Code and Theory Reviews | Glassdoor

Code and Theory Reviews

Updated May 15, 2018
88 reviews

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3.6
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Dan Gardner
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88 Employee Reviews

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

  • Agree with several of the other reviews here: total bro club in upper management (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "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 (4)

    "'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

  3. Helpful (1)

    "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


  4. 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


  5. "Strategy Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Fast paced environment, growing company

    Cons

    Lack of team spirit in strategy


  6. Helpful (3)

    "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.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "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

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Read this."

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Do you want a cushy 9-6 working with ‘awesome’ companies? Move to Omaha.

    Do you want to create cutting edge design for massive brands with some of the best people in the industry? Work here.

    Cons

    You have to be strong enough to make friends, create awesome work, and build a future here.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on the new talent, making sure we’re bringing in people that can handle an agency-best work life.


  9. "Amazing place to work for"

    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 get to work with smart people
    We have the best MGMT team “G.O.A.T”
    MGMT staff will help you with your career growth if you want to move to other departments

    Cons

    I haven’t found any yet but if I do I will keep you guys informed. If I had any issues the staff at Code and Theory is pretty good at addressing them.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!!


  10. Helpful (17)

    "This place is falling apart"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - They used to allow dogs but they are moving to the freedom tower so that's out

    Code used to be amazing... The people were all friends and the culture was amazing. The work was innovative and the clients were top-notch. People were happy, dogs cruising around, open communication, over-all a great place to be

    There are still ridiculously smart, good people here. Some of the managers are amazing and genuinely care about the people and the work.

    Maybe now that we're moving into a more business-like environment, we'll see more professionalism from leadership.

    Cons

    With the exception of some good managers and the smart people as stated above, most of the positives are not the case anymore...

    -severe lack of transparency between management and employees
    -If you aren't part of the boys club, your career will not grow there... but if they like you... good news, you can get away with whatever you want, get rave reviews for doing nothing and rarely show up to work.
    -HR is not your friend and reports every conversation to the partners... if you talk to them, chances are you will have a partner immediately call you in and berate you.
    -Severe lack of female leadership with no change in sight... instead, they got rid of the only female partner they had. Once she left, it was even more clear nothing was going to change here.
    - Very toxic environment. The people used to matter, now everyone walks around on eggshells afraid of being fired or yelled at.
    -Partners constantly bad-mouth employees in meetings that have other people in them, it gets shared with more people... creating an environment that fosters gossip, creates more gossip and bad will.
    - One of the co-founders left and it was never addressed or brought up, felt like something is happening and scares people even more about what's going on with things
    - Most of the female employees feel like they aren't valued as much (again with the boys club). Discussions between creatives prove the pay is not the same.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to do your job. Stop treating your employees like they don't matter. Stop gossiping like children. Stop promoting your friends and start promoting hard working people that deserve it or finding new people to lead. Start showing that you care about diversity, especially in leadership. Stop screaming at people for mistakes you make. Start being a little more transparent.

    Code and Theory Response

    Mar 23, 2018

    I am sorry that this has been your experience.

    We strive to have a great culture which includes honesty, transparency and open communication. We don't always get it right but I can assure it is... More


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