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Cake & Arrow Reviews

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4.1
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Alex Schmelkin
12 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "An inspiring place to be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Content Strategist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Content Strategist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cake & Arrow (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Smart, engaged people at every level
    - Everyone actively working to making Ai an amazing place to work, every day
    - Management is committed to team and staff development
    - Continuously experimenting to find better ways of working
    - Focused on smart growth

    Cons

    No real cons, just be prepared for a lot of FUN (it can be overwhelming at first ;)


  2. "Lots of learning to be had"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cake & Arrow full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The golden thread through my time at C&A was the myriad opportunities for learning and professional growth afforded to me while there. There are some very special veterans around the place that will truly take great interest and care in your success and betterment. There is also plenty of room and agency given to those who express a desire and willingness to expand their responsibilities and local impact.

    Cons

    The agency is currently undergoing a transition: branding, positioning, maybe even structure. While the new direction is something that is collectively agreed upon and underway, there are some growing pains that will need to be surmounted and subsequent learnings to be navigated. Though nothing that I believe the group there can't weather and emerge better for it!

    Advice to Management

    Your culture and operations are founded on the notion of GOOD: product and people. Sometimes "GOOD" is better arrived at by owning a little bit of the "BAD" subtracted from "GREAT."

  3. Helpful (8)

    "I'm not the only one looking to jump ship"

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

    Pros

    -Great group of people. Everyone seems to genuinely enjoy each other for the most part.
    -Lots of time off (3 weeks + 2 weeks that the office is closed).

    Cons

    -Quite a bit of turnover in the last year and a half. Multiple people left around the same time earlier this year and several other people were recently let go in one surprise sweep which has made some of us feel unsafe in our own positions.
    -Upper management seems to lack direction and the ability to manage the place well through slow business times which makes the atmosphere uncomfortable.
    -Mistakes feel magnified.
    -Pay is less here than other competitors in the industry.
    -Projects routinely are not delivered on time which makes dealing with some clients tough for those of us who interact with them directly.

    Advice to Management

    Be more realistic with clients on expectations and deadline to help energize people actually working on the projects. Help employees work on their weaker points to grow into better workers. Be more transparent and direct with the team on matters that affect all of us.


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Long time employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director of Technology in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director of Technology in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cake & Arrow (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many companies claim that culture is important to them. You get a new laptop! We have beer on Fridays! We have a foosball table! While these are great attributes to look out for when picking a company, they are typically fluff that gets you in the door and is only cared about your first month on the job. Culture is at Ai's core. It is regularly checked in on, through bi-weekly 1:1s and is top of mind to Ai's upper management; To the point where late nights are put in making sure it is the best it can be. If something comes in the door that clashes with the culture, whether it be a new hire, or even a client. It gets the boot. Yes, clients will be turned down if they'll be a bad fit.

    Being at Ai will accelerate your career. Both in your hands on hard skills (programming, designing, managing, selling, etc) but your soft skills as well. How organized are you? Can you command a room and run an effective meeting? Can you explain or train those not of your discipline the nuances of what you are working on? Being at Ai for a few years will be like hoping around other companies acquiring new skills. You are exposed to everything over a wide range of industries

    Communication flows fairly freely up and down the management chain. While there is no official "open door policy"™ any employee can go to anyone at management at any time, to get an update, a therapy session, or just shoot the breeze.

    The PTO is very generous.

    Cons

    Like any company, but especially agencies, the hours can be long towards the end of a project. Luckily, the whole team is there pulling together.

    A memory I have of my first few months at Ai:
    The client had just managed to delete 1/3 of their data. The backup was corrupt, and the client had a demo the next day. My tech lead and I were there pretty late trying to reconstruct anything. Our PM at the time asked how she could help. We told her there was nothing she could do, we just had to slog through it. She went out, got us a pizza and a book, and just sat with us and read. That's what she could do, just be there and support us.

    THAT is the type of person who works at Ai

    Advice to Management

    Place higher value on a candidate's strengths rather then their weaknesses. You can improve on weaknesses, but the upper bounds of a candidate's strengths might be lower if they are more rounded. Unicorns are hard to find


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Interactive Graphic Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Interactive Graphic Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Outstanding management, great culture! Everyone works together as a team.

    Cons

    They have so much upside and could grow faster.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to your culture.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    - great group of very smart and talented people
    - great culture
    - there is always something going on (i.e. group outings, lunch and learns, etc)
    - interesting and challenging projects

    Cons

    - sometimes not enough resources to do the work
    - last minute projects decisions are done without PM involvement

    Advice to Management

    - keep doing what you doing, hire smart and talented people


  7. Helpful (5)

    "For user experience designers looking to accelerate quickly and be exposed to a wealth of exciting opportunities..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mid-level User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Mid-level User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Great environment for junior and mid-level user experience designers to accelerate in
    - Opportunity to work collaboratively with very senior level and well seasoned UX designers who make themselves accessible at all times to think together and problem solve
    - Very flat environment where everyone is treated with the utmost respect and all opinion and thought is equally valued and welcome
    - Teams are really good at talking through differences of opinion and working through any sort of conflict
    - Great client relationships maintained that gave the design team a sense of trust and confidence
    - Senior leadership continually negotiated and kept in close check with the client's evolving needs to maintain a schedule that was manageable for the team

    Cons

    - Sincerely don't have any notable cons to mention

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Web Developer at Alexander Interactive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software/Web Developer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software/Web Developer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cake & Arrow full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly and upbeat energy
    they have some long standing devoted employees
    working with knowledgable people
    they use mostly up-to-date technologies
    sun-filled space
    Director of Technology and others in management are approachable and knowledgable
    Reasonable work-life balance, late-night work is not frequent

    Cons

    the pay is not as high as in other companies. but there are other perks such as summer Fridays and a day off on your birthday, beer and food, etc.
    They create web sites of different sizes, the work is not super challenging or complex
    Some of the tech stack was older at the time I worked there, for example, they were still using SVN and branching was difficult, they were not yet using South consistently so database changes were not smooth, etc. But it depends on the project and they are constantly upgrading so this may have changed.
    Test driven development was not emphasized. No build in code-review process.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Boring work, fun people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cake & Arrow full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This company takes pride in its culture of trying to be a fun place to work. There's always fun things going-on inside and outside the office. There's a core group of lifers who help maintain the vibe. Technology is a strong point for these guys. Good place for anyone starting out their career.

    Cons

    Clients come to AI wanting ecommerce sites 90% of the time. Makes for redundant, boring work. Especially if you're a designer. Account peeps overpromise things (but so do all agencies, I suppose). Pay is on the low-end of the spectrum, too.

    Advice to Management

    Put the crusty/crotchety dog to sleep already. He bites, stinks and snores


  10. Helpful (2)

    ""Great culture, great management, great process""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cake & Arrow full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Great company culture! Not just externally with a great office, but also intrinsically - no ego's, no blaming, just learning. Work hard play hard mentality.
    - Great partners. Perfect balance of passion to do good work and and genuine goodness trickles down through the company.
    - Process is like no other. Makes things incredibly efficient and painless. It's not process for process sake, it more importantly makes sense.
    - Creative and UX team are incredible. Their work is outstanding.
    - Dev team is insanely smart. On the pulse of everything that is going on and always looking for ways to do kick-ass work.

    Cons

    - Quickly growing so resources can be spread thin until new resources are hired (but management always puts an interim plan in place).

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. Keep hiring great peeps!


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