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Web Applications UK Reviews

Updated 9 March 2019
25 reviews

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2.5
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Web Applications UK CEO Craig Dean
Craig Dean
14 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (164)

    "Beautiful project, poor management staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The project I worked on for 3years was a dream one and I'm forever grateful to web applications for making it a reality.

    Cons

    - Working with various levels exposed me to ridiculous management team especially Craig. He is so condescending, arrogant and abusive.

    Advice to Management

    - Craig and the team need to make the environment really an environment. Everyone was literally scared and unable to perform at their optimum.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Culture of Learning ,Growth and innovation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Software Engineer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Junior Software Engineer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Web Applications UK full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fantastic people to work with - feels more like a group of friends than colleagues sometimes!

    Everyone is always willing to help each other - can happily say no one is toxic or someone who i dislike.

    Constantly learning new things: as someone who really cares about gaining knowledge - there isn't a day where i don't learn something new.

    Free food, drinks, gym membership, open bars ( good use is made out of that)

    Constant social nights out - going to restaurants, sponsored runs, dodge ball the list is endless!

    Management actually cares about you. All the directors are approachable and sometimes can sit down with you for hours explaining stuff. One of them in particular deserves a noble prize for the amount of work he does.

    Customer first approach - focus on the best solution - not the quickest.

    Full stack environment means you get a good front end experience as well as back end.

    Constant training, learning new and exciting topics.

    Opportunities to attend technology events across the UK - fully paid for.

    Chance to do exams to achieve certifications and have those exams paid for you.

    One job many roles policy which is fantastic for experience.

    Company first business second.

    DOGS! ;)

    Cons

    some of the policies seem ridiculous. Employees who have built up a lot of trust and have proven themselves are heavily restricted in what they can/can't do. I understand that certain rules are there to protect us. But i think certain people should be able to earn the right to be able to given more trust/permission

    It can be stressful sometimes. Especially when doing something high priority.

    New services that we offer still need further refinement

    Few outdated technologies still in use (ASP sucks - it just does)

    Big focus on support. some days half of the dev's are on support! whilst i understand the reason behind this, i think more time should be given for experimentation with new technologies/ trying different products - though i had raised this before and it feels like its slowly being listened too!

    Advice to Management

    trust your employees - give us more responsibility and stop micromanaging all the mini aspects of our lives.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "A great place to work . . . if you don't any know better."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - One Job, Many Roles in Oldham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - One Job, Many Roles in Oldham, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * They do their best to look after their staff making it a fun and comfortable place to work especially for the younger staff members. Over the last couple of years, multiple benefits and initiatives have been brought in to ensure staff members are well looked after, both physically and mentally.
    * Friday afternoons are dedicated to Professional Development which often involves training courses run by the more experienced team members.
    * Location is ideal whether you drive or take public transport.
    * There are some real stars among the staff who made it into a very difficult decision when I finally left.
    * Generally, a vibrant, friendly atmosphere with plenty of opportunities to meet new people and have a good time.
    * As a company, they are willing to change even if they're resistant to start with.

    Generally, if you're not even remotely ambitious, this would be the ideal company for you to ride out the paychecks without much stress.

    Cons

    * Salary rates are far behind the industrial average, the flashy benefits they pride themselves on are designed to draw in young, inexperienced engineers on lower than expected salaries.
    * There’s a lot of micromanagement in the day to day running of the company where the office manager rules with an iron fist. Miss one minute on your timesheet, one step of a process or just generally catch her in a bad mood and you’ll know about it through a snide e-mail, usually also CCed to your manager..
    * Although recruitment suggests that you’ll be working on modern technologies, very few people get these opportunities as most developers end up working on existing monolithic classic ASP applications.
    * A large amount of development time is spent on support cases for existing software. Industrial placement students are highly unlikely to take on any substantial development work in their time with the company.
    * Although Craig is obviously very intelligent, his focus is on developing complex systems to to prove just how smart he is.
    * The company has an approach of "one job, many roles" meaning that you don't really get the opportunity to specialise in one subject, everyone is stuck as a generalist, never really getting to know any one topic.

    Generally, I felt that the company was out of touch with the modern software development industry. Their focus on recruiting cheap, inexperienced engineers leaves a vacuum of true experience within the company to the point where I felt that internally they're promoting an unhealthy approach to software development.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to appreciate experience an the value it can have within the company rather than being completely focused on hiring cheap engineers.


