OpenBet

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OpenBet Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014

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2.5 43 reviews

38% Approve of the CEO

OpenBet CEO Jeremy Thompson-Hill

Jeremy Thompson-Hill

(16 ratings)

41% of employees recommend this company to a friend
43 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Strong Company with great potential

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsCulture - Relaxed and friendly, strong technical focus
    People - intelligent, supportive and great to work with
    Career opportunities - no barriers to career development, particularly within the technical teams and strong potential for quick advancement
    Benefits package - generous pension scheme and holiday allowance

    Excellent work atmosphere with strong opportunity for growth provided you work for it. The work is challenging and stretching and the company offers great opportunity to move internally to gain new experience in a variety of roles. Some bemoan the technology used and the sometimes frenetic pace of change - but the company is at the forefront of the industry and change is key to continued growth and expansion.

    ConsLack of communication between teams can slow things down
     Management Jargon during presentation (from some)

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep working through the change and OpenBet will continue to go from strength to strength

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Not horrible (at best) for a developer, but still kind of depressing

    Developer (Current Employee)

    ProsRelaxed office environment - can slack off without much consequence
    Some good people to work with and talk to
    Good to pick up some experience on basic things
    Can eventually get a good position if you can take the pain for a few years, because by then pretty much everyone you knew will be gone and you'll be effective the most senior member around

    ConsMost of what you will be doing will not only not be useful to you in the future, but you will be actually eroding your skill set due to doing things in an entirely different way than any other current tech company
    Too much adhering to policies, too little of actually doing things
    Raises are pretty much minimal
    Huge turn-over rate means that there's no real authority on anything, you will be doubting your every decision and every piece of information anyone gives you
    Most people managing you have no idea what you or even themselves are doing

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive incentives for people to stick around
    Keep introducing tools to make people's work easier so they can focus on what matters

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Good place for graduates, not so good for professionals.

    Software Developer (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsThe company does an amazing job 'infatuating' graduates. The office looks really cool and has even got a playroom with consoles and pool table. In fact it is a really good place to start your career. People are nice and helpful. Generous holiday allowance and subsidized gym membership. The location is also great. Chiswick Business Park is among top10 best workplaces in UK.

    ConsForget about the promotion or bonuses. I mean you can get fancy titles and lots of additional duties fairly easily but your salary is a constant and the few extra pence you will get every year will hardy match the inflation rate. Technology and business processes wise the company is stuck in the last millennium. Their idea of Agile or Scrum is limited to morning stand-up. The decision-makers are non-techy people without any level of understanding of agile processes. The whole 'change' that has supposedly been going on for last few years is all smoke and mirrors. The company is losing talent faster that they can recruit fresh blood. Everyone who cares about their career leaves within the first year or two.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLess sweet talk and more action. The main workforce is made of highly intelligent developers who can easily see through all the propaganda and all the management seems to forget about this.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    4 people found this helpful  

    Technically stuck in the 90s creating a career dead end for software developers

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Proseasy to get hired and start

    ConsHaving been away from some time, but also having kept in touch from friends/colleagues, I will discuss only about the aspects of working as a Software developer. First: it is not a software development company, it’s a consultancy. Most of their infrastructure is based on a code base that was written in the 90s in TCL, which was popular then. The company has made the decision not to modernise anything, but to modify the existing code base for the current landscape such having a TCL-based home made web-framework, JSON parser, build tools etc. CVS is mostly used for version control. Consequences (without many details): You have to un-learn anything that has happened in the industry after 2000 and pretend that it’s not there. People will mock and isolate you if you ever dare suggest even minor changes. Other developers either don’t care about their career (you’ll be amazed by the diversity and number of hobbies) or wait for a couple of years to pass and then leave the company, so do not want to stir the waters while there.

    How people end there: HR will advertise a big restructuring effort going to start in a few months, until then “please accept the situation as-is”. The truth is that even if this ever happens - it doesn’t - most of the personnel will be maintaining existing systems, so the odds very few will ever experience it. There are also other tools, such as the three month notice period: generally they lure someone to start there; after some months when that person will see what’s going on he would ideally be too vested in to leave or will have to explain a gap in the CV.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Smart people, misguided goals

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Nice people (most)
    - Relaxed atmosphere

    Cons- Stuck in 90's technologies and no technology direction
    - No long term strategy - do whatever you can now to earn a bit of money attitude
    - Trying to re-invent the wheel (badly). Examples: new web framework based on tcl, attempt to port OO features to tcl with homegrown solutions

    Advice to Senior Management- Invest in new technology
    - Have long term goals
    - Enough buzzwords and BS

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not a place for software developers

    Senior Software Developer (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsMajority of the company based in Chiswick Park, which a really cosy environment, community in the company is great, people are approachable and friendly, pool table & other amusements.

    Pension, extra holiday after 2,5-3 years, gym is close to the office, etc.

    ConsDon't really know where to start, every part of a developers life is very badly affected by the ignorance of the company.
    Everything based on Linux, which is a great environment - if it's properly managed. Not here, IT doesn't really got the idea what developers' need.

