Autodesk Reviews in London, England | Glassdoor

Autodesk London Reviews

Updated March 2, 2017
8 reviews

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London, England (UK)

3.3
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Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost
Andrew Anagnost
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8 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is always depends on the person (in 209 reviews)

  • You can work from home anytime you need to and every 4 years you have the sabbatical: 6 weeks of paid vacation (in 50 reviews)

Cons
  • Very hard to get promoted to Director and establish upward career path, hard to maintain decent work/life balance esp (in 34 reviews)

  • Much of the culture change being pushed with the business transformation is not being accepted at the middle management tier (in 42 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great employee engagement, collaboration and challenging work

    Cons

    none that I can think of, I love the company and my job

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Great until they don't need you anymore"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Marketing in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Company Shares, Pension, training, 6 weeks paid vacation, location.

    Cons

    No job security, very slow to implement work, get rid of staff members very easily, low salary, difficult to move ahead in career.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to your decisions, realise staff members worth and match salaries to current standards.

  3. Helpful (12)

    "Great vision, absolute chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Autodesk full-time

    Pros

    In words, the company has a great vision, and is committed to the cause of making the world a better place. Very inspirational.

    Cons

    In practice, it's absolute chaos. Most teams are results of acquisitions, and they end up being poorly integrated silos with an excessive amount of unskilled, inexperienced managers that were promoted as a result of acquisition and not true merit or skill. Tons of overinflated egos run wild, boasting the success of their ol' startup, and amidst this absolutely zero forward progress is made.

    Most people that last longer than a few months in Autodesk carry a title of "principal" engineer and yet have trouble with basic daily tasks such as version control or testing, being well below average even for junior level in other places. The reseach division (OCTO) is possibly worse, with principal researchers having difficulty explaining their thoughts clearly or relating their work to others. I do not recommend this company for anyone who aspires to learn from peers.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Big heart, big vision, big politics, big mistakes."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay is very good, as are the benefits as a whole. Flexible working arrangements mean you are treated like an adult. The company has a wonderful 'heart' and sets itself out to make the world a better place (or at least, that's the message from the top). There is some truly inspiring stuff going on in certain pockets of the company. It's certainly a company you can feel good about working for.

    Cons

    First, you'd better be good at dealing with Cognitive Dissonance... On the one hand, you think "I am working for one of the world's top software companies", while at the same time, you will see some of the most amateurish, slapdash, naive practices imaginable, not to mention a total lack of anything approaching a process or a plan of any sort. It's bizarre in the extreme. This is certainly the case in my part of the company, but it's hard to say if it's universal. Which brings me to my second point...

    Autodesk claims to be one company but is more like about 50. Now, this may be 'normal' for a mega-conglomerate but, at less than 7,000 people Autodesk is hardly 'massive'. The thing is, Autodesk has grown almost entirely by acquisition. That's why it has such a fragmented nature, not to mention the most ridiculously overlapping portfolio of products you can imagine. If Wheel Reinvention were an Olympic sport then Autodesk would be triple gold medalists

    The levels of post-rationalisation and ass-covering that many at Autodesk are capable of, particularly in middle management, is staggering. Get yourself into middle management, especially on the Product side, and you can happily crash and burn entire projects at the cost of tens of millions of dollars and be rewarded with a promotion. It is vomit-inducing.

    Advice to Management

    Remove several layers of middle management. If you are serious about getting to the cloud and building world-class web and mobile apps, then employee people who actually know how to do that stuff. Rationalise your portfolio — it truly is ridiculous right now, especially those basically-the-same but slightly different "360" apps.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Far too Corporate, Disorganised, Political"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Global company with the opportunity to work on large projects and huge, renowned applications used by 10s of 1000s of people+

    Access to great hardware and tools. Often a high degree of autonomy, but that may differ from office to office.

    Cons

    Lots of poor decision making - i.e. making a decision without understanding the impact; trying to implement global change without a strategy.

