Vokal Reviews

Updated January 25, 2015
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  1. Helpful (2)

    building the plane as we took off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director of IOS Engineering in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Director of IOS Engineering in Chicago, IL

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Vokal doesn't make the same mistakes over and over. Everyone is empowered and encouraged to do their best and question everything.
    As an engineer I think leadership's done a great job setting targets and then stepping back to let Engineering engineer. This includes projects, internal initiatives, tools, and processes.
    On my team we're always re-evaluating, iterating, and improving everything we can.
    Leadership really does care about individuals. Many times I've seen Vokal favor health and happiness over money. I'm not sure how many small companies are like that. I've certainly never seen it before.
    There is tremendous room for growth in responsibilities and compensation.
    Almost all of my colleagues are incredibly talented. The ratio of talent is better than I've ever seen anywhere.

    Cons

    We've struggled to nail down our processes and execute on our full potential.
    Leadership has a lot on their plate. Communication and follow through could be better.
    Communication between everyone could be improved.

    Advice to Management

    Point the direction and get out of the way.

  2. Helpful (3)

    Plenty of room to grow, great non-traditional benefits.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Web Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Vokal full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    They offer benefits around technological growth and capacity, some reimbursement for equipment and peripheral purchases, flexibility to work from home here and there, and plenty of PTO if it's not abused.

    Also, there was a recent office change and there's plenty of space to stretch out and empty desks that'll soon be filled. There's a ping pong table, two cafe/kitchens, and typically a dog moseying around. Outside of work, there's also a kickball league, yoga classes, sponsored happy hours, and other group events. The work-life balance is phenomenal.

    Management is mostly transparent and there are staff meetings to relay relevant business information down to everyone. There's a friendly camaraderie within the teams and constantly updated on-boarding process for new hires.

    Cons

    Traditional benefits like health insurance and 401K match are decidedly lacking. Not a fan of Aetna for health insurance and costs/options were better at previous employers. 401K matching is non-existent but not a surprise for a smaller company. Growth of the company over the last few years should warrant it changing but there hasn't been any sign of that yet.

    Advice to Management

    I'd like to see improvement to the health insurance options/prices. I would also suggest to pursue utilizing employee potential to a greater degree. The talent pool is amazing and would be more than capable of producing internal content for sale/repurposing that could bolster the current business model.

  3. Helpful (3)

    Great team of people, constantly striving for improvement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior IOS Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior IOS Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - Huge commitment to both open source and improving internal tooling.
    - Design and development work in concert from day 1 of a project
    - Really fantastic team of people
    - Extremely wide range of prior experience for devs - some CompSci all the way, lots from other backgrounds.
    - Compensation is totally reasonable for the expectations.
    - Some departments (especially mine) are very, very good at fighting for work-life balance.
    - Unlimited vacation, if you can figure out how to take advantage of it.

    Cons

    Non-PTO benefits are not quite in line with industry standards:

    - Our health insurance is Aetna, which is not great. BCBS or GTFO.
    - No 401k match, although you can at least set up automatic deductions. They've said they're working on this, but there hasn't been any movement on it for a while.

    Advice to Management

    - Keep fighting to make sure that when we make mistakes, we only make them once.
    - Make sure that all departments are fighting hard for work-life balance.
    - Keep pushing back on unreasonable deadlines - this has improved considerably in the last few months and I hope it continues to do so.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Best Development Workflow I've been a part of

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Web Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Extremely talented team
    Great working from home policy
    Subsidized equipment
    Real focus on deep learning
    Company values are genuine
    Career growth path is actively monitored

    Cons

    Early start time
    Meetings sometimes unproductive

    Advice to Management

    Having optional start times may help some people.

  6. Helpful (1)

    Technically strong, and a fun work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Vokal full-time (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The atmosphere is great, very relaxed but focused. There is a lot of encouragement and opportunity to explore new technologies and continue to grow as a developer.

    Cons

    If you're looking for a lot of money, this is not the place. While the salary is reasonable, the primary benefits are based on it's atmosphere, culture, and the people you're working with.

    Advice to Management

    It is difficult to provide anything specific at this time because we have just undergone a rapid expansion. This section will be updated after a few months when I we can see how the growth has effected the business.

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