Guidewire Reviews in San Mateo, CA | Glassdoor

Guidewire San Mateo Reviews

60 reviews

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San Mateo, CA

3.2
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Guidewire CEO Marcus Ryu
Marcus Ryu
33 Ratings

60 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The opportunity to work from home provides tremendous flexibility and allows for a good work-life balance (in 93 reviews)

  • You are also free to work from home when you have things to attend to there (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/Life balance isn't a policy, but rather at the discretion of your manager (in 13 reviews)

  • Growing pains of sizing up as a company (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Keep up the small company culture in period of continued growth..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company is striving hard to maintain a small company culture even when it has grown to over 1500+ employees. It is not easy but keeping that spirit is going to be invaluable in continuing to attract and retain the talent that has helped the company to be successful.

    Cons

    There isn't anything significant that I can think of at this time.

    Advice to Management

    Starting to see proliferation of titles across the board without any meaningful change in responsibility. May be it is needed but merits thoughtful assessment.


  2. Helpful (11)

    "The philosopher king: Onward!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time

    Pros

    I can't think of any good reasons to work for Guidewire. If I didn't need the money, I would be out the door lickety split.

    Cons

    The company has lost the startup spirit and entered flabby middle age. Every Friday is "work at home day", but try to email or IM a fellow worker with a question, and you will find that most of them checked out early for the weekend on Thursday evening.

    Advice to Management

    Marcus, enough with your long-winded emails. You're a CEO, not a philosopher king. The time you consume writing these tedious encyclicals would be much better spent in walking around the office actually talking to your employees. If I have to read another self-absorbed, self-righteous missive about the virtues of "collegiality, rationality, and integrity" or about being a good little Guidewire "citizen," I'm going to puke.

    Guidewire Response

    Sep 17, 2016 – CEO

    If you really are a Guidewire employee, you know how little I think of anonymous rants as a way to improve anything in the company or the world. But I’ll take the bait, and agree with you that it’s ... More


  3. Helpful (1)

    "A fun place to work, learn and have fun as part of a competitive leader in the insurance software industry."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in San Mateo, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Guidewire as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The engineering culture is enthusiastic and passionate, with a focus on staying competitive. Maintaining a flat hierarchy is a priority, even with interns. The interns were treated as fellow employees and had the opportunity to meet with various engineers, managers, and executives (including the CEO) during weekly lunches. In addition, transparency and keeping everybody on the same page is something that is held important. Tech talks were frequent, interesting and relevant. The culture extends outside of work and into play, with plenty of lunchtime and post-work activities like board game nights and Dungeons and Dragons sessions. The engineering challenges are interesting, and the intern projects are real, useful projects. The full-time employees took great interest in the intern projects and some even involved themselves in guiding the interns. Customer support and satisfaction is also something that is highly valued, which is crucial in Guidewire's space.

    Cons

    There were no real downsides while I was working as an intern. The only possible concern I see is if you seek to tackle different engineering problems than the ones Guidewire is working on.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on doing what you're doing. From what I could tell, the management have been doing a great job keeping everyone happy and productive.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Guidewire is the best software company I have ever worked for in my 29 years in the industry."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Writer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Writer in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - There's more visibility into senior executive decision making, long term planning, and financial results than in any company I have worked for.
    - The culture is rational and egalitarian. Ideas are discussed and considered from many sources, and I feel that I have as much input into planning and effect on the final product as I could ask for.
    - The pay is excellent, and benefits appear to be similar to those at software companies of the same size.
    - The products are well designed and rich in content, and continue to be the best in class for Guidewire's market segment. Even better, Guidewire has figured out how to sell and successfully configure these complex products, making the company the market leader and the one to bet on. That translates into great bonuses and a decent stock price.
    - Guidewire has high hiring standards, and the technical staff is impressive in their quality and experience, yet there's none of that self aggrandizing I've seen at some other companies I've worked for. I find engineers at every level to be open to ideas and easy to collaborate with.
    - There's a lot of camaraderie in the teams. Guidewire supports team outings that encourage team building and good interpersonal relationships.

