Blurb Reviews | Glassdoor

Blurb Reviews

Updated July 3, 2017
60 reviews

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3.3
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Blurb CEO Todd Larsen
Todd Larsen
19 Ratings

60 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • great work-life balance, co-workers are all great people to work with (in 12 reviews)

  • I have been a full time employee at Blurb for more than 2 yrs and all I can say is "It has some really great people that I enjoy working with" (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • We have phases of high turnover, which can sometimes affect moral (in 5 reviews)

  • Still going through a few growing pains (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place to start a career."

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

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

    Pros

    - Fantastic people. Got along well with everyone.
    - Flexible work schedule (as long as you get your work done!).
    - Good work / life balance.
    - Some new code bases with up to date technology.
    - Practice working with old systems / technology.

    Cons

    - Old code base (technology).
    - Little mentorship / structured opportunities for growth.
    - Lack of feedback: it was hard to know how to improve and how to better add to the team.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in strong managers and people retention. Overall, there has been improvement; but, there need to be better decisions around what a manager is / does to better support their team and their teams retention / growth.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lax work hours, coworkers are friendly.

    Cons

    Lacks innovation. If you want to work on the stuff that the business needs you need to be working on the platform team because they get all of the new work with the Api gateway integration while the web team gets all of the maintenance work (for Rails 2, backbone). Also selenium tests take well over 2.5 hours each to run since the business cheaps out on hardware and they run the test environments off of old physical servers in a closet instead of through a cloud provider so code doesn't really get deployed for a while when it's complete.

    Advice to Management

    Rotate engineers onto other projects and teams more often.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Lovely place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    -Collaborative work environment, both within teams and cross-functionally
    -Focus on creativity, both in our own work and our messaging to customers
    -Open to testing
    -Workplace includes a ton of females in senior leadership
    -Mentorship is a high priority
    -Great work/life balance

    Cons

    -Lack of continued focus for the company overall


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Lead Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked at Blurb for about one year and a half.

    This is a great company doing amazing things in the self-publishing and printing industry. Clients love Blurb's products, they can create trade books, magazines and photo books easily, upload them and place orders - with just a few clicks they can order ebooks, print books and pdf books.

    Although Blurb has had its fair share of struggles because of the rapid development pace it had since inception, it managed to turn around and move in the right direction.

    2016 was the year when the new micro-services platform started to take shape and we started to move away from the monolith architecture. The old, monolith platform was a nightmare and it alienated good engineers for quite some time.

    Big kudos to the new CEO who's managed to set a new vision and to the VP of Engineering who trusted my team to redesign and develop the new foundation.

    The company is definitely taking off, although from the inside it does not feel like that yet.

    Great people, great technologies to work with, nice work-life balance, your voice is heard if you need to say something, everyone seems to be committed to make it a success.

    Cons

    Regular issues, like the ones every small/large company has

    Advice to Management

    There is still a lot to do, increase the budget and get the best people


  5. Helpful (1)

    "challenging technology problems, great work-life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Blurb full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    challenging technology problems - moving rails 2 monolith backend to java microservices
    great work-life balance, co-workers are all great people to work with
    overall company culture is seeing a change in positive direction

    Cons

    location is in SF Financial district, commute can be very bad if you live outside of San Francisco

    Advice to Management

    keep up the great work


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Flexible, supportive, & learning environment"

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

    I have been working at Blurb (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As a software engineer, you get to leverage new techniques and technologies. The environment is laid back, with work-from-home options, and flexible work schedules. Everyone works hard and is committed to the company goals. I'm constantly learning from other engineers and being challenged by our amazing UX and Creative Designers.

    Since having my first child, management has been extremely supportive of maintaining a good work-life balance, while helping me steer my career in the right direction.

    Cons

    We have phases of high turnover, which can sometimes affect moral. There is also not enough collaboration or communication between engineering and marketing.

    Advice to Management

    We can do better to retain talent. We've lost some amazing people (our UX and Program Management Directors) more recently.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Do Not Work Here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent work-life balance, low stress, lunch once a week.

    Cons

    * The company has been neglecting its engineering department for its entire ten-year lifespan. The web framework is Rails 2, and though several attempts have been made to upgrade to Rails 3, none ever succeed because of the huge amount of technical debt. There's a long history of engineering things the quick & dirty way, rather than the slower way that's actually sustainable in the long run.
    * Yearly raises range from very low to nonexistent, even if your performance review is excellent. I simply do not understand the mentality of companies that do this. They’d rather spend tens of thousands in recruiter fees to replace an employee than a few thousand to retain them? In a job market with a deficit of engineers this makes no sense.
    * Suffers from massive attrition. Entire teams have been replaced.
    * The company gives lip service to listening to its employees, but in the end, management does whatever it wants, whether they’re right or wrong. There is no respect for differing opinions.
    * Management has told employees to write positive reviews of the company. I wouldn’t trust some of the positive reviews you see here.

    Advice to Management

    Theoretically, it’s possible to fix the technical debt and bad design. Practically, it’s already too late. My advice to management is to take engineering seriously at their next company.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blurb full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, product and people! Smart, passionate team. New leadership team. Free lunches on Wednesdays, weekly in-office yoga and massages, snacks, co. pays 100% for employee portion of medical benefits, your birthday off work.

    Cons

    In the midst of change with new leadership team and direction. Given this, growing pains are expected. Moving in the right direction!

    Advice to Management

    Continue regular communications and transparency. Upgrade benefits even more to stay competitive with other tech companies in the Bay area.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Don't buy stock.. waste of time. 10 years with 3 yrs left run rate, still reliant on investor cash"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of different types of technology to work with. If you want to learn how to work with old software, this is the place to be. It's a great place to work on fixing bugs.

    Cons

    The pros double as cons if you're not interested in maintaining legacy tech. The number of product offerings make it virtually impossible to spend any time on other teams since there needs to be specialists on each platform. Company is another run-of-the-mill middling valley startup with very limited ability to innovate in its market and fairly average benefits. Lots of competitors exist now and there are very likely limited opportunities to exit unless Adobe decides to buy. IPO probably won't happen.

    If you're looking for a place to make it big in the valley, this is definitely not it. If you're looking for a stable job where you can clock in and out or gain some experience.. this might be ok.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to hire silver-bullet engineers you're wasting your time. Try incorporating newer tech in your tech stack. No one wants to keep building with Rails 2 or Backbone.js anymore.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Change for the better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blurb (More than a year)

    Pros

    New leadership with a vision for the future and a plan to get there is a key reason I'm still here. Blurb continues to support me in my development with training and learning opportunities. Additionally, I have been able to influence change in the organization at levels outsized to my role.

    Cons

    This company has baggage, technical, process and product that impacts the ability to implement change. Several things are still in flux due to new leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Challenge the status quo at every turn, we will not be successful doubling down on the choices of the past. Increase transparency, I prefer to know the good and the bad before difficult choices need to be made.


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