AppDirect Senior Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

AppDirect Senior Software Engineer Reviews

6 reviews

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Senior Software Engineer

2.7
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AppDirect Co-Chief Executive Officers Nicolas Desmarais & Daniel Saks
Nicolas Desmarais & Daniel Saks
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "emphasis on employee wellness and work life balance" (in 9 reviews)

  • "Free food and snacks( Not that good but its free)" (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • "This cripples the platform with tech debt" (in 6 reviews)

  • "There was a lot of brain drain there" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (16)

    "Smart Engineers - Bad Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AppDirect full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Engineers here are some of the brightest and friendliest I've worked with. Company is growing fast so lots of room for growth. The office is at a great location and has a terrific view of the city.

    Cons

    CTO has bad leadership which can be shown by recent exits from many engineers. He needs to get off his smartphone and talk to the engineers.


  2. Helpful (18)

    "Your average startup, no rocket ship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AppDirect full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Many good people still work here though quite a few have moved on recently.
    Brand new 24th floor office.
    Catered lunch on Fridays. Lots of snacks lying around in general.
    Lots of changes/hiring although in engineering most new hires were for the Montreal office.
    Clear core values that are emphasized often.

    Cons

    Not engineering driven or product driven. Revenue mainly comes from a few large multi-year deals. Custom work with tight deadlines driven by large clients divert a significant amount of engineering resources. Custom work don't scale. Often have to deal with outdated technology. That said, the company is moving down market and trying out lower-tier versions to appeal to more customers. The jury is still out but currently seems unlikely to become a big public company.

    Work-life balance depends on your team - TPM teams tend to have tight deadlines. All of engineering is on a weekly release schedule and weekly development cycle => it can be high intensity, which is actually a core value.

    Not transparent - There're people in the management layer/in the know and then there are the rest. Monthly town halls are good but not enough.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on building value into the product. Don't be afraid to push back on unreasonable client requests.

  3. Helpful (8)

    "I have been working at AppDirect full-time (since 1 year)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Pune (India)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Pune (India)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AppDirect full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. Excellent company for skilled people and people who are willing to be high skilled.

    2. Excellent food( There is separate comitee who listens to complaint, suggestions and feedback regarding food)

    3. Nice Infrastructure and facilities, Flexible working hours, specially WFH provided easily to everyone without asking any question.

    4. Company listens to employees, take feedbacks from leads on almost every momnth without fail.

    5. Excellent highly skilled people onshore and offshore (pune) to work with
    India office is full of energy and innovative people (except few who know they are running from there work because of there poor comunication skill, low product knowledge, and lack of willingness to work as team player).

    6.Company investing in employees and such programs are already in place, such as Professional Development Fund which is designed to support employees pursuit of personal growth and skill building. (Obviously you need willingness to learn and implement it).

    7. Always focus on making application performance better and better.

    8. Nobody gets fired on short notice, company is very professional. Everyone gets evaluated on every quarter. Based on there performance clear review and retrospection points (good and bad) gets shared. If still employeee don't improve and don't learn from past mistakes then they get terminated which any company will do.

    9. If you are really skilled and confident on your work, I can confidently say 1 thing appdirect is the best choice. Your work always gets recognised and few times gets rewarded too.

    Cons

    1. If you are not a good team player don't join Appdirect. (I'ld suggest don't join any company)

    2. People should stop blaming the organization for their failure to perform.

    3. Few people have felt "like in hell" because they were not able to perform as there colleague were performing. Always showed some execuses ( Sickness is most common reason ).

    4. Send developers onshore who are really sincere to get the best product knowledge.

    Advice to Management

    1. Ignore few negative people who want to blame there old managers only because they themselves were not capable to work in excellent team.

    2. Management should take strict action for people whose goals are not at all aligned to organizational goals.

    3. Please don't hire people with negative mind set. they spoil the environment.

    4. Many people are genuinely happy, please ignore negative minds.

    5. Few people gets time to know that in canteen who is gossiping what means they do not do there job and stay at canteen all the time and listen to the gossips. get rid of this kind of employees.


  4. Helpful (10)

    "How to slowly erode an engineers will to live in 5 easy steps"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Very cool office
    -Great perks. To list a few: paid trips to San Fransisco, free lunches, gym membership paid, free beer + nice snacks at the office
    -Events budget: wine nights, game nights + more
    -The most talented hard working people you could ask to work with
    -Hack days every quarter to basically do try new things/hack on the product
    -Work/life balance is determined by you (and the team you end up in)
    -The business seems strong... the platform is the limiting factor in bringing on new business

    Cons

    -Project commitments made by the people who don't do the work
    Engineers are not given ownership over the timelines for their work. In order to meet overambitious deadlines made by someone above you, engineers are forced to make really bad hacks that no one wants to make or agrees with under the expectation they will be addressed properly later. The "later" part never comes, and buggy low quality code sticks around forever causing bugs and performance issues. This cripples the platform with tech debt. Customers end up unhappy because solutions have been overpromised and underdelivered and as an engineer I didn't feel great about many of the features I ended up shipping and never got time to go back and improve anything.

    -Low ceiling on engineering technical growth
    There is will from all the engineers to fix tech debt and improve things. Because the executive deciding on the work for the engineering org wont prioritize stability over features for clients everyone is stuck making more crappy hacks to fix bugs and not address the root of any problems. I couldn't build my skills as a developer like this... I couldn't be a craftsman and I was only contributing to the technical problems the company had...more debt.

