Kong Reviews | Glassdoor

Kong Reviews

Updated November 9, 2018
16 reviews

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4.5
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Kong CEO Augusto Marietti
Augusto Marietti
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great People + great Products = an Amzing Company"

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

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

    Pros

    Kong is a totally fun place to work. Don't get me wrong, you will always be busy, but you'll be busy doing really fun and groundbreaking stuff.

    As someone who covers support tickets, whenever I'm not sure about something or need a deeper explanation, there is always someone available to help. This really makes my role much easier.
    I also really like how the customers consider themselves partners. I think a lot of that comes from our Open Source background.

    Speaking of Open Source, lots of Open Source companies allow you to see the code but never accept PRs from nonemployees. Not at all the case with Kong. Kong really cares about its community members and that really goes a long way.

    Cons

    Kong's employees are spread out the entire globe. Generally speaking, this is a good thing.

    I have it listed under Cons though because it does mean that there are times you'll want to ask a specific person a question, but know they won't be awake for while.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Time To Grow Up"

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

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

    Pros

    Kong is lucky enough to build on an excellent technical platform. That has made growth and feature development very easy. The open source community is supportive and engaging.

    There is opportunity for Kong to move from a small startup into a capital player within the industry.

    An open vacation policy is honestly held. I've never felt pressure or discouragement when trying to balance work and family life.

    Remote communication is largely kept as a priority, especially among engineering staff.

    Cons

    Accelerated pace of growth and divergence between core engineering values and the demands of customers has contributed to a lopsided set of products and a divergence between the open source and enterprise versions of the software. The organization is at a point now where it must choose between the pace of development, and building a stable and reliable platform as an enterprise software solution.

    Leadership in engineering is a source of consternation for a lot of folks on staff. This is the kind of person that will say something that they think you want to hear when you present a problem, if only to mute the conversation and pacify the moment. There is a a feeling among the engineering staff of disregard for engineers' opinions, particularly from management and the VP level. Rank and file members of the org often do not feel heard, and when there's an opportunity to bring their concerns to management, those concerns are pacified and nullified without any path forward.

    A lot of siloing and inter-team bickering exists within engineering teams. Very little developer documentation is written, and inter-team communication continues to atrophy. Forward progress is stymied by a lack of willingness to invest to solutions that will not stagnate and develop tech debt interest, and the constant pace of change from the leading engineering team means that other development teams are left in the dust with no documentation or communication about how to merge legacy and novel functionality.

    Sales and support staff are left in the dark about feature development, timelines, and parity between enterprise and open-source solutions. Due to the substantial technical debt accrued its very difficult for engineers to take individual efforts to break down walls and move the enterprise product forward. Communication between product management, engineering, and support/sales staff has suffered for months, and the divide continues to grow worse as the company scales out.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on open core. Pay more attention to the long-term impacts of making changes to the community aspects of the project as it relates to enterprise software releases. A fast-evolving open source project paired with a long-term enterprise solution that is not tightly integrated is a recipe for disaster.

    Listen to the engineers who build your enterprise product. When they say they've only had time to build a rough proof of concept, and the product is not ready to ship, don't ship it. Don't let high-value customers drive the future of your product.

    Stop encouraging heroism culture. More people of varying backgrounds are joining the organization, including team members with families and children. Burning midnight oil and working through the weekend continues to be a drain on resources and morale.

    Focus on the quality of the product you've developed before you ship it. Too many things are pushed out the door to meet one customer's demands, or speculative needs. This results in low-quality work, developed by multiple teams, all of whom have little regard for communication with each other or their customers. Clarify and reconcile the differences between the stated goal of "shipping fast" and "building quality solutions".

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Fast pace and high impact"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Tons of interesting problems to work on
    Things move fast (could be a con depending)
    Tons of growth
    Really great coworkers (very welcoming)
    High transparency

    Cons

    No cons as of yet


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great so far and excited for the future!"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    catered lunch 2x/week, many opportunities to take ownership of projects, endearing and genuine coworkers, invested and forward thinking leadership, strong core company value system

    Cons

    Quickly outgrowing our space so sometimes a battle for meeting rooms but it's a good problem to have!


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Fast growth, inconsistent execution (even when we've done it well in the past)"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kong full-time

    Pros

    Many great individual contributors working hard to make great things happen. Fast growth in a compelling market with a leading product. Good pay and benefits, heroics rarely required mean decent work/life balance.

    Cons

    Sometimes we put a lot of effort into figuring out a good way to do a thing - then, too often, the next time we do that thing we seem to be figuring it out again, instead of starting from the best way we figured out the previous time. This produces frustrating inefficiencies, and sub-optimal execution - and it is so avoidable.

    Advice to Management

    More clarity and consistency of communications from leadership - what are our goals? What are we focused on? What are the few things that really matter, so we can pay more attention to those things? And, what needs to improve in the way we work? We pretty much never hear these things from leadership, and that is not an effective way to lead. My advice to leaders: Figure out the 3-5 things that really matter, pick a single metric for each, remind us of those things every month, and hold yourself and us accountable to those metrics.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Phenomenal experience"

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

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

    Pros

    - warm and welcoming community
    - global / distributed team
    - empathetic, down-to-earth people
    - mature organization for the company size
    - strong product with rapidly expanding customer list
    - genuine and experienced leadership team

    Cons

    - No cons so far, experience has been great


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Great company, rewarding work"

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

    I have been working at Kong full-time

    Pros

    -Employees really value each other and work cross functionally quite well
    -Lots of transparency from the top down
    -Great benefits
    -Fun companywide offsites
    -Beautiful new office space at Union Square in SF
    -Using all the latest tools and technologies
    -Very diverse culture
    -Great work/life balance (lots of employees have children)

    Cons

    No cons to share as of today

    Advice to Management

    Keep transparency a big priority as the company gets bigger.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "A bit of a frathouse, I'm glad I left."

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They had more or less good pay, snacks were good, and management sprang for cool outings for the team on a regular basis.

    Cons

    They seemed to lack focus; CEO would make technical direction decisions (and sales promises) without consulting the engineers who would implement it and expect it to be delivered when promised. There was very little work/life balance, I generally would get Slack pings in the middle of the night (1-2am) that would drastically change what I'd be working on.

    The management team would regularly hold raucous parties in the office, leaving the mess to be cleaned up the next day.

    Also problematic was their interactions with under-represented groups: frequently saw sexist or offensive comments or messages over chat, with little desire to change the climate. These were coming from upper management as well.

    I've heard they've been getting better as of late now that they have new investors and are basically being babysat at their current location, but it doesn't seem like they have a solid handle on how a business should be run. I wouldn't bet much on their future.

    Advice to Management

    At the very least: take sensitivity training classes. Marginalizing your employees and/or potential hires does nothing to help the culture, and makes for very low morale.

    Kong Response

    May 11, 2018 – CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share your review. I’m genuinely sorry that your memories of our former company (Mashape Inc.) are as you described. I take all feedback seriously, and it appears as... More


  9. "Interesting, Challenging, and Rewarding"

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people working on interesting problems with a huge market opportunity in front of us!

    Cons

    Fast-growing startup means that little things sometimes fall through the cracks.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring great folks, and keep expecting a lot of the people that work here - we can and should hold ourselves to a high standard.


  10. "Fast times at Kong!"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - strong leadership team
    - the company is still small enough, just under 50 employees, to feel like a start up
    - exciting technology challenges to keep everyone busy
    - extremely fast paced environment

    Cons

    - a lot of different technology tools
    - could use a bit more benefits/perks