Twilio Reviews | Glassdoor

Twilio Reviews

Updated February 6, 2017
64 reviews

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4.2
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Twilio CEO and Co-Founder Jeff Lawson
Jeff Lawson
47 Ratings

64 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Company strongly believes in a good work/life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • Every Monday, Jeff Lawson (CEO) holds an all-hands meeting where he discusses things that the company is doing well and could be doing better (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The growing pains of a burgeoning successful startup apply (in 14 reviews)

  • The company is growing quickly and such rapid change can cause growing pains (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing Company"

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

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

    Pros

    Twilio is by far the best company I have worked for (and I have worked at a few tech companies). It has this amazing culture of balancing work with play, of being inclusive of people and being led by a CEO who truly cares about the people. The work is interesting and innovative, and people are excited about what we are doing here. It really is a great group of smart, innovative and caring people. It is not perfect, normal bumps and warts, but you get the sense that management is trying to improve and grow the company.

    Cons

    Honestly can not think of any cons right now. Health benefits could be a little better, but I assume as we grow that will happen. The new office location makes meals a little more challenging but I understand why they want us to get into the neighborhood (lunch is provided 2-3 days a week).

    Advice to Management

    Keep staying true to the culture.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Loved the culture, as well as the mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Twilio (More than a year)

    Pros

    I really loved how much everyone within the company was behind what we were trying to solve in the space that we were in. The culture was really great, and their core values show you that they are not only a great group of people but stand for something great. Management was great.

    Cons

    Work came home sometimes, although not a con for everyone.. it could be. Really not even that big of a con for me because they made up in other areas.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing great.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "By far the best company I've ever worked for"

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

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

    Pros

    Twilio has the brightest and best colleagues I've ever worked with. Company employees truly live the core values and they drive the culture in a positive direction. As a software developer the mission to build products that are used by fellow developers to fuel the future of communications really resonates with me.

    Cons

    The growth in all measures, especially headcount and revenue has been difficult to keep up with. The company has tripled in size since I've been here (3 years when there were 200 employees). Some people who've been here for longer than me have seen headcount 10x since they joined when the company was 50-60 people. While growth isn't inherently bad, it can be difficult to keep up with the changes each year. Eventually (say, 4-5 years from now) I'm sure bureaucracy will creep in but for now we move fast and constantly ship awesome new products.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring software developers for Marketing and many of the Sales roles. The more non-technical people that are hired will dilute the culture. Already there is a rift between technical and non-technical people in some areas of the company.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good company to grow up with"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - G&A in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - G&A in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    A lot of bright, motivated people who are supportive, and generally motivated to build a really good company. Leadership (especially CEO) is very transparent about what's going on in the business. Twilio.org is doing some good charity work.

    Cons

    Sometimes frugality wins over long term investments


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Sales"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great product, great customers, limitless market opportunity. Good people fun atmosphere

    Cons

    Some senior management is experienced. Market is still not defined and may not be for some time.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to try new things. Do not discount potential solutions or process, because that is how big old companies do it.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Most amazing place to work"

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

    I have been working at Twilio (More than a year)

    Pros

    - String engineering culture
    - Lot of opportunities for innovation
    - Engineers get a lot of autonomy

    Cons

    - Growth opportunties are less.
    - Less perks when compared to other similar tech companies


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Great Start-up feel - but with some of the usual growing-pains"

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

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

    Pros

    Great Start-up feel, IPO success, great place to make friends, such a social feel amongst your peers.

    Cons

    Be prepared - some employees may stab you in the back to get to where 'they' need to be, senior management are not always transparent as they claim to be and there are the usual gripes with a start-up. 'let's do it and hope for the best', approach to most things.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to all employees, they are the experts doing the job.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Great company to be a part of"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Twilio full-time

    Pros

    Great to place to work at. I have never really seen a place where employees understand and care about the product as much as at twilio. Strong focus on innovation and creative freedom. Plus small team sizes (5-7 per team) afford a lot of opportunities to learn and grow.

    Cons

    Office space seems a little cramped up. Other than that none really.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.

