Two Sigma Reviews | Glassdoor

Two Sigma Reviews

Updated September 25, 2018
43 reviews

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4.1
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David Siegel and John Overdeck
26 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is encouraged" (in 15 reviews)

  • "Lots of smart people walking around that are mostly humble and will answer your questions" (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • "Growing pains of small company rapidly growing" (in 7 reviews)

  • "There's still some red-tape around getting environmental changes approved" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "To me, super interesting work matching my skills"

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

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

    Pros

    (1) As a quant researcher, super exciting work. See the impact of your own models to bring revenue to the company, see you can predict the future by using advanced quant techniques;
    (2) Great work-life balance, the company understand that great idea takes time to become effective and it understands that letting researchers have their own schedules and pace is good in the long run;
    (3) Excellent pay with no doubt.

    Cons

    In my view, the company hires way many engineers than needed sometimes. I need to maintain the bar to be high and hire just enough and really excellent engineers, and of course treat them well. Too many so-so hires hurts the company reputation and the business.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the bar high, hires as needed.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Still interesting, despite inevitable creeping disease of becoming a large company"

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

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

    Pros

    Modernizing of technology stack
    There are some still really great managers who do want you to succeed
    Flexibility with choosing projects sometimes, flexible hours
    Gym

    Cons

    As others have mentioned, bureaucracy and red-tape in addition to heavy dosing of politics
    Blatant nepotism, especially within the network of former Goldman Sachs employees
    Engineering middle management emphasizes and rewards the wrong set of behaviors
    Most senior/high-level positions (and corresponding SVP titles) are given to new hires rather than loyal, long-time employees

    Advice to Management

    Reward loyalty and take care of your committed employees

  3. Helpful (17)

    "Politics, politics, politics...."

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

    I have been working at Two Sigma full-time

    Pros

    Pay is good/decent, benefits are amazing. Perks are really good (gym, free food, all the snacks in the kitchen, etc).
    Lots of smart people walking around that are mostly humble and will answer your questions.
    Complex environment but you can and probably will learn a lot in a relatively short amount of time.

    Cons

    The usual corporate bureaucracy and politics. As Two Sigma grows into a medium-sized entity, there are some growing pains. Limited upward mobility depending on your management chain (they essentially shut down a partnering project with a chance for me to transfer to that team). Depending on your engineering area, work/life balance can be bad.
    Mixed use of proprietary technology and open-source. The proprietary stuff could hurt your marketability.
    Did I mention all the politics and corporate red tape around everything?

    Advice to Management

    Lay off the politics to allow your engineers to get the work done and advance in the company. Treating them with respect and taking their input into consideration when making big changes for the team would be much appreciated.


  4. Helpful (21)

    "Sucks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quantitative Researcher in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Quantitative Researcher in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    None that I can think of. This place is plain hell.

    Cons

    There are so much racism and finance-bro-esque bullying at play that makes it so hard to work at. Unless you are white or Indian, don't go to this place.

    Advice to Management

    Be nice


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Good choice if you don't mind DIY on a lot of things"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    While they are really in the financial world, the technical level is really good.
    There are lots of in-house engineering solutions and combination of open-source products with specific configuration/upgrades.
    Engineers are encouraged to take responsibilities on whatever projects that matter. Some people do enjoy that feeling of making great impact or building something from ground.

    Cons

    A portion of those projects apparently became "abandoned" after the team/person backing it left. Now you are left with two choices:
    1) read someone else code (remember that person could be not working in the company anymore) and fix it
    2) rewrite the whole thing on your own.
    Lots of engineers here are so smart that they often chose the second solution and managed to success on that (short-term), which to some extend make the problem for the entire software ecosystem worse (less standardized, worse compatibility with each other and less reliability of services).

