Working at WillowTree | Glassdoor

WillowTree Overview

Charlottesville, VA
201 to 500 employees
2008
Company - Private
Enterprise Software & Network Solutions
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
About WillowTree

Founded in 2008, WillowTree is a mobile design and development agency whose mission is to bring together a team of smart, motivated people who take pride in their work and strive to be the best in mobile. We foster a collaborative ... Read more

Mission: The freedom to create products people love.


Glassdoor Awards

Best Places to Work: 2017 (#16), 2016 (#5)

Top CEOs: 2015 (#2)

Company Updates

  • Our recently announced plans to establish an 85,000 square foot headquarters campus in Charlottesville speak to a particular philosophy we've always held—that the future of digital innovation isn't going to happen in the tech hubs of today like Silicon Valley or New York; it's going to happen in smaller cities. Here's why:
    http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQMZh

    Where is the next Silicon Valley?

    Why the next wave of digital innovation will come from outside of today's major tech hubs.

  • Check out Erika's article on recruiting for cultural add.
    http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQMZr

    Hiring for culture add instead of culture fit

    Before you use the phrase "culture fit" again, pause and ask yourself: what does it really mean to you? Its definition varies, even among those at the same company. Yet it's commonly used in hiring decisions and even job descriptions. Culture is ever-changing.

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WillowTree Video

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WillowTree – Why Work For Us?


The Mobile Innovation Agency

WillowTree creates beautiful digital products designed to drive growth for the world's leading brands. We believe that the best way to do this is by bringing together a team of smart, motivated people who take pride in their work. We foster a collaborative environment that focuses on continuous learning and unlimited opportunities to make a true impact.

WillowTree's clients trust us to shepherd their digital products end-to-end, from UX strategy and design through to full-stack development and product launch. We do this for companies like Zappos, PepsiCo, HBO, and Mattel. All this makes WillowTree a unique place where we constantly strive to push the envelope in digital technologies. Working at WillowTree inevitably means gaining experience with exciting emerging technologies as we look for ways to help our clients find their users on every platform.

Freedom to create products people love

We’re an intensely curious, vibrant team with a diverse range of skills in technology, design, and more. We’re always looking for dynamic, creative people—like you—to keep us moving forward.

We hire the best in the industry.

Some of our benefits are:

    • Generous Employee Health & Dental plans
    • Company-paid Long Term Disability
    • Optional Short-Term Disability, Term Life Insurance, Enhanced Vision Insurance and Pet Insurance
    • 401K with company matching
    • Employee stock options
    • Generous Parental Leave policy
    • Professional development - paid conferences, training, certifications
    • Weekly innovation hour
    • Quarterly innovation days
    • New MacBook Pro
    • Discounted gym memberships
    • Paid downtown parking
    • Kombucha, nitro-coffee and beer on tap
    • Bodo’s bagels on Monday mornings
    • Pizza on Wednesday for R&D lunch
    • Weekly team lunches
    • Fully-stocked kitchens - nom nom

WillowTree is proud to be based in two of the most exciting young tech hubs on the east coast—Charlottesville, VA and Durham, NC. Here are a few things we love about each:

Top 10 Reasons to Love Charlottesville

1. Quality of life  

Charlottesville has a unique charm about it that is hard to qualify, but there is just something between the beautiful scenery to the thriving downtown atmosphere that makes it special.

2. Tons of best places to live awards

Charlottesville has won over 20 best places to live lists in the last few years including USA’s Happiest City (2014) and Healthiest Small Town in the U.S (2016).

3. We are a college town

We are home to the University of Virginia, which is consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the country with great academics and Division I sports.

4. The best in outdoor activities

Central Virginia boasts proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the James River perfect for hiking and water activities, as well as multiple orchards and vineyards.

5. Did we mention history?

Our home has many historical sites that are preserved and open to the public such as Monticello, Ashlawn-Highland, and Montpelier, as well as a few civil war battlegrounds

6. Wineries and Breweries

Charlottesville is home to countless wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries which offer anything from wine tastings to craft views.

7. Location, Location, Location!

Centrally located between beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and major metropolitan areas, Charlottesville delivers anything you are looking for within a short drive.

8. You’ll love our food scene

In 2016, Travelocity named Charlottesville as One of America's Best Small Cities for Foodies. With over 200 restaurants to choose from, a good food truck scene, and a weekly farmers market, there’s something for everyone.

9. Live music

You’ll never miss an opportunity to see a big name on tour at the John Paul Jones Arena or Scott Stadium, or your favorite indie band at one of the smaller, more intimate venues.

