Code and Theory Reviews | Glassdoor

Code and Theory Reviews

Updated August 7, 2018
91 reviews

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3.9
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Dan Gardner
3 Ratings

91 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "can be long hours at times but usually for a good reason" (in 15 reviews)

  • "Upper management is considered by many to be a "boy's club"" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (11)

    "No Crying in Baseball"

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

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time

    Pros

    Anyone who has worked in other agencies prior to coming here, who knows how grueling the hours can be, and who has done it because they care about bringing big ideas to life no matter what it takes, will quickly see that this is an ideal environment to push your career without burning yourself out.

    To flourish here is to be crazy smart and crazy loud about it. The work becomes what you make it. So if you have a vision for how a project should be going, and how you think it should be done, and you can explain it to your team and get them aligned with you, it’s yours to create. 

    Unfortunately, there are some particularly gripey people here who seemingly have not worked in tough agencies before, or weren’t prepared for the “put in your dues and learn how to be actually good at your job” portion of life. Being good is hard! People will tell you you’re not doing a good job! It’s probably because you aren’t yet.

    As a female employee I resent a lot of the chatter about some sort of “toxic masculine” environment. As far as I have seen, this is coming from people who have not been able to live up to a standard of work output, have not yet learned how to effectively communicate their points, or who feel entitled to participation trophies. If you would like to get gold star stickers on your work, or you are measuring your success by a new title and a bigger salary every year, you are doing it wrong. And you won’t find anyone to coddle you here. (But you will find the pride in knowing that when your work is recognized, it’s because you’ve actually earned it.)

    And, by the way, the management and mentorship structures here are quite effective. Leadership is genuinely striving to make people better. It’s better for each individual, it’s better for our clients, and it’s better for the company as a whole. Why someone would choose to gossip in the hallways or complain on glassdoor before actually talking to anyone in a normal, professional line of communication is beyond my comprehension. Doors are wide, wide open.

    I consider this a well-paying alternative to grad school. Take the opportunity and learn everything you can. The smartest people I’ve ever worked with are here, and they push me to be better every single day.

    Cons

    - Onboarding to the company and to individual projects can be slow. On the company level, the system is still really manual, and it leads to human error and lag times. On a project level, there’s just no standard process for getting people up and running quickly, and figuring out how to do that with highly complex work is a struggle.
    - The growing pains following a relatively recent acquisition are real. As the clients get bigger, the engagements get longer, and the work expands into new territory, some management approaches can start to break down. There is a ton of active work to resolve this, and progress is slow but steady.
    - Annual reviews are extremely rigorous and transparent, but could do more to acknowledge the value of introverts.

    Advice to Management

    - Get a handle on PR. Employees do interviews, teach, host panels, etc. with no real policy governing how they should or should not be acting on behalf of the company.
    - Get a work from home policy! Not having a policy is a cop-out and means people are being treated subjectively. This is also outdated to the point of damaging recruitment.

    Code and Theory Response

    May 2, 2018

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write such a thoughtful and balanced review. It’s refreshing to hear your feedback and it’s clear that you have been here a while and really get... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A human powered company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time

    Pros

    You are empowered to make creative decisions that can totally fail (learning lessons are encouraged and celebrated)
    You are expected to defend you decisions (which makes you a better communicator)
    You treated as a human being (family commitments, major life events, parenthood and other unexpected issues are handled with empathy and flexibility)
    You are surrounded by ambitious friendly funny compassionate people in a true team environment

    Cons

    Occasionally a culture of over-work takes over certain moments (there are ways out of that jam)
    Tight deadlines and a lot of work will either motivate you or break you down
    The place expects excellence from its people which can make some people uncomfortable (but it is not as scary as it sounds!)

