Guidewire Reviews

Updated February 10, 2015
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4.3
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Guidewire CEO Marcus Ryu
Marcus Ryu
277 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    Curb Your Enthusiasm: This is "Chiseling Through Granite"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Implementation Consultant II in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Implementation Consultant II in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pay is good, and if you enjoy traveling, this may be the place for you. In particular, there are a lot of international projects, so if you're up for it, you may well get the opportunity to see the world while implementing software.

    The consulting team is quite a social bunch in general - expect to get invites from coworkers for dinner and drinks on a regular basis. The work itself is quite social as well - field consulting is far more than heads-down development, although it includes plenty of that as well.

    Guidewire provides 3 weeks of paid vacation per year, and offers stock as an additional incentive. The medical plans are pretty standard, with PPO and HSA/FSA options.

    Taxes and stock are equalized, meaning that if you work in a place (including abroad) where taxes are higher than at home, then you won't be penalized for doing so. This is an excellent benefit and one that should not be understated. If you work abroad, you'll get the additional benefit of having your foreign tax returns prepared on your behalf, free of charge.

    You can live just about anywhere in the country, provided it's close to a major airport, although most clients are in the Eastern and Central time zones, so those living further west may face longer commutes. Salaries are competitive and standardized across the country, so if you live in a cheaper area, you can reap the benefits of a Bay Area salary without paying Bay Area prices.

    All consultants go through 4 weeks of training and certification, including an exam and exercises, which sets a good foundation before beginning billable work with clients. (Though, to be honest, it just scratches the surface of what's to come.)

    There is also (for now, at least) a yearly meeting in which the entire field consulting team has the opportunity to convene, share ideas, learn about upcoming releases and new product features, and catch up with people they've worked and trained with.

    Cons

    I posted a 4-star review of Guidewire about a year and a half ago, after 18 months with the company. Now, nearly 3 years in, I'm downgrading my review to 3 stars. Why? In part, because the workload is relentless, and the burnout has become acute. It simply never lets up, and I'm coming to believe that more projects than not are hectic and draining. There's simply no moderation in this work. The estimates and timelines provided to clients are often too aggressive (though this may be done in an effort to remain competitive), but it means there's typically far more work to finish than there is time to do it in, at least if you expect to work anywhere near a 40-hour week. And maybe you don't expect that, since unpaid overtime has become standard practice, but it was one of Guidewire's major selling points when I was interviewing back in 2012 - that they placed a strong focus on a moderate schedule, especially since consultants have to spend additional time traveling to and from client sites. I was even told back then that they negotiate 37-hour workweeks with some clients, but I've yet to see anything like this. It varies week to week, but it's typically 50+ hours/week plus travel time, and the more senior the consultant, the longer the hours seem to be.

    In fact, I've found that as I move forward in my career here, life seems to be getting worse, not better. The pay raises have been modest, but the responsibilities and expectations have grown far faster. I no longer look forward to promotions, as they simply represent more hardship and more time in the office.

    Marcus, the CEO, has often compared Guidewire's path as akin to "chiseling through granite," and I think this conveys the day-to-day experience quite well. A lot of positive things have been said about the company culture, but by and large, the job is one perpetual, interminable grind. At the end of a long and difficult project, you might breathe a sigh of relief... only to find that you're starting the whole process over again next week with a new client. Yes, you'll learn and grow from each project, but mostly it's more of the same.

    And what makes it largely the same is that there isn't much structured training (beyond the initial 4 weeks), or communication happening across projects or between teams to ensure that solutions aren't reinvented. There's a great deal of reverse engineering going on, due to inadequate documentation of the existing system features (though in fairness the documentation is quite thorough compared to some companies), and there's also a lot of unnecessary duplication of effort and code because time is not set aside for consultants to document their solutions after they've been built. There is some effort being made to build structured, shareable solutions to common problems, but it could be far more proactive than it is. There's also the somewhat baffling practice of hiding platform-level code from the very consultants who are expected to build upon the system. This is done ostensibly to protect the company's intellectual property, but it leads to a great deal of confusion for consultants and frustration on the part of clients, who often expect Guidewire staff to understand every nook and cranny of their own system. It seems to me that a lot more could be done to streamline the implementation process, if only management would make it a priority to allocate the time to do so. There are a lot of inefficiencies that are being overlooked.

