Verndale Reviews | Glassdoor

Verndale Reviews

Updated December 7, 2017
49 reviews

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3.1
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Verndale Founding Partner and CEO Chris Pisapia
Chris Pisapia
13 Ratings

49 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free lunch and "Beer O'Clock" on Friday's is a plus (in 9 reviews)

  • Nice work culture with good work life balance (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • As mentioned above, you are thrown into the fire right off the bat and forced to sink or swim (in 3 reviews)

  • The office also has an India office who repeatedly destroys website which the Boston office will then be in charge of fixing (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Change Creates Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Strategy Analyst in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Strategy Analyst in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Verndale is working hard to simultaneously grow, optimize itself, and stay competitive in a very difficult industry right now. On the positive side, this means that if you are proactive and good at what you do, you will have opportunities to work on awesome (and in some cases high-profile) projects, advance if you apply yourself, create your own role, and contribute meaningfully to the organization. The people are also generally great, I certainly made some friends I will hold on to for quite some time.

    Cons

    Change happens quickly and frequently at Verndale as the company continues to grow and try to find new ways to do things. This can create a hectic-ness and inconsistency that makes it difficult in some departments to feel like you have a definite set of things you are working on and towards that you can focus on. The company also has a tendency to over-process itself, applying the rigorous structures that clients appreciate to internal ideas and initiatives in ways that can be stifling. Finally, there is a bit of a sense of crony-ism among the executive team and those they work with regularly that can be alienating.

    Advice to Management

    Focusing less on growth and more on stability for a while will go a long way to setting the stage for the future and for happy employees. Also moving away from thinking about the company in terms of the "inner circle" and everyone else on the part of the executive team would create a more welcoming environment where people feel like they are more appreciated and part of the team.


  2. "fast paced and challenging - not a good fit for a passive employee"

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

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

    Pros

    Management is motivative to grow the company to gain an edge in a diluted market.

    Nice people work here that genuinely care about the well-being of their co-workers. The partners have been known to be incredibly generous in emergency personal situations that cause employees to be away from work.

    There are plenty of opportunities for growth and leadership wants to hear individuals ideas and figure out ways to put them into play.

    Benefits are pretty good and are evaluated often to be more competitive.

    Cons

    8 hour billable target makes it hard to spend time learning new things, you should be motivated to spend off hours investing in your own knowledge/growth in marketing or technology.

    The fast passed environment can be draining, often times we forget to ask for help.

    HR is really just basic recruiting they aren't really prepared to deal with normal HR activities that seem simple.

    Verndale Response

    Mar 28, 2017 – Corporate Recruiter

    Thank you for taking the time to write a Glassdoor review. The feedback we receive, whether positive or negative, is always appreciated. We understand that with our billable target and fast paced... More

  3. Helpful (5)

    "What a Disaster - Especially LA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Within the C Suite, the overall leadership and stewardship of the company isn't bad. They're smart, passionate about the business, and reasonable. But they're introverts. They'd prefer to dig into data than to rally the company. So they've assembled a team of trusted middle managers. These folks are more outspoken and have the full trust of the executive team. But is this middle management team that is extremely polarizin

    Verndale also does a decent job at training both in terms of external education as well as internal knowledge sharing.

    Cons

    - It's a Sitecore shop. If your dream is to build out highly templated sites over and over again, Verndale is a fine place. But the company lacks innovation and creativity. In fact, the way Verndale so minutely track hours and the constant budget pressures ensures a production line approach to solving problems.

    - The culture is quite oppressive and employees know they're being watched and billable time is paramount (8 hours per day for most employees). Think about that! If you have a team meeting or just have a large amount of internal emails to respond to or biz dev work, you won't meet your requirements or you'll have to work later to catch up. The results are easy to see. In LA there's a shuffleboard table that's hardly used, in Boston there's all kinds of games that just gather dust, and most people eat lunch at their desks. Everyone is constantly under the billable hours gun. The higher up you go the lower the billable requirement but make no mistake, it's something that permeates throughout most of the organization.

