Ancestry Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Ancestry San Francisco Reviews

Updated October 16, 2016
24 reviews

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San Francisco, CA

4.1
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Ancestry President & CEO Tim Sullivan
Tim Sullivan
17 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management was clueless about the way things were run in our office (in 11 reviews)

  • Repetitive work, like any call center (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "An innovative and welcoming place to make history come to life."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    An engaging culture, with curious people eager to help people discover and tell their stories. Lots of intellectual horsepower and a desire for all team members to succeed.

    Cons

    Growing in new directions, rapidly. Learning a new way can be challenging (and exciting too!)

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the communication and things will continue to go very well.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "An immersive internship with smart, genuine people."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - User Experience Design Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Intern - User Experience Design Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

    I worked at Ancestry as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very hands-on, respected like a full-time employee. Friendly and casual office atmosphere, great coworkers, good critique from non-designers on team. Frequent team or office events for socialization and morale. Genuine care from all employees for the customers' ultimate experience of a product. Even during frustrating phases of a project, more experienced employees were transparent with interns about these conflicts, which was educational. Great mentorship program for interns, and personally felt so prepared and at ease by my mentor and team's training that even after my mentor's departure, it was no problem to work independently as a UX designer.

    Cons

    Internship was part-time, so only could work 29 hours max per week. Cost of daily commute not subsidized. Had a busy timeline, so did not accomplish all of the goals that were set at the beginning of internship.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best word to describe work is: chill. I can come in anytime and leave anytime, work from home on Fridays, yoga on Tuesday and Thursday's, meditation and massages onsite, my teammates are all senior engineers so I'm learning a lot from them, catered meals on Mondays, tons of benefits (health, vision, $300 gift for transportation monthly), unlimited snacks, great salary : )

    Cons

    Needs more enthusiasm from workers

    Advice to Management

    Needs more youthful culture


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  5. Helpful (15)

    "Meh"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ancestry (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice office. Nice perks. Nice snacks. Free lunches. People beyond nice.

    Cons

    Management is boys club. Product is focused on people of European origins so some racist comments do slip and goes unnoticed by most. Hard to get decisions from management. Lack of focus. Lack of process. Old time customers. Not a technology company though they think they are. People are too nice to provide real feedback.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees and customers and stop thinking about your needs.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Can't think of a reason to unlike"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ancestry full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I actually had to think hard to come up with cons, so most are actually pros.

    To start with, the pay is on-par with, if not slightly more generous than, other Silicon Valley companies, considering its not the name everyone talks about when finding a job here. But when you take into consideration of the benefits its definitely above average.

    I am just going to list them here: Unlimited paid time off, free caltrain pass, parking sub, VTA, gym sub, phone, home internet, food, snack, drink, ski lift tickets, medical, dental......

    This is one of the best list of benefits you could ever get not just in the bay area, but in the world.

    The most important factor is the work/life balance, even senior managements want you to have consideration for your family and look after yourself. read 5pm, sharp, off work.

    I forgot, you get to choose any computer, desk, monitor as you wish. Which may sound normal, but you'd be surprise to hear how many companies in silicon valley don't have this luxury.

    In terms of talents, at the very least, everyone is very committed to their roles since they are not being pressurized. The company can afford to be selective while attracting the right people. Its a tech/internet company, so all the cool tech are being used, e.g. spark, hadoop, kafka, machine learning..... I don't have the feeling of not wanting to go to work. And yes, you can work from home at least one day per week.

    Career progression is just like any work place, you have people holding the same position for years, while there are people moving up grades and grades within couple of years. It all depends on you.

    For sure, ancestry is a household name, but its not considered one of the top tech companies. However, in the industry that its in, it beats the next competitor by miles. There is no company having 1/10 as much content as ancestry, even the government needs to work with ancestry to get content. The DNA team is second to none, the scientists there are top top notch academics and all are committed to better the product/service.

    The health industry is ever increasing and ancestry is right at the forefront, i have very good outlook for the company.

    Cons

    May be no free lunch everyday.... but there is free lunch here and there most days during the week. Free snacks and drinks all the time. Plus this is one of the best neighborhood for trendy restaurants and good food, this is just another reason to social.

    I know, right, how absurd it is to say no free lunch is a con. How spoiled!

    Advice to Management

    I am just a small potato, but I get to work with the senior management alot. Its a fast changing industry so we odd to see many changes.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Worthwhile and satisfying consumer products with a few Org hiccups."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ancestry full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Passionate customers. Interesting and relatable product. New technology options like DNA. Good coworkers. Great Snacks and Beverages. Very nice office. Still a cube farm though.

    Cons

    Provo vs San Francisco issues. Some issues with management opacity and feeling like there's an 'insiders club' and everyone else.


  8. Helpful (8)

    "Interesting corporate culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Member of Product Team in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Member of Product Team in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ancestry full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fascinating suite of products, lovely people. Gorgeous office space and neat lication.

    Cons

    Provo UT and SF cultures couldnt be less in sync. Difficult to bridge the gap. A lot of different directions company is being pulled in - it still needsto figure out what it is. In addition, male employees are treated differently based on gender and location. Your experience will hinge on your manager.

    Advice to Management

    Adopt a healthier relationship to contractors. Treat male and female employees the same. Also add some diversity to the management beyond white males and understand the difference between "managers" and "leaders." The former are lacking in middle management.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are good, Work environment is good

    Cons

    Feel the company is moving slow sometimes


  10. "Good products and good work and life balance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ancestry (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Good work and life balance
    - Nice office
    - Unlimited vacation policy
    - Good products

    Cons

    - Too much mediocrity and too little accountability
    - Incompetent engineering leadership
    - Unecessary middle management

    Advice to Management

    - Have some strategies before making big engineering decisions


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Depends on your group & what you make of it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ancestry full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture (a lot of people end up being friends outside work), willingness to grow employees in new areas if openings exist, appetite for testing ideas, showing stable growth, reasonable goals and performance expectations, the work/life balance is more of a life/work balance, pockets of good leadership, general perception of competence and trust in leadership

    Cons

    Senior management is too tactical and involved, often politics trump merit, pay was not very competitive, cross-office cultures clash, management of projects can be described as pure chaos, siloed goals cause a lot of short sided decisions, accountability is lacking, transparency is lacking, some teams are completely unmotivated to perform/innovate, no equity or incentives to stay result in a lot of turnover and turbulence

    Advice to Management

    Hire experienced leadership from outside the company to help manage the transition from a small company to a medium sized one. Make people/teams accountable for performance. Create growth opportunities for emerging leaders. Pay people a fair salary or at least incentivize them in some way. Step out of Utah once in a while.



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