  4. Helpful (71)

    "I can see nothing has changed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oldham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oldham, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    * Nice building
    * Friendly people (some)
    * Good training opportunities
    * Good transport links and some good perks

    Cons

    * Tech stack from the last century
    * Abusive arbitrary and controlling management
    * Never seems to gain new customers only loses them
    * Feels like you have joined a cult
    * No career opportunities other than leaving

    Advice to Management

    I came here to post this after seeing the Twitter thing about that woman who was abused in an interview. I wanted people to know that everything she said was true. There is one massive elephant in the room and it is a really big elephant - that elephant is the CEO who seems to delight in putting down staff and destroying their aspirations. Sack him and watch your company fly.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Not a great career start."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Developer in Manchester, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Developer in Manchester, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are wonderful people here
    Free perks
    Staff outings
    Office has pool table and nice breakout area
    Great colleagues with genuine passion for what they do

    Cons

    Micromanagement and control!

    Old tech still predominant, but changing slowly.

    As a first job can really alter your perspective about how you expect the industry to be.

    Advice to Management

    It is a strange place to work. Having a new job I can see this now. Your place was the first I worked at and you almost destroyed my confidence enough to make me feel like this was how it was everywhere.

    It is not.

    Not everyone here is bad most are amazing and I only hope they will find better things.

    Consider a new chief exec.


  6. Helpful (61)

    "Pathetic"

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

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time

    Pros

    None at all, just none

    Cons

    Everything about the ceo is wrong


  7. Helpful (20)

    "Double edged sword"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most of the staff are very nice to work with and I enjoyed most of my time here.
    The benefits are reasonable, having free drinks in the office is nice and often understated what such a simple thing can do.
    The training budget for each employee is also reasonable and can be used on most things as long as it has demonstrable outputs (like certifications).
    Most people will be more than happy to help you when asked.
    Social events were frequent and often very fun.

    Cons

    The salary is not particularly competitive.
    There can be quite a large emphasis placed on time allocation ensuring that all time is logged against something relevant, this can often lead to a feeling amongst staff that they are constantly being scrutinised which is not great for morale.
    Occasional weekend work whilst communicated before accepting the job is still not always ideal.
    There are some conflicts of interest in upper management which could be problematic and doesn't foster a culture where all employees are able to feel comfortable coming forward with an issue, especially if that issue pertains to the CEO.

    Finally, and perhaps the largest con is the CEO himself. He is a very clever human being, and he wants you to know it. He wants you to believe he's more intelligent than you and always correct, I found him very difficult to work with; his ego was obstructive when it came to collaborative working and I often found he would talk down to his employees in a way which made them and others very uncomfortable.
    His interview technique also leaves a lot to be desired; I personally understand what he is trying to do when he interviews a candidate by putting them in a pressure filled and stressful situation to see how they respond to that pressure, but the way in which he does this is completely unacceptable and moreover does not even accomplish what he wants. He pressures and berates potential candidates trying to pick apart their career and their achievements looking for flaws and weaknesses, this is not an appropriate way to see how candidates respond to pressure. This behaviour needs to stop.

    Advice to Management

    Improve your salary offering to attract better staff.
    Stop the CEO from being a part of the interview process as his interview style is not even close to being appropriate.
    Ensure that the CEO is placed on some sort of management and sensitivity training course as he appears to be either unaware or simply doesn't care how his actions affect his candidates and subordinates.

  8. Helpful (61)

    "Industrial Placement Year"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    For an Industrial Placement this is the place to be as you will learn so much from your time there especially in regards to things like the workplace environment, time management, problem solving and technical development. The people there are extremely helpful and friendly and you will get settled very quickly.

    Culture and Values rated at a 5 simply because the company ethos is discussed on a weekly basis and gets mentioned very frequently and not just by the CEO himself which shows that the people working there do clearly share the same values.

    Various benefits including:
    * Flexitime so you can start anytime between 8 and 10.
    * Weekly Code Clubs allowing you to go to various schools and help teach both teachers and children to learn how to program.
    * Half a day a week of "Personal Development Time" where you can further develop your skills in anything software or technology related or complete your own personal projects.
    * "Shield Days" for having half a day or a whole day off and make up for it at the weekend so you don't use up your annual leave at short notice.
    * Work from Home days for when you'd prefer to code in bed.
    * Various social outings and events nearly every week.
    * Free Microsoft Exams.
    * Free Breakfast.