    - If you're applying for the LA office, two letters you will learn to hate. DB. He's the reason why the LA office has such a high turnover rate. He's not qualified to be a Co Managing Director. He truly symbolizes the problem with Verndale. He's an absolute die hard for the company and is loyal to a fault but he lacks the experience for the job he's placed in. He's insecure, micromanages, socially awkward, and lacks any sense of EQ. You have been warned!

    - Check their website. Do you see any minorities that live in the US? They may throw a token one up on the site once they read this post but, trust me, it's a very white crew with little advancements for minorities.

    - Fact: In 2015 we had to use PTO if we wanted Christmas Eve or New Years Eve off. There wasn't even a corporate wide announcement allowing the office to close earlier those days either.

    - Fact: When I worked there, there were two individuals from the Boston office who were promoted to VP level (VP of Frontend Dev and VP of Strategy) who left just months after being promoted. If that's not a red flag....

    Advice to Management

    According to data from Linkedin, the number of employees have remain stagnant for a number of years now. This means the company isn't growing and it's perhaps time to evaluate who you're entrusting to guide the ship and look beyond loyalty and passion and start analyzing ability and results as well.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Want to be chewed up and spit out?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Verndale full-time

    Pros

    You'll work with some of the smartest people you'll ever meet, and if you're fortunate, you'll continue to stay in touch with them after you leave. Other perks are run-of-the-mill for a web development agency in the 21st century - free snacks, free lunch on Fridays, dog-friendly office, a chance to help shape your team.

    Cons

    The constant turnover cycle was evident and uncomfortable from the beginning, but only worsened over time. Many people who quit cited that "agency life isn't for me." I've grown to question whether it was truly agency life that burned them out, or if it was just the company itself.

    After a few months at the company, you start to realize a few things. There are a lot of office relationships, which can be pretty awkward at times. Many c-level execs seem to be friends or family. There always seems to be more work than anyone has the manpower for. Oh, and everyone keeps leaving or getting fired in droves.

    Should you take a job here, go with your gut when you start to realize things are a little strange. If you don't mind any of it and flourish in the fast pace, great. If not, get out and find another job. You won't regret it.

    Advice to Management

    Don't make it sound as if you set the bar for agency life. The high expectations, limited resources, and impossible timelines you set aren't common, even at other agencies. Invest more in retention and support your existing talent instead of driving them to a point where they leave.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "If you want to grow as an engineer, look elsewhere."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Front End Developer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Front End Developer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you're ok completing mundane tasks with an easy paycheck, this place could be good for you. But if you strive to take on more interesting projects, you should look elsewhere.

    Cons

    There's an abundant amount of VP's who have a complete lack of knowledge in industry trends and technology, making it an uphill battle to transition them into an actual technology company, and not a web marketing company from 2001.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Stressfull"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Verndale full-time

    Pros

    Overall nice people, free snacks, modern office, dog friendly office

    Cons

    Billable hours (8h min. per day), most people work overtime even though the company pretends that it isn't the norm, little time off, new employees are expected to hit the ground running when they start. Especially project managers are overworked.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees as highly as your clients

    Verndale Response

    Nov 2, 2016 – SVP, Program Management

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. All feedback, positive or negative, helps to shape our organization for the better. To respond to some of the specifics in your review, it is true that... More


  7. Helpful (6)

    "At Verndale your only limitations are the boundaries of your ambition"

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

    I have been working at Verndale full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have a unique perspective on Verndale because I have been working here for almost 15 years. I may be the leader of development now, but the majority of my time has been spent working on the front lines on projects. I'm not a partner and my investment is due to the time and energy and passion I have put into it. Am I objective? Perhaps not. But nobody writing reviews here is, and I think hearing from someone who has been here for as long as I have is ultimately far more useful than someone who gave it a shot for 6 months and gave up. It breaks my heart that a handful of people who have reviewed Verndale could say only negative things. If they truly couldn't find positives to go along with their negatives, then you seriously should disregard their review entirely, because it isn't honest.

        1. If you are willing to work hard for an idea that you care about, you can absolutely make a difference and affect change. Whether it be a recommendation for a new technology, an idea about a strategy on a project, or snacks in the kitchen, people here will listen. The key is that YOU need to own it as well. If you are going to complain about something, then bring a solution to the table and Verndale will do something about it.

