Symbian

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Symbian Reviews in London, UK

20 Reviews

3.9
20 Reviews
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Symbian Executive Director Tim Holbrow
Tim Holbrow
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14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    A great place to work (Symbian Ltd.)

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

    Pros

    Symbian was a great place to work, it had some of the smartest people I have ever met working there, and (before the takeover) the facilities and culture were excellent. We had tech talks once a month and great parties.

    Cons

    The companies structure (owned solely by manufacturers) meant it was always too beholden to a few big device makers, this had a massive impact on what we could create and how we created it, we had to do what was best for other companies, not ourselves and the product we were creating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too late now, but we should have pushed the product in the direction that was best for consumers and the market rather than our shareholder companies. Symbian had touchscreen before anyone else, Symbian had a promising UI that we were forced to sell.
    Also, we should have paid MUCH MUCH more attention to the negative feedback we were getting from third party developers, devices (computers included) have always been about the Apps, if its too hard to create Apps, your not going to capture developer mind share, which in turn means you are not going to capture as much market share. The fact we were on 90% of smartphones and no-one else was even close, turned out to be a bad thing. We had no competition to mark ourselves against, and when iOS came out and was so far ahead in some ways (the ways that mattered), but so far behind in other ways (the ways that didn't), the threat it posed wasn't fully appreciated until it was too late.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Great people, great ideas, good energy.

    Cons

    Poor people, clueless managers, lack of planning

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave..

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Once in a lifetime opportunity

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

    Pros

    Symbian was one of these rare situations where a team of brilliant people come together and make the most of a tremendous market opportunity. It was an incredibly well-led company that ran like a machine and produced some of the wides ever used software on the planet.

    Cons

    Tragically, Symbian's phone vendor shareholders did not realise the potential of the people in Symbian. While the software was getting outdated and contained a lot of legacy that could not be removed, they should have used the technical talent, management capability and development process experience available in Symbian to develop a new phone OS platform that could compete on a level playing field with Google Android.

    Recommends
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  5.  

    coolest ever on the planet earth

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

    Pros

    good thing that matters most

    Cons

    real good in benefits and bonus annually

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    very well

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Being sacked 2 days after my Mother dropped dead.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    There were some decent people working there.

    Cons

    John Schroder, the project office manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not be sexist or racist.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great Software Company

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

    Pros

    There was a real focus on the software, and keeping the engineers happy. More so than I have ever seen at any other company.

    Cons

    Under resourced. Our internal and external customers asked for a lot - there was always too much to do, and not enough time to do it in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall a fine job. We had a vision of the way forward, and apart from minor issues along the way, we tended to execute that vision.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good lifestyle, poor pay

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

    Pros

    Work life balance is very good
    Management are sensible w.r.t work practices..felxitime, no suits etc etc

    Cons

    pay/compensation is below average
    middle management are often flaky
    attitude towards promotion/work reviews isn't great

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reward the efforts of workers in line with other companies. continue to respect the style in which employees may choose to work

    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Compensation and benefits good, managers need improvement.

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

    Pros

    The compensation is at least comparable with similar London-based companies, at least in Information Systems. ~This may be due to the presence of city-based companies (i.e. financial institutions) in the vicinity - although it will be interesting to see how their difficulties at present influence Symbian's compensation packages.

    The benefits are good, especially medical insurance, which a number of people I know have made use of.

    Management attitude to work/life balance is favourable, and it is always possible to take time off for necessities & emergencies.

    The work is often interesting and challenging - although not always so!

    Cons

    IS management are definitely not people-oriented, and seem to make a habit of putting their foot in their mouth every time they try to make an announcement. Furthermore, one or two in particular seem to go out of their way to avoid exchanging even a single word with some of their staff. I'm sure that some middle managers don't even know who some of their staff are, despite working yards away from them!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please try to get managers with properly developed people skills. And please stop avoiding peoples' difficult questions about the future.

    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great people, nice place for techies, salary could be better.

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

    Pros

    Working atmosphere:
    Friendly atmosphere. Graduates are treated great and get to form great relationships.

    Work/life balance:
    Flexible working hours and management is supportive when you need to be absent for medical/personal reasons.

    People/fun:
    Great people. Lots of drinks, social events. Chance to propose your own social events/sports.

    Office environment:
    The office environment depends on the floor you work at. The "worst" floors are going through major refurbishment though.

    Opportunities:
    There are hopefully going to be loads of opportunities now that we are becoming part of Nokia.

    Cons

    Graduates seem to be stack with the graduate group that they joined. There are a lot of people that joined 5-10 years ago and form the core of the company. There is a great gap between them and the new joiners.

    Compensation!

    Not enough information about different opportunities and career paths within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -

    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Enjoyable place to work, but management competency varies between teams, and not best for graduate salary.

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

    Pros

    Working atmosphere:
    Friendly and relaxed atmosphere (no dress code) where people are hired for their talent and then trusted to do a good job.

    Work/life balance:
    Flexible working hours and 5 weeks' holiday plus opportunity to buy/sell 5 days' holiday make for a good work-life balance.

    Senior management:
    Senior management bring a clear direction and positive vision to the company and the company's success is well communicated to employees leading to us feeling proud of what we achieve.

    People/fun:
    The people are great and we regularly head down the pub for drinks after work because we all enjoy each other's company. There are also team days out and a sports and social club which organises company events.

    Office environment:
    There is an office redecoration program in place and Symbian doesn't underestimate the importance of a good working enviroment. Free tea, coffee and fruit!

    Overall benefits:
    Good stakeholder pension with company contribution, healthcare plan, free phone, season ticket loan, childcare vouchers, amongst others.

    Cons

    Job security:
    The main downside at the moment for employees is that we are about to be taken over by Nokia which naturally leads to fears about job security and uncertainty about what sort of work we will be doing in the future. Additionally, Motorola have just pulled out of making Symbian phones so we have recently lost a major client.

    Compensation:
    The pay for graduates is comparable to that on grad schemes in other industries but within the software industry it is lower than many. I am not confident that the compensation situation is likely to improve in the near future, unless I leave and rejoin which is supposed to be the best way of obtaining a pay rise at Symbian.

    Feedback/career development:
    I don't believe it is that easy for graduates to progress in their career at Symbian, other than developing a technical specialisation. A few will make it to e.g. tech lead, technical architect or project manager but I believe managers generally have a preconceived idea of who is naturally "the best fit" for such a job, rather than encouraging everyone with some relevant strengths and some weaknesses to develop to the level where they would be able to apply.

    Few line managers I have come across have been very interested in providing career development advice or opportunities for their reports to develop the skills they need to progress (or even giving feedback on what they believe those skills are) - for instance, in my department, appraisals are frequently conducted late, or even not at all. Having spoken to people who used to work in my department but left, I know it's not just me who thinks this.

    However, having said all that, I'd say my department is worse than most at taking career development seriously, and there are a mentoring scheme and plenty of formal training courses available, an internal job board to see what else is available, and the opportunity to do secondments (though those have dried up a bit at the moment what with the Nokia acquisition), so it's not all bad, but you need to be prepared to take responsibility for your own development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consistency between teams (singing from the same hymn sheet):
    I think that there are plenty of good improvement schemes happening within Symbian, but with the company growing at the rate it is, more needs to be done to ensure change initiatives are taken seriously across the whole company and rolled out in a consistent way - at the moment it seems to me there is plenty of variation between departments and line managers.

    Communication/feedback:
    While there are good channels for feedback from employees to senior management (employee satisfaction survey, sounding board) which is acted upon in a top-down way, I would also like to see more of a bottom-up feedback culture where employees can give feedback to and via managers.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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