    Advice to Management

    Promote more female team members to leadership positions in the company

  3. "Pretty, pretty good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Some really great clients and assignments
    - Brilliant, fun colleagues
    - Supportive management
    - Emphasis on doing great work for our clients, which is inspiring
    - Much less politics than other agencies of a similar size
    - Entreprenurial environment
    - Beautiful office with amazing views

    Cons

    - The most hard-working people tend to get overloaded and burned out
    - No work from home is permitted
    - Time off according to tenure, which can seem unfair to newer employees who work really hard, help the business and then watch everyone else go off on long vacations while we man the fort
    - Production / account management function needs to be rethought
    - Few females in C suite or group lead positions
    - Expense process takes forever


  4. Helpful (2)

    "4+ Years & Counting"

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

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The company is filled with super talented employees across all disciplines.
    - Relaxed environment with approachable upper management.
    - Departments are extremely collaborative and tight-knit.
    - Hours are balanced between work and personal life.
    - C&T is among the most progressive design agencies and is always pushing digital boundaries.
    - Office space is modern with views of the entire city.
    - Summer Fridays, bagel Mondays & occasional happy hours.

    Cons

    - Can occasionally work long hours depending on client needs. However, this is common in any creative agency.
    - Lack of junior's across the board.

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to grow and guide juniors into more significant roles over time.
    - Continue to hire / replenish the junior pool.
    - Continue to establish relationships with all employees so their company worth is known.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Was cool and interesting, now corporate and boring."

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Code and Theory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool view.
    Smart people.
    Good on your resume.
    Possibly interesting work, if you get a good project.
    Used to have cool clients.
    Bagels.
    Hector.
    Wu tang named conference rooms.
    Cool view.

    Cons

    Large egos.
    Low pay for tech.
    No modern benefits or culture.
    6 toilets for 250 people.
    No women in significant leadership.
    Gossip culture.
    No trust.
    Mostly CMS work.
    Stressed people who blow up for no reason.
    No concern for health or work life balance.
    Work for work’s sake, quantity over quality.
    Very siloed departments.
    Your favorite people will leave or be fired, and it will never be addressed.
    0 transparency, count on one company-wide communication per quarter, maybe.
    Needless hierarchy and title chasing.

    Advice to Management

    No idea, I think it's just the nature of the beast.

    Code and Theory Response

    May 24, 2018

    I am sorry to hear that this was your experience. We always strive be open to change and improvement.

    I don’t see a lot of context in your review for us to address constructively. However... More


  6. Helpful (5)

    "'In the company of giants' feels accurate"

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

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Everyone that works here is very good. From strategy to UX, to design, onto dev and QA, one can't help but feel that everyone is a heavy hitter, or at least a heavy hitter in the making.

    - The projects and clients are legitimate. Having been at other "digital" agencies prior to C&T, I can honestly say that the projects I worked on pale in comparison to the ones I've worked on here.

    - UX design isn't an afterthought and isn't reserved solely for the production of creative teams' ideas. UX is involved at the very beginning and everyone is expected to contribute creative solutions that solve problems.

    - The UX department is very tight. There is a lot of knowledge sharing with everyone having different backgrounds and levels of expertise. It's also a very social department, with regular group outings after work.

    - The mentorship is stellar. When you start here, you get a mentor for 30 days to help you as you get adjusted to Code. On top of that, you have a supervisor that you meet with every week to talk through blockers and career goals. I haven't experienced this level of commitment anywhere else.

    - Great place to start a career and a great place to prove your career.

    Cons

    - Projects can feel very much sink or swim at times

    - You will work a lot. The projects we do are large and complex and require a lot of hours in order to meet deadlines and to do so while meeting the high standard we have for our work.

    - We don't have a work from home policy, which translates into people coming into work when they're sick.

    - Getting reimbursed for expenses takes a long time and inhibits one's will to stay late and get work done.

    Advice to Management

    - Enroll us in Concur and offer Diners Club cards

    - Make work/life balance more of a priority, starting from the top down

    - Offer a work from home policy. On your deathbed? Take a Sick Day. Sneezy and coughy and gross, but can still wield a computer? Stay home and work and spare us your plague.

    - Encourage more events for departments to mingle and knowledge share

    Code and Theory Response

    May 2, 2018

    Thanks so much for the feedback! It’s great to hear that you feel supported here and that the work we did around onboarding, manager development and the mentor program have positively impacted your... More


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Do You Really Want To Do Good Work?"

