SparkPost Reviews | Glassdoor

SparkPost Reviews

Updated March 21, 2019
65 reviews

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3.9
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Richard Harris
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Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "You might get to work from home sometimes" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Great people- highly intelligent and very motivated and just very pleasant to work with overall" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "Really made it hard to care and was eventually let go because there was *zero* connection and appreciation" (in 3 reviews)

  • "The open office plan was a horrible thing to implement, though the new MD building is a bit better with a bit more room and some separation" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "8 Years in and SparkPost is still an exciting and supportive place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President Product in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Vice President Product in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SparkPost full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    This place and these people (ones who are still here and others who have moved on to new adventures) are family. They've supported me, given me opportunities to grow, give me straight talk, laugh along with me, and love me and my family. A couple have become my dearest and closest friends whose impact on me and my love for them is immeasurable and lifelong. Oh yeah - and we do awesome work :)

    Cons

    There's always challenges in any business whether it's market shifts or technology changes. My recommendation to anyone in any company is to take any concerns you have, propose a plan for making things better, and elevate them up. In my 8 years here I've always seen that be a positive path for any challenging situations.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Know what you're getting yourself into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is a leader in its space and has great technology, customers and employees who are smart, supportive and fun.

    Cons

    Little awareness compared to its primary (and public) competitor SendGrid that was just purchased by Twilio. Out marketed by smaller competitors like Mailgun and Mailjet. A few of us across the marketing and sales functions compared notes over the past year and agreed that we had never seen such unprofessionalism by management: cliquey, boorish behavior, backstabbing, repeated inquiries into our whereabouts during office hours (it's illegal actually). All of us were stunned by how certain staff focuses on minutiae and process instead of the true priorities. The atmosphere in the office has been toxic for some time now.

    If interviewing, ask them about the high turnover across the functions. HR has been supportive but needs to be more involved and insist on management training!

    Adding plants and more social outings is nice but doesn't cut it. The market is hot, think twice before joining SparkPost.

    Advice to Management

    Watching staff's every move doesn't create trust, just the opposite. No surprise it has been a revolving door for a year now. Have a real heart-to-heart to learn what THEY need and want. They're YOUR first customer after all. Then you can focus on the IPO. The market is hot right now and you need to up your game.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Sales"

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

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

    Pros

    Good people willing to help with any questions, decent benefits and well stocked kitchen.

    Cons

    New CEO came to the company touting his love of people and treating employees like family, only to instantly lay of a lot of quality employees in all departments, many of them top performers. Stale upper management with no new ideas; lower level employees constantly in fear of being let go. Morale is suffering since CEO switch. Unattainable quotas.

    Advice to Management

    Company values should extend to upper management. Get rid of managers that haven’t hit their quotas in years.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "No Company is Perfect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people- highly intelligent and very motivated and just very pleasant to work with overall. I've learned so much in my time here, and they are very supportive of personal growth. Most of XMT are pretty chill and approachable.

    Managers that know how to respect their reports- this is for some reason hard to come across no matter what industry you're in. I was wonderfully blessed with genuine, supportive, and reasonable managers in all my time here (I had up to 4 different managers, for different amounts of time due to changes in team organization). I don't think that is the case for every team, I got lucky.

    Great work-life balance- flexibility is built into the culture and the WFH policy (though that has recently changed so who knows).

    Great benefits- generous PTO even for the industry, 401k matching, cell/internet reimbursement (if the job requires it), education allowance, etc.

    Solid product- this has not changed since day one. At the core the tech does what it does very well.

    Cons

    Lots of tribal knowledge- whether it is about the core platform itself or how it is managed, there never seemed to be even somewhat update docs on the most important aspects of either the job or the product, or I would suddenly learn of things that would've been helpful for a previous/current task or project that could've only come from a few select people. There were people/times where more effort was put into rectifying this, but it would always to lose to lack of buy-in and rapid changes.

