Guidewire

www.guidewire.com

Guidewire Reviews in San Mateo, CA

Updated October 25, 2014
Updated October 25, 2014
328 Reviews
4.5
328 Reviews
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Guidewire CEO Marcus Ryu
Marcus Ryu
271 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent work-life balance within the development organization (in 51 reviews)

  • This is modeled from the executive management team all the way through (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/Life balance isn't the greatest, but the management is working on improving this (in 12 reviews)

  • Guidewire is experiencing some growing pains, which is expected (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

57 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Guidewire is the best software company I have ever worked for in my 29 years in the industry.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Writer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Writer in San Mateo, CA

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

    Pros

    - There's more visibility into senior executive decision making, long term planning, and financial results than in any company I have worked for.
    - The culture is rational and egalitarian. Ideas are discussed and considered from many sources, and I feel that I have as much input into planning and effect on the final product as I could ask for.
    - The pay is excellent, and benefits appear to be similar to those at software companies of the same size.
    - The products are well designed and rich in content, and continue to be the best in class for Guidewire's market segment. Even better, Guidewire has figured out how to sell and successfully configure these complex products, making the company the market leader and the one to bet on. That translates into great bonuses and a decent stock price.
    - Guidewire has high hiring standards, and the technical staff is impressive in their quality and experience, yet there's none of that self aggrandizing I've seen at some other companies I've worked for. I find engineers at every level to be open to ideas and easy to collaborate with.
    - There's a lot of camaraderie in the teams. Guidewire supports team outings that encourage team building and good interpersonal relationships.

    Cons

    - I would like to work from home more days a week on a regular basis than the company supports. However, when I need to work from home for a particular reason, there's never a problem with doing so.
    - I'd like health benefits to be better than the industry standard. However, I came from a larger company that had excellent benefits, so the comparison might not be fair. Additionally, I understand how expensive healthcare insurance has become, and that the company has made a decision to focus more on monetary rewards like salary, stock, and bonuses, all of which I find to be generous.
    - The company appears to be in transition from a successful, post-IPO startup to a larger, more mature company. The company is doing pretty well with expanding management staff and planning capabilities, but has made some mistakes. However, so far they've been nothing major or difficult to recover from, and the response from senior management has been encouraging and remarkably open.

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

    Slipped from it's peak, still a fun place to work, but not as challenging or rewarding as cutting edge companies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Guidewire full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    In a word: lifestyle. GWRE has really nice people and knows how to be low stress. They rarely fire anyone, no matter how much they slack. As long as you are competent and add some value, you can coast there for years.

    Cons

    Not cutting edge, not willing to make tough technical choices.

    Most of their managers have not managed people before, and GWRE does not have programs to teach people how to manage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The corporate values were good early on in the companies life, but they have not been emphasized. The tech team needs to be pushed to adopt new technology at a faster pace, and you need to either get real managers across the board, send your people to professional development, or bring in some good training.

    You should also probably manage out or fire your bottom performers, slackers, and people that don't uphold the company values... What good are they if you don't reward people for exhibiting them, and punish when they aren't?

    You are not operating in a paranoid enough manner. Invest in some skunkworks projects to disrupt your own tech stack, or your competitors will take your crown away from you. Consider separating things out, deploying in the cloud, or using new tech like Scala, node, etc.

    Whatever you do, demand more output from your engineering team. They've been sitting on their laurels for years now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Best Place to work if you are in the right dept!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

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

    Pros

    The Company is very strong and the executive team is leading them to great success. They are relatively generous with Stock awards.

    Cons

    They offer very low salaries and do not treat their employees equally whatsoever. As is usually the case with any company, some departments are the golden children and the others are the stepchildren. But at Guidewire, the golden children are treated extremely well, and their stepchildren receive absolutely no respect or appreciation of value. The golden children have completely open doors to all executives, and the stepchildren's comments and suggestions fall on absolutely closed ears. Because they have been named a "Best Place to work," they spend all their time keeping the golden children spoiled and begging the step children to do surveys and say something nice about Guidewire.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stronger communication of roles within the company

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    The management transparency is inspiring - I feel included, a real stakeholder.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Consultant in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Consultant in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The core principles of rationality, integrity and collegiality are more than principles - they are part of every decision, at least that is the express goal of management and employees alike.

    Cons

    Sometimes being a public company requires we make decisions that are less rational to those affected than they might be. We had a minor layoff and to the individuals it seemed harsh.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Involve lower level management in key decisions that affect them, to the degree possible.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Guidewire is a GREAT place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

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

    Pros

    Fantastic people to work with. Smart, motivated, collegial. Very collaborative environment. Work with a lot of the latest technologies. Very stable company in a very stable market. Has the most rational management team I've encountered in thirty years in the industry.

    Cons

    Very consensus-driven to the point where it can be difficult to move projects ahead sometimes. Large staff and legacy codebase with a loooong tail means that it can be very difficult to figure out how or WHY something works the way it does.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay the course. You've built a fantastic medium-size company that's on track to become a fantastic large company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    The company is great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Guidewire part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    People are nice, and the company environment is very great

    Cons

    Some people are unnice and tough

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Successful and fast growing company facing new challenges. Good short-term outlook

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Guidewire

    Pros

    Fortunate with top quality employees and good company culture from the early days.
    Good product and customer pipeline so far.

    Cons

    Talent cultivation and retention remain challenging in recent years. Start to see high exit rate in development for both old timers and newcomers.
    Rapid increase in organization hierarchy. Currently six levels from individual contributors to VP in Development.
    Inexperienced and disconnected management for a fast growing organization.
    Compensation and reward system don't inspire good behavior of individual contributors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Repair visibility by reconnecting with individual contributors.
    Avoid evaluating people based on short-term sales or superficial result.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Best place I have worked so far

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Implementation Architect in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Implementation Architect in San Mateo, CA

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

    Pros

    Very intelligent colleagues, fair procedures, top equipment, great communication. I have worked in several places internationally and Guidewire has exceeded my expectations in every regard. I was not challenged enough in my prior positions and have finally found a great match.

    Cons

    I am very satisfied, so no entry here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work and don't restrict your proserv employees travel choices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great first intern experience working at a modern software company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Intern in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Intern in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Guidewire as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very intelligent group of people working at Guidewire, strong adherence to agile development practices, everyone is willing to help out in any way possible.

    As this was my first intern experience working at a software company, I did not know what to expect. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised at how modern software companies run today. The atmosphere and environment at Guidewire are what make working there truly an enjoyable experience.

    Cons

    The insurance realm is not particularly interesting (but working on the software can be somewhat more removed, making it more interesting)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Very Professional, open culture and Customer focussed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Guidewire

    Pros

    Test driven development.
    Many very talented individuals.
    Excellent Work and Life balance.
    Customer success is one of the main focus.
    Fairly open communication.
    Huge variety of Customers.
    Focus on building very high quality products.

    Cons

    Management hierarchy developing in the last of departments (Engineering) and this may not be good.
    Although different from many other companies, the performance review system is sometimes questionable.
    Since the focus is on P&C insurance companies, options for creating a lot of products may not be possible.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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