuned up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Instructure Response

    Nov 27, 2013Director, Human Resources

    We pride ourselves on an open culture, where the quality of your work is more meaningful than the title you hold. Our culture is unique and important to us and its definitely not for everybody ... More

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