WillowTree Reviews | Glassdoor

WillowTree Reviews

Updated November 4, 2017
117 reviews

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4.7
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WillowTree CEO Tobias A. Dengel
Tobias A. Dengel
106 Ratings

117 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is more than just the hours (in 8 reviews)

  • WillowTree is a great place to work (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • In client services, work/life balance can be difficult at times because of deadlines (in 11 reviews)

  • There are legitimately no cons that I have experienced since joining WillowTree (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "The best place I have ever worked!"

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

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

    Pros

    WillowTree is an amazing place to work. There are a lot of pros, but here are the ones that matter most to me:

    * Coworkers: WillowTree hires high caliber people, in every sense of the word...everyone is highly skilled and willing to work hard. My coworkers all seem to have this "sixth sense" where they always know what needs to be done and how to achieve it. Management knows this, and we have very little formal process because of it. As an aside, most people at WillowTree are genuinely interesting people, so I don't have to look far for social activities.
    * Mobility: WillowTree is growing fast, and new roles and positions are always opening up. There is no manager bias or friction when someone wants to switch departments or change their responsibilities...we have had testers become PMs, PMs become BAs, engineers become salespeople, and everything else in between. If you like where you work but have outgrown your role, don't worry, there is always another opportunity within the company.
    * Autonomy: You will always be given as much guidance and mentorship as you need, but employees are encouraged to manage their own time. I like to come in early and work in the dark…others show up at 10am and stay much later than I do…as long as you are available for your team when they need you, you are free to schedule your day as you please. Flow is heavily emphasized at WillowTree, and people respect each others time. If you have a doctors appointment or delivery at home, you are free to take off and do what you need to do.
    * New Tech: “Mobile” software has evolved a lot since WillowTree was first founded, and WillowTree does a great job of keeping pace. Unlike a lot of companies that just have a “VR booth” in the corner of the cafeteria, we are actually shipping software on the latest emerging tech…There is even a dedicated group of people who research and develop on new hardware.
    * Client Roster: As a services company, we have clients in media, healthcare, field services, hospitality, and everything in between. Because of this variety, it is hard to get bored with your client work. Management is good about periodically rotating people off of long term projects, for the benefit of the employee and the project. Plus, it is cool to work on apps that you actually use as a consumer.
    * Access: We work on popular apps for very large companies, so we have the highest level of access for developers…Apple and Google care about us, our apps are often featured, and we have experts in every field that work here. Basically, if it is possible, WillowTree can do it.
    * Office politics: There aren't any. The rumor mill is quiet, and if you want to know something, just ask…people will shoot you straight. Tobias is VERY transparent, and you are given ample opportunity to communicate with him or anyone else on the exec team.
    * Location: Downtown Charlottesville is an amazing place. I walk to work, walk to lunch, walk everywhere! The lifestyle is so great…I can’t imagine starting my day with a 30 minute commute. I have visited the Durham office several times (WillowTree pays for interoffice trips), and I imagine the lifestyle is quite similar to Charlottesville.
    * Teams: WillowTree is very serious about putting teams of smart people on projects. When you are on a project team, you sit in a room with your teammates, you have lunch with them, and you are fully immersed in your project. This sense of unity fosters camaraderie and ultimately leads to a better product. We even celebrate product launches with t-shirts and other swag.

    If you want to build awesome software without the process or politics of a larger company, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    We are growing so fast that we have had to expand to temporary satellite locations in Charlottesville (~3 minute walk from HQ). This isn't as bad as it could be since we keep projects together, but it would be nice to see all of my coworkers more often. Tobias has a long-term plan to consolidate us within the next year or two, and I know we are all looking forward to that.

    Advice to Management

    You guys do a great job of preserving the "small company" feel as we continue to grow. Keep it up!


  2. "Great People"

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

    I worked at WillowTree (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the most down-to-earth people I've ever met in the Tech industry work at WillowTree. Cool, fun, energetic, the college-town, outdoorsy vibe permeates the company.

    Cons

    Some of the clientele can be a struggle to deal with, but this is just the nature of WillowTree's work.

  3. "A Really Great Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    Smart and nice people, cool projects, great work environment

    Cons

    Some projects deal with legacy code


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Never resting on our laurels, always pushing forward!"

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

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

    Pros

    Love working at WT. We don’t just rest on our laurels but are always striving to stay out in front. We don’t just accept things because “it’s always been that way” but rather everyone is looking for better ways to do everything whether it be processes, languages, prototyping design tools, or tech.

    Work life balance is more than just the hours. We also have fresh fruit included in the snacks, a voluntary fitness program to inspire each other, and meditation times. These may seem small, but the attention to detail means the people who run the company are thinking holistically.

    The shared desire for everyone at the company to help each other improve is so refreshing. WT gets that we are all at different skill levels coming in and we all work to improve those skills. I feel like I can both give and receive constructive feedback because we share the goal to always get better. If I receive feedback I don’t feel scared about my job but instead feel that someone cares enough to help me to grow professionally and personally. I genuinely feel I have grown professionally and will continue to do so for many years to come.

    Cons

    Conference rooms are generally not big enough to hold a full platform meeting. Would be nice to be able to meet where everyone could be at the table and heard especially by the remote teams.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out & communicate how we are going to scale. We are currently very flat and I’m unclear how that will scale as the teams and projects grow.


