TransferWise Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

TransferWise Software Engineer Reviews

Updated Jan 14, 2020

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4.2
89%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
Approve of CEO
TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
10 Ratings
  1. "friendly and welcoming culture with modern tech challenges you've always dreamed of"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You work on things at scale. Many of the challenges that smaller companies are afraid of wasting their time, over-optimizing for, are crucial here. You're trusted to do your work independently and given support when you ask for it. Engineers (and all team members!) are completely involved and relied upon during project planning - so you always have a say in what your team will work on. Flexible remote working policy (e.g. expecting a delivery at home today, traveling, etc.) Travel opportunities to work with teammates or cross-teammates from other offices

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    Cons

    There is a chance some of your work will be on legacy code (Java 8, groovy, grails, angular 1.x), but this is quickly changing and as of late 2019 many services have upgraded to a newer Java (11+) and/or latest frameworks (React, Spring). Fragmented frontend code. TW has taken a "microservices for frontend" approach which is more difficult to work with (versus the ease of developing a true SPA). Team structure happens organically which makes sense to those involved but looks quite strange from anyone trying to understand where to go for specific help. Some times it's very obvious and other times it's not. Too much information. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of nontrivial initiatives going on at once and keeping abreast is challenging but somewhat expected of you (to a degree).

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    Advice to Management

    Training should not stop at onboarding or be completely left up to the individual teams. A . formal plan for keeping engineers at above a particular level of competency would work wonders. Especially as internal tooling, libraries, and best practices are created.

    TransferWise2019-10-09
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Big opportunities, Customer-first Environment, Good Mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - awesome mission: the success of the company is heavily aligned with doing right by the customer. if the company is successful, they will keep a lot more money in people's pockets worldwide and help people reduce stress when moving money - you get to work on problems with huge impact and scale, which allows you to really grow - they have managed to hire some world class engineers - product culture is infectious, there's bright minds who share awesome learning and research across many different geographies. great to learn about product strategy for a global company

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    Cons

    - for smaller offices, sometimes the communication overhead is difficult - there is a lot of cross-team coordination involved

    Advice to Management

    Keep driving the mission forward, don't think too short term

    TransferWise2019-06-24
  3. "Awesome place to work"

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

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - A lot of learning opportunities - Travel - Smart engineers around

    Cons

    - Work-life balance - Almost all engineers have "too much stuff to do"

    TransferWise2020-01-14
  4. "Join if you want to b e a part of the revolution"

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

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    One of the fastest moving FinTechs to work for. Lot to learn and expand horizons in directions. Very nice people to work with and learn from Quality work to keep you motivated Extremely supportive team Flexibility of work

    Cons

    Sometimes there is a lot to do at ones

    TransferWise2019-10-21
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great company, great people, product brings great value, product is good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - freedom of choice of what to work on - involvement in product thinking & evolvement - multinational company with a great culture, opportunity to work with smart & interesting people - the product is in exciting and hype domain (finance) - the product brings value to the people around the world

    Cons

    - sometimes too much of freedom which kinda create a lack of ownership and management

    Advice to Management

    - I would hire less but really great people from more exciting, ~stronger and bigger companies than TransferWise (e.g Google, Apple, Github, StackOverflow, Airbnb, Intercom, Spotify etc.).

    TransferWise2019-07-29
  6. Helpful (19)

    "Full stack engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Stack Software Engineer in Singapore
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Extremely friendly people, the office team is the best I have ever seen (so many fun things are organised, delicious Friday buffet), the satisfaction of making a contribution in people's lives by helping them save money (compared to banks)

    Cons

    The company has recently digressed a lot from its core values. It is no longer a "revolution" because there are so many companies who are doing the exact same things and they do it better. There is no sense of urgency of "getting things done" - people are focussed on turf wars, there is lots of politics going on with respect to ownership, the oldies in the company seem to think they are the powerful authorities, forming cliques amongst them - backing each other, giving promotions to their countrymen, not listening to criticisms, but overly eager to project the negative effects (arising from their behaviour) on the other members of their teams. We no longer keep customers first - we regularly increase prices to get more profit margins for the investors (but blame the increasing costs of employee salaries, which are way below market standards), we no longer are transparent to the customers, we are regressing on the speed of transfers the last few months, the product is unusable, the tech stack is unstable - but the product managers don't seem to care about them. "No drama, good karma" - literally the opposite happens. There are ego problems with the oldies and leads, they can't take negative feedback and escalate to their leads if you tell them about these, code reviews will get blocked because it is not written as per the other person's whims, leads and product managers regularly do catch-ups as part of their day jobs, but nothing concrete ever comes that improves the product for the customers or the employees' careers, leads getting away by doing only easy tasks and literally exploiting the travel and remote opportunities to the maximum for themselves. There is no autonomy anymore - please don't get fooled by the blog posts, the company is growing big and it is the leads who will be the managers and have literally unlimited control and zero accountability.

