WillowTree Reviews | Glassdoor

WillowTree Reviews

Updated October 16, 2018
155 reviews

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4.8
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WillowTree CEO Tobias A. Dengel
Tobias A. Dengel
142 Ratings

155 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is more than just the hours" (in 12 reviews)

  • "There is a lot of thought put into ways the work environment can be made better for team members" (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "Depending on your projects, work/life balance can get erratic for a bit" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Growing pains: Cville team is spread over a few different locations, but all within walking distance" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Nothing Else Compares"

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

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

    Pros

    Close your eyes and picture the coolest and most enjoyable place to work...this place is better. Here's why:

    • The People: Working here initially can be intimidating because you are surrounded by such intelligent hard-working people. This makes for an unprecedented work environment that is challenging, stimulating, and rewarding all at the same time. Everyone is constantly pushing each other to become better. This is partly facilitated by the fact that everyone here is incredibly cool to be around. In an office full of people, I can't name one I dislike. I truly enjoy and care about the people I work with and for, and I believe that this is a shared sentiment throughout the office.

    • The Opportunities: From a design perspective, working for a mid-sized company or with larger clients can mean getting shoved in a corner somewhere on a design team of god knows how many people where the work is so divided that you barely play a part in it. And the small sliver of work you do contribute may or may not even see the light of day (or screen). That is not the case here. You have an unparalleled opportunity to make an impact through design. Not only do you get to work with huge and exciting clients, but the teams are usually pretty small and agile. There is no excess of designers on one project, which means you have a sizable impact on the design direction for huge apps and websites—products that will be seen and used by thousands and potentially millions of people. In addition, the design team is relatively large and growing, so although you have a lot of autonomy on the project you're assigned to, you still have a team of awesome people to bounce ideas off of and get feedback from, which you’ll need because you may be asked to travel at some point to present your work to execs at a major, super cool client company. Literally the most ideal situation. How could you want more?

    • Personal Growth: There is a mentoring program geared towards helping you grow in your role at the company. Your boss meets with you on a weekly basis to make sure everything is going well with you. They also dedicate 2 hours of work time a week to learning new things. They’re not afraid to invest in the betterment of their employees. Oh, and also, you get to choose a conference to attend once a year. And they pay for it. Ha, just wait. There’s more…

    • They Actually Care: I have never met so many high-level people who truly care about the employees of the company, including the CEO himself. Company-wide meetings are held every other week to discuss the state of the company, recent wins for the company, welcome new employees, and openly answer questions or concerns. Recently, a huge company-wide survey/study was conducted to ensure that everyone was feeling included and good about working there. Like really? Is this a Disney movie? I could act surprised, but I’m not. Because this company is all about the surveys. Surveys about potential growth. Surveys about how you think the company should donate money. Surveys about how happy you are with the snacks they have in the office and what snacks you might like to see in the future. Surveys about what time works best for you for the company to rent a movie theater for the entire office to go see The Last Jedi. Like what? These are all real surveys, I’m not joking. That’s the level of caring that goes on here. And the CEO is constantly seeking feedback and input from all employees, and then (and here’s the kicker), he acts on it. I’ve witnessed multiple people (from many levels and departments) raise valid points and he then makes changes in response to it. And I don’t mean in like months…I mean days. Or even hours. Like really? Really?? Where else does this actually happen?

    • Lavish Extras: Two paid lunches a week. State-of-the-art equipment and tools at your disposal. Snacks on snacks on snacks. You could probably survive off of all the snacks they have in the office. I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet you could. Bagels every Monday morning. Nitro brew on tap. Flexible hours: project teams set the core hours they will be in the office. Paid downtown parking. Fun company events. Happy hours every Friday complete with free alcohol and other beverages.

    Cons

    It can be intimidating to work with such big clients on large-budget projects if you haven't before. They help you with this.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing...this is awesome!


  2. "Could not be happier to have joined WillowTree"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - transparent and experienced leadership
    - teams of highly-engaged, talented individuals who care about their craft
    - a growing portfolio of big clients who trust us to do innovative things
    - significant year-over-year growth that brings big new opportunities for everyone

    Cons

    not a con, but a challenge - managing the evolution of the company culture as it grows. There is a clear focus from the executive team on never losing sight of that and during my short time here, things have only gotten better.

  3. "Best place to work in the United States"

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

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

    Pros

    - Free breakfast once/wk
    - Free lunch twice/wk
    - Lunch once/wk is supplemented with a presentation "lunch and learn"
    - The other lunch is at a restaurant of your choice with your team
    - Board game club (with dinner included for free)
    - T-shirts, t-shirts, t-shirts (swag in general)
    - Relaxed company attire and culture
    - Project based teams
    - Located in Charlottesville, VA (not a city)
    - As many peer/supervisor one-on-ones as you want
    - Monthly education budget
    - Library of really good books
    - 401K/HSA + 50% company match
    - Stock options
    - Standing/sitting desks + monitors + macbooks
    - Work when you want, where you want, as long as its conducive to your team
    - We hate "meetings"
    - We are brain surgeons, not doctors, not waiters
    - I'm constantly learning
    - Company happy hours every Friday (yes, free alcohol)
    - We have beer on tap, wine and sometimes hard liquor
    - ERGs
    - Recruiting rocks
    - Company all hands biweekly
    - Referral bonuses
    - Transparent about pretty much everything

    Cons

    - Compensation is average to start (not sure about promotions/retention yet, but I know retention is ridiculously high so I'm staying optimistic)

    Advice to Management

    - Keep doing what you're doing!


