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Engine Yard Reviews

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3.1
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Beau Vrolyk
7 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Company"

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

    Pros

    I loved working here- fast paced and forward thinking company with great leadership.

    Cons

    The PaaS space has some competition.


  2. "Always trying, not getting there"

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

    I worked at Engine Yard full-time

    Pros

    Allowed to learn technology and use it.

    Cons

    Poor target market analysis work.

  3. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Support Engineer in Remote, OR
    Former Employee - Applications Support Engineer in Remote, OR

    Pros

    The company has a great management team. The co-workers were knowledgeable and nice.

    Cons

    It was hard to catch up with the rapid industry, named Cloud.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Missed Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    At the time it was a leader in an exciting nascent space. This provided an opportunity to interact with lots of smart people doing new things, both internal and customers.

    Cons

    As the market rapidly developed the company appeared unable to take a leadership role in defining where they would fit in the ecosystem over the long run. As resources were sunk into short term objectives the big picture in how to fit in the cloud ecosystem long term was lost. Much has changed and with the new direction in a space that still has large needs an opportunities the company is successful

    Advice to Management

    Nothing. Management is all changed.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Not a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Engine Yard full-time

    Pros

    Worked with some nice people

    Cons

    Low morale, although things may have changed since I left.


  6. "Great Place to Work, Unstable History"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Engine Yard full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Engine Yard is filled to the brim with sharp engineers who represent the top talent in their fields. Every single day was an opportunity to learn from the best. For someone who loves learning new things like me, the range of expertise at Engine Yard could not be beat.

    The culture was slightly on the laid back side compared to the average tech company, but only slightly. I was never bored and always had plenty to do, and middle managers were permissive when it came to extending deadlines in order to get the job done right. I felt that my professional opinion was respected here.

    Cons

    The company seems to be plagued by years of making sharp changes in direction. They're a bit of a dinosaur in the cloud services provider space and I think that causes some insecurity among the company's top leadership.

    There is also a history of layoffs which continually repeats itself. I can't speak highly of Engine Yard's track record for job security.

    Advice to Management

    There are a lot of talented people working for Engine Yard who want to see it succeed. No need to shed so much weight every time the winds change.


  7. "Open claims but clique behavior"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community in Emerald Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Community in Emerald Hills, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Engine Yard (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smart people And ready to adopt new things. Good pay, recognition of achievements. Very senior executive staff and board. Solid revenue stream in old business

    Cons

    Very insular clique behavior. Communication isn't easy or frequent. Hidden agendas abound. Distributed environment has good and bad points. New acquisition is now running things. New is alsways assumed to be better than old.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on honest communications to people. Start removing the cliques, even if it means removing the leaders. Focus on one thing and do it right.

  8. "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at Engine Yard full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The changes over the past year or so have been remarkably positive for the most part - there is a clearer sense of direction, focus and leadership. The structure of the company is pretty flat - all of the executives are friendly, involved, and approachable (which is a significant change from the past).

    Furthermore, Engine Yard is a great place to grow your career. Employees are generally encouraged to manage themselves and there's a lot of opportunity to identify and work on projects of your choosing (whether it's to develop your career or you've identified an opportunity for the company).

    Cons

    General start up cons - thing can change quickly and sometimes it takes effort to stay informed. Sometimes there's too little process involved and sometimes too much.

    Advice to Management

    Try to avoid the same mistakes we made in the past.


  9. "Ch-Ch-Changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Ability to work remotely
    Meetups

    Cons

    Lack of direction
    Lack of leadership
    Repeated layoffs
    Egos in the way of making smart decisions


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Wait and see"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Engine Yard full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bear in mind that all of this is based on what I experienced during my time there (over 4 years) prior to being caught in a second round of mass layoffs (which I'm actually -not- bitter about!).

    + Laid back culture that isn't nearly as demanding as some places
    + Managers/management actually seem to care about employees as human beings, not machines
    + Wicked smart engineers company-wide, all departments
    + New CEO has made good decisions on moving the company in a new direction
    + Long standing history in the Ruby community and lots of internal connections to people in that and other communities, and to people in other well known companies (e.g. GitHub, Oracle, etc.)
    + Just plain GOOD, solid people. I honestly enjoyed just talking to everyone I worked with. They were all stand-up, honest people doing good work and who didn't have a hidden agenda or try to play politics and/or games. (Note: this is on the "worker bee" level here, in lower to middle management there were a LOT of office politics happening, but my managers did a great job trying to shield me and the rest of my team from that crap)

    Cons

    The biggest problem with this company was that it totally *failed* to keep pace with changes in the "DevOps" ecosystem. Originally built on top of Amazon Web Services, EY management had a vision for an IaaS ("Infrastructure as a Service") agnostic system; for example, deploying on AWS for one project, then over on, say, Rackspace Cloud for another, then maybe on Windows Azure for a third - all of them with the same interface to the end-user, but managing the differences under the hood.

    This vision, combined with tons of technical debt due to the "ship it now" mentality over the "let's make sure this is maintainable and works" mentality, is what prevented the company from keeping up with changes to the general technology ecosystem.

    When EY was first on the scene with its automated PaaS product, a lot of the tools that developers at various organizations and on various teams take for granted today, didn't yet exist. This is where EY filled the gap, providing a great toolchain and workflow to provision and configure EC2 instances, MySQL (and later, PostgreSQL) databases, external storage volumes (Elastic Block Store) and so on. Then they provided a pipeline for deploying custom Chef code (configuration automation, see chef.io), and deploying their application(s) to the environments.

    Sadly, that basic tool set never evolved past that state. When Amazon released ELB, for example? Couldn't use it for years after its official release, and even then, had to be "turned on" under a special feature flag for the platform. Maybe you wanted to use RDS - too bad, go roll your own account at Amazon and wire it up that way. Perhaps you wanted to language other than Ruby - well, they eventually pushed super-weak Node.js support (they threw the entire process for research, building and future feature improvements on *ONE* engineer alone!), then even weaker Java support, and then dropped both. So umm...no?

    And this is a symptom of one of the company's major problems: management ADD. It was like the former CEO (nice guy, don't get me wrong, but not great in this respect) couldn't decide where to focus. Various teams were being told to stop on a dime and shift direction to this new shiny thing over here, and then THIS new shiny thing over here! This happened so frequently that nothing ever actually got DONE. All the while, the major product that had users and generated revenue, never got any significant updates or upgrades.

    All while that was happening, Amazon was building multiple separate tools for each of these - and other - uses, that developers could "pick and choose", wire them together as they saw fit. Things like Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Auto scaling (which we tried to do, but executive-level politics prevented), Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Continuous Delivery systems, ways to deploy your code through Amazon, Relational Data Store, Web Application Firewall(s), Authentication and Authorization management, and a slew of other major things that people wanted from Engine Yard, were being not only developed, but *released* and *improved* by AWS.

    Pretty soon, the question became: why bother with Engine Yard at all when, for the same price, or cheaper, I can cut out a middle-man and use Amazon's services directly?

    This led to multiple former customers cutting ties and reducing reliance on EY as a vendor, which of course caused major problems in reaching profitability for the company.

    They've recently hired a new CEO and cut a lot of costs with laying off a huge chunk of the company. They've also re-focused on Docker container management (an idea that was embraced by competitors long ago under LXC since Docker didn't exist at the time), but it might turn out to be too little, too late.

    If you're thinking about accepting a job offer here, my advice is "don't". Unless you've got another job lined up as a backup and can work remote (or otherwise won't have to move). You may not have a job in N months because of the poor decisions made over the years.

    Advice to Management

    Pick a direction and STICK WITH IT.


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