        2. The people who work here are highly intelligent, skilled, humble and most importantly, deeply care about the work and the other people. And this absolutely includes the management. Every decision I make is in the best interest of the people in my group first and foremost.

        3. The benefits are solid and compensation is competitive. Verndale is always on the lookout for new benefits that can show their appreciation. Contrary to other reviews, raises and promotions ARE common for those who have earned them. I think if one of the other reviewees did not get a raise/promotion, it most likely was because of their own performance.

        4. Amazing clients. I remember the first clients I worked on with Verndale: Small Business Association of New England, PI Worldwide, Boston Athletic Association, Rewarding Work, Statewide MLS. Those clients and projects had their challenges and merits and I would never discount them. But when people asked me what websites I worked on, they typically didn't recognize the clients. NOW, it is truly awesome to say we work with SeaWorld, Stanley Black and Decker, Honeywell Aerospace, L'Oreal, Seminole Gaming, Carnival Cruise Lines, Ohio State, VW, Honda, just to name a few. Verndale is a serious player here and it is exciting.

        5. Verndale builds trust and real relationships with our clients. Remember those first clients I mentioned above? Verndale is still doing active work with some of them! 15 years later! Does every relationship work out? Of course not, every project has its challenges, no amount of planning or skilled work can get around that. However Verndale finishes the job, no matter what it takes. They own all of the challenges and help clients overcome their own internal challenges. They do it together. And our clients respect us for that.

        6. The work is challenging, fast-paced and the projects complex. Yes, that is a Pro. We work our tails off at Verndale. We also strive to work smart so that we can minimize the 'challenges' and laser focus on the areas that deserve it. I learn several new and interesting technologies/platforms/skills on every project that I work on.

        7. The partners are inspiring. They have poured their hearts and souls into Verndale. I've watched them do it. They navigated Verndale through the tech bubble burst of the early 2000s on sheer will and all the ups and downs that have come since then.

    Cons

    Nobody and no company is perfect. Verndale is no exception to that rule. It's not easy to grow as they have, to take the work they are doing, and the clients for which they are doing it, to the next level. Everything you learn is based on going down at least a few wrong paths before figuring it out and getting on the right path (or at least the best one for now). Every developer should understand that fact well. Our management team is open to seeing the flaws and committed to working tirelessly on every single one of them.

        1. Turnover does happen. Some periods have more and some have less. As others have said, part of that is agency life. Some people just can't hack the periods that are fast-paced and stressful. I can't deny that some of it is because of mismanagement of situations. But each one of those situations comes with a lesson learned and I can promise you that Verndale didn't get to where they are now because they ignored those lessons. They OWN those lessons.

        2. Verndale has struggled in the past with scheduling for projects. When you have a slew of projects coming down the pipeline with moving start dates and moving launch dates, and a big group of people with various skillsets, those don't all magically align. There were times where bad choices were made and I can see why people then got a perception of being just 'resources'. But Verndale has been working really hard to make sure that doesn't happen anymore. For every project that comes up, they analyze the needs and the skills it will entail and are prioritizing who would be a great fit and would enjoy the project, instead of who is 'available'. A big part of my job now is doing this and it matters immensely to me.

        3. There has often been a necessity to sink or swim (although everyone has always been given ample time to learn to swim). People have had to learn both skills and internal processes on the job and in the project. But Verndale recognizes that is something that isn't beneficial for the business nor for the new employee. They have new programs in place now (not at some indeterminate time in the future but right NOW) that are helping to solve this issue. As I mentioned before, Verndale does care about these issues and is working hard to solve them.

        4. Verndale has allowed some clients to 'take advantage' of them. In the services business, the customer is always right. They want to make their clients happy. And unfortunately there are people out there who take advantage of that. They are learning to say 'no' if it is appropriate. They still haven't mastered it. But Verndale knows that they need to and are working diligently to be able to back up their reasons so they can set the correct expectations early on and be firm with clients.

        5. When Verndale was a smaller organization, they were also a lot younger. With youth comes inexperience. They used to focus on bringing in younger people, it seemed easier. They've realized that easier in the short term is not necessarily good for the long term. It is 100% worth it to pay for someone who is experienced, mature, stable and knows what they want. They want great people who are in it for the long haul.

