Appian Reviews | Glassdoor

Appian Reviews

Updated December 12, 2018
165 reviews

Filter

Filter


3.6
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Appian President and CEO Matt Calkins
Matt Calkins
130 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • "Work-life balance is sadly rare in the tech space" (in 12 reviews)

  • "Close to a meritocracy, smart people, interesting work" (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • "Overall, I thought Appian (the company) was great, but professional services (the department) promoted an unhealthy and toxic work environment" (in 11 reviews)

  • "It did seem like many of the full-time employees were under pressure to put in long hours, but this obviously wasn't an issue as an intern" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    The product is great, a monkey in a suit could sell it. It's not bulletproof, but having sold lots of software in the past - nothing is but this is pretty damn close. It's very competitive in its own market and highly attractive to customers. Sales culture I may be biased, being a remote employee, but like any other company, play the game, manage your boss, do your job and you'll be quite happy with the amount of freedom and latitude you are afforded. Pay plan is generous (at least for now!). Compared to the Fortune 500 I came from - minimal office politics. Of course the people who have never worked a job anywhere else will beg to differ. Coworkers are great, supportive, and customer focused for the large part.

    Cons

    Product is virtually unknown in the market; YOU need to put it in front of the customer. Unless you luck out and get a fat patch with an installed base, this job is not for "account managers", it is for hunters. If you don't know how to, or don't have the willpower to cold call, this is not for you. It's also incredibly difficult to explain, but once customers 'get it', they are converted.

    Advice to Management

    Single biggest problem is market awareness. The product almost sells itself.

    Appian Response

    Dec 14, 2018 – VP US Sales

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. As someone who has been selling the Appian platform for close to 6 years, I would agree the product is fantastic. I would also agree that we... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Appian Engineering is an amazing place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    There are several that I will list below, but to me, there is one aspect above all others that has led to all the rest. Appian Engineering has internalized the mantra of "continual improvement" and combined it with the overall company mantra of being a meritocracy.

    What this means is that everyone feels not only empowered to suggest improvements, but actually feels responsible for doing so...and those ideas are listened to regardless of where they come from. This has resulted in a slew of micro-improvements in a bunch of areas that add up over time to create an amazing place to work. Some of these incremental improvements, combined with a focus on hiring talented, generous, and collaborative people, have resulted in:

    - Managers who are focused on your growth and development, not your tasks
    - Team members who are always willing to help instead of protecting their own interests
    - Processes that are lean, useful, and have clear value, not just "that's how we do things here"
    - Upper management that is open to new ideas and always gathering feedback from all levels to help them avoid becoming myopic
    - Sustainable practices to increase employee retention and maintain high quality by minimizing overtime , employee burnout, and compounding tech debt
    - High quality equipment (MacBook Pro, curved widescreen monitor, aeron chair, etc.)
    - A culture of learning, with specific time set aside for everyone to focus on learning (Learning Time) and on small projects of their own choosing (Indie Time)
    - Career paths and promotion process that is fair and provides opportunities for a wide variety of options

    I could probably keep going for a while, but you get the point...the most important thing to note is that I love coming to work every day!

    Cons

    It is very common to feel like you are the dumbest person in the room or to be afraid that you can't keep up. With so many smart people around you every day, it is a very humbling experience - especially if you have gotten used to being at the top of your class or team in the past. Fortunately, there are almost no big egos and everyone is willing to teach others, but it is hard not to feel dumb at least some of the time.

    The benefits package is slightly on the weak side, although the new Flexible PTO policy is an improvement over the previous below-average PTO policy.

    Team workspaces are fantastic for collaboration and the designs for the new Valo Park campus will add much needed quiet and meeting spaces, but there is no sound barrier between teams and that can become distracting.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to Engineering leadership: Keep doing what you are doing! Don't let the continued growth push you towards changing the way things work. It is often tempting to make changes to maintain control at the top...instead, recognize that you've done a great job at building up the next layer of management and trust them to continue what you've started as we scale up. Rather than seeking control, look to audit at the lower levels to confirm that this is the case and hold middle management accountable for maintaining the culture we have built and for fixing it when the audits show they have not.