10. Arts

Charlottesville has a vibrant art scene and many annual events that bring the community together such as The Virginia Film festival, Virginia Festival of the Book, and the TomTom Founders Festival.

Top 10 Reasons to Love Durham

1. Educational Hotbed

The Triangle is home to three nationally recognized universities: Duke, NC State, and UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as exemplary primary and secondary education options.

2. Tech Hub and Thriving Entrepreneurial Scene

Often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of the East Coast,” the Triangle is one of the most prominent research parks in the US, with cutting-edge research institutions and growing tech companies.

3. Booming Economy

Durham has been a city of constant growth, with new shops and restaurants emerging constantly as well as a stable increase in population. It’s no surprise that the city ranked #1 in economic strength for over 25 years.

4. Access to World-Renowned Healthcare

Durham is an international leader in medical research, technology, and evidence-based procedures, with a physician-to-population ratio almost 4.5 times the national average!

5. Location, location, location!

North Carolina’s moderate climate and diverse geography make this a great place to partake in outdoor activities year-round with nearby mountains and beaches.

6. Low Cost of Living, High Quality of Life

The Triangle boasts some of the most affordable housing in the nation and is below the national average in utilities, groceries, transportation, and health care costs.

7. Foodie Town

With its varied dining scene, Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South as rated by Southern Living, providing a communal feel with fresh foods and local artisans.

8. Art, Music, Festivals, Oh My!

Between Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, there is always a big name on tour or a small indie band nearby, as well as several annual festivals dedicated to art, music, tech, and beer!

9. A Great Place for Sports Fans

When it comes to sports North Carolina has a little bit of everything from professional football, basketball, hockey, NASCAR, and golf, to the major college basketball rivalry of UNC and Duke.

10. Fit for an active and healthy lifestyle

There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, biking, waterways, and outdoor museums and gardens as well as a 30,000 square foot Farmer’s market perfect for healthy eating.


If you want to actually enjoy your day at work and do more than tolerate your co-workers, then WillowTree might be the place for you. People here collaborate, help each other out and generally like each other. 


WillowTree is a very flat organization with no middle-management. This means that everyone here needs to be self-motivated and accountable. We are really busy working hard for our awesome clients, but we also like to have fun together. 

Weekly team lunches, company L&L lunches, Friday happy hours and company parties are an important part of getting to know each other outside of work. Some people even go on vacation together! ( :O).  

We hire the best talent in the industry and give them what they need to keep growing and learning. We have all of the fun perks of other development shops, but it is the people and the teamwork that make WillowTree such an amazing place to be.

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Do you want to do more than fix bugs and get coffee? Interns at WillowTree get an amazing amount of responsibility and become intergrated members of their team. They work on real client projects and get plenty of mentorship from some of the best deigners and developers in the business. 

Our interns this past summer had a weekly team lunch where they had weekly speakers from different parts of the company come share their knowledge. They also had weekly team lunches with their team as well as presented their work at our weekly L&L. We had events with other local tech firms to expose them to what else is going on in c'ville and had fun events with other interns like Networking 101, rafting down the James River and a CEO roundtable.  They even had a day trip to Busch Gardens.

This quote from a Summer 2015 Android Developer intern pretty much sums it up:

"WillowTree is an amazing place to work. As an intern, I was given the same responsibilities as a full-time developer and had the opportunity to work on actual projects that were published to the Play Store. It was nice to know that the work I did at WillowTree had an impact in the real world. The other main factor that made WillowTree great was the people. Everyone in the office was always very friendly and the overall company culture made work relaxing. They really focus on bettering their employees and place a strong emphasis on learning. Weekly intern lunches, team lunches, and the company-wide Lunch and Learn and All Hands on Deck meetings made sure that I always knew what was happening within the company as well as the latest Android news. I would highly recommend WillowTree to anyone looking for an internship."

WillowTree values our interns and we only hire students that we think have the potential to be hired full-time after they finish school. If you are looking for an internship with limitless possibilities to learn and grow please get in touch or come say Hi when we visit your school or hackathon!

WillowTree Reviews

4.8
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
WillowTree CEO Tobias A. Dengel
Tobias A. Dengel
142 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Nothing Else Compares"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Charlottesville, VA
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Charlottesville, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Close your eyes and picture the coolest and most enjoyable place to work...this place is better. Here's why:

    • The People: Working here initially can be intimidating because you are surrounded by such intelligent hard-working people. This makes for an unprecedented work environment that is challenging, stimulating, and rewarding all at the same time. Everyone is constantly pushing each other to become better. This is partly facilitated by the fact that everyone here is incredibly cool to be around. In an office full of people, I can't name one I dislike. I truly enjoy and care about the people I work with and for, and I believe that this is a shared sentiment throughout the office.

