Udacity Reviews

Updated July 17, 2015
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3.9
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Sebastian Thrun
8 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    A Gem of a Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Course Developer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Course Developer in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Udacity

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Talented and engaging people trying to provide free pathways and more affordable paths to promising careers. Leadership team is open, transparent, and ambitious. Success is celebrated on teams and across the company. Everyone is motivated by the success of students, and we continually improve courses, career resources, and the learning experience overall.

    Cons

    Curriculum design is tough, and it can be hard to design for students at scale. I enjoyed that challenge. Sometimes I didn't have enough resources, such as other subject matter experts, content knowledge, or agreed upon vision for a course, to be as effective as I'd like to be. If you live in the San Francisco, the commute wears you down.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to develop opportunities for people to grow and take on more roles or responsibilities at the company. Carve out learning time for professional growth aligned to employee goals and company goals. Develop more strategies to keep course development on track. More transparency in course development for all parties is better. Stay Udacious.


  2. Who's in charge?

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

    I have been working at Udacity full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Awesome vacation policy, nice people, tons of perks (lunch, dinner, snacks, booze). Exciting place to work.

    Cons

    No management and what little structure is there is poor. More interested in promoting internally then finding someone with experience to lead. No clear job growth which can be good or bad.

    Advice to Management

    Hire project mangers so that new features can be executed well. Value actual student feedback instead of going on a whim. And don't just name thing a student first because you like the idea.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Stay away - toxic environment

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

    I worked at Udacity full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Udacity's mission (to make tech education for accessible) is really exciting and there's a huge market for the type of offering Udacity hopes to provide.

    Cons

    I've worked for several tech companies at this point, and Udacity is the worst environment I've encountered. Unfortunately Udacity is a horribly toxic environment to work in. Many leaders at the company are young and not qualified for their roles, and are focused on defending their status as opposed to doing what's right for the company and their teams. This ultimately leads to a shockingly political and negative environment.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on hiring a leadership team that's more qualified to lead Udacity's mission. Stop making drastic changes based on gut feelings and start paying more attention to target user feedback and needs.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Udacity is fast-moving and really cares about students' success

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

    I have been working at Udacity full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    People come to work at Udacity because we really care about students' success in a new model of education. We're learning about learning by doing. As the graduates of our Nanodegrees are starting to get jobs, the payoff is already happening. What could be more awesome!

    Cons

    This is a startup. We work overtime (but on cool projects and are well fed). Sometimes we are stressed to our limits, but we don't break, we reflect and come up with a better plan, again and again.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it going!


  6. Helpful (1)

    CEO

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Udacity full-time

    Pros

    Flat Management Structure, room to grow, intelligent workers who engage with their product

    Cons

    product is older and not up to date, lacks relevant certification

    Advice to Management

    Engage more with the outside world, and focus on the customer when creating the product


  7. Helpful (4)

    Company cares about empowering students

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The mission focus is excellent - the company really cares about providing the best education and experience for students. Office camaraderie is great, and provided meals mean everyone's hanging out together even when not working. Benefits/perks are generally very good.

    Cons

    The open floor plan and office fluorescent lighting makes for a somewhat subpar working environment. A culture of working anywhere with laptops mitigates this somewhat (couches, outside, from home, etc.)

    Advice to Management

    While empowering individual contributors is a worthy goal, it needs to go hand-in-hand with a strong, well-communicated vision from leadership. The first part is there in spades, but sometimes that second part can feel like it's missing!


  8. Helpful (1)

    Amazing company with a mission to give people a chance to live a better life through education

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

    I have been working at Udacity

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great coworkers Amazing benefits (100% covered insurance) Transparency - We always know what the leadership team is doing & thinking. All Hands Meetings once a week - great communication across teams Super Flexible schedule - as long as you get your work done, no one cares what time you get there The President is here every day and is very involved, he's always talking to various employees and getting feedback and ideas.

    Cons

    too many meetings (please reinforce no meeting thursdays)

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing! Promote internal mobility more


  9. Helpful (2)

    The most fulfilling educational environment I've ever worked in.

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

    I have been working at Udacity full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I've worked in education my entire adult life, but I've never found a place so adamantly and truly student-oriented as Udacity. Every single element of the company is structured toward improving the students' learning and experience. Udacity loves its students, and I don't mean just that they appreciate their students: they LOVE their students. They want the best for their students, they want to improve their students lives, they want to help their students reach their goals. There is a pervasive belief that if they create value for the student, profitability and other business concerns will follow. It's truly inspiring and fulfilling to be part of an organization that is so passionately and completely devoted to its students. Aside from loving its students, Udacity loves its employees. We're encouraged to try new things, branch out, work together. The benefits and salary packages are incredible. There's ample reward and recognition for jobs well done. The office is a blast to be in. It's just a fantastic, fantastic place.

    Cons

    The only "problem" with working at Udacity is that things can move so far that it becomes easy to get lost. Of course, that's part of what makes the company enjoyable to work for: there's always something going on. It can certainly be overwhelming at times, though!

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing exactly what you're doing.


  10. Helpful (2)

    inspired, Supported and Challenged

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Udacity (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    We are encouraged to act quickly when we see areas where we can contribute. If you fail, you communicate how it happened, what you learned, then move on and no one spends time making you feel guilty about it- failure is touted as crucial to innovation! Lunch is delivered at the same time each day, which contrasts in my experience to other companies, where you may or may not be eating at the same time as others. This means I get to talk to my coworkers, often times those who I don't work directly with on a day to day basis, and this has made me feel connected AND resulted in cross-team communication. Wellness is valued and you can use a stipend to pay for gym membership, a new bike, out of pocket medical expenses, etc.. This is by far the best place I have ever worked!

    Cons

    As in all startups, it's a fast-paced and quickly-changing company. It can be easy to get caught up in this and feel overwhelmed.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Stressful, but that's the price of changing the world

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Course Developer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Course Developer in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Udacity full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It's awesome to be touching so many lives in a positive way. It's great to get to be continuously learning. The people are the smartest and hardest working I've ever met. The office culture is fantastic. Catered lunch and snacks are epic.

    Cons

    Very tight release schedule. Often working on classes outside of expertise, which is a great opportunity to learn new stuff, but can also be overwhelming. The product suffers from feature creep coming from management. No more dogs in the office.

    Advice to Management

    So many pivots my head is spinning. I have so many questions that I feel like I can't get a straight answer to. What are we making, is it working, what's the future of the company look like, are the things we're promising to students legit?



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