TransferWise Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

TransferWise Software Engineer Reviews

Updated Feb 17, 2020

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4.4
93%
Recommend to a Friend
97%
Approve of CEO
TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
15 Ratings
  1. "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 :)

    Continue reading
    TransferWise2019-05-13
  2. 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.

    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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    TransferWise2019-03-21
  3. 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.

    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.

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    TransferWise2019-04-15
  4. Helpful (13)

    "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.

    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.

    TransferWise2018-11-24
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Fine and dandy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    1. Very good technical challenges 2. Very smart and easy to work with coworkers 3. Decent salary 4. Great mission and company culture - no seriously, it is amazing!

    Cons

    Quite a lot of stress. Dealing with money ain't easy

    TransferWise2018-10-11
  6. Helpful (3)

    "TransferWise is an amazing place to grow"

    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 a year

    Pros

    Here you are able to be part of big decisions. Bring new to the table, show all kind of initiatives and you gonna be supported by your colleges and friends here!

    Cons

    Sometimes it is hard to maintain work-life balance not because of someone pushing you but because of you are carrying about the team or you're working on some exciting stuff and it is just hard to stop and go home.

    TransferWise2018-07-11
  7. Helpful (7)

    "Software Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great place to learn to build a product. Great place to work if you want to open your startup in the future. - Very flexible in terms of holidays, working remotely (from home or in trips anywhere around the globe)

    Cons

    - Apart from a few engineers, most are quite poor. Lots and lots of tech debt which is hard to pay up due to lack of concern for quality. - Low salary. Pays quite below the market

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    TransferWise2018-05-28
  8. Helpful (1)

    "SE"

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

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

    Pros

    nice and friendly atmosphere foe international employees

    Cons

    no support of remote work possibilities

    TransferWise2018-06-26
  9. Helpful (7)

    "Excellent product, colleagues and culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Product is really good and with a clear value to customers. People is very honest. Great colleagues. Opportunity to have an impact in whatever you want, it's up to you to decide where your responsibilities end. Most of the projects are challenging and fun. You and your team will prioritise and decide what to do each quarter. Very team oriented, lot of amazing people.

    Cons

    - Salaries for Software Engineers are bellow average for a Fintech; value added by the engineering work deserves a better compensation. - Not for you if you just want somebody to tell you what to do/build

    TransferWise2018-02-18
  10. "The best place I ever worked at"

    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

    - This is a mission driven company. We are here to change the world. - Talented co-workers - Independent teams and decision freedom - Flexible hours - Nice offices

    Cons

    Sometimes independent teams turn into a management chaos.

    TransferWise2018-02-24

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