    Cons

    - I would like to work from home more days a week on a regular basis than the company supports. However, when I need to work from home for a particular reason, there's never a problem with doing so.
    - I'd like health benefits to be better than the industry standard. However, I came from a larger company that had excellent benefits, so the comparison might not be fair. Additionally, I understand how expensive healthcare insurance has become, and that the company has made a decision to focus more on monetary rewards like salary, stock, and bonuses, all of which I find to be generous.
    - The company appears to be in transition from a successful, post-IPO startup to a larger, more mature company. The company is doing pretty well with expanding management staff and planning capabilities, but has made some mistakes. However, so far they've been nothing major or difficult to recover from, and the response from senior management has been encouraging and remarkably open.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Slipped from it's peak, still a fun place to work, but not as challenging or rewarding as cutting edge companies"

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

    I worked at Guidewire full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    In a word: lifestyle. GWRE has really nice people and knows how to be low stress. They rarely fire anyone, no matter how much they slack. As long as you are competent and add some value, you can coast there for years.

    Cons

    Not cutting edge, not willing to make tough technical choices.

    Most of their managers have not managed people before, and GWRE does not have programs to teach people how to manage.

    Advice to Management

    The corporate values were good early on in the companies life, but they have not been emphasized. The tech team needs to be pushed to adopt new technology at a faster pace, and you need to either get real managers across the board, send your people to professional development, or bring in some good training.

    You should also probably manage out or fire your bottom performers, slackers, and people that don't uphold the company values... What good are they if you don't reward people for exhibiting them, and punish when they aren't?

    You are not operating in a paranoid enough manner. Invest in some skunkworks projects to disrupt your own tech stack, or your competitors will take your crown away from you. Consider separating things out, deploying in the cloud, or using new tech like Scala, node, etc.

    Whatever you do, demand more output from your engineering team. They've been sitting on their laurels for years now.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Best Place to work if you are in the right dept!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Company is very strong and the executive team is leading them to great success. They are relatively generous with Stock awards.

    Cons

    They offer very low salaries and do not treat their employees equally whatsoever. As is usually the case with any company, some departments are the golden children and the others are the stepchildren. But at Guidewire, the golden children are treated extremely well, and their stepchildren receive absolutely no respect or appreciation of value. The golden children have completely open doors to all executives, and the stepchildren's comments and suggestions fall on absolutely closed ears. Because they have been named a "Best Place to work," they spend all their time keeping the golden children spoiled and begging the step children to do surveys and say something nice about Guidewire.

    Advice to Management

    Stronger communication of roles within the company


  8. "The management transparency is inspiring - I feel included, a real stakeholder."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Consultant in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Consultant in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The core principles of rationality, integrity and collegiality are more than principles - they are part of every decision, at least that is the express goal of management and employees alike.

    Cons

    Sometimes being a public company requires we make decisions that are less rational to those affected than they might be. We had a minor layoff and to the individuals it seemed harsh.

    Advice to Management

    Involve lower level management in key decisions that affect them, to the degree possible.


  9. "Guidewire is a GREAT place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Guidewire full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic people to work with. Smart, motivated, collegial. Very collaborative environment. Work with a lot of the latest technologies. Very stable company in a very stable market. Has the most rational management team I've encountered in thirty years in the industry.

    Cons

    Very consensus-driven to the point where it can be difficult to move projects ahead sometimes. Large staff and legacy codebase with a loooong tail means that it can be very difficult to figure out how or WHY something works the way it does.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. You've built a fantastic medium-size company that's on track to become a fantastic large company.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "The company is great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Guidewire part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    People are nice, and the company environment is very great

    Cons

    Some people are unnice and tough


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Successful and fast growing company facing new challenges. Good short-term outlook"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fortunate with top quality employees and good company culture from the early days.
    Good product and customer pipeline so far.

    Cons

    Talent cultivation and retention remain challenging in recent years. Start to see high exit rate in development for both old timers and newcomers.
    Rapid increase in organization hierarchy. Currently six levels from individual contributors to VP in Development.
    Inexperienced and disconnected management for a fast growing organization.
    Compensation and reward system don't inspire good behavior of individual contributors.

    Advice to Management

    Repair visibility by reconnecting with individual contributors.
    Avoid evaluating people based on short-term sales or superficial result.



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