There are newer employer reviews for SDL

Helpful (1)

Diverse

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Senior Localization Engineer in Maidenhead, England (UK)
Former Employee - Senior Localization Engineer in Maidenhead, England (UK)

I worked at SDL full-time (more than 10 years)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Work with lots of people around the world

Cons

Too much emphasis on outsourcing and automated tools

Advice to Management

Get back to basics with localization and translation

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  1. SDL is small but very friendly company with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Engineer in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Current Employee - QA Engineer in Kiev (Ukraine)

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Nice atmosphere and stable condition of work. A lot of vacation days. All projects are using modern technology, support latest environment , implement best practices, like Alige . There is a lot of possibilities to share knowledge and to take needed training. Office is situated in a good traffic place.

    Cons

    Small salaries compared to big companies. No vpn connection to projects

    Advice to Management

    Create VPN and possibility to work from home.

  2. Helpful (4)

    HIGH PRESSURE - HIGH VOLUME - POOR MANAGEMENT

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager - Localization in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Project Manager - Localization in Montreal, QC (Canada)

    I worked at SDL full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Central location
    -Smart, talented, hardworking, and friendly co-workers which help make things bearable
    -Paid for overtime (up to 45 hours with prior permission)
    -Permanent staff of translators (although the groups are very small - 2 to 6 per team)
    -Has one of the best translations system on the market
    -Work with global, well known companies (Proctor & Gamble, American Express, TD, Canadian Tire, Target Canada, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, etc...)
    -3 weeks vacation, plus allowed to convert overtime to addl paid time off

    Cons

    Tread very carefully if you have accepted a position as a Localization Project Manager at this company. The hours are very long, your projects will be between 10-15 per day plus the ones you will need to deliver (can be up to 7-10+ per day depending on the account). It's a high pressure, stressful job with very little to no management support. There is no training. You get 2 days of orientation, 1-2 days of shadowing and then you start on projects for your assigned account. Within 2 weeks, you will be managing a full flow and will be expected to just keep asking questions on how to do the tasks until you get the hang of the basics. You will need to be a very fast learner and careful communicator with some of the management (who are also under tremendous strain). The deadlines are very tight and this company expects you to deliver to the hour (negotiation with the client is not encouraged because it makes their stats look bad, even though it would be reasonable for delivering quality work). Overly complicated and cumbersome systems and invoicing method, which is surprising for a software company. Expect to do close to 45-50 hour weeks for the first 3 months but will only be paid up to 45 hrs. You may be able to bring it down to 41-42 hrs depending on how efficient you become after 3 months, and then gradually maybe 40 hrs (regular hours are 37.5). Do not expect any praise or encouragement for a job well done, any mentoring or consistent guidance, management is not that sophisticated. You are a number in this company and basically expected to deliver the bottom line---fast. Your expectation, satisfaction/dissatisfaction is of no concern. Very high turnovers either through people quitting, going on stress/sick leave and not returning, or being fired (many people left after 1-2 months, longest employees in this dept have been there a little over a year). The company work method and values are similar to a factory/fast-food restaurant. They seem to hire young, well educated people between 25-28yrs where it's either their first job, or they need the Canadian work experience and will accept a lower salary. The job title is a bit misleading as it is more like a linguistic coordinator. You don't have the true decision making powers a Project Manager would have in other industries (and certainly not the salary). The company has no will to change as long as the business keeps coming and they are making money, so don't expect it will be better. If you manage to make it through the year, it means you have adapted and will learn the basic principles of Project Management. Use this to go somewhere else where your skills will be valued and further nurtured. SDL is not a company to stay and build your career (atleast not in this division). They look great on paper with all the start-ups the parent company has been buying, and use of technology, but they are inefficient and not forward thinking in terms of management. They had massive lay-offs in 2008 but business started picking up around 2010. If accounts have to cut-back on outsourcing their translations needs due to budget constraints, it quickly affects SDL's revenues. Just go in with your eyes wide open and your ears close to the ground. The social/medical benefits are very basic and they use 2006 rates to calculate how much they will cover.

    Advice to Management

    Provide a more comprehensive and on-going training programs in your Montreal/N.A. location. If you want to keep your employees, then do a better screening process and use the tests you make them take to greater effect (i.e. be realistic of the type of person you are hiring). Principles, Team Leads, Managers all need to understand the basics of what it means to manage people. Everyone has a different learning style. Observe and adapt your teaching. Give your attention to those who you see are still struggling and do something constructive & proactive to help them. This is much less expensive then continually hiring/firing/re-training, etc... Understand that learning is an on-going process. It's not 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months and you're on your own. Be realistic of how many projects can be opened and closed in a given work day and work in closer partnership to your clients. Constant fear of the competition is what is driving the company - i.e. we can do it faster, cheaper and with the highest quality---you can do it fast or you can do it well, it's hard to do both. The focus should be providing reliable, high quality work to clients. The money will follow.

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