Code and Theory Reviews | Glassdoor

Code and Theory Reviews

Updated November 3, 2018
98 reviews

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3.8
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Dan Gardner
7 Ratings

98 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Smart people in every discipline" (in 10 reviews)

  • "Code attracts powerful personalities and some of the most talented people in NYC" (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "can be long hours at times but usually for a good reason" (in 16 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (15)

    "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)

    "It's been pretty great actually..."

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

    I have been working at Code and Theory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pay is competitive. Lot of opportunities to flex across work streams and accounts. Good management- Supervisors look out for their team and will go to bat for you. Different projects coming in all the time from different categories so you learn a lot about the businesses we engage with. You work with world-class designers and strategists. High level of intelligence all around and generally a warm atmosphere. Oh yeah, and the views in the office are unbelievable.

    Cons

    Going to work at WTC every day can feel a little weird due to the history of the site but the teams and the people are so awesome that it's feeling better all the time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on working to humanize the new office space and keep bringing in the talent that Code is famous for.

  3. "Good Hard Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is full of good, hardworking people. The projects are interesting and the work Code produces is great. People are genuinely trying to do interesting things and there's a good sense of comradery.

    Cons

    People regularly worked late while I was there. Because of the growth of the company there was a constant shortage of man-power and people would get shifted around projects constantly which could make long-term projects difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Staffing, resource allocation, and project on-boarding has to be ironed out to make sure projects are properly staffed and people aren't overwhelmed.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Producer"

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

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

    Pros

    The office location in soho was amazing, but they’re in World Trade Center now do that pro is probably gone...

    Cons

    Crazy work hours with no real growth or outcome, strategy lead projects that destroy and burn out designers and producers, absent minded management that only talks to you when they are freaking out about something, leaders who never address their teams. People running design departments with absolutely no background in design. The creative directors were probably the only people who really cared, and an awful culture that runs like a boys club top to bottom. If you have options to work elsewhere please do. Don’t get sucked into an abyss of lower than market pay, mediocre management, and lengthy wait times for promotions or growth. They will only promote from the inner circle and glance over anyone who isn’t “in”. If you’re a strategist this is a good place. If you’re a designer or producer stay away. And for god sakes don’t get tricked into being an “experience strategist” it’s still a strategist role with no real design. They just had to dissolve their UX department and had to figure out how to not get rid of most of the people on that team.

    Advice to Management

    Be more present, be more thoughtful in your decisions, and actually work on developing your people.

    Code and Theory Response

    Nov 16, 2018

    I am sorry to hear this was your experience while you worked here. We pride ourselves on a place where you can learn a ton and grow your career and we have been investing a lot of time in our... More


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Good in theory, bad in practice"

    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

    Pros

    - Solid pay and benefits
    - Emphasis on creative AND tech, not just one or the other
    - Great colleagues

    Cons

    SF leadership is problematic to say the least. I saw borderline abusive behavior during my time there - people being yelled at, multiple girls crying, no support when people were in bad situations. I’ve recommended friends to go elsewhere when considering it.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the people - they’re your secret sauce. Make leadership more inclusive.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Code & Chaos (and a Little Fun)"

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

    I worked at Code and Theory full-time

    Pros

    First of all, Code & Theory is a bit of a chaotic place to work. If you're looking for stability, leave now. But, if you dig start-up vibes with a hint of entrepreneurialship, this is the place for you. You will get to touch everything (if you ask). You will get to lead your own projects (because no one else has the time). You will meet some of your best friends and ironically, your worst enemies. Code attracts powerful personalities and some of the most talented people in NYC.

    You will have a great time here, unless you're a complete jerk. And those people get fired after a few months.

    After one year of working at Code, I completely transformed my portfolio and got all new, amazing creative work to show off. I learned so much about digital and social, as well as video production. I won a few awards. I had fun. Working at Code is like advertising boot camp. You get kicked in the butt, learn a ton, and end up graduating with a gold star and some wild stories to tell your friends.

    Cons

    Just plain chaos. Only those with tenure have knowledge and can "onboard" new employees. When those with tenure quit or get fired, gone is the knowledge. And thus, begins a new cycle of chaos!

    Advice to Management

    Don't let senior teams interview their potential bosses. Have an adult in the room please. Also, get a project manager. Or like 15. It'll be so helpful!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "What more can i say... amazing, but not perfect"

    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

    Smart People, Great culture that fosters learning and pushing each other, Great work.

    Not a place for everyone (a pro and a con)

    Cons

    Sometimes long hours... but par for the course when you want to create and exceed expectations.

    Its a client business, so clients can be clients.

    Not a place for everyone (as said above, a pro and a con)

    Advice to Management

    Change is good and welcomed, just please keep communicating.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "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


  9. Helpful (2)

    "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


  10. 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.


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