Tapjoy Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

Tapjoy Software Engineer Reviews

9 reviews

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Software Engineer

3.7
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Steve Wadsworth
7 Ratings

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Pros
  • work-life balance and less hierarchical (in 11 reviews)

  • Great atmosphere, great people to work with (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Everyone else was treated like a nobody and given no rewards for hard work (in 2 reviews)

  • For a small company there was a lot of management overhead, small things would occasionally have to go through 2-3 people and approvals (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Mature Engineering Organization"

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

    Pros

    Speaking primarily of the engineering organization: Strong engineering leadership and management, sense of ownership among software engineers, and serious application of software craftsmanship. The San Francisco office has had ups and downs, but is on the upswing - there was a group of engineering leadership that left but has since been replaced by building from the inside up, and the current group has made the office their own. There is still huge opportunity to be a leader and make a difference in both the quality and market viability of the product. The people who are at Tapjoy now are people who want to be at Tapjoy, which makes it a great place to work.

    Cons

    Seems like it took a while to get traction in a crowded market. The SF office is not well designed for collaboration, as the office has two wings which effectively divide people from each other.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid to remove features from the product that don't work and double down on the things that are the big opportunities. Focus, focus, focus.


  2. "++ Tapjoy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great office to work in (Boston). People are friendly, interested, and competent. Office is open, and engineering problems are discussed openly with encouraged eavesdropping. Working in the office is much more enjoyable/productive than working from home. For the most part, everyone has a great sense of humor and a deep well of knowledge about random topics. You can bet _someone_ in the room has an intimate knowledge of snipe hunting in the backwoods of Northern Canada. Or demos for us the top 37 best ways to prepare beef brisket.

    Engineering management is very transparent regarding company issues. No question is out of bounds. ever.

    Cons

    Years later, the monolith is still undefeated. Early Tapjoy eng created an epic monolith which years later is still largely intact. This makes for frustratingly slow development and lengthy ramp-up time for new developers. On the other hand, the operations team is incredible. They've taken the scary out of deployments and have given engineers the tools to see the status of the application.

    It's also difficult to be excited about putting ads in phones. It would be more interesting if jobs were set up to enable autonomy and mastery. Autonomy feels out of reach with the current project management and agile configuration. The accessibility of mastery varies largely on where in the stack you work. Some teams have a stronger understanding of their domain than others and tend to be better places for nascent engineers to grow up. The teams that are strong in their domains also tend to have strong technical direction and are more realistic in their planning. Other teams crunch under unrealistic expectations.

    Advice to Management

    I have some brilliant coworkers, keeping them engaged should be top priority. Employee motivation is critically important to performance; look for opportunities to highlight purpose, direction, and traction.

    Also, using established open-source software seems like a better long-term strategy than open sourcing in-house code. In-house code lacks the community support of would-be competing solutions. For many tools, alternatives exist that require little maintenance and never need surgery.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "The challenge of a lifetime to operate at scale."

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

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

    Pros

    * The engineering problems are challenging, complex, exciting, and a great learning opportunity.
    * The culture is phenomenal, and your co-workers across every organization are great to work with.
    * Never a dull moment.

    Cons

    It's not a 10 person company anymore, and there is baggage that comes with that.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on retaining most valuable employees, as the rest of the engineering organization is likely to stay with them through the long-haul.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "A strong engineering team that tackles massive scale issues, fosters individual growth, and invests in culture fit."

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

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

    Pros

    Tapjoy is one of those unique opportunities where an engineer can make a big difference since the company is still relatively small yet the scale is massive. There are a lot of hard problems to tackle and new technologies to learn / evaluate.

    Tapjoy's engineering managers also put a strong emphasis on helping to mentor and grow their team. If you're looking to be surrounded by smart folks, this is a good place to be. Mobile advertising isn't the the sexiest sounding product, but between the people and the technologies it's a great environment.

    Over the past year, Tapjoy also focused on re-organizing the company and building a great team from the ground up. There's now a pretty strong Product / Engineering group leading there, looking to level-up the company. One year ago, Tapjoy wasn't in a great place for all teams... a lot of that has turned around since then.

    Cons

    From an engineering perspective, Tapjoy still has a lot of room to grow. It's sometimes difficult to work through the tech debt that's built up over the years. Cross-office communication needs to be more effective. The on-boarding process for new engineers needs to be more efficient. These are all growing pains.

    From a product perspective, Tapjoy needs to find a way to stand out other than through their scale / audience.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "The company is on the right track"

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

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

    Pros

    Working environment is good with a culture that people look to solve the problems first instead of blaming anyone. The "low ego" atmosphere makes the startup progress in a healthy way. After the new CEO comes, the company really puts concentration on products and technology. Also, it is a fun workplace, where the company always keep it as a startup, although company structure grows towards corporate.

    Cons

    The company experienced lots of changed during the past couple of years. Apple (and Google) makes the rules for in-app reward mobile ads.

    Advice to Management

    Hire good visionaries as product manager for innovation, in order to survive in the ever-changing mobile world.


  6. "Great opportunity to get experience solving difficult problems at high scale."

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

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

    Pros

    High-scalability world problems (and opportunities!), very competent tech lead tier, engineering teams in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Boston, pulling in significant revenue

    Cons

    Varied culture between offices, initial salary offerings not reflective of the market, product management is still maturing


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Used UsUsed to be a start-upe"

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

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

    Pros

    Market leader in it's space. Great offices. Seems to be putting more structures in place for Tapjoy to run more efficiently in the future.

    Cons

    There's been lots of turmoil at the top. Speaking from someone who was in engineering a lot of the best people have left. There was a takeover of engineering by the Boston office. The culture is engineering has become more corporate, more ego-driven, less collaborative. Tapjoy used to have a great start-up culture with really great people. Tapjoy is now a mid-size company that is much more corporate, less like a start-up. The top leadership has completely changed in the last year. They seem like they want to fundamentally change the Tapjoy culture.

    Advice to Management

    Don't lose what made Tapjoy successful if you want to build it for the long run. However, it feels more like they are just gearing up the company to be acquired.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "A valuable learning experience that's not worth the trouble"

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

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

    Pros

    There are, or were, a lot of bright people in the company but in recent weeks they seem to be acknowledging the rapid deterioration of the culture and are seeking new opportunities.

    Cons

    Cronyism and poor decisions by under-skilled middle managers has resulted in a teams of immature, inexperienced, and all around lackluster employees.

    Advice to Management

    It's time to clean house.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "The grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Tapjoy full-time

    Pros

    When I look at the reviews, I have a difficult time understanding some of the complaints. Pretty petty. As far as start-ups go, you will be hard pressed to find better work-life balance than this place. Engineers arrive between 9:30AM-11:00AM, and unless we're drinking/playing beer pong, we're out of the office between 5:00PM-5:30PM. At my last start-up, developers (routinely) worked 80+ hours weeks. As a collective, we have it pretty easy.

    Cons

    It's not perfect. With a new VP of Engineering on board, things have improved.

    Advice to Management

    Is it too much to ask for a pool table? :-)