    -Lack of productivity
    Because of the complexity of the system it takes forever to get anything written, tested and merged. There are really only a few people who could provide input on complex solutions who understand the system and they are so overloaded with work from all directions, no one will merge your code without their signoff which can take weeks. AD needs a very extensible platform to be able to get new deals and without the proper architecture to support this, the business cannot grow at the rate everyone wants. They need to focus on making things run more smoothly...engineers can't get anything done in the current state of things and every ay it gets a little bit worse.

    -Code ownership
    Someone makes a change somewhere in the system that causes a bug in your area. The root cause isn't found and the person that caused it doesnt even find out. You fix the bug and probably cause another problem down the line somewhere else. Nothing is improved and people get frustrated.

    -Management
    I met most of the exec, they are all nice but they are not engineers and probably shouldn't be trying to micromanage them. On several occasions the CEOs have said straight up that people can leave if they don't agree with a particular point or priority in the companies direction.

    I cannot recommend AppDirect to another engineer join who is looking to grow technically.

    Advice to Management

    When I left a new engineering VP was being hired. Right now the CTO of the company has nothing to do with engineering (doesn't seem interested in it). Give the new VP the power of/treat them as the CTO. Hopefully they can beginning turning things around because things look pretty bad When I left. Don't waste a great opportunity to improve things.

    Trust your engineers... they want to help and are capable.

    Good work takes time and a lot of the time is worthwhile. If you don't care about quality, hire a bunch of contractors and let them at it, they wont complain and will hack faster and cheaper.

    Get 1000x better at communication. It's a real problem when nobody knows about or understand major company projects and initiatives.

    AppDirect Response

    Oct 5, 2017 – Head of Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to provide detailed feedback. I agree AppDirect does employ some of the most talented and hardworking people! We are committed to creating an open, collaborative... More


  5. Helpful (17)

    "Pathetic work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Pune (India)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Pune (India)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AppDirect full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You will learn how to lie. How to make promises when you don't have authority. How to market yourself as a role model (talking and talking) to fool people to realize that they are actually trapped. How to create an atmosphere where you can't trust anyone . Nice environment to grow as a manager right ?

    Cons

    All talk and none of them are true. Top boss always busy talking his family success, personal success and all possible lies to different people at different times. Few of the employees are relatives and family members working as a spy to run the show in India. No transparency " be my yes man or get lost" environment.

    Production support work only for developers. Poisonous work environment, you will be rotten here but can't question about false promises.

    Advice to Management

    Anarchy can run a family business like grocery shop. If your career is important so is others, stop lying

    AppDirect Response

    Oct 5, 2017 – Head of Human Resources

    Thank you for your feedback and I apologize for the delayed response. We are always striving to improve so we genuinely appreciate the feedback! Our priority is ensuring a fair and open workplace for... More


  6. Helpful (10)

    "Friendly experienced engineers, primary tasks gets boring quite fast, waste of potentials"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Peoples are amazing! You will make friends.
    Technical knowledge is very good, engineers are mature and experienced.
    Opportunity to work with the hardware of you choice
    Offices have all their own flavours of pros and it goes around things like :
      - lots of board games, ping-pong, foosball, pool, ps4, game nights, etc.
      - collations, nice location for restaurants too
      - coffee, beers, wine, sparkling water, etc.
      - amazing office managers
      - open space
    Office team lunches every weeks, sometimes more often
    Organised events are glamorous
    Very good work/life Balance with flexible schedule and possibility to work from home
    Peoples you work with are amazing, did I said that twice?

    Cons

    AppDirect is not an shinny engineering heaven; it's driven by features, decisions are top-bottom while "yes men" juggle with priorities

    There is code frustration, recognition is low or null.
    "Challenging environment" translate to having technical debts.
    "Working in a startup environment" translates to being disorganised and having zero consistency across our monolithic project.
    Meetings serve more as an attendance confirmation than actual planning.
    We don't measure, we aren't given to opportunity to.

    Advice to Management

    Hey hi, it's me, another Glassdoor review. Feels like a deja-vu?

    Some things have been said so many times and, yet, actions taken don't reflect a management that care about solving them.

    But let's give it a try with different words; here goes the song :

      you've hired experienced professionals, please listen to them
      get to know your peoples, so you can use their potential accordingly
      get to understand what's going on, technical debt is not a myth
      yes, overall company is doing well, doesn't mean there is no room for improvement

      * guitar solo *

      considerable time and effort is lost on debating the engineering priorities.
      so why we can't actually go the direction that was openly discussed.
      we hear about greatness, visions and values
      while we don't see them embraced in the engineering structure.

    Well, there is a lot of room for improving. I would suggest less involvement from CEO into designing UX while there is a whole team dedicated to this, this doesn't scale well and prevent addressing other critical points.

    Also, please consider engineers output in decisions making. Software engineers are not challenging the way AppDirect is managed in other spheres but they have knowledge to share on the technical aspect. Their knowledge, vision and experience should be taken into consideration since AppDirect's main product is all about software and engineering.

    On another note, you're doing very good in terms of sells, market strategy and business relations:
    No matter how things can be bad in engineering, company will always survive.
    But... it could be better by acknowledging the current situation and needs, letting peoples shine were they excel and openly doing retrospective on the ways engineering is managed.