Spotify

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Spotify Reviews in Stockholm, Stockholm

Updated December 3, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014
53 Reviews
3.7
53 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Daniel Ek
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great employees, smart people, and generally a wonderful work environment to be in (in 5 reviews)

  • I consider my coworkers my friends, and there's a great work life balance (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Stock option program benefits only the upper management, with even the oldest employees left with minimal benefits (in 5 reviews)

  • Stock option program is a bit of a joke to be honest (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Fantastic company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    A very nice culture where everyone can fit in. Talented co-workers that are very helpful and never looks down on junior developers. A very Swedish company (even in other offices) in that all information is shared to all employees resulting in a very transparent leadership. All in all the best company I've ever worked for.

    Cons

    Still a bit rough around the edges and startuppy in software solutions. Things often ends up taking a bit more time than expected because of technical debt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure that time is spent revisiting old functionality to make sure quality is on top.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Lots of positives but negatives are growing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

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

    Pros

    - Work-life balance is great. The allow ample time off and benefits if you have kids. Must be the Swedish influence.
    - Amazingly smart people. Very passionate about that they do which makes it exciting to work with them.
    - The work done can be super interesting. Music + tech, who doesn't love that.
    - It's fun to work here. There are never days that you dread coming in.

    Cons

    - Politics. So many people here don't get along. Departments don't talk to one another. A huge us vs. them attitude prevails.
    - Lack of professional development. There's little room to move up here. Employees who have contributed greatly over 3-4 years are passed over and instead new "experienced" managers are often hired from outside.
    - Stock option program. It's bad. For a company that's valued in the billions the amount that is offered to employees is laughable. Re-grants are essentially non-existent for long-term employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Stock option: It's hard for employees to see only top executives get anything meaningful in a multi-billion dollar company. Longer term employees especially will (and are) leave since there's no incentive to stay.
    - Improve top/milddle management to help weed out the politics. It's killing a lot of what is good about this place.
    - Finally, all the issues here are solvable. This can (and was) an amazing place to work. Actually addressing some of the issues, rather then just HR b.s, will really lift this place from just being an "average" place to work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    A crazy journey with a lot of issues to deal with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Marketing in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

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

    Pros

    Lots of passionate and smart people work here, so there's lots to learn. We get to work with music every day, which is pretty awesome in itself. Some cool perks, like artist visits and gaming rooms. Fast growing (also a con, see below) company with a lot of potential.

    Cons

    Some serious growth pains in terms of frustrating politics, inexperienced managers, really poor compensation as well as clashing cultures (and even more politics) between different regions and managers. Stock option program is a bit of a joke to be honest. Management do a lot of talking, saying that they care and want to fairly compensate employees, but don't follow through. Some long-term employees have been treated ridiculously badly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sort out the compensation, because at the moment it's not competitive for the employee calibre the company wants to attain. Sort out the politics BS, both in mid-level management and higher up the ladder. If a manager is not doing his job properly or does not want to be a manager at all, sort it out.

    Management: if you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Some positives, a lot of negatives

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

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

    Pros

    Working at Spotify is good for your CV. You will get to work for a company that has a reputation for attracting high-caliber engineers, which is true. It is a great learning environment: you get to work with very talented people in many interesting and exciting challenges.

    The working environment is great, the office is colourful, and the atmosphere relaxed. Most of the people working at the company are decent and friendly. (There is no 'bro' attitude here!) In most teams, developers are encouraged to not work overtime.

    It goes without saying that if you love music, Spotify is the place to work at. You get to work on projects that have a meaningful positive impact on millions of people worldwide. Your code will run on millions of devices.

    Cons

    Your salary will probably be low compared to the tech market average, and very low for Stockholm. Stockholm is very expensive, especially rent and dinner. If you move to Stockholm for Spotify, be prepared to negotiate (but don't expect too much). If you have the option to work in New York, you should take it, where Spotify pays twice as much (or higher, depending on various factors).

    Spotify does not offer many good additional benefits. The stock options program, for example, is difficult to afford, and there is no granting of options. The pension program is weak, compared to other similar tech firms.

    Spotify does not really have a training scheme for developers. Most developers might go to a conference every year, but not much else, or any other kind of training. If, however, Spotify benefits directly from it, then it is possible to go to more, e.g. if it includes speaking or recruiting.

    Spotify has stopped seeing itself as a tech company; this means that you don't have a lot of options to develop your career as a software engineer. The best strategy is to move to the product side of the company, and you are actively encouraged to do so. Developers are generally not expected to stay at Spotify for more than 2 years. This also means that the tech side is quite young on average; it is very hard for Spotify to attract or keep more experienced engineers, since it is not oriented towards that. (Not surprisingly, most recruitment resources are spent attracting fresh graduates).

