Relativity FAQ

Have questions about working at Relativity? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Relativity.

All answers shown come directly from Relativity Reviews and are not edited or altered.

44 English questions out of 44

October 17, 2019

What is paid time off like at Relativity?

Pros

- Work-Life balance. I'm never expected to work more than 40 hours a week, I can take PTO pretty much whenever I want, and most managers are ok with you working from home now and then. - We have the market cornered. Relativity is complex and people are so used to using it that it would be tough for them to switch. - We've been around for 15 years + the processes we have in place will prevent us from screwing up really badly. We'll likely be around for 15 more years. - Great architectural leadership. The architecture team at Relativity really knows what they're doing - Friendly people. People hang out after work often, there are company sponsored happy hours/clubs/sports leagues/etc. The company supports people using the office for self-organized events after work. - Moves within the company are easy. If you like pretty much anything but front-end you can find an engineering team that does just about anything you might want to do, as we have a huge amount of engineering teams. If you like front-end, you've only got a few options (but that's not to say that they're bad ones) - Good outlook for the future: Our new CEO + Leadership team that Andrew (Our past CEO and executive chairman) has built out really seem to know what they're doing, and I foresee positive changes in the future

Cons

- Too much process causes us to move too slowly. Though our engineers/architects have great ideas, we tend to focus on feature development until architecture problems slap us in the face. As for engineering's suggestions, management tends to sit around over-analyzing them instead of trusting engineers' advice and fixing architecture problems as soon as they come up - Employees are paid less than market salary. Management depends on the company culture to make people stay (and it works... to an extent) - Management is reluctant to give promotions. Though the criteria for promotions are spelled out, they are deliberately as vague as possible, which allows managers to pick and choose their criteria. This usually ends up with people being promoted based on time in a role, not actual merit. - On-call is annoying. Engineers are expected to be on-call 24/7 for a week once every month or so.

Advice to Management

- Pay your employees more and you'll have less turnover. - Establish a more clear promotion process so people know why they have/haven't been promoted. - Engineering: Question existing processes and remove as many as possible. This will allow engineering to move faster. - Engineering: Be less reluctant to try new tools and technologies. Spend a small percentage of engineering resources on crazy new ideas. Who knows, maybe you'll build a killer new feature - Engineering: Trust your engineers more. Engineers cost a lot, don't waste their expertise on maintaining a poorly architected product.

I'm never expected to work more than 40 hours a week, I can take PTO pretty much whenever I want, and most managers are ok with you working from home now and then.

October 17, 2019

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December 19, 2021

Does Relativity offer massages?

Pros

The work-life balance is mostly healthy, but on-call is not pleasant. It's worse than any other company I've been at. They throw teams at every problem and hold you on the call even if you are not impacted or related. The office is fun, and has okay perks. The coffee is good and you sometimes get free food. The technology stack is mostly useful, although the Microsoft stack isn't used much at FAANG. So your skills that transfer will mostly be in sys design.

Cons

You will quickly notice how everyone is a slave to their roadmap that is set every year. Teams will openly refuse to unblock your roadmap items that need their support, and will go back on any support they promised to provide. It's unreal and something I do not face at my current company. No one wants to do the right thing for the company, only what's good for them. Relativity promotes people based on things other than performance. Directors and higher give their friends from outside of work the key projects, then use the fact that they led key projects to promote them within a year of their last promotion. They do not offer refresh grants. Your initial grant is what you get and unless you're a favorite of your manager and get promoted that's all you see. They change the rules for certain people. When I onboarded we had a 5 year vesting period. When a certain C level executive was hired she refused that and set it at a 4 year for her and anyone after. What that meant is that people that started within a year before her were fully vested after her, and she did not care.

Advice to Management

None. The C level and HR have shown they know the problems, they just don't care. Cheerfully telling employees they pay 75% of market based on stale data while people leave in droves shows a level of cognitive dissonance that means they won't change. Your pay is not competitive, full-stop. The fact that Relativity explicitly refuses to offer refresh grants puts them behind other tech firms already. I tripled my pay leaving Relativity and I did not leave Chicago. You openly support of Poland leadership stating "we're polish engineers first, Relativity employees second" and following that up by refusing to follow your forced box rankings (yes they exist, despite the company saying otherwise) means that US engineers get down-ranked because Poland refuses to rate their employees at the prescribed ranks. Here's a math problem. If there are 80 engineers split 50% between US and Poland and only 10% (8 people) can get top rank, and 25% have to get bottom ranks (20 people). Then what does it mean when a Poland director gives 7 people top rank and refuses to give any bottom rank? Because that is what literally happened last year in performance calibration. And that is after the Poland teams had only existed for 6 months or less. Spoiler, it means only 1 of the 40 US engineers can get top rank and half need to get bottom rank. All the while the Polish management team smirks and says (direct quote) "We're polish engineers first"

The coffee is good and you sometimes get free food.

