Canonical Reviews | Glassdoor

Canonical Reviews

Updated April 25, 2017
90 reviews

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2.7
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Canonical CEO Jane Silber
Jane Silber
56 Ratings

90 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Most engineers get to work from home full time (in 21 reviews)

  • Able to work independently and able to work with open source community with minimal approval required (in 12 reviews)

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

  • Over time the company has grown a middle management layer that manages up and doesn't seem to improve project outcomes (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Technical Writer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Director "STAY AWAY, the FOUNDER hates and disrespect people""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good base salary and work remotely
    Best sales team was build and laid off because they put the top execs and founder in front of all Fortune 500 in a years. However, 90% of all decision makers came back asking to not bringing the founder anymore in meetings. Customers decided to drop Canonical because of founder and leadership.
    Result: the founder asked to hire a yes man to build yes man to the sales team and laid laid off the best talent ever. Shane on the founder and customer will make them pay the bad things done to people

    Cons

    Founder hates people within the company, does not listen C-Level customers in meetings or events and made his leadership management team be YES man and get rid off from sales and business development.
    Products do not work, there is no marketing and competitive intelligence because all is strategy and product responsibility but nobody has the courage to ask the founder to do a proper job rather then be flying around the world doing "demos" in events. Now he is coming back as CEO, he fired Jane the former CEO and made a massive layoff including all top sales and cloud architects because he believes will be acquired over the next 6 months by a large corporation in USA or will grab VC money to play either a bigger acquisition or IPO by 2019. In order to be in line he laid off people across the board to avoid equity and they made meetings to cut commissions and reduce base salary. They founder is running out of money and have disrespected many C-level customers. Canonical had the best sales people in the industry but the leadership has no clue about replicable business and make a sales company to grown because they have never done. In other hand, they decided to layoff the best talent to protect their seats. The company made a layoff with 24 hours notice without healthcare and a severance of 2,3 and 4 weeks which is totally below market practice and all because they founder wanted to fire people to keep equity to him since the prospects VCs have pushed him to bring equity to employees.

    Advice to Management

    When a VC comes on board (have to be a strong one) then he needs to put Mark off the company and build a real leadership and a customer centric culture company


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Losing potential"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Architect in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The level of technical expertise in the company is unmatched. The sales folks know more about the latest tech like containers, kubernetes, SVN and cloud than most technical people at other companies.

    Cons

    There are many. In the rush to keep technical knowledge up to standard, many other skills throughout the company go unappreciated. Skills such as People Management, Project Management, Marketing and Sales will get no love from the founder. This is short sighted and has had and will continue to have a negative effect on Canonical's ability to close large deals. The technical skills of individuals will continue to land them small deals, but their inability to embrace REAL Project Management and solution sales will keep them small.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace and appreciate some of the non-technical skills in the company. These are the skills that will land big deals long term.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Area Sales Executive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Executive in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Executive in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Unfortunately no pros to elaborate about this company. Ubuntu et. al. brand products adoption and growth in the commercial enterprise market doesn't stand a chance without the much needed talented sales, support and engineering employees. Which currently Canonical's executive team is in process of severely shedding as part of the large employees layoff's.

    Cons

    Last week, Canonical has abruptly decided to do large employees layoff. This layoff event was conducted with minimal notice and has negatively affected employees with no healthcare benefits, etc. Canonical products already have a challenge to prove themselves in the commercial enterprise customer space. Without the talented employees selling, supporting and engineering these products, Canonical will struggle to support their products. Unfortunately this company has abruptly reached to an end point where there is diminished returns and opportunity to lead the market is lost. This is the worst professional company I have ever worked for.

    Advice to Management

    Management is cold, bitter, rude and rough to their employees to say the least. Canonical's middle to senior management and executive leadership teams have become complacent and unsupportive to develop innovative products and support their employees needs and customer goals.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "startup pace without the equity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Canonical offers the opportunity to create new products like you were at a startup with the added bonus of self-promoting it, without the financial stress of your startup running out of money.