    I've never worked anywhere with so many politics. It depends on who you work for and who they work for as to whether you can be given a raise or a promoted. The standing of an office depends on the products it produces and how they are valued. There's a lot of posturing going on because: multiple teams are developing competing products or services (which shouldn't be happening); because acquisitions have been made of poor products but backed by senior people who do not wish these bad choices to be highlighted. I've seen people sidelined or fired for saying the wrong thing, defending the wrong team, or for being associated with the wrong product.

    Generally the levels of management make enacting change or having an impact can be impossible. Given the scale of the organisation there is a lot of waster and a lot of poor execution of the vision of senior management. The company is able to make huge mistakes and survive because it has a monopoly on many areas and is making such a huge amount of money, where a smaller company would crash and burn.

    It can also be lost in translation as to which team is responsible for a success or failure and much of that is by design.

    Advice to Management

    There's too many layers to management and too many people promoted to the level of their incompetence. There needs to be more transparency and a better two-way dialogue. Acquisitions need to be vetted more closely before committing and if buying to take the product idea and the company out from being acquired by a competitor, recognise when to ditch the codebase and re-architect - don't promote people you've 'bought' through acquisition without their deserving it, especially if they are widely known to be borderline incompetent.

    Stop sacking the coalface when there are plenty of middle managers who only contribute negatively.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "OK company but limited opportunity to advance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Territory Sales Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Territory Sales Manager in London, England (UK)
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You have the opportunity to work with some great people around you, and offices look bright and colourful.
    Brilliant technology
    Flexible approach i.e. work from home or in the office
    Good benefits

    Cons

    Political boundaries within the company limits your opportunity to progress and advance your career. Dependant on divisions within the company, you can be treated fairly providing you've built a good relationship with the manager, otherwise your career can be limited. You have a window to make a difference otherwise you will be restricted on all levels.
    Work life balance is poor and overloaded with work that can keep you continuously working all hours.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees sharing feedback on upper management.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great company - Needs to overcome constraints as it scales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Director in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Autodesk full-time

    Pros

    Culture
    Very human, personable culture. What this means in practice is, if you are trying to get stuff done, there is an open door policy and *for the most part* senior folk don't tend think or act in a hierarchical way (there are always some though). For my role this meant getting executive buy in wasn't difficult.

    Work environment
    Autodesk is one of the few companies who have managed to truly integrate the culture, meaning and philosophy of their brand and what they stand for, into the facilities and work environment. All of the primary offices are beautifully conceived. The workplace environment is well thought out, promoting open working, hot design with ample call booth and meeting rooms to hop into. The San Francisco (1 Market) office is probably one of the best offices in the world of any company.

    Compensation
    Pretty competitive for the most part. Lagging some areas in enterprise sales reps vs the market.

    The people
    See "Culture" above. Great people at Autodesk with very long tenure.

    Vision
    "The internet of things" means this is Autodesk's time.

    Cons

    There really aren't many cons with Autodesk. I loved my time there. There's some things I think the company needs to do (see below).

    Advice to Management

    Marketing / Socialising the vision
    Most of the market outside of Autodesk's immediate product competitors don't really know much about the company, which is a bit of an issue as the company is on an exciting trajectory. "The future of making things" needs to be linked up with The internet of things and how we are all using devices with multiple sensors (think Fitbit, Apple Watch, Phones, Nest etc) which all plays to Autodesk. The external view drives market perception and Autodesk needs to do a better job otherwise this is in conflict to its growth plans. This is essentially a marketing issue (branding) vs an employer brand issue. The employer brand should shine in the halo of the corporate brand.

    Look forwards, not back
    The upside of long tenure, is you you have people who are vastly experienced and trusted. The constraining factor is often, when bold and brave (but deliberate) decisions need to be made, these same people "can" get stuck looking in the rear view mirror. "We won't do it because we never did it like that". This will constrain the thinking, growth and people. My advice would be to continue promoting internal talent (Autodesk is GREAT at this) but bring in more external leaders to drive innovative thinking.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "No advancement on my end of the food chain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Support Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Customer Support Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Absolute market leader in my field of work, good reputation with customers

    Cons

    In almost 9 years in the company I was presented with 0 possibilities to climb the ladder.

    Advice to Management

    Openness and most of all honesty. Encourage creativity and let the rule book be the rule book every now and then.


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