December 19, 2021

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November 9, 2019

Does Relativity offer relocation assistance?

Pros

- Company truly cares for its employees - Culture is very diverse and inclusive, employees are empowered to bring their full selves to work - Company values are deeply rooted in all aspects of your work and serve as an incredibly useful guide to succeed - Management is transparent and honest, and they do an excellent job of sharing information across the company - Culture is highly feedback-driven, managers take feedback seriously and promote an atmosphere where employees can share feedback openly - Excellent benefits package - No dress code - Happy hours every Friday - Company-wide “all hands” meetings every month - Building is in a great downtown location close to public transit and offers a lot of amenities such as fitness center, rooftop lounge/meeting space with outdoor patio, and various restaurants and shops in the building lobby - Offices are well designed with adjustable standing desks and an open atmosphere (managers and directors share an open floor plan with employees) and have a lot of great amenities including free beverages, café with an arcade, comfortable meeting spaces, and a mediation/napping space - Employees have access to great tools and technology - Highly flexible work schedules and ability to work remotely whenever needed - Various clubs/committees and volunteer opportunities throughout the city

Cons

- Due to the nature of their work, the customer service/technical support team cannot share some of the flexibility that other teams have. - Annual reviews for support team members are mostly based on metrics that may not accurately reflect the employees’ success in their role.

Advice to Management

Modernize the infrastructure of the Customer Service team so that employees who work in these roles can enjoy the same flexibility that other teams have, and provide employees with more autonomy over their daily responsibilities.

Excellent benefits package

November 9, 2019

See answer

February 20, 2020

Does Relativity offer dental insurance?

Pros

Benefits: Paid vision, dental and medical.

Cons

Compensation is below market = high turnover. Management is too reactive to staffing resources. They are not transparent with any sudden staffing changes. Claim they value you but they don't and will exploit you with the inequality of salary across the board.

Advice to Management

Compensate and treat your staff appropriately.

Benefits: Paid vision, dental and medical.

February 20, 2020

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August 4, 2020

Does Relativity offer life insurance?

Pros

-- Generous PTO, great insurance, good tech and tech support -- Creative people and unique challenges (esp. since we have a niche field) -- Admirable posturing compared to competitors who tend to be jerks about us, we never stoop to their level -- Forward-thinking leaders, most of which encourage autonomy -- Potential for growth, if your team and trajectory support company goals -- Big focus on real expertise when it comes to knowing our software before working on it, selling it, promoting it, etc.

Cons

-- Uneven work-life balance across teams (some are phenomenal, including mine, but I know people who aren't getting any flexibility and that's really uncool) -- Some growing pains in terms of evolving job role/salary/bonus structuring, etc. (I think it's all normal but it feels like sooo much paperwork compared to what we used to do) -- For a large company, some depts still have really a lot of oversight from executive leaders and there's a lot of pressure not to screw up (even when we're told to be innovative and fail fast) -- Aggressive diversity push that sometimes feels more focused on census tickboxes than truly human qualities and perspectives

Advice to Management

Autonomy in each department is important, especially as we grow, but it shouldn't be an excuse for poor management in some areas and strong leadership in others. Inequitable work-life balance policies across the organization aren't fair and they aren't sustainable, so we should be advising managers to shape up on this. (Truly anonymous surveys -- rather than Manager 360s, which aren't effectively all that anonymous on small teams -- can help identify where these unfair managers are.) The diversity push is appreciated, but diversity of perspective is a thing, too. Sometimes it feels like we're ticking boxes about people's categories instead of really getting to know them and bringing in individuals of different backgrounds, or welcoming different perspectives from people we already have. I'd like to see more of the latter. I also feel like we're pushing out really great people for promotions by hiring out for leadership roles according to those diversity goals, and it's going to hurt us. Thank you for, at the highest levels, trusting us to be adults when it comes to managing our personal and work lives without failing to deliver. It's nice to feel like we're given the freedom to do what we need to do, when I hear of other companies installing monitoring software, requiring cameras on for all Zoom meetings, "checking in" too frequently for status updates, and etc.

Generous PTO, great insurance, good tech and tech support

August 4, 2020

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44 English questions out of 44

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