Wayfair - Roll the dice and maybe you'll get good career progression. | Glassdoor
  1. Helpful (15)

    "Roll the dice and maybe you'll get good career progression."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Wayfair full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I like the people on my team, including my manager. They're probably the biggest (if not the only) reason I'm still at the company.

    Cons

    At a big enough company your experience is highly impacted by the team you're on, and while internal mobility is flaunted as a perk, I feel like the problems that are most impactful are company-wide. If an interview candidate asks about something negative about the company, a safe answer is "growing pains" because it is secretly also a positive. I've helped onboard close to a dozen engineers only counting my direct team alone, and... it's exhausting. Then those engineers switch teams and you lose all that effort you put in, plus get a new engineer to onboard as backfill. Speaking of teams and how your experience is highly impacted by the team you're on: one team I worked with two years ago is now 10 teams (not exaggerating). You might think this is a great opportunity for professional growth (the recruiters will certainly tell you that) and it is if you land on the right team. Some teams split so much such that people only a handful years out of college are "Senior Engineering Managers" and people with less than two years of experience total are "tech leads". Maybe it is all a meritocracy, although I have seen some atrocious code approved by "tech leads" at Wayfair. Are these "Senior Engineering Managers" and "tech leads" really able to provide worthwhile career development advice to someone one year their junior on the job? I may be coming across as bitter, probably because I am. You can work hard on a team that never breaks apart and never get the recognition or even the opportunities that someone on a favored team does. If you try to chase opportunities down by switching teams you'll just be onboarding on that team like anyone else and won't be an SME in time to position yourself as the next "tech lead" in the next split (which happens every few quarters). You just kind of have to hope where you are will turn into something good before you've waited too long and wasted your time. An example of what I'm talking about are the teams working on internal tools: many tools are either abandoned or perennially broken, yet the engineers on those teams get promoted and we get emails that we're supposed to be in awe of the fact that they worked hard to fix broken things their teams own. My team does not have the luxury to let things get like that because if we did the company would STOP MAKING MONEY. Where's our email? Where are our promotions? Why can't we all be "tech leads" of (in some cases) barely existent teams? I'm left thinking that it's not worth switching teams because I'm already an SME in my team's domain (not a "tech lead" though, whatever that even means anymore) and I like the people on my team. I just have to hope our team becomes favored soon enough that I can catch up... or I could leave for a different company and be 100% sure I'd be learning and growing through getting a different perspective. I don't really know which is best but the equation tips towards the latter as time goes on.

    Continue reading
    Wayfair2019-11-23
  1. "Great place to grow as an engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer-II in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wayfair full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    When I joined, I was focused on growing my people skills in an effort to become a more well-rounded engineer. Wayfair has proven to be a great place for growing these skills due to the large number of teams and high levels of collaboration we do on a day to day basis. Before joining, I was worried that moving from a smaller company to a larger one would leave me bored and pigeon holed into a specific role that didn't allow for learning and career development. I've found that my fears were completely unfounded. I've worked on amazing projects that I just wouldn't have worked on outside of Wayfair. Some of these projects fell into my lap and others were ideas I had about how to improve some developer or user experience.

    Cons

    No company is completely perfect and no one company can be a perfect fit for everyone. It's also hard to know if you'd enjoy another company more than the one you're at. I don't see any major red flags here, however. This is the best company I've ever worked for.

    Wayfair2020-02-27
  2. Helpful (537)

    "A perfect place to keep your head down"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wayfair full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Wayfair is a fantastic company if you're a software engineer who's looking to keep quiet, and not speak up when management treats you like garbage. And it excels at finding leaders who are willing to go the extra mile to be untrustworthy and make you feel like your job isn't safe (and for real, it's not).

    Cons

    Let's talk. The company has been growing like crazy, and one thing that was never thought about was "can we actually hire at a sustainable rate, and scale accordingly?" The answer was no on both counts. Software engineers at Wayfair have a history of disappearing. People who enter labs have an especially low success rate (70% make it through, and less than 50% last a whole year). It's basically their way to run people through a burnout gauntlet, and see who survives. And then you have the stories of the people who come in to work and are just asked to resign. You'll see hints of it here on Glassdoor if you dig, and it's even worse than what you read. They actually gathered all the engineers for a big meeting at the beginning of this year. And they said that they were sorry that people felt scared and were sad that people felt like management didn't care. Which is exactly how we felt. They promised that their door was open, and they were going to work hard to set things right. One person out of 500 stood up and asked a really cutting question. AND THEN THEY FIRED HIM! And there were 3 completely different official reasons given about it. It's crazy. The leaders also started up an engineering meeting to keep everyone on the same page and answer anonymous questions. One time someone asked why we couldn't get snow days off, because it was tough to shovel for 3 to 4 hours and still work an 8 hour day. So the leaders proceeded to talk down to us and reprimand us for even thinking about asking a question like this. Turnover has been high over the past year, and the best people are leaving. This worries management, but they still have no idea that the problem is actually them creating a terrible environment. So if you're a good person who cares about the person next to you and leaving things better than you found them, don't bother applying here. But if you're not, and you just want to keep your head down and not question anything, then this is the perfect place for you. And if that's what you want, Wayfair gets 5 stars. Amazing career opportunities if you want to have the same job forever. Incredible senior management that value untrustworthiness. A fantastic culture of watching people next to you disappear. It's truly a perfect company.

    Continue reading
    Wayfair2017-05-12

    Wayfair Response

    November 13, 2017Engineering Director

    First, I wanted to thank you for providing feedback. Second, I am very sorry to hear that your experience was far from ideal. I know it can be hard to give feedback if you feel management is the problem, but leadership would love to learn about these issues to refine the Wayfair employee experience. We do try to create an open and transparent environment; one thing we’ve started doing is department-wide anonymous surveys. This has been helpful in identifying issues where people don’t feel comfortable speaking up for whatever reason and pinpoint where any issues may exist. As you noted, the company is growing very quickly - our Engineering team alone has grown tenfold over the past five years. I won’t pretend we get it right all the time, but we do aim to scale our teams and our systems reasonably to meet the rapid growth of our business, and we rely on employee feedback to refine these processes. To that end, we’ve put a lot of time and energy into our interview process. And, we closely track our voluntary and involuntary attrition rates to make sure we are keeping high employee retention and so that we can immediately nip any potential issues in the bud. For Wayfair Labs, we’ve made huge strides since the beginning of this program, and our average success rate is now over 90%, with several classes at 100%. We also run management trainings on giving, receiving and soliciting feedback. In these trainings - and in general - we encourage respect for all teammates and partners, communication and collaboration, and we try create opportunities for people to take on new challenges. I am very excited about the work we’re doing to solve tough challenges and there’s an exciting opportunity for our employees to do big things – our goal is to build a team that feels encouraged and empowered to do so. I’m very sorry you didn’t have the experience we try to cultivate. Once again, thank you for this feedback.

    Continue reading

Discover more reviews about Wayfair.