Mission: The freedom to create products people love.
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:
Check out Erika's article on recruiting for cultural add.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
Charlottesville is home to countless wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries which offer anything from wine tastings to craft views.
Centrally located between beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and major metropolitan areas, Charlottesville delivers anything you are looking for within a short drive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I have been working at WillowTree full-time (Less than a year)
Smart, talented, caring, fun people
Employees are valued and respected
Work-life balance is respected
Interesting work; interesting clients
Growth opportunities are abundant
Curiosity and continual learning highly promoted (1 class per year, plus ongoing innovation opportunities)
Core values encourage a high level of collaboration, trust, and respect
Fast growth but deliberate strategies to keep the culture
Growth is hard and it's easy for communication to break down. A flat organization is nice but people can get left out.
Advice to Management
Keep doing what you're doing
Consider different organization structures
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at WillowTree (Charlottesville, VA) in May 2017.
Long but quick.
The interview process is several steps. It started with a very awkward video interview, not with a person but just a website and my webcam. The site provides several questions, gives you a minute (1 minute) to think about your answer, than 1-2 minutes to answer before it cuts you off mid sentence. It was very awkward as I couldn't really prepare for it and as it wasn't with anyone, it was impossible to get any kind of feedback. However, the questions weren't technical or tricky, mostly just talking about your experience as a developer and why you want to work at WillowTree. I assumed that it was just to weed out those who didn't understand the job they were applying for or were grossly unqualified.
Next was a phone interview with the recruiter. This happened within 2 days of the awkward video and was very friendly. Again it was mostly just talking about my experience and the company. At the end, I was scheduled for a technical phone interview with an engineer for later in the week.
The technical interview was also very friendly. The interviewer had prepared ahead of time by looking over my GitHub (which I included on my resume and on the application). Most of the interview was him asking questions about the repos on my GitHub, and asking general questions about iOS development. Although there was supposed to be a coding exercise as well, my interviewer opted not to do it after reviewing my GitHub.
The next day, I was invited to do the take-home test project. This was kinda like a homework assignment, in that I was given instructions to build an app, which I was allowed to do at my own pace with the understanding that I shouldn't spend more than 8 hours total on it (I probably spent 10 in total over a few days). The project was actually pretty fun and I enjoyed doing it over a weekend, sending it back on Sunday night.
By Tuesday or Wednesday, I was invited to Charlottesville, VA for a day of in-person interviews at WillowTree. I was put in touch with their travel coordinator, who set up round-trip flight and a night at a local hotel (I was coming from out of state), and put together my interview itinerary. As part of the interview, I was also asked to put together a presentation / class on a topic of my choice, and asked to bring my laptop.
The in-person was a full day of interviews with like half a dozen people. I showed up a couple minutes early (interview was scheduled for 930) and was greeted (by name!) at the door. The technical recruiter met me a minute later and gave me a tour of the office before bringing me to a conference room for the first interview. The morning's interviews were what I would think typical developer interviews are. Mostly they involved problem solving and white board coding. The air was casual but professional, and the interviewers were friendly, smart and helpful.
Lunch was provided, which itself was an interview with two current engineers who took me to a local restaurant.
The afternoon interviews were different from the mornings. They included an HR interview, a pair-programming exercise, and delivering the presentation I had prepared to a few people (apparently I was the second person to be asked to do this). The final interview was a walk with the head of engineering and was very casual. The day ended at 430ish. Overall it was a good experience, although a full day of interviewing was rather exhausting.
I received a written offer via email an hour after leaving.
Overall, the entire process lasted less than a month, which was lengthened primarily because of my availability to travel.
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