Polar Design Reviews | Glassdoor

Polar Design Reviews

7 reviews

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3.8
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Mark Jaklovsky
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Excellent PHP Development Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Applications Developer in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Web Applications Developer in Woburn, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Polar Design part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company works with fairly advanced technologies in web development has gives you the chance to stretch your skills. The pay is fair, and the opportunities to build what you know are there. Polar was my first experience with REST API integration and data security. The project management staff is stellar too, especially Xin who was a developer for 10 years.

    Cons

    Sometimes the project managers get a bit overloaded and you don't always get direction on your work in a timely manner. To be fair, this happened during a really busy time (which was one reason I was brought aboard). But you need to be quick on your feet and be able adjust. This is definitely an environment for fast paced people.

    Advice to Management

    Add a project manager and tester.


  2. "Good job, rewarding with significant opportunity to make an impact right away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Web Development/Junior Developer in Woburn, MA
    Former Intern - Web Development/Junior Developer in Woburn, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Polar Design as an intern (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As an intern and junior developer I was given substantial opportunity to work on client projects. Nearly everyday I was working on code that would be seen by a client, and would make it into a production environment. That experience was invaluable and something that very few developers at larger companies are able to get. It was a challenging and engaging environment to work in, and the size of the company allowed very close interaction with the project management and sales teams, again providing valuable experience to a young employee. I was also able to spend significant one-on-one time with the CEO, who was always willing to teach and was very accessible. I almost never felt pressured to work more than an 8 to 9 hour day.

    Cons

    The job was undoubtedly stressful at times, especially dealing with demanding clients and rapidly approaching deadlines. Some of the PMs I worked with lacked the training and skill to effectively manage client expectations, which caused delays on projects. The days definitely get longer when project deadlines close in.

    Advice to Management

    Hiring great people is very difficult. Working to train and develop current employees may prove more fruitful.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Software Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Woburn, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    It is a small company, you are forced to do everything. So you can learn a lot.

    Cons

    1. The work is pretty pushing. They rely on silverstripe so much, which is awful.
    2. The manager does not know technic skills so much.
    3. Never try to argue with the CEO, as he was a member of the a debate team.
    4. So much work, as they do not care s much about best practice. And you need to handle all bugs from former
    5. People in and out. They like to hire contract developers, which are cheaper.

    Advice to Management

    It is not a place for your long run life


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Hands on learning opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA

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

    Pros

    As a smaller agency, you get some hands-on experience in most aspects of a project. You're able to take initiative and get involved however you want in projects, from certain design elements, to what sort of functionality may exist on a site, to the analytical aspects to understand why certain things either achieved results or didn't. It's rewarding to have the experience and see a project come through fruition knowing the strategy, look, functionality, and success is based in your input and ideas.

    Cons

    People come and go, from employees to contract/freelancers, so sometimes have to adapt real fast and deal in situations you may be unfamiliar with.

    Advice to Management

    Have more brainstorming and educational efforts. At times, felt that the company was not aware of or on top of certain latest best practices.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great Learning Experience, Positive Career Growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Polar Design part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some of the pro' of working at Polar Design included exposure to a wide variety of client's and business models. It wasn't about pitching generic campaigns at Polar it is about understanding a client's business model and increasing revenue for that client.

    Other pro's included working in an entrepreneurial "all hands on deck" environment gaining exposure to a variety of disciplines and working with a small, friendly and lively group.

    If you want to learn how to be an effective advocate for OLM. Polar is a good place to do that.

    Cons

    There are some cons, which depending on your personality type may either help or hurt you.

    Change. Constant change. People will come and go. For good and bad reasons. You will need to be able to adapt to this and be focused on your goals within the company.

    The nature of a mid sized growing business. You will find yourself emotionally attached to the work. This can play in your favor or not. When you work for a company of this type you cannot hide. The wins are great, but don't let the losses crush you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an ear to the ground to keep tabs on morale. Sometimes there are easy fixes to things that may become big problems later. Keep pushing the big picture and finding new ways to diversify the revenue stream.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Woburn, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Cutting edge projects - working at Polar, you will dip your hands into the latest technologies in design, programming, marketing - whatever your function is. The company is always trying new things in design, development and marketing
    - The company had the same challenges as others in 2008/2009/2010 but never laid off a single person - management puts employees ahead of itself
    - Responsibility - very early on, you get to work directly with clients on fairly high level projects
    - Innovative culture - management is innovative and encourages everyone to participate in the creative stage of projects

    Cons

    - Training can be kind of ad hoc, which does lead to issues on projects
    - At some point management had a lot of fires to fight which meant that they weren't always proactive about certain things
    - The company seems to be involved in a lot of different services - they do pull it off in the end, it can be daunting at first when trying to understand what you are managing

    Advice to Management

    Fire the bad apples faster! You know who they were/are.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Learned what not to do"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Woburn, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Once you work here, every other job seems like a dream.

    There are only a few benefits to working here, one is that it is small enough for you to have a hand in every aspect of the design process. That being said, you learn it all on your own, and usually under stressful circumstances.

    Cons

    This company is a family run business that is extremely small (5-8 employees). There is little growth and opportunity to advance past an entry level position. Worst part is that the clients are unhappy with the end results of the projects. A lot of this can be contributed to the lack of leadership and unprofessional nature of the management.

    Employees usually last a maximum of 1-2 years before moving on. The only longstanding employees are family members.