    Advice to company leadership: Learn as much as you can from the way the Engineering leadership has run things and try to get other departments to follow their lead. Also, when rolling out policy changes, gather more feedback in the early stages and seriously listen to that feedback. Several company-wide changes were met with a great deal of frustration and confusion simply because this did not occur.

    Appian Response

    Dec 7, 2018 – VP, Product Development

    Thank you for not only taking the time to share your experience, but for your ongoing contributions and dedication to the company over the last several years. As you noted, we are passionate about... More

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Getting big, but a single person can still make a big impact"

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

    I have been working at Appian full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    In the Engineering department, we've grown ~30% annually for the past few years. I was initially worried this would lead to bureaucracy, but our move to the Spotify Tribal model has helped. More importantly, the Appian culture empowers individuals to make an impact and this is especially true in Engineering. Whether it's proposing a multi-year long feature or just getting everyone to switch to a better way of writing front-end tests, the culture is supportive. Engineering provides blocked-off time at work to do independent projects, work with groups (aka Guilds) on small projects, and do solo-learning or learn in groups (aka Chapters). This means you have time to learn and grow and be creative while not hurting your team's velocity. I find this very empowering. Every month people volunteer to present on what they've done in this non-team time, and hands down these are the most fun, most interesting presentations!

    Cons

    Your grandma, your mom, and your possibly even your friends won't have heard of "Appian". You may have trouble explaining to them what you do. VPs are all very driven and can be intimidating until you get to know them and realize they just want what's best for Appian. We don't have as much vacation time as nearby federal contractors and the government (although management is very flexible when you need to take an hour or two off or WFH). And the HQ is currently in Reston, VA - although the company is relocating to a new building which is only 25 min outside DC.

    Advice to Management

    Marketing needs to spend less time chasing buzzwords like AI and blockchain and spend more time explaining the core value proposition of Appian.

    Appian Response

    Nov 16, 2018 – VP, Product Development

    Thank you for not only sharing your experience, but for your dedication to and impact on Appian for more than a decade! I agree, that while we have grown tremendously over the past ~20 years, we have... More


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Fun Challenges, Faithful Coworkers, and Fulfilling Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Appian Engineering has something really special on their hands.

    The engineering department is fairly large at (currently) 230. But with the size of the department comes a wide range of types of software development people can do here. I've never worked with such a high percentage of super smart people.

    The kind of software that Appian builds brings with it very unique challenges. We build software that lets people build software. The department is so well-organized with great planning. For the most part, we hit all the commits we make for the quarter with very little missing deadlines.

    The culture makes sure to give every engineer a chance to speak up and make change within their teams and in the department. Appian also invests in their engineers by prescribing 5% of their time department-wide to learn and improve through Udemy courses, learning groups called Chapters, and other self-driven learning.

    Appian hosts lots of events. Just recently they had a couple hours at the end of the day dedicated to allowing people to bring their kids to trick or treat in the office with lots of treats and games to play throughout. Also, as part of hitting 1000 employees, each team volunteered for some cause which not only helped the community but also built camaraderie.

    Cons

    - Compensation and benefits are about on par with what I saw around the area though I have seen better benefits here and there (specifically paternity/maternity leave, health/gym reimbursement, and 401k matching).
    - Silicon Valley companies give free lunch and dinner everyday, but as far as I know there aren't a lot of companies in the DMV that do that. Appian also does not.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to engineers. You've done a great job hearing our cries and adjusting, making our work lives better.

