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Uptake Reviews

Updated May 9, 2017
64 reviews

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4.0
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Brad Keywell
46 Ratings

64 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Amazing perks (snacks, drinks, unlimited PTO, etc (in 11 reviews)

  • Uptake brings together smart people from various backgrounds (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • There are times that work/life balance skews significantly towards work (in 4 reviews)

  • Yes, it is very fast paced and not everything is black and white (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (8)

    "Best tech company in Chicago"

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

    I have been working at Uptake full-time

    Pros

    I have worked in many different companies at Chicago, big corporate ones and other startups with shaky business plans. Uptake for the most part has the best parts of the companies that I worked at before.
    - Really really talented people, the best I have seen.
    - Great culture with lots of freedom to explore new technologies.
    - Well funded, never starved for funds unlike other young companies.
    - Standing desks, latest laptops, tech, etc
    - The coffee shop/bookstore on the 2nd floor is massive and a great place to escape to get focused work done without interruptions.
    - The snacks and coffee are really good.
    - Relaxed work hours and ability to work from home whenever you want.
    - Unlimited PTO and unlike what people think you can actually use it.
    - The dev managers here really care about you and listen to what you say.
    - Feels like a relaxed version of a silicon valley tech company. Here, you can have a life after 5pm and on weekends.
    - I wake up everyday genuinely wanting to go into the office and code and hangout/talk with teammates.
    - People actually take a break for lunch here, away from their desk either outside or on 2nd floor cafe. It helps to recharge for rest of work day.

    Cons

    - Unclear if Uptake's product is actually worth its current valuation.
    - As a B2B company the business viability of Uptake's platform has a long gestation to see if it actually works.
    - As a developer if you are looking for a place with perfect code quality, best practices followed to the dot, this isn't the place for you.
    - If you are looking to build new frameworks or some big innovative new tech, Uptake doesn't really do that, we just use existing frameworks.
    - A lot of smart developers have left.
    - CEO's written communication is in businessey MBA speak that often makes absolutely no sense.
    - Hiring a bit too many people, too fast.

    Advice to Management

    - The company has grown so fast that the code base was built pretty helter skelter, as requirements changed almost daily if not hourly and with no clear direction. Need to take some time to stop working on client work and put some love on Uptake' core platform.
    - Need to reward employees with higher bonuses, to encourage them to stay at Uptake. Especially, our most talent people. The April round of bonuses this year were very lacking.

    Uptake Response

    Apr 26, 2017 – Lead, Communications

    Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. Our company understands the challenges of fast growth and also the importance of fostering a learning culture. Building products with our ... More


  2. "Wonderful work environment, great culture"

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

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

    Pros

    I've been here over 4 months and I can definitely say that your work and opinion is valued, there are many opportunities to learn about something completely new, people are engaged, there are opportunities for professional growth, and there is a good work/life balance through wfh flexibility, flex hours, and unlimited PTO.

    Cons

    As with any company this size, working with IT can be quite frustrating when you've got a creative tech idea and a deadline to hit.

    Uptake Response

    May 15, 2017 – Uptake

    Thanks for taking the time to post this feedback. We appreciate it.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

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

    I have been working at Uptake full-time

    Pros

    I started at uptake a couple of weeks ago and I could not be more impressed. There is a true buzz and excitement in the office. The recruiters are great and the on-boarding process is quick and easy. Really looking forward to contributing and continuing to learn all the Uptake has to offer.

    Cons

    None that I can think of at the moment

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing and making sure the culture doesn't change as the company continues to grow

    Uptake Response

    May 2, 2017 – Lead, Communications

    Thank you for the positive feedback. We're thrilled you're liking your experience at Uptake.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Great Company, Still Figuring Some Things Out"

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

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

    Pros

    Unlimited PTO (seriously)
    Good benefits (401k match, low premiums on medical/dental/vision)
    Perks like free lunches, snacks, comfortable working spaces, barista on staff
    CEO is very involved and talks to company often via all-hands and weekly emails
    Uptake's industry involvement is very interesting and is more "real-world" than social media and apps - feels like you're actually accomplishing real work

    Cons

    Projects were not very well-organized and border-lined on chaotic
    Some people were definitely "deadweight" and not sure how they kept their jobs
    Timelines were rushed often
    Conflicting priorities were common and confusing to those trying to get work done

    Advice to Management

    Be clearer in job expectations and the actual work you'll be doing from the interview process onward.
    Keep up the positive attitudes and trying to attract new talent that fits in with the culture. The culture is the best part about Uptake.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Dissatisfied is an understatement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Well funded tech start-up
    - Lots of perks - lunch credit, snacks, t-shirts
    - Unlimited PTO
    - Work / life balance - I work 30-40 hours per week; and can spend time with my family and have a life outside of work

    Cons

    - Company has really lost its sense of direction, and I feel that we are trying to be everything for everybody. The Leadership Team really needs to correct course, and better define who we are and where we are going.
    - Too many silos and lack of transparency
    - Employee turnover is high, and no one addresses it. It's concerning to current employees that so many smart people have left the company.
    - We hire too many people. Many smart people are not utilized or confused about their respective roles and responsibilities. Our current space is hard to work in, there are people sharing desks and no room to breathe
    - Our product offering doesn't match current valuation or market needs
    - Frustrations of our customers create a stressful environment forcing product and engineers to feel the need to constantly pivot to something new to avoid barrier
    - We don't have a core competency or product
    - Uncertainty about what we actually do...are we a development shop, PaaS/SaaS company, or consulting firm?