  5. "Polished, experienced agency with the hyper-focus of a startup"

    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 WillowTree full-time

    Pros

    Highly creative, smart and driven people. Much of the staff could be working at any major product company if they wanted but they choose WillowTree and Charlottesville. The employees truly love what they do. They would be at home developing or designing even if they were not being paid to do so.

    THE CLIENTS (HBO, Nestlé, Fox, CBS Sports, etc)

    Cons

    Rapid growth sometimes means tight working quarters and uninspiring spaces, but they are the in process of addressing this in a huge way, so stay tuned!

    Advice to Management

    Love that execs, VPs and directors are not stowed away in offices but rather working right alongside their fellow Trees. Just be careful with trying to become too flat. The current structure for each area of the business feels perfect.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Constantly Growing, Constantly Learning"

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

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

    Pros

    WillowTree is a great place to work. You're given a lot of autonomy on projects to find the best solutions, given (mostly) free reign to try new approaches and architectures without too much oversight, and encouraged to play with new technologies.

    Experienced developers are free with their knowledge and love sharing what they're working, problems they've encountered, and discussing solutions to hard problems.

    There's also lots of opportunities for fun, with social events on a shared calendar, movie nights, board game nights, games at lunch, team lunches, lunch and learns and the like.

    Additionally, WillowTree is constantly pushing itself to grow, both in terms of the technologies it uses and obviously the amount of business it gets. As a result, it's also constantly pushing everyone who works there to grow as well.

    Cons

    WillowTree is growing incredibly quickly, and its suffering real going pains trying to figure out how to balance they're desire to be very individual focused, flat organization with the need for more supervision and direction. To the point that there's no consistency in expectation between teams or with how different teams Having to deal with this uncertenty and inconsistency can be incredibly frustrating.

    With that said, WillowTree is still constantly open to feedback (eventually) and just how its constantly pushing employees to learn, its constantly learning itself.

    Also, walking between multiple buildings is a pain.

    Advice to Management

    Listen more. If you want to give people ownership and have them really own the solutions to problems, come to them with the problem and the goal, and let them solve it in their own way, especially when it does not im


  7. "Life is Short. Love your Job!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Recruiter in Charlottesville, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Recruiter in Charlottesville, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I came to WillowTree with a little over 10 years of industry experience and working here has been super satisfying. I work with smart passionate people and I learn new things everyday. In fact, my team members are really what makes this place so great. I enjoy the level of individual responsibility and appreciate being able to make an impact on our business . As a former single mom I have also really appreciated the flexibility that WillowTree offers. I plan to be here forever:)

    Cons

    Not really a con, but looking forward to having everyone in the same building in Charlottesville, I know that is coming soon:)

    Advice to Management

    Continue to maintain focus on Diversity and Inclusion programs:)

  8. "Awesome place to work and learn"

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

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

    Pros

    • Great benefits. Management is always reviewing and listening to feedback on what the benefits are.
    • Great workspace.
    • Heavy emphasis on cultural diversity and inclusion by a management team that really cares and has shown that.
    • High visibility and great client list.
    • Flexible hours when needed.
    • Lots of resources and opportunities to learn.

    Cons

    No cons I can think of


  9. "Polished Place to Grow Your Career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at WillowTree full-time

    Pros

    - Recruiting - never felt lost in the process and knew what the next steps would be
    - Selective hiring process - everyone is very smart and can do their job well
    - Onboarding - organized, everyone is prepared for new hires the day they start
    - Leadership - each member of the leadership team takes time to visit the Durham office and each has an opportunity to share at bi-weekly company wide meetings
    - Culture / people - opportunity for teams to come together with inter-office visits/summits/parties, weekly project team lunch, and social events
    - Inclusion & diversity - while there are larger proportion of white males as is standard for a tech company, there are a lot of diverse backgrounds and nobody feels alienated or that their voice is not heard
    - High caliber clients
    - Mentoring - weekly 1:1's, defined goals, short and long term mentors defined by department
    - Open communication - the CEO holds AMA sessions and shared learnings on how to conduct crucial/difficult conversations to help employees feel comfortable giving constructive feedback to anyone
    - Perks - yearly conference budget, fair pay, lunch provided twice a week

    Cons

    - There could be more transparency at times, such as when things don't work out with an employee. I understand that it is to protect their privacy, but the lack of concrete reasons could make other employees fearful that it could happen to them.
    - In client services, work/life balance can be difficult at times because of deadlines. However, leadership does make a point to acknowledge and thank people for going above and beyond.

    WillowTree Response

    Sep 27, 2017 – Chief Talent Officer

    I'm glad there is so much you enjoy about WillowTree. We all need to continue to strive for work/life balance, but I'm glad you feel appreciated when projects are more demanding than normal. Please... More


  10. "Great Culture, Great People, Great Education"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Assistant in Charlottesville, VA
    Current Employee - Office Assistant in Charlottesville, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is a great company to work for. The people are so friendly and genuine. The culture is unlike anything I've experienced professionally.

    Cons

    Having multiple offices can sometimes be a struggle, but I know we're working on moving to one space.


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