    Twilio Response

    May 12, 2016 – Chief People Officer

    We are thrilled to hear that you are happy. We appreciate all your hard work!


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Hard to imagine a better job."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developer Evangelist in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Developer Evangelist in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    First and foremost, the work is meaningful. The mission is to "change communications forever", and unlike so many cliched mission statements, we've actually got a shot at making that happen. Businesses have launched based on the existence of programmable SMS. Women have been rescued out of sex-trafficking because they were able to text a shortcode for help. Folks living in poverty have have found public assistance that they wouldn't have otherwise discovered for lack of adequate internet access.

    But if you're into building photo-sharing apps, you can do that too with MMS.

    Working for a communications company allows you to impact nearly every sector of the economy. Something like 95% of Americans interacted with a Twilio phone number last year. And because the use-cases are so broad, we're constantly learning new ways that customers use our stuff (compare that to, say, an analytics company where there's more or less a singular purpose for your product). The customers and use-cases never get old.

    It's good to feel that the work you do matters.

    The people are great. I came from a small 30 person company where I had spent six years and I just assumed I'd never find that kind of kinship with a group of coworkers before. I'm remote, so my relationships are a bit different than most (more on that later), but every time I come back to HQ there are tons of hugs and smiles. Our engineering team is truly world class. Our facilities team executes at a level of excellence. The people here are genuinely kind, empathetic folks who care enough about their work to do it extremely well.

    The company cares deeply about its people. Think this is evident if you chat with anyone from the E-Team face-to-face. The salary is competitive and the benefits are generous. The parental leave policy (4 months maternity, 3 months paternity) is industry leading. Un-tracked PTO is legit (though, I agree that calling it "unlimited" is a bit shennanigansy). I've taken up to six weeks off a year. At an all-hands last year Jeff (CEO) said, "I just got back from two-weeks vacation. I say that not to brag but to tell you all to take vacation. We're playing the long game here." Last year we implemented mandatory vacation -- you have to take at least 5 continuous days off.

    The company and leadership try hard to be on the right side of social issues. The E-Team has gone to great lengths to diversify the workplace. For instance: having women's leadership panels during all-hands, bringing in outside consultants to evaluate our workforce diversity and to reveal unconscious bias in the hiring process, encouraging the employee-led Skittles group, throwing a celebration with hundreds of cupcakes on the day marriage equality passed. Twilio.org was given a huge endowment (don't know if that's quite the right word but I'll use it) to affect social change. We supported efforts to call senators and congressmen to fight for net-neutrality and against internet surveillance. We publish a quarterly transparency report. We publicly sided with Apple in their latest battle with the FBI.

    Jeff is an incredible leader. He is a battle-hardened visionary, an engaging public speaker and is capable of setting the mission and inspiring the troops. He's also a developer. Don't think the importance of that can be overstated for a company that builds tools for developers. Roy (COO) seems perfectly suited for his job as a nuts-and-bolts counterbalance to Jeff's role as visionary. More importantly, they are good men. This provides great assurance when issues come up that make you say, "I'm not so sure about this..."

    That's not to say that mistakes aren't made or that the working environment is perfect or that there aren't weeks when we have to sacrifice quality of life for the sake of getting the work done. But it's so much easier to endure those issues when you can trust the character of the leaders and the mission of the work.

    Cons

    You're going to work hard. There are often 50 hour weeks. Sometimes more. Tasks and job responsibilities aren't always clear. One of Twilio's core values is to "Draw the Owl" -- that is to say that there is no instruction book for many of the things we're trying to do. I put this in the "cons" because, while some people really dig this kind of environment, it's probably also the most common reason why folks quit.

    If you're looking for rigidly-defined roles and a 9 to 5 schedule, this won't be a good gig for you. Twilio's trying to brave new territory. There's no map. Sometimes we go the wrong direction and have to backtrack. Sometimes the trail is super bumpy. Sometimes the wagon tips over while fording a river. Sometimes people catch dysentery. It's the nature of going places no one has ever gone before and trying to get there before everyone else. Again, it's reassuring that the folks leading the expedition know (roughly) what they're doing and actually care about the people making the trip. But the ride's not always comfortable. If you're looking for things to complain about, you'll always find them.