    - Lots of opportunities to work with and create cutting edge technologies
    - Bright people at the top
    - WFH offers distraction free environment
    - Great resume builder

    Cons

    - Pace doesn't let up and the work can change on a weekly basis
    - No payoff, you work like you're at a startup but all you get at the end is a resume
    - Under compensated in U.S.
    - Too many layers of management
    - Too much travel
    - Working with people who WFH too much makes for socially dysfunctional (and disproportional) interactions. You must have a high tolerance for drama and egos

    Advice to Management

    It's a privately owned company with no equity. Management's opinion doesn't matter.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Shaky Start to an Undefined Position"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Jacksonville, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Canonical (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits and decent team personnel

    Cons

    Information transfer, processes, and general communications were weak at best.

    Advice to Management

    Define your goal and job requirements for every position PRIOR to starting the interview process.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Stop me if you hear this, interesting tech, terrible management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You work with some smart people...

    Cons

    You also work with some not so smart people.
    Management really needs to stop sucking and listen to their employees.
    Waaayyy too much context switching and not enough focus on one or a couple projects
    Career growth is limited depending on the team

    Advice to Management

    Listen when your employee talk about problem people and action it!
    Some people are super annoying and management does nothing about it


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Awesome company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Linux Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Linux Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Canonical full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It is an amazing experience. I really recommend working for Canonical if you are a Software developer, likes open-source (specially Linux) and is willing to work hard.

    Cons

    Working from home can be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    To plan before trying to execute.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Fantastic place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    You can have as great of an experience as you like. It's a hybrid between being a startup and getting to try many different things and then also being an established company with some level of professional procedures and ways of doing things. You can have as great of a work/life balance as you choose. The travel is to some fantastic places and the salary is very competitive. I think the management is generally very good and looking out for the employees to cultivate a respectful and talented team of people.

    Cons

    As others have said, sometimes it feels like Canonical shifts focus too rapidly instead of keeping focus on a winning product to truly make it the very best piece of software with as few of bugs as possible.

    Advice to Management

    We are a capable team because everyone is truly smart and motivated. Let's add a little more balance in staying the course on certain winning products and making sure we get enough human resources to do the very best work on these products.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Mediocre at Best for Seasoned Systems Engineers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Support & Technical Services Senior Cloud Engineer in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Support & Technical Services Senior Cloud Engineer in Jacksonville, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Canonical full-time

    Pros

    Decent tools to get Ubuntu working for a plethora of customers with issues.
    Compensation and benefits package among the leaders in the industry.
    A good start at a mentoring and training program. Emphasis on the "start".
    Reasonable separation agreement.

    Cons

    A plethora of customers with issues. (see "Pros" comment.)
    Poor to non-existent training with the commonly used tools Canonical utilizes. (Teach self)
    Unstable operating system: which see my first "con" comment. (I was running Ubu Trust V. 14.04 on a standard Dell Optiplex 780 with 8 GB ram and 500 GB drive; partitioned at 150 GB to Ubuntu. NOT STABLE. Arghhhh...(locked up almost 6-20 times daily; de-energize and re-energize required to recover (ie.: had to pull the power plug)
    Lack of true honesty within the HR and management environment. Lawyers are invading every HR department by the droves.
    "Bring your own hardware" approach (ie.: no company furnished hardware. Unheard of in IT but...install Ubuntu and all required tools on your own platform...!!!)
    Poor poor poor corporate level planning and budgeting as far as I was allowed to see (which was probably more than I should have been allowed to see); numbers looked good at first "hype" glance but what they sold (booked business) VS. what they've gotten paid for there is a significant delta.

    Advice to Management

    Change your training structure and STANDARDIZE it. Day one: Day two: Day three: etc etc etc. Give your new hire an HR rep right out of the box to be your Canonical HR systems go-to. (And don't rely upon a handful of HR representatives to accomplish this.)
    IT and Cloud DevOps is NOT a game of how much business you book. It's about how much you get paid for and end up with happy customers who come back year after year and find a true partnership with. Cloud support is intricate and complex and most "nerds" like myself require more than a few days to accommodate and customize themselves to your culture and environment. Spell out expectations from day one and stick to them across the board.


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