Knewton Reviews | Glassdoor

Knewton Reviews

Updated June 30, 2017
36 reviews

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3.7
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Jose Ferreira
18 Ratings

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Amazing tech team, poor management, shaky future"

    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 Knewton full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Extremely bright engineers committed to high standards and best practices
    - Colleagues who genuinely enjoyed teaching others. I learned so much.
    - Catered lunch, unlimited vacation and other perks (at least while I was there)

    Cons

    - After a few rounds of layoffs and executive turnover, future here is not bright
    - Too many folks on the product, business, and marketing side who did not know what they were doing, yet were certain they had all of the answers
    - Values were good on paper but not always carried out in practice.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great peers & company mission; poor exec leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Incredibly talented, kind colleagues are a huge benefit

    Cons

    Exec leadership tends to lose sight of employee satisfaction in favor of maximum profitability

  3. Helpful (3)

    "A Genuinely Nice Place to Work and Develop Professionally"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Knewton full-time

    Pros

    Knewton has done a great job with hiring really awesome people. The friendliness and helpfulness of the employees is what makes coming to work everyday a positive experience. When I first started, I was pleasantly surprised with the willingness of everyone to try to get to know me and help me settle into my new role (very refreshing having come from mostly large, stuffy companies). Also, I really enjoy working with co-workers from different teams, all coming from a different backgrounds - it makes for a nice mix of people to learn from and collaborate with.

    There are many growth opportunities to wear many hats and be challenged. Being fairly young in career, I am learning a lot more here than I have at other companies that I've spent double the time with. My manager continually asks me how to best support my goals and make the time for 1:1s. Colleagues listen to what others have to say and there isn't a sense of internal competition that I've noticed at other places.

    Management is very accommodating regarding work life balance with very flexible vacation days and work hours.

    Bonus points for happy hours, team sports, fully stocked kitchen, generous lunch allowance, great health benefits, dog friendly, and other start-up perks...

    Cons

    EdTech is a slower industry, which may have caused some bumps along the road. Though, I think Knewton is thinking strategically on how to overcome this through continuous innovation.

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management is doing a great job despite being dealt a difficult deck of cards. They are transparent, attentive to employee needs and always trying new ways to get to know their employees on the individual basis. They seem to really care about the success of the company and have a positive outlook. They are always transparent, accessible, and willing to have a dialogue through bi-monthly Town Halls. Keep up the great work.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "The magic is gone"

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

    Pros

    Nice coworkers who truly believe in the mission (though a number of those that remain have gotten jaded). Usual tech company perks - catered lunches, decent space etc.

    Cons

    The number of product pivots + lack of successes has taken a toll on morale. Ed tech is a slow moving industry and scaling the product to big numbers is unlikely. Leadership that was recently put in place is "so so". CFO's dreams of going public are bewildering.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Had potential, but..."

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

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

    Pros

    Adaptive learning is pretty interesting and gives rise to interesting technical problems. Lots of wonderful colleagues (many of whom have left).

    Cons

    Knewton totally blew its head start in the market by having no clear vision for what kind of product it was trying to build. Things finally came to a head in 2016, with 2 rounds of layoffs, lots of attrition, and complete turnover of senior management and revamping of the business model. Maybe things will improve from here, but I would be very skeptical if I were interviewing here.

    Also, dev culture is slow-moving and heavy on meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on re-earning trust. Listen to people who have education experience.


  6. "Great technology with products to be improved."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Knewton is an Industry leader in adaptive learning. It has Strong brand awareness and credibility with partners in a number of regional markets. Teams are willing to support one another. The company has comparable benefits to other EdTech companies.

    Cons

    The company is not very fast to adjust to new markets by developing products that address different local market needs.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Need to get organized!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Knewton full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Everybody who works at Knewton is amazing!!!

    Cons

    The workload seems to be improperly balanced and those who do little work, are rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at the work each individual is pushing out and cut the dead weight. We don't have time to "dilly-dally" No more is there a reason to work at Knewton over other leading tech companies.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great vision, uneven execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Knewton full-time

    Pros

    - Kindest, friendliest, humblest people I've ever worked with
    - Really interesting data
    - Genuine desire to help people

    Cons

    - Over-engineered solutions
    - Management changes its mind every other week
    - High turn-over (which is expected at a start-up)
    - More focused on what sounds cool than on what works for teachers and students
    - Hard to get promoted

    Advice to Management

    Hire more technical and product people with teaching experience!


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great mission, unfocused management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Implementation Architect in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Implementation Architect in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Knewton full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Super smart people
    Great mission
    Funky work space

    Cons

    Management and product teams are not focused on a clear vision
    Algorithms and development teams control many of the product decisions
    Work-life balance is tough

    Advice to Management

    Hire a great head of product


  10. Helpful (14)

    "Political and Toxic"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Knewton full-time

    Pros

    Some great employees, nice perks like dinner and metro cards. There are tampons in the women's bathroom. Lots of free t-shirts

    Cons

    - Teams didn't work together, instead it was a battle to take each other out
    - There's absolutely no consistent vision to what is being built and no validation from consumers that they want it
    - It's unclear that the leadership actually cares at all about the students. Policy advocates on the side of privacy have every reason to be concerned.
    - No clear values - the first time I saw the values was 5 months in. I had a fit of laughter over how much Knewton lives up to none of the values.
    - The misogyny, Knewton is okay with workplace relationships so expect to be hit on, drunkenly asked out and belittled by coworkers.


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