    From a developers viewpoint, this company stayed in some weird trap back in the 90s. It means all the applied technologies are based on outdated framework that is pretty much exist in Openbet only. Developers cannot build on the knowledge they gather in Openbet but surely will lose a lot. Majority of the work is CVS, TCL, Informix. No chance to work with proper Java (but you can work which Java that was written by junior TCL programmers), same for PHP. What I didn't really get that even though all new developers know modern languages, they still keep forcing an obsolete language with an approach of useless anti-patterns.

    Environment could be improved a lot, meaning that there's urgent need for Continuous integration + deployment, automation (everything is done by manual at the moment), code coaching, automated tests, code analysis, trainings (most important maybe), proper reviews, peer training, proper developer environment, virtualization just to mention the crucial ones.

    Worth mentioning that the notice period is longer than usual, 12 weeks for everyone.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThat's a lot happened since the '90s. It's not banking where you have to maintain COBOL codebase for an other 50-100 years. TCL won't last that long. I saw so many good programmers leaving the company because of the ignorance in the company, there isn't much good developers left - and they are forced to deliver the some horrible crap every day.

    Do invest in people and in the developers environment.
    Also use modern technologies, won't hurt.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A good place to start

    Senior Developer (Current Employee) Sydney (Australia)

    ProsI joined the company more than 5 years ago and looking back it was a great place to start. Great people, good culture nice benefits and opportunities to work abroad.

    ConsTheir technologies are outdated and won't help you find your next job. The direction the company is moving towards looks pretty grim. Loads of buzzwords coming from new senior hires but all I see is loads of old code with not tests, and the first attempt to modernise the company and bring in "products" failed, mostly due to the lack of tests documenting existing functionality. No new customers for a while now as initial costs are too high for most prospective customers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive better pay rises to keep existing employees. Convince stakeholders that we need to take a hit to get our code base in a better condition. Modernising the code base will be extremely hard because it is a long term investment with no short term returns and now that the company is owned by investors who want immediate results the company is facing a critical moment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be a great tech company

    Technical Lead (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsThe development team and the middle management (Tech Leads) are friendly and passionate.
    office is very nice (if you are in the main Chiswick office)
    Give you the opportunity to work with leading gambling operators
    Not afraid to give lots of responsibilities to junior dev. good experience for out of uni
    Good benefits (30 day holidays when you have been in the company for more than 2 years and good pension scheme)

    ConsNegotiate your salary as high as you can when you join because pay reviews are low (average of 1-2% per year), even when you got a promotion
    Although the company is a tech company, it runs on ancient (tcl) or very obscure (informix) technologies, that wont be marketable for your next job.
    Senior management is completely disconnected to the rest of the company. Senior VP, VP, Chief Product Officer have all joined the company with lots of great ideas but were not able to implement any of them.
    Senior Dev and above will spend most of their time in meeting (internal of external) fighting a fire that was started by the sales team selling a product that does not exist.
    Nowadays, it is more important to be seen talking with the right people and attending pointless review meetings than actually creating new products.
    Tech Leads are also team leads but they do not have the time or the aptitude of managing a team. They do try their best but they are far too stretched. They should get more soft skills training (not just a 30 min video, actual training)
    The development servers, mail servers and development tools never work. You will spend at least 30 min per day waiting for the IT team to fix something.
    Finally, this is the only place I have worked that has a no Mac policy (only the Sales team, Technical Directors and VP are allowed to have one, PMs have Windows). Instead, developers have some low tech lenovo that can barely cope with 2 Chrome windows.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper management needs to understand that Openbet is a tech company and it was successful when the techies drove the company. They are not enough TDMs and Tech Leads and they spend their time in meeting rooms, instead technical decisions are made by Technical Directors, VP of Engineering and Chief Product Officer who are completely disconnected to modern practice.
    The company could do with some Agile coaches as the current PMs (who are trying to act as Scrum Masters) are not very good. SCRUM is more than a daily 15 min stand up meeting.
    Please make sure to allocate enough money for the salary reviews - giving £500 is just a joke - especially when you keep on telling during the company meetings that we are above of target profit.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Welcoming, fun, plenty of opportunities for advancement

    Junior Incident Analyst (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsHalf-price gym membership, great location at Chiswick Park. Lots to do onsite.

    ConsLocation can be difficult to get to when transport links are out (i.e tube strikes). Hours can be long.

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Should be doing better

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- If you work hard and can communicate with people, it's easy to progress here.
    - Nice people, great holiday allowance, discounted gym membership, free sports, good location and offices.

    Cons- Lots of talented people have left the company.
    - The company seems to have suffered from making easy money in the early years which resulted in a lack of consideration for making maintainable software, and a lack of investment in new technology. This is slowly being addressed ... but after being neglected for so long the task is now pretty huge

    Advice to Senior ManagementCompany has changed dramatically over the last 2 years after lots of people left. Need to stabilise and reduce attrition rate otherwise more people will leave.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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