POP Reviews | Glassdoor

POP Reviews

Updated November 20, 2017
71 reviews

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3.7
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Bill Predmore
31 Ratings

71 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/life balance is great as well, I rarely have nights where I have to work late (in 8 reviews)

  • Most people there are fun to work with (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • I also didn't really see that work/life balance several people refer to here (in 3 reviews)

  • Too many levels of "authority": be prepared for everyone from a junior art person to your boss's boss to give you changes to your work (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A wonderful place to 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 POP full-time

    Pros

    Beautiful office in Downtown Seattle, amazing talented people, and tons of free food and fun events!

    Cons

    We only serve Starbucks coffee


  2. "Minor League Development"

    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

    I worked at POP full-time

    Pros

    Great downtown location now sullied by the construction of a massive building across the street which will destroy the narrow but nice view of Elliot Bay. The rank and file employees are friendly and nice. An almost equal population of women and men is refreshing. As usual, men dominate the technical areas, but the creative and project management disciplines are almost equally split, with women in more than a few non-technical management positions. The open offices are nice and your equipment depends on your discipline. They do a lot of Microsoft contract work, and those folks tend to have increasingly faulty Surface devices, while the creatives and PMs have Macs. Unlike many companies, the IT department is actually first rate, and the reception and support folks are some of the friendliest anywhere.

    Cons

    The company concentrates on web development and those developers are some very technically competent folks. Unfortunately, they are managed by a cadre of project managers who know little about what really goes on and are wedded to their Atlassian agile project management tools. The schedule and budget are everything to these people, regardless of the technical or creative issues involved, and real problems are routinely swept under the rug. They are assisted by "Technical Architects", who are not actually solution architects but rather are the keepers of the accounts, cloud and customer data, and rarely contribute technically to projects beyond "advice". There are some who do, however, and their work is usually excellent. At a large company like Microsoft or Amazon, they would be thought of as "technical PMs"; the interface from management and schedule PMs to the technically-focused developers.

    The creative design people are very good, and are usually cognizant of the limits of the implementing technologies. The quality assurance people are manual testers, who follow their scripts well and do a good job, but are not actually Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs) with an understanding of the underlying toolchain and software issues. That said, they are an excellent resource and work very hard in maintaing the quality of work. Little gets by them without thorough scrutiny, but only an inch deep. There is no testing automation or other tools, because these cost money and require dedicated test developers. So, everything is done manually and deep flaws are routinely missed.

    This is a service company, not a product company, and revenue is generated through billable hours. The PMs have a secondary role as salesmen, trying to get more hours and money from the customer. Thus, flaws that would never make it through a product cycle at Microsoft or Amazon are freely released because the customer won't pay more, or they can charge more for "upgrades" that should have been part of the original product. Quality is job two here, despite the rigorous efforts of the QA people at finding and documenting flaws. If it looks good and mostly works, it gets delivered, because you can always charge for version 2.

    One problem the company faces is a lack of technical depth. Developers and creatives routinely "graduate" from this company and find jobs at Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and similar firms. There is extreme title inflation here, and it seems everyone is some sort of "Director" or whatever. There are a lot of "Vice Presidents" whose function and contribution is unknown.

    Bottom line: It's a nice place to work and develop expensive websites for corporate customers who don't know any better. The technical depth is an inch deep, and if the project involves anything but a website, a real developer is brought in under contract and let go afterward when the maximum value is extracted from the customer. Don't expect any continuity of people or expertise. This is a great place to spend some time, but don't plan on a career here. Instead, use it as a springboard to something better.

    Advice to Management

    There are acres of unused open space left over from better times. You have a lot of software you've developed that could be productized and made into vertical solutions and would provide upward mobility for developers that have outgrown you. I know you won't do any of that because you are now owned by Advance Publications, a huge media conglomerate that owns newspapers and the Condé Nast magazine empire, and developing actual technology is an afterthought. You have a new CEO, because the old one was checked out managing his soccer team and other ventures after the sale. Maybe he'll make some changes.

    Clean out the PM ranks. There are some very weak people here. Top technical managers are actually pretty good, but the middle layer is deeply flawed. Provide incentives to good people to keep them and establish some continuity of expertise or you will continually lose them to the "major leagues".

    Also, hire some people of color. I saw two the entire time I was there.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at POP full-time

    Pros

    Great downtown location and some stalwart individuals.

    Cons

    The place is in a management free-fall, and the values are thinner than the paper they are written on.

    Advice to Management

    Give it up


  4. "Frontend developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front-End Developer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Front-End Developer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good environment, geek people, good salary, wii, xbox and parties, pop rules

    Cons

    More trainings and qualified seniors in CR

    Advice to Management

    People in CR office need more attention and guidelines and being more code lovers


  5. "Agency that embodies passion, excellence and teamwork"

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

    I have been working at POP full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Strong focus on emerging technologies and investment in current team to stay ahead of client needs.
    Significant opportunities for career growth.
    Good work/life balance (sure there are swings in workload but overall good balance and leadership team recognizes extra efforts put forth by individuals.)
    Diverse work portfolio of clients and platforms.
    Good benefits, PTO, 401k, Insurance (including health, dental, vision and life), maternity/paternity leave, ORCA card, downtown Seattle (easy commute, good shops/food), ability to work remotely at times.
    Talented people with deep expertise in their craft.
    Eagerness of team to try new things and work together to find solutions to challenges.

    Cons

    I've had great experiences, nothing bad to say about POP.


  6. "Physical Therapist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at POP full-time

    Pros

    It's a very nice place to work. They care about their staff.

    Cons

    I can't think of anything.


  7. "CS"

    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 POP full-time

    Pros

    Awesome company to work for!

    Cons

    None at the moment, great place

  8. "Account"

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

    Pros

    One of the true creative + technology agencies that can do an exceptional job at both, but more importantly weave the disciplines together seamlessly

    Cons

    No global presence to take on meaty global campaigns. Not a large production team for high profile activation campaign work.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Boutique Creative Agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Small agency catering to a variety of clients. Strong talent base and a downtown Seattle location. Great benefits for an agency, including bus pass, and alternate commuting options.

    Cons

    Very little anonymity, very process heavy and big egos to navigate. They do not offer parking and surrounding garages are quite expensive if you need to drive.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great people, not-so-great structure"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at POP full-time

    Pros

    Very friendly people -- honestly one of the most immediately friendly places I've worked. It all feels sincere. This was refreshing.
    Big-name clients that can be fun to work on and will look good on your resume.
    Nice, centrally located office space.

    Cons

    There's not much time for big thinking or deep dives; you're too busy slapping design and copy into place and getting it out the door before the next two-day turnaround comes in.
    Lack of ownership: creatives are swapped into and out of projects. You rarely get to work on one project start to finish. Instead of helping make things work more efficiently, this adds ramping up time, inconsistency and frustration.
    Too many levels of "authority": be prepared for everyone from a junior art person to your boss's boss to give you changes to your work.
    Very little opportunity for advancement: might be an okay place for someone more junior to come and move up a level but overall, don't come here expecting to advance in your career. It's not going to happen.
    I also didn't really see that work/life balance several people refer to here. Long days were a regular thing, as were being available for emails and texts well after hours and on weekends.

    Advice to Management

    Spend some time learning about how a typical agency is structured and apply some of that structure to your workforce. Not everyone should have a say in how something looks or is worded.
    Eliminate redundancy in positions -- too many cooks.
    Put actual processes in place for creative reviews and stick to them.
    Put the trust in your people to handle a project start to finish; don't switch horses trying to save time or coddle a special snowflake. It's hurting the work and morale.


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