    Cons

    For continued employment I don't feel this is a good fit as the majority of the software developers are now placement students. When I started there was a good proportion of placement staff to full-timers which allowed each student to have a buddy-mentor for the year but now some are having to have more than one placement student to mentor as the ratio is off.

    Career opportunities rated at 3 due to the heavy use legacy technologies nearly as old as myself. Had I stayed at the company longer I believed that I would have been stuck using these technologies for many years to come making myself fairly limited in terms of what I could offer other employers.

    Too many times I felt that I was forced to go to various company outings and events. I believe it's good for a company to offer a wide variety of events for their staff out of hours but to have marketing or admin staff hovering over your shoulder saying that you have to come or even when you do say no and that you're busy you still persistently get asked about why you can't come which I felt crossed a personal line into my home life. To make matters worse at the end of the year your attendance to these events apparently correlates with your ability as a Software Engineer.

    There were multiple times in which I had to work from home outside of work hours which I didn't mind doing at all and accepted therefore didn't have an issue with but what got to me was the fact that I had nearly all of my benefits removed from me for several months and when we had meetings discussing that things needed to be changed they never did. Even months later when the work resurfaced it went straight back to the way it was.

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management rated at a 3 because the directors are simply brilliant and do try to go out of their way to help you whenever they can.

    The CEO on the other hand needs to further develop his interpersonal skills and try to avoid coming across in such a way that at times could be seen as borderline workplace bullying. We got frequently told to not hold back and speak up whenever we didn't agree with something that someone said but when you did disagree it got ignored and there was no seemingly possible way of turning that around.

    Web Applications UK Response

    25 Nov 2016 – Chief Executive

    Hi anonymous, thank you for your feedback, I do read each one and we discuss it together as a team. We do encourage staff to socialise, particularly industrial placements, as we passionately believe... More


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Much better than average!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Developer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Developer in Oldham, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Web Applications UK full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company is based on really good principles and there is a great deal of effort made to develop its' employees.

    The offices are light and spacious with great facilities and you do feel they want to provide the latest and greatest software and hardware to work with.

    You get to work in teams and individually, which helps you develop your interpersonal skills, with access to training. There is access to tea/coffee/cereal and gaming facilities.

    Cons

    There does not seem to be many people with a lot of experience in the core/historical systems, which can be stressful for newbies. I did feel like I was surrounded constantly by new staff and very few long term staff - the ones there are are very supportive however!

    I will not labor the points made in previous reviews, they speak for themselves and are factual.

    Advice to Management

    Keep developing talent, I did appreciate my time there. Pay is below everywhere else, perhaps address that - I would have considered staying but for this.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Culture of learning, growth and innovation"

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

    I have been working at Web Applications UK full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone is friendly, helpful and willing to get stuck in. Web Applications is a company that encourages employees to learn, grow and become better developers.
    Everyone gets a say in how a particular development should be undertaken through the Solutions Stand up.
    Soft drinks and coffee are free for everyone to help themselves, plus there's a breakfast bar which includes cereals, bagels and toast - so no excuses for missing the most important meal of the day.
    The management team are amazing and really take a vested interest in the staff.
    The CEO can be scary and intimidating at first, however a lot of the comments on here are not fair. The invitation to have a private word is always open, and he will always justify a decision that has been made.
    As a developer you truly get experience in every area of development as you are assigned various roles on any particular development.
    The Senior Managers and Directors have all been promoted internally, the majority of which started off as developers themselves which I think is really encouraging for my own career prospects.
    You can take days off with very little notice using SHIELD and make the time back over the weekend, this has come in handy a few times. Plus you have the option of taking up to 2 days a month working from home. I'd love to see more perks added such as a bonus Birthday holiday like many other companies are now offering.

    Cons

    Can't think of too many as usually when conflict arises, it is dealt with in a quick and reasonable manner.
    The solutions stand up could do with some fine tuning to ensure that everyone gets a say and that we don't spend too long discussing cases in too much detail.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in young people and helping developed the careers of talented developers.