Knewton Reviews | Glassdoor

Knewton Reviews

Updated May 21, 2017
35 reviews

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35 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Solid culture, team, and opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    nice office space / top engineers / transparency and strong leadership from senior mgmt / an unparelleled opportunity as a leader in big data & edtech industries / many employees still here from company's early stage (a great sign)

    Cons

    we're outgrowing the office space / no company 401K / need more focus on metrics

    Advice to Management

    doing a great job


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great vision, people are doing the right stuff to make the company grow to the next Netflix of education."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Smart and motivated people. People don't just do their job, they own stuff. Makes life easier and unties my hands.
    - Tech is cutting edge. Everyone contributes from large designs to code improvements to tools. No fear of trying something completely new if something is broken.
    - "Knerdy" culture. Lot's of learning and teaching happening in the office: people take online classes together, teach seminars from machine learning to java best practices to cooking classes.

    Cons

    - For someone with a family Knewton is a bit intense. This is understandable as the company is hitting an exponential growth curve and there is a lot of stuff happening on all fronts. Be prepared to react during the late night once a month on average.
    - Working remote is a challenge. Even though it's encouraged in theory, in practice Knewton is not there yet to fully support this given the speed that things move.
    - For the amount of work one is performing compared to other companies that are entering their 6th year, the compensation could be better.

    Advice to Management

    Management is solid and available to anyone. They have the right balance of vision and practicality. Keep it going.


  3. "Change the world with some of the smartest people in the industry"

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

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

    Pros

    * Brilliant people
    * Work on one of the most important problems in the world: improving education
    * Encouraged to change anything you don't like through an RFC process
    * Work hard culture without destroying your life
    * Quarterly hack day!
    * Weekly open discussions with upper management, usually with CEO
    * Great open work space
    * Free dinner & metro cards (basic tech startup stuff)

    Cons

    Communication across the company could be better, although it is improving, and goes with the territory with a rapidly growing company. It's also not always clear what is necessary in order to advance at the company.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to grow aggressively.


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  5. "A great place to work, in a domain with lots of potential."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Knewton emphasizes hiring talented and motivated people and succeeds at it. Communal space is exceptional and I really like going to work. They are very flexible with my work from home hours. I have great gear and any extras that i need to be comfortable while I work. People here are well balanced and interested in the world. Staff are not only contributing to their jobs, but also to the open source community and to the world at large. There are numerous examples of staff enrichment guilds, and volunteer work, and many scientific papers to be found. Hack days are quite exceptional events. We have whole product lines that exist because of them.

    Cons

    We are growing fast and we will be a little cramped until we secure our new space.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up. Get that new space ASAP.


  6. "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 New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great vibe in the office, interesting challenge, work-life balance

    Cons

    No 401K contribution from the company.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Super-smart people working on something that matters"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

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

    Pros

    A LOT of talented, humble people working in one room (almost 100)
    - Strong entrepreneurial culture that rejects anything overly corporate or even traditional
    - Beautiful, huge office near Union Square (moved in summer 2012)
    - Vast responsibility and empowerment given to those who take bold steps
    - Powerful mix of proven technologies, open-source tools, and in-house special sauce
    - Big emphasis on individual accountability and transparency in all functions, which enables teams to make decisions openly and move quickly

    Cons

    Company sometimes has a tough time internally as a tech company in the education industry. Product development and sales cycles can be long due to the natural rhythm of the industry, which predictably causes internal friction.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent team and a strong culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Strong, fun culture (table tennis, happy hours, stocked kitchen, unlimited vacation), great engineers, lots of communication between the tech and business sides. Devs are passionate about their work and craft, but not obsessed with fads or the hottest trends.

    Cons

    Eagerness to pack things onto the roadmap. Communication can be an issue (as usual for a quickly-growing team).


  9. Helpful (3)

    "A great place to work and build"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Knewton full-time

    Pros

    Intellect of peers, flexibility, perks. The company has a very positive mission. This is also a place where you can grow. I would highly recommend a position here as a first job to someone fresh out of college or grad school--there is still a huge upside here both financially (ed-tech is exploding) and professionally (the company is hiring).

    Cons

    Work can be a bit brutal when integration deadlines approach. But this is the nature of the beast. If you're looking for a cushy 10-5 dev gig where you can slowly get promoted with minimal hustle on your end, look elsewhere (google?). But if you want an opportunity to both impact an organization and an industry ripe for innovation (educational publishing), look no further.

    Advice to Management

    Doing a good job. I've heard the new CTO is great.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Amazing culture of incredibly smart people solving meaningful problems."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Interacting daily with a brilliant co-workers.
    - Creating and interfacing with cutting edge technologies - I am always learning about something new and cool.
    - Flexible work hours.
    - Freedom to grow and have a really big impact.
    - Great sense of purpose: our products are changing the educational world.
    - Nice perks - fully stocked kitchen, dinner every night.

    Cons

    As a growing company, there are still some pains trying to figure out the best processes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the open culture and great vision as we scale.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Toxic political environment."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    There are some excellent engineers at this otherwise poorly managed company. Knewton is venture funded so you will get a market salary.

    Cons

    Unethical upper management, frequent "pivots" in product and technology that makes no sense. Infrastructural choices made to benefit individuals' careers rather than based on merit. Lots of turnover. Sharp divisions within the company. Political in-fighting. Lack of interesting work for most engineers. Departing engineers extorted into giving up equity under threat of bad reference.

    Advice to Management

    Get acq-hired before your investors figure out how badly your company is run.


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