    There is a lack of a performance evaluation process in the tech side of the company. This means that higher tech positions are mostly covered by external hires, due to a lack of confidence in existing people. The tech career ladder is fairly limited; it is often easier to get a lead position by applying to another company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My main advice to management would be this:

    - Spotify should start seeing itself again as a tech company; not exclusively, but a tech company still.

    - Make an effort to develop your engineers, and be prepared to pay them more, if you want to keep them and stay competitive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Good colleagues, lousy management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

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

    Pros

    Great colleagues, lots of learning - both in the tech and music industry fields. Young company with a fast moving environment. If you love music it's great to work.

    Cons

    Favoritisms among middle management. No transparency on career development or internal hires. Poorly trained middle managers that were hired only for their CVs, but haven't proved anything. No clarity on salary reviews. A very clear dissonance on priorities between "global" and regional projects ("global" in this case meaning 98% US only). The stock option isn't great in comparison to other tech companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start making 360 reviews again, start listening to feedback and stop letting people play political games with their "friends".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Gliding into a tailspin

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

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

    Pros

    - An international melting pot for some of greatest engineers in Europe.
     - Diverse pool of talents, where everyone is either 10X or T-shaped.
     - Fascinating problems to work on, right on the intersection of Arts and Technology.
     - You get to attend one conference of choice a year, anywhere in the world.
     - Swedish benefits (parental, health, etc) and the work-life balance are really great.

    Cons

    - Completely inadequate compensation, with huge disparity between STO and NYC.
    - Bug-ridden tech stack full of tech debt.
     - Stock option program benefits only the upper management, with even the oldest employees left with minimal benefits.
     - No growth opportunities.
     - Irresponsible HR, mostly interested in scoring another international travel.
     - Cliques rule the company.
     - People are hired based on where they worked before, with existing talent passed over.
     - Hiring from big corporations affects the culture negatively.
     - Management responsible for the largest engineering mishaps of the past year - the Black Redesign and My Music - ends up getting promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With the ongoing pivot, we are gliding into a tailspin. "Directors" on all levels are incredibly political and thwart engineering and product progress. Provide actual growth opportunities, not fake titles. Throw out the corporate newspeak you push so hard on us. We can smell it. Passion does not pay for food and vacation, so start paying adequately to who you hire. Either that, or Apple and Google are going to eat our lunch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Poorly chosen mid-management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

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

    Pros

    Beig surrounded by the most passionate people in the world without doubt helps in performing well. The company attracts top notch talent that is inspiring to work alongside. Great learning opportunities and technical challenges.

    Cons

    Incredible growing pains. Teams with proven track records of failures still being put in charge of mission critical projects. Lots of inexperienced junior managers. Unusual number of games and political plays at middle management level. Salaries not competitive for the employee calibre the company wants to attain. Average perks. Very poor stock option program, with RSUs reserved only for senior management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Inexperienced and political managers are going to drive this company to the ground. Don't let this happen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A great and relaxed place to work at.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Projects that develop you in your profession. You have a great trust from managers. It is easy to combine family and life balance with freedom and trust from management and team. You have great colleagues to learn from in all different areas. Decent possibility for going on conferences and seminars.

    Cons

    Often very new managers with not to must experience. High pace that gives little time to reflection. Fast growing organization that gives some bios. Sometimes unclear directives from management, hard to prioritize.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better offices, ventilation, and bigger desks or better storage for your stuff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging, frustrating and a lot of fun.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

    I have been working at Spotify full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of smart people to learn from and force yourself to become better, tons of responsibility and freedom in the projects you work on. Very flat organization and decentralized decision making. Very challenging scalability problems. If you love music it's great to work on improving and scaling a product that you use yourself every day.

    Cons

    Sometimes chaotic due to lack of central coordination and very fast growth, struggling with figuring out how to grow and scale the organization and experiencing a lot of growing pains. Employee benefits could be better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move aggressively to remove remaining centralized bottlenecks so that the decentralized organization can be more productive. Work harder to make Spotify an attractive workplace for engineers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

    I have been working at Spotify full-time

    Pros

    I enjoy working here. The tech is interesting, and the growth (users, systems, colleagues, etc) is really a great challenge. If you like fast, technology-driven companies, Spotify is for you.

    Cons

    The upper management is, I think, truly trying to reach out and understand what's happening behind the powerpoint slides. But I think they're too busy to realize that they just need to mix more with the rest of us to get a better feel of what is happening.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move out of your meetings, sit with your teams more often, in the background. It's hard to hear the heartbeat of a company via slides and meetings. Better to sit among normal folk and... listen.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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