Square

  www.squareup.com
  www.squareup.com

Square Reviews

Updated December 22, 2014
Updated December 22, 2014
105 Reviews
4.7
105 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Square Founder & CEO Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey
96 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-Life balance is perfect, mainly because I don't dread coming to work (in 8 reviews)

  • Square's a great place to get your career started as a software engineer (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • The company is growing very quickly, so it's becoming more challenging to maintain complete transparency (in 8 reviews)

  • There are some growing pains with a company growing so big so fast (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Challenging Job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Square full-time

    Pros

    -Smart & interesting people, exciting company & space
    -Focus on innovation, incredibly mission-driven
    -Fantastic brand for your resume/career
    -Opportunity to challenge yourself by taking on new projects, exploring new things within your role
    -Fun culture and tech environment
    -Jack's passion for helping businesses and changing commerce. It can be very inspiring.

    Cons

    -I've worked harder at Square than any other job I've held. (On the "Pro" side, it's also because I'm around people that push me to be better. There's a high bar of talent here.)
    -Dealing with change & ambiguity can be tough (But it's also why the ride can be great. You have to embrace it.)
    -Public perception can be interesting - a lot of recent press is negative and doesn't capture the real work at Square and the potential of this company.
    -How we build products/features, evolve the company - growing pains with past products that were less successful and some employee burnout. I hope we are moving in a better direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Encourage career growth and promotions. Specifically managers need to have *some* accountability for their team's growth - not everyone believes it's their responsibility which is unfortunate
    -Training around communication, diversity, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Company, Great Culture.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager

    I have been working at Square

    Pros

    Very open office environment. Everyone is friendly, the food is amazing. And the Coffee, oh the coffee.

    Cons

    None that I have seen yet!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Growing pain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Technical Support in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Customer Technical Support in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Square full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Unlimited time off, great perks and benefits, amazing people, and fun quirky culture

    Cons

    Things can be very chaotic, the leadership isn't too mature, people seem to not like their work, not very many options for promotion

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more qualified middle managers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Exciting Challenges

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

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

    Pros

    Great people, culture and interesting challenges.

    Cons

    None I can think of that don'e exist in other companies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Campus Representative

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campus Representative - Student
    Former Employee - Campus Representative - Student

    I worked at Square part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Awesome company, exciting and innovative product that users love

    Cons

    Lack of leadership at the time, limited direction from supervisors

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Fired For Health Issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Square

    Pros

    -Free food
    -Healthy options
    -Close to BART

    Overall the perks were the only thing I enjoyed. The culture and atmosphere was very unfriendly and my manager was terrible. He wanted me to stay in the same place and there was basically no chance of moving up unless I put in several years.

    Cons

    -Limited upward mobility
    -Unfriendly workplace
    -Low compensation
    -Long hours
    -Fired when I became sick and could not make hours

    After I found out I have a severe health issue and spoke one on one with my manager that I would be missing time at work to get treatment, he in this same conversation decided to tell me that I was being let go. It was pretty horrible to be out of a job because I became sick while my performance was always above and beyond expectations. I put in a lot of time into this company thinking Square would be there for me and instead got kicked out when my health became a problem. This also was an illegal firing and I could have filed suit but did not want to deal with the stress of a legal suit as I was fighting an illness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix HR issues within. Create a positive community that wants to help each other instead of cold competition. Maintain long term goals and procedures, changing how you do things every quarter leads to many problems.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Misdirected Talent

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

    I worked at Square full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you're someone who likes to read management or business case studies, Square serves as a terrific example of how not to operate in several key areas: how not to manage projects, how not to manage people and retain great employees, and how not to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive payments landscape.

    The sole area of excellence is the San Francisco office's cafeteria, which is on par with a fine restaurant.

    Cons

    Introduction

    Square started with a fantastic product: the iconic Square Reader, which may still be the best designed, most reliable credit card reader device for mobile devices. Unfortunately, like many companies that start small and focused, they lack the managerial focus to become a standout performer.

    As my title suggests, the story of Square boils down to this: it's a case study in misdirected talent.

    And talent there is: Square boasts some great industry minds (as some of the more benevolent reviews suggest.) However, it is my view and my personal experience that winning product strategies, focused execution, and experienced management can succeed with merely "good" talent, while no amount of talent can rescue a company devoid of the other elements. Do they really fall down in those areas? Let's examine each notion in turn:

    * Product Strategies: an Uphill Battle *

    Virtually all of Square's low-or-no-margin payment businesses (mobile Reader,Square Register, Cash, etc.) face enormous competition from both entrenched competitors and more focused upstarts. Although it is the opinion of the author that the Reader product is the best in the business, the ugly truth may be (much to the dismay of their meticulous designers) that margins matter more to customers than design, and in this area, they will be driven to the dirt by Amazon and others.