  4. "Great Place to Work"

    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

    -Transparency from the exec team
    -Extremely collaborative environment
    -Plethora of knowledge that everyone is willing to share
    -Celebrations of the positives, all the time
    -Constant encouragement to try new things
    -Core Values are not just something that were written and posted on the company's page. This is engrained in everyone's day-to-day activities

    Cons

    -Growing pains: Cville team is spread over a few different locations, but all within walking distance. This will be addressed soon with the new space

    Advice to Management

    Keep being real with everyone. It makes us want to stay.


  5. "Great people, culture, and opportunities"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    WillowTree is experiencing exciting growth, which creates a lot of opportunity for everyone. Management operates in a very honest and transparent fashion, which is a breath of fresh air from prior jobs. Colleagues are thoughtful, curious, passionate, and committed to their respective craft. The business has embraced a set of Core Values (each of which resonate with me) that really shape the overall culture.

    Cons

    The Charlottesville team is currently dispersed across multiple locations - though they are all within walking distance of each other, it does split up the overall company day-to-day. Our move in 2019 to a new campus should fix this, which is exciting.


  6. "A place that makes you want to work without any stress"

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

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

    Pros

    1. Work/life balance
    2. collaborative people around you
    3. Follows new technology standards

    Cons

    I don't see any till now.


  7. "Authentic and Amazing"

    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

    Executive team is authentic and sincere- they want to do right by their people and truly value input and feedback from all team members.

    WillowTree honestly stands by the Core Values we (all employees, not just management) developed and agreed on and works these core values in to everything we do. It's not just some corporate initiative or a list of aspirational goals; WillowTree takes the time to invest in their team members and help them uphold our core values.

    We openly talk about challenges we are facing within projects or teams, and then work together for solutions. You don't just have to "suck it up" if something's not working. People are open to new ideas.

    Cons

    We've got some growing pains with having to be in a few different office spaces, but there is an awesome fix on the horizon!

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up, remember to stay authentic- it's noticeable and appreciated.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "A Good Company Going in a Bad Direction"

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

    I worked at WillowTree full-time

    Pros

    - Great Location (downtown mall in Charlottesville).
    - Pizza every Wednesday.
    - There actually are some smart people who work there in development.
    - Pay is average for the area and the size of the company.

    Cons

    - Executives don't seem to care about most employees. (If multiple people say "I don't think the CEO likes me" there's a problem.)
    - Some executives seem extremely unqualified for their jobs.
    - Attempts to make company more diverse aren't working and actually alienate people more.
    - Long hours (even though work/life balance is preached).
    - Clique mentality amongst principles is rampant and means if you aren't in their favor, you might not get on the good projects.
    - Promotions are seemingly based on popularity.
    - Company has keggerators in all the offices and happy hours every Friday leading to a heavy drinking culture and fraternity atmosphere.
    - Tons of developers right out of college which affects product quality. This also means there is a very immature community.
    - Management skills are valued above technical skills in terms of promotions. This often manifests itself in people who are less technically skilled being promoted over others. This has seemingly lead to people in leadership positions who make uninformed technical decisions under the guise of "seniority".

    Advice to Management

    Fix the promotion process and stop overcorrecting for decisions made in the past. Treat every employee with respect and promote people based on skill as opposed to who the principles think are "cool".

    WillowTree Response

    Sep 26, 2018 – CEO

    I have to say I am saddened anyone at WillowTree feels like this. We have to, and will, do better to ensure no one else has the experience described in this review. I can tell you I deeply care... More


  9. "Great people, exciting work, and lots of learning opportunities"

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

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

    Pros

    1. Everyone who works here is awesome to be around. I spend 8 hours with them and then go hang out with them more after work because they're so awesome. Not only are they awesome but they also care a lot about their craft and take pride in what they work on.
    2. You will learn a ton working here. Everyone is constantly trying to stay on top of new technology, discuss best practices, etc. People are very generous with their knowledge. There is also a big focus on mentorship to spread knowledge around.
    3. Flexible hours, flat hierarchy, no micromanaging. Lots of trust and freedom are given which produces great results.
    4. Lots of variety in terms of projects. Also, very big name clients which is cool.
    5. Charlottesville and Durham are great cities.
    6. Management is very approachable and tries very hard (successfully) to make it a fun and fulfilling place to work.

    I could keep going

    Cons

    The cities have relatively low cost of living compared to say NYC or the bay area, so your salary will probably not be as high as it could be elsewhere.

    Allocation has been somewhat tricky lately which means it's hard to pick what project you are on or move off of a project quickly if you don't like it. Management is trying to remedy that though.


  10. "Software Engineer"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing work culture with a strong focus on professional development. Flexible work hours and a lots of learning opportunities like Lunch and Learn, Innovation Time, and a paid conference once a year. Team lunch, Game Night, and Happy Hour every week are great opportunities to socialize and connect with coworkers. Good benefits and plenty of PTO. Great management and mentorship programs as well. All around a really great place to work!

    Cons

    None that I can think of


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