Canonical Reviews | Glassdoor

Canonical Reviews

Updated November 6, 2017
111 reviews

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2.7
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Canonical CEO Jane Silber
Jane Silber
69 Ratings

111 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Most engineers get to work from home full time (in 27 reviews)

  • working on open source products (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Likewise, an obsession with open source (or web based) tools only hurts delivery of services (in 7 reviews)

  • The closer you work with upper management, the more stressful and dysfunctional it gets (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Smart people, struggling direction."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lansing, MI
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Lansing, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    As might be expected for an industry leader, Canonical attracts some really top-tier talent, particularly among the developers. These are developers who are active in Open Source projects, presenting at conferences, writing books on the technology we use, etc. The opportunity to work on Open Source software and be paid for it is amazing, both in the moment and later on as your career advances. Most of my work for the past three years is publicly available: I can point to my pull requests, issues filed, and code written when companies ask for examples of my work.

    Cons

    The business is still struggling to really be profitable. It still needs Mark Shuttleworth's ongoing investment. As a result, there's a lot of changes in direction. That's especially true if you work on one of the newer products, i.e., not on Ubuntu itself. Every few months, usually after a meeting with Mark, there's a shift in strategy, all in search of how to launch a really profitable product. The company really wants something beyond an OS (which is increasingly commoditized) to ensure its profitably moving forward.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused. Now that the layoffs are done and projects are trimmed, maintain that focus on developing products that can be profitable as soon as possible.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Sinking 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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Canonical full-time

    Pros

    Extremely smart and dedicated people working across engineering, support, delivery, and operations.

    Cons

    The owner is disconnected from reality, lacks patience to see things through, arrogant when it comes to meeting customer needs, and runs the company like a spoiled child.

    Advice to Management

    Sell as fast as possible.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great company but kind of a mess right now"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredibly smart people, ability to work with the latest cloud technologies and ride the open source wave. Lots of travel to interesting places, assuming you like travel.

    Cons

    Lack of long-term focus. The shiny new object technology has a way of totally distracting Mark Shuttleworth until the next shiny object. Science experiments have apparently all been shut down with lots of layoffs. Mark is also pretty harsh on people. You need to expect that you will get publicly shamed by him at some point during your employment. Terrible retirement plan for US employees with no employer match.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your people like people, not like robots!


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Unique"

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

    I worked at Canonical full-time

    Pros

    Entire development team is remote all over the world, great talented engineers from all over, work from home everyday, passionate about open-source and building innovative products, startup type atmosphere, can take on as much work as you'd like

    Cons

    Hard to sometimes move as quickly as you'd like with everyone being distributed, teams need to be better coordinated, too many layers of managers who don't necessarily understand the technology, recent layoffs were handled terribly

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees with respect even if you don't agree with them


  5. Helpful (7)

    "You've lost that loving feeling"

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

    I worked at Canonical full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Pay, freedom to work from anywhere in the world, exciting technology

    Cons

    Acidic management (think Kernel developer mailing list), no account management just angry customers and MIA sales personnel, no company loyalty to long-timers, massive layoffs, horrid work life balance, culture has turned 180 degrees away from what made it a great place to work

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees, manners, and professionalism and not telling lies to customers


  6. Helpful (2)

    "ooh, shiny...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Remote, OR
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Remote, OR
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Canonical (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the best software engineers you will ever be graced to work with. Fun projects, remote work, intense.

    Cons

    Obsessed with the new shiny, there is a total corporate disdain for mundane things like documentation and maintenance, so projects get dropped at about 80% completion again and again in favour of some new next big thing.

    Advice to Management

    Vision is great, but plans are what actually achieve success.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Canonical"

    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

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

    Pros

    Great people, leading-edge linux and cloud technology company

    Cons

    While portfolio and product capabilities are competitive, company focus and strategy hurt by management decisions and leadership style coming from the top of privately owned company

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Project Maanger"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Canonical full-time

    Pros

    Work from home. Good salary and bonus.

    Cons

    The owner is the captain of the Titanic.

    Advice to Management

    Jump ship!


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Interesting work, even better culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Canonical full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people are some of the best you could hope to work with, and the culture is all about working with your team to get things done.

    Cons

    Sometimes the different divisions find themselves at cross purposes, with the "community project" side, uninterested in the commercial side's goals, and vice-versa.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Technical Writer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Iowa City, IA
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Iowa City, IA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people, the camaradarie, open source software, good vibes

    Cons

    The company is currently laying off 30-40% of its workforce. This may bring a long term benefit, but negatively affected me and many others.


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