Automattic Reviews | Glassdoor.com.au

Automattic Reviews

Updated 23 Feb 2020

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4.4
91%
Recommend to a Friend
89%
Approve of CEO
Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg
41 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Not so much a con, but rather a word of caution: remote work is not for everyone(in 7 reviews)

  • "There are no cons that I can speak of(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (4)

    "A Directionless Mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Automattic full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Generous hardware and software budget. - Competitive benefits. - Travel opportunities if you are into that. - A great place to have your first experiences as a remote worker. - A chance to work on open source projects (if you are assigned to them, or in your own time) - This is your place if you are a WordPress fan. But you could be disillusioned by looking behind the curtain.

    Cons

    - Some employees are more equal than others. Automattic used to have a lot of pride in its diversity and inclusion policies when hiring, but that has changed substantially in the last years when benefits and hiring shifted more and more towards US-based employees. Also, treatment varies a lot. US employees are treated with more leniency, whereas remote contractors are more... expendable. - There is absolutely no Engineering Practice You can choose your own tools, which is great. But there's absolutely no regard for who's coming next. There is no technical direction other than "open source is the best idea of our generation". Also, there are very poor and unhealthy metrics. - "Leadership" is incredibly inconsistent. Your happiness as an "automattician" depends greatly on how much overworked is your team lead. Because team leads are also required to not only manage people and projects, but also have regular output. Some leaders manage to concentrate on the first two, but even then, it depends on the projects. It's sad when leaders have to ignore the people side in favour of managing projects or writing code to meet a deadline. If that's your leader inclination, you can expect to have an awful time. - Communication is oxygen, except when it's not. No matter how openly and honestly you communicate, if your leader has too much pressure on the technical side, or is too inexperienced as a leader, brace yourself. You could easily be terminated if you have a bad time. But as I said before, there's more leniency towards US-based employees. - Projects are not finished, they are abandoned. There is no project management practice. Neither agile nor waterfall. Work is estimated based on which way the wind blows. Tracking of progress is non-existent and deadlines are set based on management "feeling" how difficult implementation is. That leads to deadlines not being met, priorities shifting and projects deployed to users with incomplete features. - Forget about having a career path. Automattic is a company that does not believe in titles. That in itself is not a bad idea. But a side effect of that is that as an automattician you have no goals for career development. You are encouraged to learn, but not provided with direction. So, in most cases, you'll pursue things that will either make your work easier or help you realize that your future is elsewhere.

    Automattic2020-02-24
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Supportive, flexible, progressive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Wrangler 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    So far everyone that I've come across has been really bright, helpful and friendly. There's a lot going on, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in interesting work. The distributed style of working is life-changing. It's a company that believes in something.

    Cons

    It can be a tough transition to distributed work if it's not what you're used to. Even having done a fair amount of working from home and remote working, being full time distributed was a shock to my system. So you have to use all of the support available to you to manage that, especially early on, along with the work itself.

    Automattic2020-01-06
  3. Helpful (5)

    "It has great benefits, but a problematic, inefficient work culture!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Wrangler 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Automattic full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The benefits were truly amazing. Maternity leave, co-working allowance, and healthcare were top-notch offerings. And of course, we were spoiled by the remote work environment. Some people are kind. It's a geek-friendly culture. The Grand Meetup is very accommodating to introverts.

    Cons

    Where do I start? So many ridiculous inefficiencies! Frustrating (But Mandatory) Time as Happiness Engineers (aka Customer Service) It was rough being forced to do the mandatory stint in customer service as a new hire, even if your role has nothing to do with customer service. It's a highly technical product, and we ended up spending more time pinging people for help than actually helping customers. We were wasting the time of experienced Happiness Engineers. They also refused to update to a better contact center system, so ticketing and chat was siloed terribly. Unmanageable Project Management System The P2 project management system was awful. We were asked to post our project updates in a team P2, which is essentially a blog for your team. Like a blog, it gets pushed down the moment someone else posts another thing. There is no proper system of keeping projects visible and up to date. So bizzare for a remote-first environment. Good Ole Boys Club New folks were basically at the whim of those who had been at the company for a while. It's remarkably hard to bring in new ideas unless you've decided it's okay that you're the only one to execute them. It was near-impossible to do organized, efficient teamwork. People just do what they want to do, with no overarching direction to the work. It's overrun by poor people managers, mostly people who've been around for a while. For a time, I had a wretched manager who thought mentorship and leadership was sending links of her past accomplishments. I had 3 managers during a stint of approximately one year, so internally it was very unstable. It was surprising, since Automattic is an older startup. Poor User Experience I was mortified to learn that I couldn't recommend WordPress.com to anyone I know. I thought I'd be proud of working for such an iconic brand, but instead I found myself recommending competitors to loved ones because of the difficulty in learning WordPress.com. I had to field off complaints from people close to me who used the platform, much to my embarrassment. Philosophy Finally, the worst part of working for Automattic was the "bazaar" philosophy. If you read "A Year Without Pants," a book about working at WordPress.com, you get what I mean. It's the idea that contrasts a "cathedral" mindset. Basically, a bazaar mentality highlights people constantly adding features based on whim or opinion -- cobbling together their own priorities. A cathedral mindset is the centralized pursuit of a grand vision of what a product should be. Automattic lived and breathed the bazaar mindset. Features were added then abandoned. No one managed Stats, which completely boggled my mind! There were so many dead projects drifting listlessly in the P2 system, abandoned before they were given life due to lack of resources.

