OpenBet Reviews

Updated September 1, 2015
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3.1
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
OpenBet CEO Jeremy Thompson-Hill
Jeremy Thompson-Hill
28 Ratings

Pros
  • This is a very relaxing working environment (in 10 reviews)

  • Nice office: pool table, games room, table tennis etc (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Negotiate a high salary from the beginning as pay rises are rare and usually very very low (in 5 reviews)

  • I'm sorry to say it but the senior management in this company don't have a clue (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

64 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    Stepping up a gear

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chiswick, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chiswick, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at OpenBet full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues are passionate, friendly and at all levels of the business open to helping you. The opportunities for gaining more responsibility are great. Its up to you how your career develops, you can progress without moving away from being technical as I have seen in some other companies. You will get to work on / design very high transaction, low latency systems that cover all aspects of software engineering. In the last few years there has been increased adoption of industry standard frameworks and tools. Openbet for a long time had a write it yourself approach to software development. This is changing and will benefit the company from a technology perspective and for attracting potential employees. Openbet is open to change, if you have a good idea or have picked up best practice from another company you will most likely get to influence and shape the technical direction of the company. Similarly the ability to progress in the company is only limited by your own desire to do so. I think its an exciting time to work at Openbet and i'm looking forward to see the increased efforts of the last few years bear fruit.

    Cons

    Having many fast moving customers means that its hard to build consistent products and avoid duplication and technical debt. Teams need to collaborate more. It was good to see this for ICE but needs to happen all year round. Its a shame to see good work developed by the customers teams not being better publicised. It could benefit the company and other teams. We don't open source enough of the code. We need to give back to the community more. There is the desire in the teams, but it is hard to action.

    Advice to Management

    The new senior hirings look very promising and it feels like the company has stepped up a gear. The last couple of years have been a bit unsettled but the introduction of a more lean approach to software delivery coupled with improved engagement models seem to be working. The company feels like it has some solid goals and there is renewed energy in the development teams. The relationship with the customers seems stronger and more collaborative than ever, which is very positive.


  2. Challenging fast pace environment

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    fast pace, New directions and challenges each year or project.

    Cons

    needs more diversity. super tight schedules with no time to slip.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Mehhhh

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing office and facilities, free fruit!, benefits are good!

    Cons

    Make sure you get a good salary upfront, dont expect a sensible payrise at all.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management need to be more transparent, dont let rumours spread, tackle it head on.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Just for short term experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere and approachable management

    Cons

    low salaries and poor reviews unless you are mangement


  6. Helpful (3)

    The valuable employees have left, or are leaving.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Chiswick, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Chiswick, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at OpenBet full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Location is pleasant to the eyes, even though it has almost become a circus - many activities suited for teenagers, which makes the park full with screaming children, and people just sightseeing and being loud. Some time ago, it was relaxing to just come out of the office and chill near the lake. Now, it's not relaxing at all - just another source of stress. 30 days holiday after 2 years is nice - if you can endure 2 years of amateurism.

