XO Group Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

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XO Group Software Engineer Reviews

Updated Sep 4, 2019

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Found 20 reviews

4.0
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72%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
XO Group CEO Mike Steib
Mike Steib
14 Ratings
  1. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XO Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lovely teams and people. You'll learn a lot and grow so much while there.

    Cons

    Can't think of any honestly. I loved working here

    XO Group2019-09-04
  2. Helpful (6)

    "Good for new engineers, but inflated titles and sub-average pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at XO Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Shouldn't be hard to pass interview because their tech is relatively simple. They aren't looking for elite engineers, just those smart enough to support the stack - Unlimited vacay (obviously depending on the generosity of your direct manager) - Office environment is pretty good - spacious, relatively clean, and free snacks (unfortunately, crappy no-name brands, runs out all the time) . - Engineers get a... lot of autonomy over their work, engineering management tends to defer to engineers to make the right decisions. (Engineering mgmt doesn't seem very tech savvy). - Management is willing to listen and really wants to retain engineers - Promotions come quick (see cons below) - Good place to start a career (not very hard to get in, promotions come quick, 1-2 years if you stick around) - Co-workers are generally very nice people. Not a lot of office politics (at least at non-mgmt level). I enjoyed going to work.

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    Cons

    - Below market pay rate. They compensate for this by promoting engineers rather quickly. I mean, there are folks there that are 2 years out of code camp that are seniors, and some that have 3 years of experience that are leads. I would say that a senior or lead at this company would only be a mid-level at a tier 1 company. The nefarious part of this bargain is that if you want to leave, you will be hard pressed to... find a company that will award you a similar position (unless you are truly good). I think the reason some people stick around for so long (despite the sub-average pay) is that they can't find a better job. - They hire a fair amount of fresh code school grads and middling engineers (see point above - elite engineers usually go for higher-paying companies). Result is that there is A LOT of tech debt (obv. depending on team - older teams have more). Don't think you will learn how to write good software from studying this code. Read books and study tutorials. Level up and leave. - Some teams are a complete mess in terms of code quality, poor product managers who don't know much about tech or how to manage a team, and many half-assers - those who are just there to make a paycheck and make little effort to actually excel at their job. - The above is part of why this company got acquired (merged into Wedding Wire) - they couldn't compete with the likes of ZOLA. Failure to execute effectively despite being incumbent leader. - And despite all of these shortcomings, at every quarterly hands on, execs would always put a positive spin on how we were doing - reminding everyone that The Knot is #1 wedding brand, that there are very few strong competitors, and that we were very close to reaching our growth goals. Well, if we were so strong, why did we sell out and go private? Go figure.

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    Advice to Management

    Cut the positive-spin b.s. Invest in top-tier engineers by increasing salary, fire crappy engineers. Requiring employees to use that crappy performance software is b.s. - it's all a game and everyone knows it. People change their goals all the time and most of the self-assessment is not very accurate.

    XO Group2019-04-06
  3. Helpful (5)

    "Company is not going anywhere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at XO Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Great views from the office - Decent location - Not terribly demanding - Twice a year hack-days (just 2 days out of the week)

    Cons

    - Engineers are underpaid compared to the rest of the New York market. - People in management are not fit to manage. Majority of the frustrations and reason for turnover for engineer was due to lack of management experience (across the engineering department). When you are reporting to this type of person daily, it starts to wear on you. - The product is not going anywhere. In my last few months there, engineering... work was slowing down to a standstill. The huge initiative that the C-suite pushed earlier in the year (which required weekend work and late nights) was a total bust and did not move the needle at all. This also limits opportunities for growth since the company is not growing. - Office has nice views but is crumbling and gross (chairs are falling apart, conference rooms chairs split in half because everything is from Ikea, and paint peeling off of the walls). - The weekly happy hour was marketed as a big party -- don't buy into the hype. It's usually 3-5 bags of tostitos tortilla chips, warmed up canned queso. Take it as an opportunity to grab a drink and then head back to your desk. - They were acquired by Wedding Wire and just laid off a lot of people. It's going to be a rough few years for The Knot. - Austin office is a boys-only club. - Don't believe everything the recruiting department tells you. - Benefits are not great. Their parental leave is not competitive (even though they think it is).