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

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you’ve spent any time working in User Experience, particularly on the agency side, you’ve dealt with a strange duality of purpose. You’re expected to contribute and innovate, to speak for the user, but far too often you’re called upon to defend the very practice of User Experience itself.

    A person isn’t defined by their job. Someone’s individual worth is independent of their role. And yet, when you’re asked for Good UX while justifying UX Itself, the result is a profoundly diminished sense of self. You wouldn't ask a plumber to justify the purpose of plumbing, would you?

    I am happy to say this doesn’t happen at Code and Theory. C and T is an agency loaded end to end with true believers who not only understand the value of Good UX, but are never satisfied with the idea of Just Good Enough.

    The truth is, I stepped into my first UX department meeting and it felt like coming home, like finding a family. I scanned the room and saw nothing but eager and curious faces, interesting people worth meeting and getting to know. It was fascinating, and a little intimidating. Agencies brag about the depth of their UX bench, but joining this team was like becoming an Avenger or one of the X-Men.

    In my time here, this is what I’ve learned: People at Code and Theory work hard, and the days can be long. You’ll work with people who are smarter than you, who don’t think like you do, who see solutions you’ve not considered. You’re asked for your best, and not only does your opinion matter, your opinion is expected. Those opinions will be heard and then they will be tested, so you have to bring your best to the table. Nobody here is going to leave you behind, but they will expect you to ramp up quickly and keep up with the pack. You’re expected to come in Good and then to get Better and Even Better.

    Pay attention, keep up. Learn things. Be an Avenger. Be an X-Man.

    The question to ask yourself is a very simple one: Do you want to do good work and get better at what you do?

    There are dogs, there are snacks, there are really good people working very hard and having a wonderful time doing it.

    The office is brand new and the views are spectacular. To the north is all of Manhattan with the Empire State Building right in the center. To the south is New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty surrounded by ferries buzzing to and fro like bees, and beyond it all the Verrazano Bridge. Sunsets so good you could sell tickets.

    Cons

    Onboarding can be a little hit or miss based on the project. Many projects are moving at such an increased pace that you’ll need to catch up on the run. It’s nothing that can’t be done, nothing that’ll keep you from doing a great job, but an area that could stand some improvement and process.

    We’re growing, and as we grow, we’re figuring things out. There are processes-in-progress that will smooth out some of the slightly rougher administrative edges of the company, but in the meantime, you might have to ask a handful of people to get to the bottom of how to handle a situation officially.

    And if you’re not okay with heights, 62 floors can be quite an ask.

    Advice to Management

    An official Work-From-Home Policy could do wonders for morale and productivity. We're a forward-thinking, incredibly-connected agency. Our people can work wonders from anywhere.

    Code and Theory Response

    May 2, 2018

    Thank you so much for your feedback. It’s really nice to hear that you appreciate the brilliant, hard working people we have here.

    I also appreciate your comments about what we can do better. We... More

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Growing Pains"

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

    I worked at Code and Theory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Some incredibly smart people
    - Interesting work across a range of industries
    - Gets things done fast

    Cons

    - Toxic culture with little transparency
    - Mentorship is a toss up and professional development is not a concern
    - Understaffed and overworked employees who burn out quickly
    - On-boarding is nonexistent. Jump into the deep end from the get go.

    Don't come here if you are looking to grow professionally or get support.

    Advice to Management

    The people are good and so is the work, but the culture needs to fixed.


  9. "Strategy Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Fast paced environment, growing company

    Cons

    Lack of team spirit in strategy


  10. Helpful (3)

    "One of the bests among the few bests"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time

    Pros

    Incredible projects. Great office. Teams are super talented.
    Code and Theory is really trying hard to get it right. It's growing fast and winning a ton of business. Design is at the core, data team is excellent, strategy is anything but bulshit, things gets done.
    You have to be ready though. Not a place for everyone. Be on your toes.
    New offices in OneWTC are fabulous. Dog friendly too.

    Cons

    Fast growth is never easy. But everyone is trying to get it right.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating


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