TripAdvisor

  www.tripadvisor.com
  www.tripadvisor.com
There are newer employer reviews for TripAdvisor

1 person found this helpful  

Favorite job I have had

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

I have been working at TripAdvisor

Pros

There is a pragmatic attitude of getting things done which matches my own. There's also a pretty good understanding of what engineers like me are and are not interested in doing.

Work/life balance is respected - working hours are flexible and I've never had trouble taking time off or working from home when necessary. I rarely feel pressured to work extra hours or rush things.

The catered lunches are a nice perk - they remove one thing to worry about.

Cons

The 'pragmatic attitude' mentioned above does not suit everyone. From an engineering point of view it means the emphasis is on making things work rather than making all the code perfect and beautiful.

As the company grows, it is becoming increasingly compartmentalized. For example, the area of the site I work on has become narrower as the work is spread out among more engineers. (However I have mentioned this to my managers and feel confident I could switch to something else if I wanted to).

I rarely find time to use the games room or kegerator.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Give up on the line about TA being like a startup that happens to be big - it really isn't any more.

As I mentioned above, the company is becoming more compartmentalized, and there are hints that there is growing internal competition between teams. I don't think this is good for any of us. Encouraging sideways mobility could help reduce the problem - i.e. make it easier for employees to move between teams and work on different parts of the site. (Letting them work together will achieve more than making them eat lunch together.)

Recommends
Approves of CEO

204 Other Employee Reviews for TripAdvisor (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Associate in Newton, MA
    Current Employee - Marketing Associate in Newton, MA

    I have been working at TripAdvisor

    Pros

    I loved the people I worked with, I always felt like there was an endless amount of information for someone to teach. I have never been surrounded by so many intelligent people.

    Cons

    TripAdvisor is often unclear in the reasoning for management moves, I wish there was a little more transparency in regards to promotions and performance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the strong work, TripAdvisor is a very efficiently run business and is a perfect example of speed to market success

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work, wrinkles getting ironed out

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

    I have been working at TripAdvisor

    Pros

    Engineering: The hiring mantra is "great, not good", and the company lives up to it. ALL of the engineers are top-notch - seriously. Furthermore, although the engineering dept has close to doubled every year for three or four years, they've managed to maintain a great culture - you can go to any developer, ask a question, and get a friendly response, a detailed answer, or (at the very least) information on who would be a better source.

    The code base is big, and it takes a while to learn - but the technologies are all mainstream open source (Java, Velocity, Postgres, etc.), and there are three or four monthly engineering brown-bag sessions to go over different aspects of the code, best practices, or open Q&As with the VP of engineering. There is an engineering meeting once a week to discuss riskier code designs - this is open to all engineers, and though the presenters are sometimes sent back to the drawing board, it's kept the code base reasonably clean.

    Projects are (very!) short, creating the opportunity to work on lots of different things, all the time. If you don't like your project this week, wait three days and you'll be on something else. You won't end up on an 18 month project that gets cancelled. Likewise, with projects this short, there aren't any deathmarches. There are sometimes long hours to make a launch, but things are generally very flexible. We all use laptops, and no one bats an eye if you have to work from home because of a doctor's appointment, waiting for a cable guy, car in the garage, etc. On snow days, there's an unofficial custom of sending a "working from home" email in haiku format.

    The tools are generally very good - MacBook Pros, 30" monitors, your choice of IDE, etc. There've been some growing pains in getting people up to an adequate amount of memory (some people are still using older machines limited to 4Gb, new developers get 8Gb), devservers with enough resources to run bigger services, and machines to test Internet Explorer, but that's mostly been fixed. There is a commitment to streamline development, primarily in terms of equipment - there is no set project management methodology (Agile, SCRUM, etc.), as short projects and small teams (usually 1-2 people) generally don't require something formal. Processes are generally kept to a reasonable level.

    Product Marketing: This is where many of the complaints in the older reviews come from, and (being an engineer) I have less information about this. However, things seem to be generally better than last year, and on an overall upward trajectory. The people I interact with directly on projects (all below the director level) are fun to work with and highly competent. Again, I don't know much about the politics, but there have been some good hires, and there seems to be a lot less angst on that side of the building than last year.

    General: There are lots of nice things about working at TripAdvisor. As everyone says, there are a lot of small perks - three free lunches per week, the wall of snacks, free drinks, video games, flex time, shuttle to green line, etc. Also, the employees are trusted with a lot of information about the company - 3-4 times a year, there's an all-hands meeting where the CEO goes over the financials, discusses targets and results. It's nice working for a company that's bizarrely profitable. Last year was the best year in the company's history. People are nice. And finally, it's nice working on a product that people recognize and like.

    Cons

    It would have been easier to pan the engineering department in previous years, but most of the day-to-day problems have been addressed over the past six months. One thing to mention is that, because most of the projects are very short, there aren't many opportunities to work on big teams, on large features that fundamentally alter the site or change the architecture. They do exist - for instance, this year they're putting a lot of effort into Facebook-related features, last year they launched the new Flights product, and the year before they added vacation rentals - but these projects are much less frequent, and most of the time you'll be working on short projects. To some degree, this is a matter of taste - with lots of small projects, you get to touch lots of different areas, learn lots of new things, and there's remarkably little territoriality about code. On the other hand, you probably won't "own" a section of the code, or write a brand new subsystem from scratch.

    Also, with a ten year old codebase, there's some amount of cruft from previous versions. For example, there are still cleanup projects to convert XSL pages into Velocity, and not all of the services have been upgraded to a newer style. By its nature, this gets better asymptotically, but will never be completely fixed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Life as an engineer is good at TripAdvisor, and keeps getting better. If significant unresolved problems remain on the product marketing side, then this should be your most important *management* challenge (as opposed to *strategic* or *leadership* challenges). Consider it your personal BHAG: make TripAdvisor the best place in Boston to work for PMs below the director level.

    Recommends
    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.