Ibuildings Reviews

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Ibuildings Co-Founder Tom Schenkenberg
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  1. Ibuildings: where the sales numbers come before customer and staff satisfaction

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Ibuildings has some very smart people working for them. They have a great marketing team, and some really nice managers in the Dutch office. The Dutch company is certainly one that inspires people to join. Ibuildings manage to have some really great companies that they work with (but see notes below).

    Cons

    The CEO and the UK sales director are focused on nothing but money. The proportion of salespeople to developers is completely biased, and for good reason: ibuildings have made a mess of so many big (100k+) projects such as at Five.tv and Ladbrokes that they never win repeat business. They continually need to make new sales to cement over the corpses of the many dead projects they leave behind. The churn rate at ibuildings is over 60% in one year - that says a lot about the general feeling of the developers.

    Advice to Management

    A message to the dutch directors: you need to think long and hard about the relationship you have entered into with the uk firm. The uk may have a smooth marketing machine, but its really not helpful in the long term to your brand if you continually make a mess of big projects in the pursuit of 'the numbers'.


  2. Some of the best PHP talent you will find - poorly utilsed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    PHP is often regarded as the poor relative when it comes to a comparison of modern development languages. One of the reasons for this is that PHP is easy to learn and as a result is accessible to a lot of people. As a result, quality of PHP implementation across the industry is uneven at best. iBuildings, on the other hand, have managed to recruit some of the best PHP talent out there. All engineers at iBuildings are coached in good architecture design, test-driven-development practices and are given time to contribute to the open source community. If anyone is going to help transcend PHP from being the poor relative, it is these guys.

    Cons

    It's a shame the same cannot be said for the senior management at iBuildings. The directors sadly do not seem to understand the nature of the business they are in and consistently overlook the needs of their customers. They started in the UK in 2007 and built an impressive portfolio of clients. Unfortunately they have managed to upset most of these clients and now struggle to get any repeat business. This means they have to return to the market to find new business with a tarnished reputation. This has had a not unnoticeable affect on morale.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of treating customers as simply a means of making money, try building mutually beneficial relationships with them. You also need some sales people who understand solution selling and selling projects. I.e. guys who understand that a customer is for life, not just for this quarter's figures.


  3. Ibuildings is a technically excellent company with a few minor organisational issues

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

    Pros

    Ibuildings provides a very rich environment for experienced and inexperienced software engineers to develop their skills. Company and developer focused meetings allow knowledge sharing through examples from interesting and challenging projects. All employees get to go to relevant conferences of their choice, including DPC and PHP UK as standard. Software engineers are encouraged to become Zend PHP5 certified within six months of their employment. Other training opportunities are available. The technical staff within Ibuildings include some of the best PHP developers in Europe, if not the world.

    Cons

    There are some management issues within Ibuildings that are being tackled but to date have not been resolved. Many promises about bonus schemes and reviews have been made and broken repeatedly. The process of projects being sold to customers requires urgent attention to ensure software engineers are consulted before final agreement is made. In some cases, advice given by software engineers and technical team leads has been completely ignored or augmented by the sales team. Many staff have not had a single performance review since joining the company.

    Advice to Management

    The internal hierarchy within Ibuildings needs to be formalised for projects to continue successfully. Rigid team structures must been created for each project and those teams must remain to execute the project through to completion. The sales team is too big for the number of developers presently working for Ibuildings.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Ibuildings: great engineers, poor management

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

    Pros

    The place has got a great reputation in the area, mainly thanks to the technical team. Most of the software engineers in the team are very talented, passioned, committed and some of them have got unique skills which are not very common to have in the area. Some good conferences we participate as whole, some great contributors to the community. They are probably the main reason to work at Ibuildings.

