AOL - Why are we still treading water? | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for AOL
There are newer employer reviews for AOL

See Most Recent

"Why are we still treading water?"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in San Francisco, CA
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

Time off is good and the benefits are ok

Cons

No coherent Strategy for how to actually do anything.

Advice to Management

Hire new blood then quit.

Other Employee Reviews for AOL

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Low respect + low trust + minimal hours = You've Got Paycheck!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior QA Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior QA Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Short hours, solid salaries, minimal expectations, and working on projects that rarely ship. The really aggressive top-performers have all left for Yahoo or Google, so it's easy to shine compared to your peers. (many of whom are former government employees in Dulles where the standards are, uh, a bit lower than Silicon Valley)

    Cons

    It's an East Coast company that runs software teams as if they were a McDonald's kitchen crew. Never forget that a disposable, replaceable commodity; the company sees no value in your growth or having passion for what you do. In fact, it's dangerous, because then you might question the product direction and decision-making. e.g. When someone on our QA team expressed dissatisfaction that nobody actually used the product we were working on outside of required testing (a consumer product intended for use by tens of millions of people), the manager started ranting about how if she worked at a diaper company, she wouldn't be telling her employees to go around wearing diapers.

    One team member (an incredibly qualified, former C-level software executive who took a career break to lead a QA team) completed an MBA at a prestigious university while on my team. But nobody at AOL would even give him a crack at a business-oriented position. Now he runs the San Francisco office of one of the biggest names in the Internet.

    The highlight of working at AOL was when they spent about a million dollars "renovating" the office. Apparently our (former Netscape) cubicles were larger than the corporate approved size, a source of jealousy among visiting folks from Dulles. So they gave everyone tiny cubicles -- and suddenly had a morale problem that half of the office building was now empty! (This was shortly after they downsized the cafeteria to Dulles standards because executives also were furious that we had better food.)

    That's the AOL culture: it's not about doing the best thing for your employees or customers, but trying to make sure nobody receives anything more than the least you can give them. No wonder why nobody gives a hoot.

    Executives had equally little genuine respect for their customers. One Dulles exec even started making jokes AOL's customers for paying such a high fee for their service. He was finally fired, but his mindset remains pervasively.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to run a McDonald's restaurant, get out of the software industry. If you actually want to compete in the software industry, you have to do it by hiring smart people, trusting them, and rewarding them for their success. And why not try admitting it occasionally when you guys screw up? Your employees don't respect you anyway, so it's not like you have much integrity to lose.


  2. "Needs to stick to one plan"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Dulles, VA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits are fairly generous and the salaries are pretty good for this area. And believe it or not, many of the people here (I work as a software developer) are actually very smart.

    Cons

    The constant re-orgs and yearly layoffs are very frustrating. It seems to occur like clockwork at least once every year, and sometimes twice. They contribute to a very negative work environment. When the rumors start flying, and depending on if your division is likely to be affected, employee morale basically plummets and it seems hardly any work gets done. Given that circumstance, it's hard to see employees do anything more than the minimum their job requires.

    Advice to Management

    AOL could do better if it was free from the incompetence at Time Warner and given more visionary executive leadership. In order to compete against the big boys in this space, you don't need managers, you need visionaries. Make a plan and stick to it.


There are newer employer reviews for AOL
There are newer employer reviews for AOL

See Most Recent

Work at AOL? Share Your Experiences

AOL
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
 
Click to Rate
or