    Appian Response

    Nov 7, 2018 – VP, Product Development

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I’m delighted to hear that you are having such an enjoyable experience within Appian and the Engineering department. On-going education and... More


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Dynamic talent and a compelling product bolster a maturing organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - District Manager
    Current Employee - District Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Appian full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Appian truly supports and enables career growth like none other. I say this due to my own success in professional development, and I hope that others here have the same experience as I. In every role I've held at Appian, I've been supported by highly-tenured management as I learned the job, became an expert at the job and then wanted more. And time after time, my then-manager has fervently supported my desire to move to that next role.

    I've also had the fantastic opportunity to live a life outside of the office for the past ten years. Since I began working here, I've dated, gotten married, had kids and have raised them. I've traveled with family for a long weekend, for a week, and at least once a year for longer. The teams above and around me have always supported the work/life balance that I need in order to be happy. This could mean leaving the office early to pick up a sick kid, and it could mean doing the same for them as they live their own lives.

    I frequently participate in our Talent Acquisition process here and have had the fortune of interviewing dozens (closing in on hundreds, but not quite there yet) of candidates. I share the same with all of them which I do through this review: There's an incredible spirit of collaboration at Appian. When you're on the Sales team, you're not in a silo out in the field. You have access to the entire organization to help solve a problem. Sometimes the answers come quickly. Other times it takes a little digging. But when you ask the hard questions internally, everyone pitches in with answers. And that camaraderie arches across departments. Engineering, Services, Partners, Solutions Engineering and other parts of the business are as quick to chime in, and it's all done in a very selfless way.

    There is also an incredible array of talent all around us here. I am continually impressed by the capabilities of people who have either developed organically here or have come over from much larger, more mature organizations. The strategy and thought leadership available for us to lever in the field continues to sharpen, and that bullpen of talent creates an incredibly friendly climate for the consultative sale.

    I have been privileged with the opportunity to work with so many talented people in my time here. I've built a tremendous number of lifelong friendships with coworkers, partners and customers. While there's always that "next opportunity" which may be compelling enough to lead me away from Appian one day, I'm still as excited to start each new week as I was when I began my career here 10 years ago.

    Cons

    Change is hard. And it's also inevitable. Our IPO last year (and admittedly, for a few years leading up to it) forced us to grow up as a company. We had to standardize and mature processes which were traditionally less formal. We've created more structure and controls around functions of the job where there used to be none. We're accountable to a public market and shareholders today that, 18 months ago, had little influence on our actions.

    That change can best be described as growing pains. The literal kind. Where our bones grew too fast for our body and some pain was endured. And those pains have been shared by a few on this site and others, where they had a very different experience at Appian than I. Perhaps I was insulated from the pain because of a great group of people around me. Perhaps others weren't. But the rate of change over the past few years can definitely be seen by some as a Con.

    The other big "Con" that I hear about from time to time is benefits. I don't see it as a significant issue personally, but I can understand the concern of others. Full disclosure: I take advantage of my spouse's healthcare plan at another employer, so I can't comment on Appian's offering.

    Lastly, brand awareness. It's evolving, and my territory is receiving a significantly larger number of inbound opportunities than in years past. But for Sales, it can still be a battle to get the first phone call scheduled. This will continue to improve as our customer footprint scales, though I would raise caution to anyone coming from a blue chip who thinks they can just smile and dial.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lose sight of the love for transparency, feedback and debate on which the foundation of this company was built. Challenge each employee to be candid with their peers and support that candor day in and day out.


  6. "Too Focused on Engineering Dept"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Solution Engineer
    Former Employee - Solution Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    As a software engineer, Appian is a great place to work - lots of incentives and rewards, a great deal of recognition, and while the growth is crazy they're making a huge effort to offset growing too fast for their own good.

    Cons

    Departments outside of Software Engineering (Support is what I worked most closely with, but also Professional Services and Sales) are toxic and aren't matching the demand that customers have (PS usually has way too many people, Support with way too few). The departments end up blaming and arguing with each other, really taking away from the culture Appian is trying to foster.