    Waves of insecurity- the company goes through phases of hiring and firing on a fairly regular basis (every 2 years or so, with some stuff in between). When that happens it always seems like they choose to let go very talented people that knows the product inside-out, or they are put between in a rock and a hard place so that they choose to leave anyway (2 of the aforementioned 4 awesome managers I had are no longer with the company). Full disclosure I was let go also in one of these waves, but this observation was made during the previous multiple waves I survived and I do not hold my being let go against them.

    Constant restructuring- having been around for 10+ years I don't know if we can call this growing pains? I guess the transition from an on premise product to a cloud product was big but that was years ago. Still today it seems that lots of restructuring is done just as teams have settled down from the previous one. It very much disrupts work flow. I'm sure this has everything to do with the 2 CEO changes that have happened in the last 4 years.

    Advice to Management

    None- they will keep on doing what they're doing, for better or for worse. Hopefully they will successfully IPO or get bought out!


  5. "On the technical side"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Sparkpost is a small company with employees who communicate well. You won't be lost unless you try to be. Lunches, snacks, drinks are provided. You might get to work from home sometimes. People on the other coast or working remotely are brought in a few times a year so you can meet them in person. There are a number of people who have gotten good promotions moving up in the company and leading teams. While not everyone will see that career path, it is good to see it happening and know that employees are being rewarded for their efforts and skills.

    Cons

    Uncertain direction for now. The new leadership direction is certainly aiming for the company to make an IPO or get bought. Decisions will be made that help moving things in that direction. Choices that make things look good on paper or for visiting clients/potential buyers won't be in the best interest of employees.

    The dropping of whole teams of employees have occurred more than once. There are people who know the software and business that could have been used in a different role instead of dumping them and bringing in someone new who will have to learn it all from scratch. These purges also harm the morale of those who stay.

    The open office plan was a horrible thing to implement, though the new MD building is a bit better with a bit more room and some separation. Instead of collaboration, you wind up with everyone wearing headphones and getting distracted every time someone walks by your chair.

    I can't help but think that the cost of food and drinks, plus the costs spent flying people in all the time for a week in the office could be used to pay for someone whose job is eliminated.


  6. "Strong company"

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

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

    Pros

    CEO, Solution is competitive, good team

    Cons

    Limited market size, narrow solution fit

    Advice to Management

    Merge/sell


  7. "Great company to work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Support Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Technical Support Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Overall I would say the culture at the company is good. The people are friendly and upper managements are responsive. Lots to learn as it's a small company.

    I saw a review that stated that the culture was bad. Like any other company, your experience is going vary team by team.

    I worked on the support side and depend on engineers on a day to day basis. I've never had problem interacting with them.

    I was fortunate to work for a manager that's always looking out for our best interest.

    Cons

    It being a smaller company, it's super busy. Sometimes it's hard to get a hold of engineering just because they are so busy.

  8. "Great 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 SparkPost full-time

    Pros

    Very open and empowering environment.

    Cons

    There are no cons for me.


  9. "Good place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    A lots of challenging work happens here.

    Cons

    Need to be a strong coder to thrive here.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Excellent company, if you survive the downs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Automation Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - QA Automation Engineer in Columbia, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    highly competent dev team, fast-paced, efficient processes, automated SW build/test/deploy, comfortable environment, leading edge tech, 2 days work-from-home each week.
    I have to say this company's fully automated build/test/deploy cycle was exemplary.

    Cons

    Aside from the massive layoffs after 2 quarters of very short revenues (which layoffs eliminated their Automated SW QA team,) my biggest issue with them was, while so much of their work was (IETF) RFC-driven, QA test coverage was largely happy-path only. To their great credit, their dev team shipped very few bugs, which undoubtedly underscored the non-value-adding burden of QA.

    Advice to Management

    If you can build a dev team that doesn't need QA, then you've got something going that the rest of the world finds elusive -- keep it up! I wish you all the best.