    Cons

    Management don't really understand the business they are in, have no idea how to make the most of the talents they have got. They claim to be proud to have software engineers rather than just developers, but then they don't care about what actually makes the difference between software engineers and developers. The only thing they can think of is to finish client's project on time, on budget and on scope, without realising that they need to care about defining a formal software engineer procedure within the company in order to try and do that. Also, they consider everything but the clients' projects something that is not part of the job, not realising how important is to participate in innovation, participation to the community, creation of new products, contribution/conception to open source projects. Also they are not keen to reserve time for this kind of things, actually reducing the time that our usual community contributors used to have to contribute. They make several promises, but many they never keep them. The current management is then the real limitation of the company with a very short-sighted vision of the business and of software company organisation. Also, the sales have no idea how to sell projects properly and, together with the management, don't really care about understanding what's wrong with the way they do that. This is because they assume that projects not delivered on time are late because of a technical fault, without realising that they need to change the way they sell, because projects are most of the time never on time and on budget. Other cons: too little time to participate at conferences, too little time to actually prepare talks for conferences, salary should be more, too much travelling even when unnecessary, poor life/work balance and no real effort to make this better, perhaps the contrary. Too few holidays. Clients' projects are most of the times just standard projects, although enterprise, so they are becoming more and more boring, because there is no innovation to bring in, but just implementation to be done. No many chances to increase your technical knowledge, because they tend to exploit your particular skills too much. Finally, they overload people too much and they never kept the promise of the 80% occupation so far. PM is also completely unable to do his job.

    Advice to Management

    Listen more to your technical team, stop thinking just about clients' projects, this way the company will die and almost everyone will get bored and leave. Train yourself about the business you are in and give a better structure to the whole company. Make life/work balance better and in general working conditions better.


  6. Beste plaats om te leren een betere ontwikkelaar te worden. Best place to learn to become a netter developer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Utrecht (Netherlands)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Utrecht (Netherlands)
    Recommends

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Ibuildings is één van die bedrijven die begrijpen dat als je bedrijf gestoeld is op kennis, je daarin moet investeren. Dit betekent constant leren door middel van workshops, uitdagende projecten, mensen naar conferenties sturen (en hun eigen conferenties te organiseren). Zelfs mensen die in een ander bedrijf manager waren en daar niet verder konden leren, kunnen dat hier wel. Ik vond het persoonlijk fijn dat er veel ervaren collega's om me heen waren. We bespraken steeds nieuwe manieren om dingen aan te pakken.

    Ibuildings is one of those companies that understands that if knowledgde is your core business, then that is what needs to be invested in. This means constant learning with workshops, challenging projects, sending people to conferences (and organizing their own). Even people that were senior at other companies and could no longer learn say they were able to learn new skills. I personally liked the fact that there were so many senior people around me. We constantly discussed new ways of doing things.

    Cons

    De druk is hoog; omdat Ibuildings bekend is bij klanten is er weinig ruimte voor fouten. Door dit profiel worden er veel mensen gerecruteerd, wat ook betekend dat je soms collega's kwijt raakt (maar zelfs de gemeenschap van ex-medewerkers blijft in nauw contact met elkaar).

    The pressure is high; because ibuildings is known to clients there is little room for mistakes. Also because of its profile many people are headhunted which sometimes means losing coworkers. (but even the community of ex ibuildings people remains in close contact).

    Advice to Management

    Blijf u richten op kennisontwikkeling. Misschien kan er een formeel trainingsprogramma worden ontwikkeld om ontwikkelaars op mediumniveau aan te trekken.

    Continue to focus on knowledge growth. Perhaps create a more formal training program to attract medium level developers.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Als je een PHP ontwikkelaar bent is Ibuildings de coolste plek om te werken op dit moment. If you're a PHP developer, Ibuildings is the coolest place to work at the moment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Utrecht (Netherlands)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Utrecht (Netherlands)
    Recommends

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Werken met de laatste technologieën, werken aan erg coole grote projecten.

    Working with latest technologies, working on really cool big projects.

    Cons

    Salaris- en bonussysteem zijn onduidelijk.

    Salary and bonus system is unclear

    Advice to Management

    Meer inzicht in bonussysteem.

    More clarity in bonus system



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