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WillowTree Reviews

Updated February 2, 2018
141 reviews

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

141 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is more than just the hours (in 11 reviews)

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

Cons
  • In client services, work/life balance can be difficult at times because of deadlines (in 12 reviews)

  • This isn't just an "end of the project" crunch time; it's a "this entire project is a crunch time" crunch time (in 5 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. "User Acceptance Test Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at WillowTree part-time

    Pros

    Great, exciting environment with lots of office perks.

    Cons

    UAT tasks are monotonous.

  3. "Overall it is a very good company"

    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

    The nicest and smartest people you can work with.
    Be able to switch between projects every 6 months, just keep the excitement coming!
    Upper management try very hard to maintain a healthy environment
    If you want to grow fast, this is the place
    Company encourage employee self improvement
    Good work-life balance
    flexible hours as long as deliver on time
    The most pleasant working environment i have ever worked in.

    Cons

    Pay is low compare to similar position in other company
    Sometimes too much excitement and distractions make people hard to focus
    Switch between projects can be hectic for individual and team, especially in the middle of crunch time
    Management try their best to create a culture to ensure employee feel included, however, sometimes it is too much burden on individuals and not quite realistic.

    Advice to Management

    You all already doing a fantastic job!!
    Maybe consider a location doesn't have to be in downtown? it is cheaper, and may be safer.


  4. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great people, nice office space, and an inclusive environment.

    Cons

    Communicating with folks from the other office sometimes made things difficult.


  5. "Incredible 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

    Challenging projects and getting to work with brilliant people (who are actually nice people too!) are some of the highlights of working at WillowTree! Each and every single day I look forward to getting into work and making an impact. The core value of Ownership isn't just a buzz word on the website, it's baked into nearly everything WillowTree does as a company. Whether you've been with the company for 3 months or 3 years, you're completely encouraged to take ownership, ranging from things like owning a feature of a project or leading a new research effort.

    WillowTree does a fantastic job of caring about their employees and constantly getting feedback from everyone at the company, whether it's for large-scale company wide initiatives or something much more minor.

    There are so many additional positive things that contribute to WillowTree being an amazing place to work, but to name a few:
    - Family-like culture
    - After work events
    - Flexible hours
    - Snacks & paid lunches

    Cons

    Besides normal growing pains, hardly anything to complain about!

    Advice to Management

    Keep innovative focus, and continue to elicit feedback from employees, especially as we continue to grow! Keep it up!


  6. "Awesome environment with Awesome people"

    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 a year)

    Pros

    I love working here because everyone is encouraged to pursue whatever they want to. It's super fun going to work every day to work on some of the best apps out there, some new emerging tech stuff, or figure out a way to make something better/

    Cons

    The rapid growth and expansions have had some growing pains, but everyone has been super chill and open to feedback.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


  7. "Top Notch Tech Firm, Small Town Lifestyle"

    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 a year)

    Pros

    Cville is consistently voted one of the places in the US with the highest quality of life. I would say living here feels almost European, especially if you constrain your daily existence to the downtown area. I love living here. The only piece missing piece has been a great place to work. For years I thought that was just the trade -ff for being able to live and start a family here. Since being at WT, its sometimes been hard not to kick myself for finding a way in sooner! At WT, everyone you work with cares: about their craft, about the finished product, and about their teammates. At WT everyone tries. Problems don’t fester. If you commit to the work, which is challenging, it is impossible not to learn and grow here. Family friendly. Invested in the social good via giving and heavily discounted rated to non-profits. Good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Not incredibly diverse, but management is tackling this issue with tact and determination. Sometimes culture skews towards the sophomoric. Depending on your projects, work/life balance can get erratic for a bit.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the commitment to maturation of company culture and diversification. Keep pushing R&D.

  8. "Great Place to Work!"

    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

    The people are kind and easy to work with. The culture is great; the core values are taken seriously and are well thought out. There is a lot of thought put into ways the work environment can be made better for team members. There are a lot of opportunities to learn and take on different responsibilities to grow your career.

    Cons

    It's a shame to be split between buildings in Charlottesville, but I appreciate that the company is working toward a solution that would allow everyone to work in the same place.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work!"

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

    I have been working at WillowTree full-time

    Pros

    Cares about the employees and listens to / expects candid and direct feedback.
    Good compensation and benefits.
    Good career opportunities and growth for good performance.
    Focus on Diversity and Inclusion is great!

    Cons

    The hard focus on Inclusion and Diversity can also cause some fear of saying or doing something that might offend someone the slightest. I personally don't feel I can be myself at all times.
    Work-life balance can tough at times for some departments and core reason should be investigated to ensure healthy and happy employees.

    Advice to Management

    Really dig into why some team members tend to have better/worse work-life balance and see what can be done to support them.
    Advice employees to come up with a solution for their problem rather than just the problem.
    Don't take negative feedback too hard. There's a solution for everything, but it's always hard to ensure every single employee is happy at all times. Keep encouraging employees to speak up.
    Keep staying positive, be awesome and keep rocking. You're doing a great job!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "You come to a place like this to realize your potential."

    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

    I decided to make a career change and started at this company with very little experience. I was nervous about being able to keep up with everyone in this fast-paced field. Fast forward one year and I am absolutely astonished at how much I have learned. The people here seem to reciprocate the energy and excitement that emanates from the rapidly evolving tech world and everyone is continuously eager to achieve and learn more. The best part about this flow of energy is that it's infectious. This insatiable hunger for knowledge may seem intimidating at first, but as long as you aren't afraid to ask questions and are willing to be a part of that culture, you will have no problem succeeding here.

    Putting day-to-day operations aside, those same people I previously mentioned are some of the most caring and humble people I have ever met. WillowTree places an enormous emphasis on hiring the right people and I believe they hit the mark every time. I've never had to eat lunch alone or felt like I couldn't reach out to someone for help with something inside or outside of the office and that goes a really long way when you're moving to a new city without knowing many people.

    The benefits here are impressive (multiple lunches per week, healthcare, retirement, stock options, fully stocked kitchens, competitive pay, etc.) which just adds to the long list of reasons why I love working here. I will be with this company for many years to come and I look forward to being a part of what makes it successful.

    Cons

    The company is growing quickly and there are obvious headaches that come with that but I think management has done a great job of being receptive to feedback and implementing solutions to help with this growth.

    Certain departments seem to feel the brunt of this growth more than others.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to solicit advice from your employees. That is where the most valuable suggestions will come from.

    Keep making this a great place to work.


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