Appian Reviews | Glassdoor

Appian Reviews

Updated February 12, 2019
175 reviews

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3.6
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Appian President and CEO Matt Calkins
Matt Calkins
135 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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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. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Great culture, great colleagues, great opportunities"

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

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

    Pros

    My manager is honest, transparent, and is committed to the success of our team both collectively, and individually. She ensures we know our future career opportunities, and that we're developing both the skills we need now, and working on the ones needed to achieve future goals. I love knowing that I won't get stuck in a stagnant role, but will continue having opportunities to learn and grow.

    My teammates are kind, smart, and supportive. We have a collaborative environment and colleagues readily offer assistance to each other, and constantly share new knowledge with the team.

    From the broader organization, I feel my contributions are appreciated, and my colleagues are intelligent and pleasant to work with. My role involves frequent collaboration with Sales Account Executives and managers, Professional Services, Solutions Consultants, and corporate operations departments. I have found all teams to be very professional and knowledgeable in their roles.

    A cultural aspect I really enjoy is participation in AppianLIFE organizations and affinity groups. These groups are formed by employees with the goal of supporting identities or interests in the organization, and building cross-departmental relationships. These groups have provided me both with career-enhancing workshops and training, as well as social opportunities to build relationships and learn more about my colleagues in other departments.

    Cons

    Smaller departments can feel somewhat isolated, as they have fewer group activities, and often fewer opportunities for visibility than larger departments. It's not uncommon for me to meet colleagues who didn't know my team exists. I think some of this may change when Appian moves to our new HQ building later this year and we're no longer divided by the physical barriers we currently experience being located across multiple floors of two different office towers. AppianLIFE groups have also focused on bringing a more unified culture to the organization, so I believe we are making progress in this area.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating openly about the reasons behind corporate decisions. I really appreciate how changes and decisions are thoughtfully explained in our quarterly meetings. Giving employees visibility into the thought process and considerations that went into decisions builds confidence that no big change is undertaken lightly, and everyone's best interests have been considered.

    Appian Response

    Jan 15, 2019 – VP US Sales

    Thank you for sharing your experience not only within your department, but also across teams and within our internal affinity groups. It’s wonderful to hear that you feel your contributions are... More


  2. "#1 Company to Work For in Washington D.C. Area for a REASON!"

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

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

    Pros

    - Amazing culture. A+
    - Investment on continuous learning & professional growth
    - Benefits are amazing! Super flexible
    - Every employee brings something to the table - very passionate
    - Appian organizations within Appian (AppianLife, AppianGreen, AppianPride, AppianWomen, etc.)
    - PLUS: Moving to BRAND NEW CAMPUS IN TYSONS CORNER WHICH WILL HAVE A 24-HOUR GYM INSIDE!

    Cons

    - Could use more diversity

    Appian Response

    Feb 8, 2019

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review! Happy to hear you are excited for our big move this summer; it will truly be another monumental moment for Appian! We value and consider all feedback... More

  3. "Great Culture, Smart People, Customer Focus, Visionary Leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    People - entry level to Executives
    Technology
    Culture - willingness to do/try new things, openness, let's do this attitude

    Cons

    Benefits package is less appealing than similar companies in the area.

    Advice to Management

    As the company continues in its growth trajectory, the benefits package offered needs to be redone to at least be on par with talent-competitors.

    Appian Response

    Feb 13, 2019 – VP, Product Development

    We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us, and are happy to hear some of the things you like about working here! I would welcome a conversation to better understand your... More


  4. "Good work & life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer

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

    Pros

    Company is developing fast and there are many new and interesting features to work on.

    Cons

    Barely provide the perks of free food. Very limited PTO.

    Appian Response

    Feb 13, 2019 – VP, Product Development

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review! Per your note on limited PTO, please remember that our new Flexible PTO policy (known elsewhere as unlimited PTO) came into effect on January... More


  5. "New sales leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Dirrctor in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Dirrctor in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good platform message for Transformation

    Cons

    Inexperienced sales leadership with new message every year

    Advice to Management

    Hire experienced sales professionals and don’t just promote someone internally who is unqualified

    Appian Response

    Feb 6, 2019 – VP US Sales

    Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Here at Appian, we strongly believe in hiring leadership externally as well as growing leaders within the organization. It is then our mission to provide... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "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


  7. 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

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Professional Services is a second class citizen, bureaucratic, antiquated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Delivery Manager
    Former Employee - Technical Delivery Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you're on the right project, with the right client, and you luck into one of the few teams, your career will thrive.
    If you're coming out of college then it's a good starting point.

    Cons

    There is NO strategy besides delivering the oversold promise of sales like you're in a low cost off shore dev center.

    Your team will be way under-experienced and your management will expect miracles.

    No one will care or take any improvement seriously so don't bother. They'll tell you to find your own time to work on it. Fall in line into CSM or Architect.

    There is no training after the intro academy or planned free time.

    Get ready for crappy equipment(no macbook unless you're mgmt), worse offices (well, cubicles), no training, lower hiring standards, and your client's products needs to be triaged indefinitely in favor of some gimmick to make a sales demo splashy.

    You will be treated as a less respected employee since you're not sales or engineering.

    The talent is put on the worst projects and/or made to carry teams so they end up leaving or switching departments.

    The C suite propagates this by spending most of their time caring about sales or engineering

    Advice to Management

    Either cut PS and fully replace it with partners or start thinking of it as a ultra high skilled department. If the latter, invest in its growth, its strategy, its talent. Develop a plan that's independent of sales and focused on building that advisement to the client. Hire an outside consulting firm to come in and help fix it since the current leadership is clearly struggling. Invest some $$ into the department and stop using it as a stock buoy.
    Execs, treat PS as an equal and not a lacky. After all, they're why customers are happy, not the precious engineering department or sales.

    Appian Response

    Jan 9, 2019

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback and I’m sorry that things didn't work out for you here. I would agree with your words, that the Professional Services department is truly an... More


  9. Helpful (5)

    "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


  10. "Average workplace"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    if you just want a job

    Cons

    No future for the ambitious

    Advice to Management

    Fix the company internally

    Appian Response

    Jan 3, 2019 – CFO

    Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that you are having a less than favorable experience. Appian prides itself in creating a challenging and fulfilling workplace for the ambitious who... More