    Similarly, the road to career growth isn't always apparent. I imagine that this in part stems from not knowing what roles we'll need two years down the line. I can name dozens of people promoted over the last few years, but I doubt many of them had that job in mind 12 months prior. In many cases, that job didn't even exist. Based on what I've seen, if you work hard and handle your workload, you'll gradually get more put on your plate. That "more" often evolves into a new position with a new title and new salary.

    The remote experience isn't awesome. 75% of the company is colocated in SF so, naturally, a lot of the culture revolves around HQ. There are impromptu celebrations, social activities and hallway conversations that you'll miss out on if you're not at HQ. It's easy to feel like an outsider. It's a known problem that folks are actively trying to solve. We recently switched to a new video conference provider, have experimented with leading all-hands from remote locations, and surveys have gone out to ask remotes how we can improve. Company wide adoption of Slack last year helped a lot too.

    All that said, collecting an SF salary while not living in SF is pretty cool.

    If you live in the States and want to work in engineering, you'll have to work out of either the SF or Mountain View offices. It's a bit disappointing that we haven't figured out how to utilize a remote engineering team, but that does seem to be the norm. It does seem that we're improving as we now have engineering offices in Estonia and Bogota. But for the most part, if you're a developer, you must be willing to relocate to SF.

    We've outgrown HQ. WiFi there is pretty bad. This is frustrating for remotes too as video conferences hang and drop. There aren't enough conference rooms and telephone booths, so there's often a lot of background noise on calls. These issues should be resolved when our new HQ opens. I haven't heard an official ETA yet, but I'm guessing early 2017 at the latest.

    There seems to be a "if you want to get something done, set a meeting" culture at HQ and the open workplace is fairly distracting. I've certainly found it easier to put my head down and work while being remote.

    Twilio's certainly not a perfect place, but I think it's easy to get a warped perspective of what constitutes a "normal" work environment when you work in tech. My guess is that if you took the average non-tech worker (or the average office worker from a generation ago) and dropped them into the Twilio office, showed them the benefits, showed them the culture, the free lunches, the stocked kitchen, the Wednesday night dinners, the track jacket ceremony and the $30/month Kindle reimbursement, they'd be astonished that workplaces like this exist.

    It's worth tossing a disclaimer in there that I'm a remote employee working on one of the few fully-remote teams, and am largely shielded from the day-to-day BS that pops up at a company of Twilio's size. My experience is quite different than that of most Twilions. Take my review with a grain of salt.

    Advice to Management

    Generally speaking, much appreciate their ability to both drive hard towards an ambitious mission while genuinely showing concern for the employees and culture. Hope that we're able to continue that trend as the company grows and becomes more numbers driven. I'm sure that management already shares that hope too.

    Twilio Response

    May 12, 2016 – Chief People Officer

    Thank you for all your thoughtful feedback. We value all your comments and are excited to see that you are happy here! Our goal is to keep improving the experience for all of our employees and your ... More


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work but not perfect"

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

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

    Pros

    Twilio has a lot of good things going for it. The platform is amazing, the people are selfless (helping out each other and giving back to the communities they live in) and the company seems to continue to succeed. In Engineering, there's been some great leaders brought on and the ones who have been here for a year or two are starting to see success.

    Cons

    Though I do not work in or with sales, I've heard some people aren't happy. While some people are successful, the sales model is unique which if you're not willing to adapt you may struggle.

    Advice to Management

    The leadership has done a great job holding the company together, but as the market shifts, make sure to be adaptable. We can't always do the same thing(s) and will need to think outside the box to continue to be the market leaders. Give people the opportunity to drawl the owl and showcase their success.

    Twilio Response

    May 12, 2016 – Chief People Officer

    Thank you for your insight and we are glad you are happy here at Twilio! We also appreciate diversity of thought and encourage you to bring any new ideas to your manager or e-team member.



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