    * Inefficient Execution *

    It's hard to quantify execution capability. From the perspective of the author, however, I would say that I have seen much more accomplished, by fewer (less talented) people, in less time. The reason this is true is that the rank-and-file engineer at Square has little industry experience, and many managers have no prior experience managing people. (This is discussed below.)

    * Poor Management *

    Past Glassdoor reviews (some of which seem to have disappeared) mentioned chaotic, Twitter-like management, replete with disorienting reorganizations. This is still the case. While there is significant talent at the senior level, the middle management is rife with inexperienced young people who have never managed others at all, many of whom were promoted due to their perceived engineering ability.

    This has led to several situations that would be hilarious if they weren't so sad: Lack of clear ownership of major functionality, huge variability of code quality across teams, borderline-hostile code reviews, poor training, humiliating and unprofessional behavior in meetings, bad technology choices, and so on.

    Conclusion

    Despite the hype, talent, and early success of the Reader product, and despite the purported sky-high valuation (which makes no sense when compared to industry comps), Square is no longer a horse worth betting on. With a product portfolio consisting of low or no margin businesses, its apparent lack of focus and efficiency, and terrible management all add up to a company whose drawbacks far exceed potential benefits.

    Recent college graduates should realize that the company is no longer a start-up; you're joining a medium sized firm that's still struggling to find its way in a sea of competitors. If you're talented enough, you'd be better off trying for Google or another quality big firm to shore up your skills, and THEN move to a start-up.

    The situation is even worse for experienced hires: compensation won't match what a skilled engineer can earn elsewhere, with far less hassle, and more prospects for growth. You're also likely to face a bait-and-switch when it comes to your position and duties, as well as the aforementioned issues with bad management.

    At the end of the day, while probably not a sinking ship, Square is idling at port, bobbling listlessly while the smartest rats scurry down the mooring lines for the relative safety of the rotting boards of the dock.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a high margin strategy that offers true product differentiation, and stick to it. Look hard at middle managers: they are your weakness.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Challenging, exciting and rewarding

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

    I have been working at Square full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Sales at Square is an extremely unique environment; we're essentially a startup within a larger, more established company. We've grown tremendously since our inception 11 months ago not only in size, but process, strategy and performance. The leadership team is collaborative, supportive and extremely sharp and you have the opportunity to be involved in high level decisions that have a huge impact on the sales org.

    Cons

    Given how quickly Square is growing and iterating on product offerings it becomes more and more challenging to stay on top of an ever changing roadmap. Transparency and communication is a good thing, but too much of it has a tendency to dilute critical messages.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Couldn't be more proud to be a Square - keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great place for software engineering

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

    I have been working at Square part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - The engineers here tend to be really good. The senior engineers are the best and brightest I've worked with. The junior ones are also very sharp and have lots of potential.
    - Some really interesting technical problems to work on -- lots of fun, challenging, and interesting work.
    - In addition to being smart, the people are generally great to get along with.
    - Cash compensation is good for this market. Benefits are decent. And equity has a chance to be worth a lot.
    - Transparency and meritocracy are strong values (much better than typical corporate culture).
    - Great mission, lots of passion for helping small businesses and generally improving commerce.
    - Cool office space (SF has amazing space, a shuffleboard table, and a pool table. ATL has a cool space, nice bar, and a ping-pong table.)

    Cons

    - We're not yet great at remote collaboration (video conferencing, etc). This can make it hard, being outside of SF (though things have been constantly improving since I've been here -- it was really bad when I first started).
    - Sometimes there are techno-politics to deal with. Engineers are diverse in opinions (which is great!). But there seem to be a lot of ideologists and fewer pragmatists (not great!)
    - Roller coaster ride based on press coverage. (It's been more negative press recently I think, which is saddening, especially since so much of it is inaccurate.)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Couldn't be much better.

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

    I have been working at Square part-time

    Pros

    I feel so lucky to work here. My team is full of incredibly smart, friendly, funny people - all people I'd want to be friends with outside of work. I feel both challenged and supported in my work. I genuinely trust Jack as a leader as well as the rest of our execs. And of course the perks and office space are wonderful too. Pay feels really fair, even generous (except for holiday time: see below.)

    Cons

    It has been very, very difficult to get time off. Part of this is a function of my team, and I get that someone needs to be around to do the work. However, I think that if you're going to require people to stay and work over holidays, you should be paying them enough them enough to really make it worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Incentivize holiday time off such that, instead of forcing people to stay, they actually WANT to. This is better for everyone in the long run.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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