    Advice to Management

    Software Engineering may be the core of the product, but you can't have a successful company only fostering that department. Take care of your employees, or else they'll go somewhere they feel more respected and appreciated.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Enterprise Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very challenging environment and has the potential to bring out the best in you. Your surrounded by very intelligent people that bring a ton of value to the sales process and to the customer. The founders are engaged in high profile opportunity too.

    Cons

    Long sales cycles and restrictions on account opportunity beyond a set of keys accounts. The leaders are a mixed bag and the guidelines for a sales management hire are a bit outside of the norm to a negative.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to drive to make the product easier to consume for the customer. Your best sales people do not make your best sales leaders.

  8. "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Corporate location is close to good happy hour/dinner options after hours

    Cons

    If you're a successful, seasoned salesperson: STAY AWAY. They micro-manage and give you so much busy work that you cannot sell effectively. For instance, they will fly you to regional office locations once a month to sit in a room and cold call with your colleagues. Yes, you all sit in the same room and cold call, talking over each other as if you are in a call center. The "pipeline" generated from these "Power Days" is all fake, its only a matter of time before execs realize it's all smoke and mirrors. They also like to tout a Software Guarantee, but yet ignore their legacy customers with issues and could care less about their failed implementations. Look elsewhere....

    Advice to Management

    Sell/target strategically and treat your experienced reps like adults; not 22 year-olds straight out of college.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "I have enjoyed it and exciting opportunities frequently made available after some time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are mostly genuinely good people. There is a lot of personality, so the style varies quite a bit depending on which area of the business you are focused on delivering. There are a lot of demands, but also a lot of flexibility.

    Cons

    There are a lot of uni hires in a few of the departments without prior full-time work experience. It is great that they are smart, but there tends to be a lack of perspective sometimes on what constitutes work and success. A bit too much coddling sometimes on nice people, but don't actually deliver significantly. However, less than other companies than I have worked.

    Advice to Management

    Growth is a challenge. You are doing better than most, but keep focusing on improving.


  10. "Avoid Professional Services at all costs."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Appian full-time

    Pros

    Good holiday party and Appian retreat.

    Cons

    As others have pointed, the PTO policy isn't generous, especially compared to other tech or consulting companies in the area.

    I was attracted to Appian for it's culture. "Best idea wins", right? Not quite. I found the culture in PS to be toxic, compared to the rest of the company. In my tenure, many people actively transferred out of PS. I can't think of anyone that actually transferred in or boomeranged back. There's an obvious disconnect. People do seem genuinely happier in Engineering so if that's your department, you're in luck. The company culture seems much stronger outside of PS. I'm not convinced the PS leaders share the same vision or values as other department leaders. Retaining talent and improving morale doesn't seem to be their priority.

    Recruiting advertises a rotational abroad in UK or Australia to new PS hires. Every attempt at this was futile. Upper management within Commercial actively prevented this at every step of the way so don't get your hopes up.

    I was on the bench on several occasions, waiting for new work to come in. There was zero communication, timeline or transparency during this time from upper management so I got a nice 3 week vacation out of this. In my experience, you'll have no voice in your project selection or how long you'll stay on.

    The reporting structure is an absolute mess. Feedback is essentially non-existent. You're assigned a mentor in PS. However, this mentor may never actually work with you in a professional setting. And this is the person writing your annual review. You also have a career adviser, but again, this person has never worked with you before. You also have a team lead and a TDM one level above the team lead. 12 months on a project and my lead and TDM never once expressed any interest in my career or goals.

    I also found some of their practices borderline unethical. TDMs, leads, and VPs expecting us to work 10-11 hour days, but only allowing us to bill the client for 8 hours of work? We also had 7 am team calls multiple times a week.

    Overall, I thought Appian (the company) was great, but professional services (the department) promoted an unhealthy and toxic work environment. For some, PS may be a good place to start your career, but don't expect to stay long.

    Appian Response

    Nov 8, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. It is unfortunate to hear that you did not get the best out of your experience at Appian. We value and consider all feedback, and we have a talent... More