    Advice to Management

    - Decide what you want Uptake to be and identify the key people that get the company there.
    - Listen to employees and monitor turnover and try to address that problem
    - Try to retain top talent and understand why people are leaving
    - Be transparent and honest about the state of affairs
    - Select leaders that are well respected throughout the org as it's difficult to work for people that you don't respect or enjoy being around.


  7. Helpful (18)

    "Lost Focus on the Mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Uptake full-time

    Pros

    Some of the best people in the city work at Uptake. They bring a huge amount of talent, energy, and personality to the table. There are a few projects in the company that are very interesting and are great learning opportunities. The underlying technologies and frameworks are very modern and exciting to work with.

    Cons

    The company seems to be on shaky ground with its early partners where the value delivered to them has been underwhelming. Lack of vision in the product has teams spinning their wheels churning features which iterate but never really get anywhere. The company is divided working on multiple high level projects which compete for resources. Product acts like Uptake is a development shop for the clients, letting the client dictate the direction of the product when the client does not understand big data.

    The office is constantly overcrowded and it is very difficult to focus on work unless you have a really good pair of headphones. They hire dozens of people a month and desks are added to any area where they might fit lining hallways and the middle of pods. Getting to and from your desk will involve climbing around desks and whiteboards.

    There are no rewards for dedicated workers. The company has value awards which consist of people nominating you to win a water bottle. Hard work on a project will not earn you a bonus. Most of the talented engineers at the company have or will get bored with what they are working on and will leave the company for more interesting opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what the company was set out to do: be the IoT platform for the industrial internet. Stop trying to be that, and an ETL company, and whatever else. Get everyone at the company working on a unified mission. And put people on projects that interest them.

    Uptake Response

    Mar 23, 2017 – People Team

    Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. We take to heart the comments from our employees here and from all other feedback sources. We take concerns raised here seriously and work to ... More


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Best Startup, Best Culture"

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

    I have been working at Uptake (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I truly love everything about Uptake. The OnBoarding process was smooth and really professional. I've worked at Fortune 500 firms and have never seen a more thoughtful OnBoarding process.

    Come ready to WORK, and don't expect handholding. This is a wonderful place that will rely on your initiative.

    The job perks are awesome, and the events are always fun.

    Cons

    No cons. When compared to the places I've worked, this is 100% the best company I've worked for.

    Yes, it is very fast paced and not everything is black and white... if you are flexible and a team player, this should not be a concern.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing! Awesome job.


  9. "Site Ops Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great culture
    - Work with very smart people
    - Latest and greatest technology
    - Great benefits

    Cons

    - It could be chaotic with the company rapidly growing
    - Need better training but it will come with time


  10. "IoT Software Engineer position"

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

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

    Pros

    There is a big emphasis on promoting a psychologically safe environment, which is necessary for innovation and creativity. Training provided to enforce the positive environment. Clear direction. Clear expectations. Phenomenal support for the employees. Perks are good. The largest collection of bright people I have seen assembled in one place outside of a university setting.

    Cons

    I was a contractor for 7 months prior to joining. In that time I raised concerns and objections. Surprisingly management and the supporting staff worked toward resolving the issues. I'm very impressed by the work environment and especially of the work.


  11. Helpful (33)

    "Software engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Unlimited PTO, Snacks, and lots of swag
    - work life balance: most engineers work 30 hour weeks because there isn't a product. You can leave at 4pm

    Cons

    - employees are told to post fake Glassdoor reviews to hide real ones - it's obvious. Last few have been 5 stars to hide real ones from my friends that left uptake
    - No product or real customers
    - CPO lies to CEO about status of product
    - politics are unbelievable - hunger games
    - smart people have left or are in the process of leaving - anyone that's paying attention will leave before the Uptake bubble bursts. I am trying to get out.
    - did I mention - no product?
    - CEO is disconnected and doesn't understand how to build a software company. If he did, we would have a product after 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    - build a real product and stop hiring 100 people a month
    - prioritize product over making the office look pretty - product is tired of being ignored

    Uptake Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – Uptake

    Thank you for your feedback and your candor. We take these posts seriously and seek to learn from our team members' feedback. As most of these reviews point out, we are a very young company and ... More


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