Shopzilla Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Shopzilla Software Engineer Reviews

25 reviews

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Software Engineer

2.7
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Shopzilla President William G. (Bill) Glass
William G. (Bill) Glass
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free lunch, opportunity to learn, great culture (in 36 reviews)

  • Overall great culture because of the people (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • The company seemed to have a high turnover of employees (in 4 reviews)

  • Very limited career progression - and low salary (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Software Engineer Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    good food, great ambient to work at, learned a lot, good salary

    Cons

    company went bank rupt so lots of layoffs, Promotions difficult to come by. Layoffs 3 times last year. Little interdepartmental communication and few training opportunities. Many digital tools used are proprietary and so after leaving the company this experience can prove to mean very little.

    Advice to Management

    to Be more transparent with employees


  2. "Great place to work, could use some improvements"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer II in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer II in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Relaxed culture/environment, nice people (like a family), free lunches and cereal breakfast bar, flexible work schedule, low cost health benefits, amazing events/contests, casual dress attire.

    Management in general is very open and friendly. Often times you forget they are your bosses or execs because they are very approachable and they'll listen to what you have to say. They are transparent about their business contrary to what some reviews say; they have short semi-weekly company-wide meetings to talk about company growth and innovations, which is informative and gives you an idea of what other teams are working on.

    The engineering team is full of talented and dedicated people. We work as a team and most people won't hesitate to help another out.

    Cons

    Business usually understands some of the technical things that need to be done even if it doesn't add immediate business values, but that is not to say that as engineers, we don't sometimes struggle to get our technical debt addressed. While some areas of our business are very innovative, well maintained and well documented, we also have other areas where we have to deal with some old legacy code and systems that are not so well documented that has to slowly be transitioned. It is all a matter of which team you are working with.

    Another con is that, it seems teams do often change, making you switch gears. However, that is a sign of innovation since our company does change focuses. Despite the recent layoff, I still believe that the company will make their comeback as we are making improvements in different areas of the company.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Big Disappointment, Little Direction, Lots of Politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -People (not management)
    -Free Food

    Cons

    -They have us working on a bunch of stuff, with some new tech, but nothing ever seems to get done, and it is not clear how our projects make more money for the company.
    -There are a few projects that they had us work on that were not designed right, so we had to re-do them 3 times - no one likes that. We expected management and the project managers to know what we were working on.
    -When you look on the internet, you can see that our competition, including google shopping, is making progress but we are not.
    -They brought in some new managers but the old managers are keeping hold of their turf because they are scared, so the 'right' projects do not happen, or they get given to the wrong people.
    -It is very political for such a small company. Managers back stab other managers on a daily basis.

    Advice to Management

    -No one seems to know the direction of the company, and certainly not how to get to where we need to be.
    -You need to get rid of any manager who has been there longer than 3 years.
    -If you are a manager who has been there longer than five years, you need to resign - today - for the sake of the company and other employees. I do not think that any other company would hire them.
    -The recent big wig managers that you hired do not seem to be focused on making the company better. I am not sure what they are doing - maybe setting the company up for sale. I am not sure, but it is not good. No one likes it.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Pathetic Engineering and IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    West los angeles location
    Free lunch

    Cons

    Lots of Politics within executives, back stabbing each other at the expense of talented employees

    Poor salary compared to the Market

    Executives are FAKE

    Engineering department is the worst of all. No vision at all.

    Advice to Management

    Resign


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great intern program"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Shopzilla as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -friendly work environment
    -delicious free catered food everyday and stocked coolers full of premium drinks
    -learn an incredible amount about making web applications and the software development process
    -get placed on engineering teams working directly on projects to be pushed to production and made live to potentially millions of daily users
    -given your own office with personal computer and telephone
    -very approachable colleagues and managers
    -get to attend extremely fun company social events and outings

    Cons

    -lack of adequate company documentation, as the intern program is relatively new


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome technical company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is full of very talented engineers. They take software engineering very seriously and apply it with rigor, people in general are very nice. I think is one of the most professional java shops you can find in LA.

    Cons

    On their business model side, things are not as good. They could definitely leverage much of the data they have been acquiring through the years and the takeover of symphony hasnt helped much.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the original spirit, try to leverage the data you have and innovate business model wise


  7. Helpful (2)

    "stay away, it's a trap"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Shopzilla full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Location, free lunch, company events

    Cons

    Company is not making money, very very poor business model that worked great 6-7 years back.
    Practically no innovation from business

    Technology department is a sweatshop. Engineering leaders don't know any technical things. Engg management talks big things but delivers nothing. All the systems in the IT department are broken

    OUTSOURCING is happening across the board

    Advice to Management

    Resign

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great company so far"

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits.
    Free lunch.
    Laid back. Great work-life balance.
    Friendly people.

    Cons

    Commute - had I known that I had a two hour round trip commute, I would not have taken the job.
    Lots of legacy code.
    Legacy hardware - I was given a four year old laptop - I'm a Java/J2EE engineer. My personal $650 laptop is like 8 times faster.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Great opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Technical management (and management generally) is very supportive of trying new technologies when a good argument can be made for them. Engineering and business have a good cooperative relationship -- I've never felt that engineering concerns fell on deaf ears from the business folks. Because things do move fast at Shopzilla, engineers at Shopzilla, particularly self-motivated ones, get a lot of opportunities to make an impact on the business. In many ways, it's like a start-up in the pace of change, but with greater stability (and already profitable). Perhaps different from a start-up, there's a healthy mix of seasoned employees and new kids on the block.

    Additionally, though like all workplaces, Shopzilla has its cliques, you do not need to participate in them to succeed. I have rarely had the time to schmooze with any of my co-workers, I have a life outside of work with its own demands and being down with the "cool kids" in my workplace is the furthest thing from how I want to spend my time, but I've always felt that there are plenty of opportunities here.

    Cons

    Traffic in West LA sucks. The parking lot is always jam-packed. There is a fair amount of institutional lore that you need to soak up in short order when you start working here. Work is hard, sometimes it makes my brain hurt.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Stay away, not worth it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free lunch, free sodas. Good for contractors. Used to be very good place to learn new technology.

    Cons

    The workload has increased since the company was sold to a private investor a year ago. The new owner is outsourcing the IT organization to India, as much as possible, while business is not growing. The management team is a tight clique. They are caring more about their own rewards and promotions than anything else. For example bonuses are only for management, progressively higher with rank, on top of already higher base pay. But management is also territorial with each other. There is not much collaboration, but more and more politics and blaming. I think the company culture is backward. It favors a top-down hierarchy of the type of " the highest paid person in the room is always right". Not surprisingly the employee turnover is ridiculous, just about everybody is thinking about leaving. The many negative reviews here only show the tip of the iceberg, with the occasional rebuttals by HR or the folks who feel criticized just providing more evidence of the situation. This place is in real trouble!

    Advice to Management

    Stop putting yourself above the people who are earning your paycheck.