    Continue reading
    Automattic2020-01-22
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good company - but think well before joining!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Code Wrangler in Munich, Bavaria
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Automattic full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I was impressed by: * their internal tools and the overall documentation: very easy to retrieve information, very easy to find the right people, very easy to organize things (p2 rocks!) - and not only. Sometimes they say “Welcome to the chaos” - but if that’s chaos, then they don’t really know how the other companies look like. * the shared ownership: people jumping in to fix various things outside of their team or product area. * the existence of the developer excellence/hiring/bootstapping team trying to standardize and introduce various practices across the growing company * the trust that is put into people: all those things that you find on blogs regarding “no Big Brother” are true. * all their supporting departments: HR, Accounting - a well-oiled machine * the struggle and desire to make things work - and to balance the “everything is for granted” with “we’re responsible for our future” attitude. Interesting to look at, did not make up my mind about it: * the super-fast switching of individuals between teams. I think the hand-over period is about two weeks, which tends to give me the impression that the owned domain is not that complex: anyone can catch up quickly, anyone can drop it quickly. * the cross-functional teams: tech people combined with business people, working towards the same goal

    Cons

    Could be better: * the tech stack. I may be wrong, but I had the feeling of not investing too much into new things. In the current world of hundreds of new Javascript frameworks and keywords like Kotlin, K8s, Terraform, AWS take-over, CI/CD with code coverage and so forth, I had the impression that working for Automattic could make me lag behind. * the USP in hiring - which is “ability to work from everywhere”, as advertised. It truly requires some cherry on top, something that is product related. I left because: * a better opportunity. A place where I had the feeling I can develop myself better - and therefore contribute better. * had some doubts about my future and/or motivation for Automattic and working from home, since the job that I ended up with was a bit boring. … but, just for you to understand that the company is a good one, I felt bad about leaving them. To avoid leaving early like me, think very well and ask yourself: 1. Do you fully understand what working from home means? It’s not only the fanciness that is advertised, and the context you’re in may have a different impact. A few examples from my learnings: if you live in a new location or country, maybe it’s better to meet people in an office - and discuss with them local problems; then, is that commute you’re having really bad right now, or that’s a good time to clear up your mind and make the switch between work and family? For example, in my case, getting out a office room and reaching the living room with the family - was simply not enough to detach myself at the end of the day. 2. Did you understand the market, the company - with all departments that you may have to be in, the product(s), its areas, the tech stack, and how do you see all those evolving in 1-2-3-10 years? Are you ready to energetically contribute to all those? That's a very important aspect - since only if you have a good reason you'd be able to motivate yourself into working from home. I'm serious - don't let yourself charmed quickly by the benefits - and think well about everything. It's in both parties' interest.

    Automattic2019-12-27
  5. Helpful (2)

    "Automattic exceeds all expectations"

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

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

    Pros

    This place is so amazing, it's surreal. The benefits are unheard of, by US standards. Salary is more than fair. The work is interesting and challenging. You create your own destiny. I literally don't understand how anyone could have anything negative to say about working at Automattic. If you're not happy, please leave so we can replace you with talent that appreciates all that we have to offer.

    Cons

    Very long time commitment to get hired. We have the high standards that you would expect with such a phenomenal work environment. But once you're in, you'll see it was all worth it.

    Continue reading
    Automattic2019-12-03
  6. Helpful (5)

    "The insides don't match the outsides"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wrangler 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Remote work is nice. The outside image portrayed is compelling.

    Cons

    Everyone is scrambling to please the CEO. And what pleases the CEO changes on a whim. There is little to no direction so everyone is left to guess about what they should work on. Many smart people left recently and you can feel the drain.

    Automattic2019-10-02
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great place, but as with everything, the big picture varies widely based on where you live, your role, and your manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - N/A 

    I have been working at Automattic full-time

    Pros

    Flexibility (in schedule, where you live, how you work, etc.), generous benefits, good people.

    Cons

    With everyone spread across different timezones, conversations that should be quick and easy sometimes drag on in Slack. Less recognition of our company/product/brand.

    Automattic2019-10-01
  8. "Great place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Lead 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A work place where you get treated like an adult.

    Cons

    No bonuses or incentives for middle management.

    Automattic2019-08-26
  9. "A caring and encouraging environment"

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

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

    Pros

    This is genuinely a great company and I feel incredibly fortunate to work in such a supportive and caring environment.

    Cons

    I can't think of any!

    Automattic2019-07-16
  10. "Best work culture and supportive company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Happiness Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Flexible schedule - Supportive work environment - Professional development and continuous learning encouraged - Lots of different paths you can take (different guilds, teams, opportunities) - Good benefits - Good salary - Open vacation policy - Work from anywhere! (Remote) - Awesome coworkers

    Cons

    - Very fast paced - Expect some long days (mostly when you first start) - Some internal processes are still very manual and need refining in the company - Communication between departments needs improving

    Continue reading
    Automattic2019-06-26
Found 55 reviews