JustAnswer Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

JustAnswer Software Engineer Reviews

9 reviews

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Software Engineer

3.9
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JustAnswer CEO Andy Kurtzig
Andy Kurtzig
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The work-life balance is amazing for a tech company (in 19 reviews)

  • Self motivated individuals, nice benefits and beautiful location (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Management is very well-meaning, but the business model can't sustain itself (in 7 reviews)

  • positive reviews are from people who have been with the company less than 6 months (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great company!"

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

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time

    Pros

    Smart coworkers. The office is located in a national park, beautiful place, and convenient for those who live in North Bay. A few teams are working on AI projects, it is a great opportunity to try new technologies and be on the edge of technological progress.

    Cons

    Sometimes early meetings with offshore teams are required.
    Though there are many nice new technical projects, engineers need to spend a significant amount of time maintaining and extending legacy codebase.


  2. Helpful (15)

    "A roller coaster ride with a disappointing finish"

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

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The location is beautiful. I never got tired of driving through a forest to get to work.

    Work / life balance is excellent. Everyone is very understanding if you need to take some time off for personal issues, and the hours are fairly flexible. You can reasonably work a 40 hour week here.

    Everyone is very nice, and despite all of its problems, the company has done a good job attracting smart people.

    The idea behind the product is great. It feels like a service that people appreciate having available.

    Cons

    Management likes to claim to be data driven, but for most of my time at JustAnswer, (1) we didn't track data like refunds and chargebacks, and (2) nobody ever had good confidence in the data being collected. This meant that many features were pushed through because they moved the revenue needle without much respect for the full scope of its impact. While this drove revenue up significantly, the company has always had a problem with customer retention and high rates of refunds/chargebacks. Things have certainly improved, but the company is left with a ton of dark patterns that it can't get rid of without significantly impacting revenue. It's hard to be proud of the product, despite its good premise.

    This is not an engineering-focused company. For the most part, engineers are focused on delivering minor features. Not every team has product managers, but for the feature teams, PMs essentially dictate what engineers work on. This includes being the final decision makers behind purely technical aspects, like reducing technical debt and introducing automated tests. Engineers only get to give feedback during trade off discussions, after features have already been well defined. And the trade offs are usually discussions about how to cobble together the quickest hack to get the feature out quickly. This leads to a lot of conflict between engineering/product, and a deep sense of mistrust. High level management has repeatedly used the mantra "engineering is a tool for product" to alleviate conflict, but all it has done is made engineers feel under appreciated.

    For being so small, it is surprising how much process has been put in place. It feels like each time a mistake is made, a new process is put in place to help alleviate making that same mistake in the future. But what you end up with is a checklist a mile long in order to get code pushed to production, and nobody has a holistic view of all the processes.

    Engineering managers are not involved in the daily activities of the people that they manage. They meet once a week with the engineers that they manage and don't generally step in or help out unless specifically asked to.

    The codebase here is in a terrible mess. There was a large attempt to refactor the code, but most of the newer/better code has been abandoned along with the failed rebranding of Pearl.com.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees.

    Empower teams to create processes that work for them.

    If quality is not a priority, be honest about it.

  3. Helpful (16)

    "No growth, No Idea and No Innovation"

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

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

    Pros

    Location , Free Lunches, On Site Gym etc

    Cons

    Low Salary,
    No growth opportunities,
    Incompetent management,
    Poor product,
    PS: All the reviews added seem to be fake , no former or current employee would be willing to write one page review of their company. Looks like they are trying to cover up the real reviews

    Advice to Management

    Try to hear out more to the your employees and customers

    JustAnswer Response

    Aug 29, 2014 – HR Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I’m so sorry to hear that your experience with JustAnswer has not been to your satisfaction. The JustAnswer leadership and HR team care about our... More


  4. Helpful (12)

    "Sinking ship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    nice work/life balance. People are friendly

    Cons

    The company is without vision. They had to layoff a ton of staff in January due to management not having a vision that translated to reality.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the CEO


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Genius idea, but poor management and lack of respect for customers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free food.
    Tons of nice, friendly people.
    Beautiful location.
    Amazing idea.

    Cons

    Horrible online reputation.
    Customer feedback is not valued. Many customers have been upset with their experience on the site, but nothing has changed.
    Old-school, outdated and questionable buisness practices.This company is run like it's 1995.
    No long term strategy, vision or goal. Focusing on short term goals will be detrimental in the long run.
    No brand equity. Building a brand name does not happen overnight, and the company really needs to step it up in the marketing department.
    Poor employee morale.
    Poor management team.
    Revenue is the only thing that matters around here.
    Unhealthy work culture. Workplace politics run everything. If you work here, you have to constantly watch your back.
    Way too product focused. Customer Service, HR and Marketing departments are not valued here at all.
    Insane turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    Stop ignoring customer issues and make an effort to be transparent and honest with customers. A business cannot thrive unless it puts customers first. Once you put customers first, the revenue will take care of itself.


  6. Helpful (13)

    "Values profits over customers"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Potential to really help people, and the concept of directly monetizing information is fascinating. The location in the Presidio is beautiful.

    Cons

    Corrupt management. Their business practices, such as charging a customers credit card as a "deposit" but not automatically refunding it if the customers question is not answered are shady, and lead to next to no repeat business.

    Leadership is wedded to a strategy that worked for them three years ago, and can't see that a growth in business and visibility requires a different strategy. They don't need to do weekly releases and excessive A/B testing anymore - they should have the business figured out by now.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some seasoned executives who know how to handle the transition from start-up to established company. Be willing to give up some short term income to gain long term users.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Great concept, Poor execution"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - People (for all of it's flaws, they managed to attract several of good people early on)
    - Location (not too many offices have a view of the GGB)
    - Hours (come and go pretty much whenever as long as you're getting your work done and show up for meetings)
    - Free lunch once a week

    Cons

    - Management does not listen to its people
    - Enormous technical debt that continues to grow
    - Little to no career development (almost no one gets promoted and they only pay lip service to having a real career path)
    - No accountability at pretty much all levels of the organization
    - Revenue is king (it's the only metric for success. this is why it has a history of creating scammy features)
    - Management has little to no respect for the experts that make them successful
    - Poor initial equity offering and it doesn't get any better over time
    - Questionable business practices including lots of "dark patterns" on the site

    Advice to Management

    Empower your employees to impact the product and give your experts the tools they need to better serve your customers.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Very great place to grow as a proffessional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Lviv (Ukraine)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Lviv (Ukraine)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of possibilities to grow as pro in different areas of engineering.
    Cool people, office, events, perks. Great project from technical side, many interesting things to work on. Also - hackathons, company days are just wonderful

    Cons

    Time zone differense among offices

    Advice to Management

    -


  9. Helpful (7)

    "It was fun to work at JustAnswer as Remote Contractor!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Lviv (Ukraine)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Lviv (Ukraine)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They have the best scrum process I've ever seen, very friendly people and good salaries for contractors.

    Cons

    Because of the time zone differences it is challenging to have all the communications during a 2-3 hours window. For San Francisco it means that you have to make calls at 7-9 AM.

    Advice to Management

    They should hire more experience product people and invest more into the cloud technologies.