There are newer employer reviews for TripAdvisor

9 people found this helpful  

Accomplished a lot but there is a lot of favoritism

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA

I worked at TripAdvisor

Pros

In general, coworkers are dedicated and smart so it's a place where you can learn from others. The pace is very quick but that means you get a lot done so you always have a feeling of accomplishment and are always busy. There are opportunities to do more or take on special projects or additional responsibilities. The engineering group in general is wonderful to work with in any capacity. The free lunch is a nice fringe benefit. I think it can be good place if you're young and you want to work on a known product to get some work experience at a fast paced company and if you have a good manager.

Cons

Although you will accomplish a lot because of the fast paced environment, you are always asked or expected to cut corners which gets tiring especially when cutting out features means a poor product in the end that isn't what is needed. Also, every project has to be justified by numbers so if there is a project that needs to be done but the numbers don't back it up, it will probably get shot down.

One of the big issues at the company is that there is a lot of favoritism that goes on. This results in individuals being promoted because are liked by upper management because they did one thing well in the past or have become friends with the right people but they don't actually have the skills to be a people manager or to lead a team. This means that some managers overseeing their teams as a vehicle to make himself or herself look good to the higher ups while the individual team members careers are completely ignored. Also the favoritism can also be quite blatant as there are some coworkers who get away with doing very little because they report to a friend. Unfortunately the favoritism does lead to low morale which is ignored because the manager doesn't want to deal with the issue at hand in a constructive mature manner.

There is very little praise and recognition if you're not someone's favorite or aren't constantly selling yourself, even if it means stepping on other coworkers, so you will never get recognition or any sort of praise for doing a great job on something or going the extra mile. I think this leads to the feeling and perception that managers and above don't care about individuals.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Stop promoting within just because someone did their job well for awhile and stop allowing friends to promote friends. Managing people is a skill and needs to be learned so train folks on that skill or hire people who actually know how to manage (as in look out for and support) their team members.

You have some very smart people there, especially the ones who do the day-to-day tasks that do the behind the scenes work. You should be doing what you can to keep them. Free lunch is not enough.

Speed only means you get a lot done but it's not good quality. Quality does matter in the end so let the engineers take the time to build good thought out products once in awhile.

Please address the favoritism that is right in front of you. It can be outrageous at times and leads low morale.

No opinion of CEO

193 Other Employee Reviews for TripAdvisor (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    Everything is great except the actual work

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

    I worked at TripAdvisor

    Pros

    The perks are great. There is a really good benefits package (medical/dental/etc), and then a ton of stuff to keep employees happy at the main Newton campus - catered lunches, sodas, snacks, foosball, gaming systems, a kegerator, the list goes on.

    Pretty much everyone I worked with was very bright - the bar to get in is set pretty high, and there is an informal 'no a**holes policy' that is fairly effective (though opinions on this my vary based on your own definition).

    Their development methodology is better than a lot of larger engineering groups. The company motto 'Speed Wins' continues to be applied to a development group that has grown by a ridiculous amount for the past few years (also a con, see below), and fortunately things are still moving quickly.

    Work/life balance is good. There are rarely any (as in I never personally experienced any) crunch-time periods on projects.

    The CEO knows what he's doing and is leading the company in a good direction.

    Cons

    If you're a Java developer and enjoy writing code like it's 1997, by all means join the development team! The codebase is a mess. It has grown organically over the last decade or so, and is unwieldy and not well architected (and therefore harder to understand and maintain). The coverage of the testing frameworks that are in place is nowhere near where it should be, and so very little refactoring happens to improve the situation. Traditional singletons are everywhere. There are methods that are thousands of lines long. It's a jungle. To some extent there is a not-invented-here mindset; bringing in 3rd party code isn't encouraged and must be approved by management. People who are hired are smart and expected to write code that works, but they don't necessarily know how to write clean code that is maintainable, and management doesn't put much value on that either.

    As mentioned in the 'pros' section development is still approached like the company is a five person startup. This works to varying degrees with a team 20x that size. There's no real methodology backing it (scrum, XP, lean, etc). This contributes to the existing mess of code.

    The bar for entry into the company is set pretty high; the interview process is pretty tough, and candidates are expected to have a very strong CS background. During interviews the company is presented as a real interesting place to work with a lot of tough software challenges around scalability. This gets a lot of people excited, but the reality is much less dramatic. It seems that a lot of really bright people come through the door only to end up with pretty menial work, often maintaining a mess of code that was written up in a hurry by someone else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Engineering leadership should be providing guidance on implementation, not making decisions for the people actually doing the work. The code review process is overly restrictive and focuses too much on code conventions instead of more important issues like testability and code structure.

    Start lowering the bar for some engineering positions; people don't need to know how to most efficiently implement binary search tree operations or big-O complexity for sorting algorithms to just maintain code and tweak HTML. You hire a lot of bright people with high expectations for what they'll get to work on, and often disappoint them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  2. 10 people found this helpful  

    Rough treatment by management team but great coworkers and benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Newton, MA

    I worked at TripAdvisor

    Pros

    Gold-standard benefits, competitive salaries, stable high-growth company, smart and driven coworkers, great opportunities for young/new employees to learn and grow (to a certain point), easy access to highway for suburban people

    Cons

    Management team micro-manages, little room for experienced hires to grow, poor work-life balance, no thank yous or appreciation for good work, heavy territorial politics among senior management team, not easy access to the MBTA

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give your mid-level managers enough guidance on what you want done and then back off and let them do their jobs. Stop reorganizing the company again and again.

    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for TripAdvisor

Work at TripAdvisor? Share Your Experiences

TripAdvisor

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.