    • The Opportunities: From a design perspective, working for a mid-sized company or with larger clients can mean getting shoved in a corner somewhere on a design team of god knows how many people where the work is so divided that you barely play a part in it. And the small sliver of work you do contribute may or may not even see the light of day (or screen). That is not the case here. You have an unparalleled opportunity to make an impact through design. Not only do you get to work with huge and exciting clients, but the teams are usually pretty small and agile. There is no excess of designers on one project, which means you have a sizable impact on the design direction for huge apps and websites—products that will be seen and used by thousands and potentially millions of people. In addition, the design team is relatively large and growing, so although you have a lot of autonomy on the project you're assigned to, you still have a team of awesome people to bounce ideas off of and get feedback from, which you’ll need because you may be asked to travel at some point to present your work to execs at a major, super cool client company. Literally the most ideal situation. How could you want more?

    • Personal Growth: There is a mentoring program geared towards helping you grow in your role at the company. Your boss meets with you on a weekly basis to make sure everything is going well with you. They also dedicate 2 hours of work time a week to learning new things. They’re not afraid to invest in the betterment of their employees. Oh, and also, you get to choose a conference to attend once a year. And they pay for it. Ha, just wait. There’s more…

    • They Actually Care: I have never met so many high-level people who truly care about the employees of the company, including the CEO himself. Company-wide meetings are held every other week to discuss the state of the company, recent wins for the company, welcome new employees, and openly answer questions or concerns. Recently, a huge company-wide survey/study was conducted to ensure that everyone was feeling included and good about working there. Like really? Is this a Disney movie? I could act surprised, but I’m not. Because this company is all about the surveys. Surveys about potential growth. Surveys about how you think the company should donate money. Surveys about how happy you are with the snacks they have in the office and what snacks you might like to see in the future. Surveys about what time works best for you for the company to rent a movie theater for the entire office to go see The Last Jedi. Like what? These are all real surveys, I’m not joking. That’s the level of caring that goes on here. And the CEO is constantly seeking feedback and input from all employees, and then (and here’s the kicker), he acts on it. I’ve witnessed multiple people (from many levels and departments) raise valid points and he then makes changes in response to it. And I don’t mean in like months…I mean days. Or even hours. Like really? Really?? Where else does this actually happen?

    • Lavish Extras: Two paid lunches a week. State-of-the-art equipment and tools at your disposal. Snacks on snacks on snacks. You could probably survive off of all the snacks they have in the office. I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet you could. Bagels every Monday morning. Nitro brew on tap. Flexible hours: project teams set the core hours they will be in the office. Paid downtown parking. Fun company events. Happy hours every Friday complete with free alcohol and other beverages.

    Cons

    It can be intimidating to work with such big clients on large-budget projects if you haven't before. They help you with this.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing...this is awesome!

See All 177 Reviews

WillowTree Photos

WillowTree photo of: Teamwork
WillowTree photo of: Summer Summit
WillowTree photo of: Downtown Mall
WillowTree photo of: Erik & Family
WillowTree photo of: Team Lunch
WillowTree photo of: WillowTree
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WillowTree Interviews

Experience

Experience
63%
15%
22%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
72%
12%
10%
4
1
1

Difficulty

3.4
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1. Helpful (6)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree.

    Interview

    There was a recorded video interview that tested your knowledge at a very high level. The answers are not meant to be very in depth as you only have about a minute to answer each one. After that, a recruiter called me and we discussed basic information about the company and what it had to offer. The recruiter then scheduled a phone interview for me with the team lead where he discussed topics related to the particular type of work that I was interviewing for.

    Next I was sent a test project that I was to complete and send back to them for review. I would rate the test project as fairly easy and can be completed in less than 10 hours. After reviewing the test project, they invited me to visit their office where I spent the day in various interviews, some technical and some more personality related.

    Finally, a few days later, during which I assume they reviewed all facets of the process that I traversed, they sent me an offer which I accepted.

    Overall, I felt like they were very selective regarding which candidates they send offers to. The entire experience was difficult but extremely rewarding and everyone was very nice, sincere and helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe the different types of Java references and what they are used for.   Answer Question
See All 75 Interviews

WillowTree Awards & Accolades

  • Glassdoor's Best Places to Work 2016, Glassdoor, 2016
  • Fortune 100 Best Places to Work, Fortune, 2016
  • #17 Best Workplace in Technology, Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work, 2018
  • Glassdoor's Employee's Choice Award - Top 50 Medium Sized Companies, Glassdoor Employees Choice Award, 2017
  • Best Medium Workplaces, Fortune and Great Place to Work, 2017
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