    Advice to Management

    I believe that it has already been noticed: if there's any plan that the analysis tools/ platform should grow bigger, the most critical thing is get engineers ready to focus on some scalable solutions. The software made by "someone happens to need something and builds it on his/her own" could never scale to become large-scale manageable and reliable data analysis pipeline at all.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Treats employees well; relaxed tech-focused environment"

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

    I have been working at Two Sigma full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Research and technology drives everything here. At times it feels more like a research firm instead of the super successful hedge fund and trading company that they built themselves into. They treat their employees well, and the environment is relaxed. Casual dress, flexible hours, on site gym and showers, tons of snacks, great parties.

    Probably the best thing is the depth of talent here. They really recruit the best of the best.

    Technology is solid in the infrastructure, trading, and development groups, and management is committed to investing in tech.

    They are very conservative when it comes to compliance. They are super focused on not taking risks when it comes to legal responsibilities.

    Cons

    They are becoming larger and more beaurecratic. They have been around for 16 years and are expanding into new businesses, and with that success they have loss some of the startup vibes they once had.

    Although they are committed to tech investment, they are now 16 years old and this area of tech is changing rapidly. Constantly upgrading systems brings its own challenges. There is often a blend of old and cutting edge, and sometimes you are on your own if you want to use the cutting edge stuff.

    They are also heavily regulated, and this weighs alot on how fast they are able to move.

    Advice to Management

    Continue treating employees well. Try not to become too big so you lose your character.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Opportunities and challenges abound"

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

    I have been working at Two Sigma full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Growth and change at the company create chances for individuals to move up and over to new roles. The in-office perks are nice, though free food and drinks seem to be ubiquitous these days. There are great people - kind, dedicated, intelligent - in roles and teams across the company.

    Cons

    Astronomical growth creates all kinds of organizational challenges that, if the managers aren't up to the task, can leave teams constantly switching directions and re-prioritizing short-term goals.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire the right people and ensure managers generally align their leadership approach in a way that matches the goals and perspective of the company. Utilize performance reviews as a fair, objective tool, as the year-end analysis in the recent past is too subjective and reliant upon the opinions of peers and the direct manager.

  8. Helpful (11)

    "Glad I ended up here!"

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

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

    Pros

    Work/life balance - Management doesn't want people to burn out and actively looks out for your working conditions. My manager will regularly tell me to go home when I work past 6:30 and gives me mornings off when I work late fixing a high priority support issue.

    People/Culture - The people are great! Everyone I've worked with here has been highly competent and easy to work with. There's a huge culture of learning and exploration here. Tons of tech talks and study groups with food catered in year-round. There's also non work-related groups and competitions for just about everything like Poker, Bridge, Magic The Gathering, Basketball, Running etc..

    Work - The work itself has been quite fulfilling. I can't speak for how it is on every team, but I've worked on backend, frontend, infrastructure, networking, devops, and mobile for my team. My manager does an excellent job at matching me with projects that I'm currently interested in working on. There's a constant stream of exciting and technically challenging new ideas and features.

    Career Growth - Two Sigma wants to keep people for the long haul and it's super easy to move around the company. There's a big emphasis on setting work related goals for yourself to help you grow and revisiting them a few times a year to see where you're at.

    Cons

    There's still some red-tape around getting environmental changes approved. However, over the last year there has been a ton of progress on speeding things up and being more flexible on security concerns as more teams explore different environmental setups.

    Some of the legacy internal infrastructure is starting to show its age. There's a lot of work being done to modernize it and embrace more open source solutions, but there's still a ways to go. However, teams who are working in the cloud don't really have to worry about this.


  9. "Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great work environment. Amazing people.

    Cons

    A lot of changes and re-structuring of teams, but that's not necessarily a con.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Software Engineer"

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

    Pros

    Great compensation
    Pretty good benefits
    Really smart people who love to learn
    Some semblance of a work balance can be maintained

    Cons

    Really don't like the open environment. Sometimes it is very hard to concentrate
    Typical growing small company. Several people shouldn't be managers but are because they were good at other jobs

    Advice to Management

    Need to invest in more management training. Also perhaps look at system that rewards employees without them having to manage people.