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    Advice to Management

    At the grassroots level, there are serious problems with a few older employees (by tenure) literally taking the company culture downhill. There is also nepotism with the same countrymen promoting each other. Please do anonymous feedback and have someone outside of the Singapore office go through the feedback and take action.

    TransferWise2019-06-11
  7. "It's a great company and you will be among a company of supportive/friendly people"

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

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Diverse group of people - SummerDays - Lots of travel opportunity - Openness and transparency in culture

    Cons

    - Working with people in diff. timezones - Too much travel at times :)

    Advice to Management

    - You guys are doing an amazing job, just continue to make sure each regional office also has one or two people who are good at gauging the satisfaction and happiness levels of people

    TransferWise2019-05-13
  8. Helpful (24)

    "More of a cult than a company. Overrated."

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

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    TL;DR This is still a good company to work for, but don't just go with the hype or believe these reviews. They are a reflection of what TransferWise does best: indoctrination. If you have a similar offer from somewhere else you should definitely consider it. Other upsides: - Freedom - People can have a say (comes with a price) - It's a quite transparent company everyone is always been told what's going on - Offices are quite nice - Quite social crowd (if you are into that) - Mission is ambitious. You can feel like you're making a difference.

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    Cons

    Hyper growth is challenging. When you have a company with over a thousand people too much freedom can lead to chaos. Also, the fact that autonomy is one of the core values of the company has turned teams quite selfish about their own goals. Cross team collaboration is almost impossible. It's so hard that ends up discouraging people from seeking to fix or do any task that involves other teams. It's like living in a country with different factions that pretend to collaborate with one another. The company is divided into several cliques, and the old employees act as tribal leaders: don't even think about disagreeing with them. It's an EXTREMELY political company. If you hate politics, don't bother joining. It's as political as any big old organisation out there (or worse than most). Most leads are quite young and with that comes a huge ego. You will feel like going back to secondary school sometimes. Dramas, gossip, etc. It's a downside of having so many young people together. On the engineering side, it's the most unproductive company I've ever worked for. Anything that took 1 week anywhere else in TransferWise takes 4. Loads of talking, convincing and trying to understand a codebase that has become a huge patchwork of badly designed APIs, very little actual coding. Code quality is average at most. Be prepared to deal with technical debt through the roof. Because the company grows so fast, most of the engineers know very little about the current codebase. No documentation, no javadocs, just hearsay. Last but not least, the perks of being a vibrant startup are mostly gone by now. This is a huge organisation not a small startup anymore. You still get some of the basics, like free fruit etc, but it's the same as you get in any other tech company nowadays.

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    Advice to Management

    Hire more experienced people. When you get this big you need more than youth.

    TransferWise2019-03-21
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Good place to work for 1 or 2 years."

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

    I worked at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    TransferWise has really cool working culture. The people here are nice, willing to help you out. Each and everyone takes initiative and their responsibility seriously: 1. No blaming: Whenever you make a mistake, accept it, fix it then tell everyone your lesson. No one is gonna blame you for that. 2. Absolutely no politics: You dont exactly have a boss, more like a mentor/guide/leader and normally they act like your friend. 3. Great learning curve: The company has a startup culture, most people has to do lots of stuff on the ground, this opens opportunities to learn. 4. Direct feedback on your performance from your co-workers: Every quarter/half a year, you will get feedbacks from people you have worked with about what you have done and what need to be done. 5. Free trip to Estonia every year for company event, where all employees gather and party, have fun for 3 days.

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    Cons

    1. Compensation is only acceptable 2. Learning curve stales after the first year, not much else to do, work becomes chores 3. The company is growing too fast, new comers and people keeps moving between department makes it hard to have a stable team. 4. People have to define their own career path since the company is not so clear on this.

    Advice to Management

    1. Catch up with market compensation. 2. Give clear career path.

    TransferWise2019-04-15
  10. Helpful (12)

    "Nice work environment but issues with scaling it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are a lot of opportunities to grow and learn, especially if you are rather early in your career, as you are not really stuck in a role and specific tasks but can easily spend some time on anything which is useful for the company. Teams are mostly small, cross functional (except for some aspect like infra) and independent in how they operate. On top of teams being independent people are rather free about where/when/how they work as long as it is not abused too much and they deliver (remote working, working from home). If you spend more time than average working in a productive way it will be acknowledged and rewarded.

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    Cons

    Weak leadership of the company and management overall. Leads have mostly ended up there based on time in the company rather than leading skills. Lack of coordination and alignment between the independent teams which reinforce a work in silos and creates confusion around the big picture. It is time to acknowledge that TransferWise is not a startup anymore even if it has managed to keep a lot of nice stuff from that and put in place efficient structures and processes for the scale it operates at nowadays. Some can abuse the independence and freedom mentioned in the bad points with very little control on it which can be frustrating for people playing fair game. The leadership team of the company tends to micromanage or even bypass teams when things are not going in the direction they have in mind, while the root causes of lack of inspiration and alignment from them to the rest of the company doesn't seem to be much addressed.

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    TransferWise2018-11-24
Found 27 reviews