    Advice to Management

    When working in a fast-paced industry such as ours, it is easy to lose track of what Verndale is accomplishing NOW, by being distracted with what is coming down the line. Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Continue to make it a priority to celebrate the successes and the people who made them a reality.

    We are nothing without the amazing people who work for us. Continue to put them first no matter what, even over clients if the situation arises. Prioritize the benefits that mean the most for them, including career advancement and education. Listen to their recommendations on how to better their projects, how to improve work life, and their requests for the type of work they love.

    Don't settle for B level people who just work hard. Aim for all of your employees to be top notch A-game stunning colleagues, who work smart, are team players, own their decisions, act on their ambitions without the need for hand-holding, and are passionate about what they do.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Great spot if you don't mind blazing your own path"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Marketing in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It's a pretty unique place in that there is a ton of opportunity to do really cool stuff and learn a lot pretty quickly if you're willing to dive right in to the deep end. There is a lot of room to have a very significant impact on the company.

    Management is generally open to change and willing to try something new if you can present a better way to do things. They're very committed to making the company the best it can be and are for the most part good about transparency.

    The office has a very collaborative feel. People are almost always ready and willing to help however they can.

    They're great about things like working from home, time off, in-office perks (dogs, beer, lots of food, etc.).

    Cons

    The work is going to be hard. There is a lot of great stuff going on but no one is going to hold your hand and show you the way. You have to dig in on your own and take the initiative.

    Not everyone is cut out for that so there is some quick turnover with people who discover it isn't for them.

    They have the classic problems of a growing company, where there are tons of things they need to get to and only so much time/people available to do it. That means some things naturally get pushed down the timeline, sometimes it feels indefinitely.

    The office is in an up-and-coming part of South Boston but at the moment it's not very nice and there isn't much useful stuff in the immediate area. There are some big plans to build up the area and you're a short drive from some really nice areas.

    Advice to Management

    Be as transparent as possible. It helps to see what's going on and why things are being done a certain way.

    Make training/advancement options more clear so people know what is expected of them.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Web Solutions Company With a Bright Future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President, Front-End Engineering
    Former Employee - Vice President, Front-End Engineering
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Verndale offers the unique opportunity to work on some of the most engaging and cutting edge projects for large, well-known industry leaders. Their work from home policy is a huge plus allowing for an unparalleled work/life balance. There is also the unbelievable opportunity when joining the company to make your mark. This is a company that is actively adapting and pivoting to become a driving force and leader in the web solutions space.

    Cons

    There is a large skill gap that needs to be filled for the front-end team with regards to custom programming and solutions. It isn't insurmountable, but there is currently an over reliance on certain individual contributors which does present a frustrating experience for some or a shining opportunity for others. Depends on the individual.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course and continue to recruit top talent. Look into expanding with satellite offices in either San Francisco or Seattle to take advantage of the huge talent pools available there.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "A Growing Technical Agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Solution Architect in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Technical Solution Architect in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Access to great technology.

    Easygoing corporate culture, so long as you understand the expectations.

    Family friendly management.

    The agency model means you get to work for an array of clients on different things. New challenges all the time - great for people who can't get enough learning.

    Lots of really talented and motivated folks on staff.

    Transparency from top management around profitability (EBITDA).

    Corporate goal of creating a "partnership" with clients, a LTR if you will.

    Company continues to grow and evolve.

    Well thought out and implemented WFH/remote strategy.

    Cons

    It's an agency. There are billable hours targets.

    There are client driven deadlines, some of which can be overly ambitions, but you DO have say in what can be accomplished and on what timeline.

    There are times when you are approaching deadlines where the culture dictates that you work long hours to meet the goals.

    Company continues to grow and evolve. Evolution means change, and not always to your liking.

    Advice to Management

    Be up front when hiring about the agency model and what it can mean. I worked in the industry before and understood the demands. It can be tough. I've seen folks come and go who really didn't "get" and really didn't like the whole deadline driven agency model thing. It's not for everybody.

    Keep up the transparency on the financials. In this industry, understanding the cash flow helps you understand your income potential.

    Continue the controlled growth, and continue to be candid about what that can mean. The culture of a small firm is different from that of a medium firm, and so on. Prepare folks for that in quarterlies.


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