    Overall, I'm not nearly as positive as I was about Guidewire when I started. When I first joined, this felt like the sort of place where I might make a lifelong career. But at this point, it seems largely like any other software job, albeit with some cool perks. I can't see myself staying here forever, but for the moment it'll do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on training and more elaborate documentation to enable your consultants to perform more effectively in the field. The initial 4 weeks of training are good but hardly adequate in the long run. Make a stronger effort to elicit feedback from consultants, and put more effort into building standardized solutions to common requirements that can be released as part of the core product.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Awesome culture which the company actually lives and breathes vs lip service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President Global Alliances & Business Development in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Vice President Global Alliances & Business Development in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Culture, perks, values (Collegiality, Integrity, Rationality = rigorously adhered to).
    Smart people
    Solid growth
    Strong Board
    Great Management team
    100% referenceability - no failed installs
    Clear Market leader
    International expansion

    Cons

    Growth, Bandwidth, Travel, Timezone Challenge

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    maintain the culture WW

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

    The very best software solution company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Executive in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Executive in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Guidewire started as David vs Goliath in the insurance software industry, but on winning through to recognition as undoubted leaders, they've still preserved the best things about being a small challenger start up, and kept intact the most admirable one team culture in the business. Uniquely, as the client population has grown from tens to hundreds around the world, every single one remains an advocate..

    Cons

    Some of the laudable culture maxims, like single class travel policy and consciously reinforced collegial behaviour can be counter-intuitive on occasion.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Great Guidewire

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Operations in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Operations in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Flexible company and employee recognition

    Cons

    to have to be always reachable

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Great to work with smart people who know what they are doing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Intensive and focused team of people that are making a real meaningful change for our customers. We are focused on being the best at what we do, and being honest with ourselves and our clients.

    Cons

    very international business, lots of travel
    as company gets bigger, we enevitably get more internal coordination requirements

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As the company grows focus on keeping the culture, and maintaining strategic consistency

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Great place to work but not for the faint hearted...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Field Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    There's lots happening at Guidewire, and many opportunities to contribute, and progress. Guidewire are truly commited to the success of your career, and they expect you to commit to their success - it's a sound deal all round.

    Cons

    In the field, management can be somewhat remote, and it is possible to feel a bit disconnected at times. Sometimes working in EMEA, the administration advice received from US and EMEA offices can be inconsistent. However, in my short time with Guidewire I have found that people are working to address this issue.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We have a great set of company values that are espoused, but perhaps we need to drive those values right out to the edges of our organisation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Outstanding Learning Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Implementation Architect in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Principal Implementation Architect in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Everybody learns, every day. Everybody contributes, every day. Everybody is rewarded, every day. Great software, great people. No interest in 'selling bodies'. Long-term development of individuals at the core of the culture. Not a 'step-on-the-way' employer, most likely a long-term residence for those that have already climbed the greasy-pole.

    Cons

    Volatile environment, switching customers and cities, and sometimes countries, at a drop of a hat. Expect to carry a large expenses bill, (although reimbursed weekly). First few months can be unnerving, GW employees get a LOT of autonomy and this can be daunting if unexpected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up, don't let the company go overly-corporate.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Good place to work, all focusing on the same goal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Program Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Marketing Program Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Guidewire full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    A great company to work for, it's growing quickly and has lots of new & innovative products coming through from development. A strong brand and very effective Product Management & Product Marketing team with enthusiasm by the truck-load. EVeryone is pulling in the same direction thanks to a very clear set of goals and strong set of values. A refreshingly honest company to work for.

    Cons

    Maybe too thorough on approval processes... This can slow things down, but could also be the reason for the company's success ie making sure every decision has been thought through?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing - Guidewire is going places!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Growth and opportunities with a great environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Career objectives and desires are taken into account.
    Communication is easy at all levels.
    We all do our best to help and encourage each other.

    Cons

    Some aspects of the job require good autonomy, which is not easy for everyone.
    There is a very broad amount of resources to help us in our job that is sometimes difficult to locate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set on our service providers the same level of expectations that we set on ourselves.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful

    I have grown more at Guidewire than I have at any other job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Services Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Services Manager in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Guidewire

    Pros

    The best part of working at Guidewire is that its corporate values are embraced at all levels, even all the way to the highest levels of executive management. Also, Guidewire is a very egalitarian company. The company truly values all contributors.

    Cons

    The only minor issue is that Guidewire's benefits are about average. The company could try to improve vacation packages, employee's insurance cost, etc.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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