    Cons

    It is a known fact that OB underpays engineering staff. Which immediately makes more experienced professionals avoid OB. As they should - OB recruits "as young and cheap" as possible. HR implemented draconian changes who are only bearable by the young first-job starters, as they don't know better. To anyone with a decade or two of work on their CV, it's borderline insulting. Senior Management is drifting away from the people who actually work and create products that can be (and are) sold and represent the foundation of OB's income. When a meeting to discuss the Business Continuity plan (that OB does NOT have) takes 3 months to be scheduled, then the CTO decides he has something more important to do like going to Gibraltar to sugarcoat a customer... his priorities are wrong. Speaking of priorities, most of Senior Management has, of course, agendas that cover all day. Sometimes, even 2 or 3 events at once. Impressive! But the truth is, that timeboxing failure is mostly spent with meetings.. between themselves. Because, yeah, it's "fashionable" for all the important people to talk a lot. Just don't expect them to have time to talk to lowly humans. Anyone below level 5 is not worth their time. Internal HR should cease to exist - there have been many "recruitment drives" who are rushed and only bring more "cannon fodder developers" to the office, because so many people leave, and then they have to recruit in a rush. Although, lately, not so much "to the UK office", but more to the Romania and Greece offices. Not that it's needed. Not that it helps the business model - not at all, communication is severely impeded. But the workforce in those 2 places is so cheaper than in the UK, that there's enough budget to make some people go back and forth, catch a flight - because, let's face it - whoever just came out of uni and has 3 or 4 reasons per year to fly a plane.. feels important. Every week, one can read emails about leaving drinks of multiple persons - it is clear there is no global team being solidified, just many people in and out. However.. if someone just doesn't add much value to a team, then one can just shift to another team - the amount of people just going round and round is staggering. Obviously, when they get tired of the "pretend to be working" game, they just leave. There is absolutely no Information Security mindset - both internal and external. Just recently, everyone had to change their password, because one of the few people who actually care about security discovered that the passwords were being transmitted across the internal network in unencrypted clear text! This vulnerability was important, and yet the CTO decided to stay clear. He has so many meetings, that security becomes secondary. He is more of a salesperson than a techie. That's the kind of Senior Management Openbet has - the CTO is immune to the security of the internal network. And the Disaster Recovery Plan. And the Business Continuity plan.. etc, etc. Several customers are gradually becoming more concerned about the lack of security mindset in OB - and the fact there is no CISO to whom they can talk to. So, the internal network can be really bad, as long as OB shows the "Gambling Commission Compliant" face to 3rd parties, partners and customers - some people at OB really love an external crowd, so Products and Marketing are taking care of Compliance (external only) - which is just SO wrong. Internally, any kind and/or type of compliance is non-existent, but if the image is passed to the outside.. all is good! No wonder the CISO that was recruited left after a couple of weeks - he just saw the state of things, and ran away. Trying to get a new one is still ongoing, after more than 8 months - HR is not capable of recruiting a position like this, and considering external recruiters is a valid option that was still not considered. So much for the "internal progression" promises. Career paths are completely broken. You can either have someone who, after working for X years at OB, now has another "probation" before taking a new role, or someone who just promoted because a new office across the world is being opened, and a promotion can convince the insecure workers to just go wherever. The technology is outdated, and some components are pretty much .. laughable. However, the generation who thinks that Facebook/Twitter is how the Internet was made always try to generate momentum to implement everything that shows up on more than 1 tweet or RSS feed. "ohhh, Python! I read it's good! Let's do something in Python right now!". Note: these are the same individuals who think that the only Linux editor that exists is VI, because it's the only thing they use in their 2-5 professional career. I'd wager a bet (pun intended) that only 1 out of every 5 developers at OB knows joe, nano, pico, etc... But, more than harsh measures, what OB needs is a global maturity stance that sometimes (most of the times) can not be seen. Free fruit? Cool. Why is that guy carrying 6 pieces of fruit for himself? Free sodas? Fantastic. Then there's a global email mentioning someone was caught stealing, to take home. Free pool table? Awesome. Why is the room not soundproof, and who works nearby has to listen to constant noise of balls dropping on the floor? Take off your shoes at work? Nice. Buy hey, why do some people take off their socks, too? Disgusting. Going back to the Dilbert age of cubicles would put perspective into many people's minds. Also, one wouldn't have to hear that guy, who simply can't talk, and starts screaming as soon as he sits down. No, it's not a vocal chords damage, it's just a "hey! I'm here! Listen to me!" impulse control disorder. And this doesn't happen in the office only - it also happens in the aptly named "Trash" mailing list, where after a couple of months (actually, days!), you clearly see some people who just like to "add one more sent mail to the history" to try and compensate for their (justified) introversion.

    Advice to Management

    Respect the people who create OpenBet's profit with their sweat. Take a day off to ascertain what's really going on. As soon as any other organised company can deliver the same product as Openbet does, everything will crumble. No awards will save you, while using a programming language that is 27 years old, and the version used is not even the latest one. (as in: prune to exploits, bugs and vulnerabilities)


  7. Great Company, old tools

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at OpenBet (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, great culture, helpful to a fault, modest perks, stable environment , on time payments

    Cons

    outdated tools, very averse to innovation, a big amount of digital bureaucracy in the development phase , low career advancement

    Advice to Management

    embrace change


  8. Helpful (2)

    Supportive and exiting company to work for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at OpenBet full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great support structure for new starters Opportunities for travel and progression within the company Chiswick Park is a really nice place to work The company seems to be moving forward and growing I personally have had really positive interaction with senior management

    Cons

    Parts of the office are beginning to look a little old fashioned The laptops we get to use are not fantastic A greater variety of free food would be appreciated!


  9. Great work location

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at OpenBet full-time

    Pros

    Stunning located on Chiswick Park, OpenBet is a great place to work. People are friendly, the benefits are good and the work life balance is the best I have had in a long time.

    Cons

    There are members of the management team that are challenging but things are changing.


  10. Helpful (6)

    One of the many to jump ship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Architect in Chiswick, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Architect in Chiswick, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at OpenBet full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people I have been working with have been, for most part very good. One week additional holidays after two year joining The location is attractive, Chiswick-Park make their best to make people forger they're running the rat race by offering a wealth of activities. It used to be the case that if you were obviously smart and playing your cards right, you would get, if not a formal promotion, the respect of your peers, and be able to slowly influence technological change.

    Cons

    Openbet has been consistently underpaying their engineering staff. There's been a progressive renewal in upper management, ending up in an HR department who doesn't seem to be able to relate to the technical staff. Whether this was deliberate or not, this HR change has create a toxic atmosphere to work in. This in turn led to attrition in the Chiswick office, which was not replaced - basically talent was left to leak, if not pushed away. This loss of talent was compensated by a spurt of hiring in the Athens dev studio. It's likely the code quality coming out of this is inferior.

    Advice to Management

    Ultimately you're still the puppets of the private equity firm that bought OpenBet, and will want an exit strategy. There certainly will be one, but don't expect it to be smooth given the past couple of years. The business model of the company makes it difficult to float, and as far as finding a buyer.... would you have spent all this effort to be bought by Playtech?


  11. Solid place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at OpenBet full-time

    Pros

    Established company with a good reputation and well known clients. Nice working environment with friendly people.

    Cons

    No clarity on company direction.



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