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    Advice to Management

    - Be honest with potential hires - Invest in some management training

    XO Group2019-03-02
  4. "Excellent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XO Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great office space (lots of light) and nice people. Strong culture of feedback. Professional managers. Great work life balance. I spent a total of maybe 4 hours working on weekends in the last year. Thursdays end a bit early as people grab drinks in the office and chat. Benefits are on the better side of standard (10% bonus paid over 4 years, 401(k), health insurance). Good balance of flexible and... firm policies. Vacation time truly is flexible. Solid technical choices are appreciated here: you probably won't be working on an old crufty codebase.

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    Cons

    They're getting better at paying market rates, but they're not there yet. Some developers have quit over this.

    XO Group2018-11-08
  5. "Strong culture, Values, and people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Director in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XO Group full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Established company with good frameworks for management Good communication from the CEO You can get things done without a ton of red tape. Even when there aren't formalized programs (education benefit, conferences) there is a budget for doing it. Good internal/employee tools for doing work. Google, slack, Jira, Wiki, etc. Affinity groups (i.e. women in tech) are active and strong which makes for... a great culture.

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    Cons

    Health insurance is expensive, bonus structure needs to be re-worked . Product and tech presence needs to be stronger and company-driven initiatives should trickle down as OKRs from product.

    Advice to Management

    Keep leveling up salaries so that the organization is on par with other companies of our caliber. Work toward adding some "benefits you wouldn't expect" alongside strong health care and leave policy. Evangelize the benefits we do have better on the website / with recruiting.

    XO Group2018-10-25
  6. "Good People and Good Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XO Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Leadership team are all very accessible, open, and honest. Agree with the below that there is some variation in the quality of engineering managers, and directors. I have had some great managers and some not so great managers here, but overall they have done a good job of weeding out the weaker members. They are also getting better at mobility and being able to move around to different squads.

    Cons

    There is a lot of 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease' in terms of promotions and compensations. Often times it's whoever has the squeakiest manager. Your annual review is made up of elements that often don't relate to actual talent and achievement (outdated goals, company values)

    Advice to Management

    Stop being afraid to take risks and be short-sighted in our product decisions. We have the talent and resources to shake things up, but we're always chasing a short-term revenue bump.

    XO Group2018-10-02
  7. Helpful (3)

    "Engineering turnover continues"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at XO Group full-time

    Pros

    Awesome people, some flexibility in day to day scheduling. CEO is great and present.

    Cons

    The leadership in engineering is unresponsive to feedback. The quality of tech leads, managers, and seniors varies a lot from one team to the next and is trending down. Pay is below market so there is a lot of turnover.

    XO Group2018-09-23
  8. "Collaborative and Challenging Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XO Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - You have a voice in the company, whether it be product/tech decisions or suggestions for improve day-to-day processes - Your squad is given a high level of autonomy to find creative solutions. A lot of times, our executive team is just there to tell you the "what" but leave the "how" up to you. - Great collaboration among teams members and departments. Everyone is friendly and works together to find the best... ideas. - NO LEGACY CODE. Tech has a heavy focus in the company and our product teams understand how important it is to stay up to date with your tech stack. We have fully transitioned off of our old .NET codebase and are frequently on the cutting edge with new languages, libraries, and architectures. - There is a high level of talent here, esp. in Engineering. This allows me to continue to grow and learn from some extremely smart people, but also challenge myself to get better every day. - The company cares about you. They understand that a good work/life balance is important and want their employees to be happy. - LOTS of opportunities for upward mobility. I have been here for 2 years and have seen multiple people promoted into bigger and better roles. - Benefits are great - unlimited PTO, employee stock purchase program, bonuses, etc.

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    Cons

    The only real cons are the normal minor issues that arise with a fast-moving and growing company (communication, making decisions quickly, etc) but people are always actively trying to find ways to make our company better.

    XO Group2018-09-07
  9. "continual change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at XO Group full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Well established company with +20 yrs. Well funded with several streams of revenue. Big brand recognition. Smart Exec team, with culture of quickly adapting to change. Runs with the nimbleness of a startup but the structure and experience of a well established company. Great work life balance

    Cons

    Engineering culture needs a lot of improvement. Managers don't set proper expectations or goals and it doesn't help that sometimes it is a constant moving target. Engineering needs to establish strong standards. There tends to be a lot of tech debt that accumulates.

    Advice to Management

    Set very clear and explicit goals and expectations. Don't assume that people reporting to you understand your expectations.

    XO Group2018-09-20
  10. Helpful (3)

    "Good culture but below market pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at XO Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice co-workers, good work-life balance

    Cons

    XO is not investing in its technology team at a competitive rate in NYC. Engineers are paid 20-30% below market rate even though management claims that they are paying at the median rate.

    XO Group2018-09-05
Found 20 reviews