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35 English questions out of 35
15 March 2020
Great mission and many smart, amazing people.
Toxic leadership at the very top rules the day at Babylon. Leaders are arrogant, manipulative and political. Anyone who stands up to leadership will be ignored, blacklisted and/or fired while incompetent people who stroke leadership's egos will be promoted. Leaders frequently said Babylon needed fewer people with healthcare backgrounds, which is very scary when trying to navigate the US healthcare system. It was a frequent occurrence for leadership without US healthcare experience to suggest doing things that anyone with US healthcare experience knows cannot be done under current healthcare regulations. It was difficult to sit through presentations comparing doctors to Uber drivers and patients to Uber riders. It would not be surprising if Babylon ends up featured in a Harvard business case or a Netflix documentary as an example of what not to do after raising $550 million. The founder wows new employees and investors with product demos that are mocked up and years away from becoming a reality. In the opinion of many Babylon product and engineering team members, the symptom checker is not really "AI". The symptom checker is a rules engine that is filled with bugs and providers have voiced their concern. After fundraising, they rushed to increase their UK office to over 1000 employees. This resulted in the creation of numerous siloed teams building different apps that created disjointed spaghetti code and products that were inferior copycat versions of apps already on the market such as wearable device activity trackers and menstrual cycle trackers. Finally, Babylon doesn't treat its employees very well. There is a reason that 15% of the US office has resigned since Jan 1 and many more are looking to leave. They promised employees stock options that were included in offer letters and over a year later, they haven't issued a single certificate to any US employees and claim they're still working on it. The health insurance is very expensive, especially if you have a family. They promised performance reviews with raises and bonuses, but almost 18 months in to the US office being open there has not been a single performance review or salary increase discussion. It is a software development company, yet leadership treats employees like school children. Software developers like working flexible hours and the US leader constantly accused people of not working hard enough if they weren't sitting at their desk from 9am-6pm even though many were working late into the evening and on the weekends. In summary, Babylon is not the place to be if you are a great employee.
Employees want inspirational leaders they respect and can learn from, not bosses that undermine their efforts and make them dread coming into the office.
The health insurance is very expensive, especially if you have a family.
15 March 2020
27 April 2020
- Access to free therapy (you'll need it) - good engineering chapters - best iOS team (until it got destroyed)
- Product shows no leadership, we change priority every month - Ways of working is non-existent, we do what leadership likes - Some teams are addicted to physical boards and prefer it over the digital equivalent - Face to face communication is preferred most of the time, instead of async or written comms, resulting in losing information and missing context - Replacing native mobile teams with React Native without consulting mobile engineers - Product dictates what engineers do, how teams work, even how chapters should work. And most of the time they don't have the skills or knowledge to actually do this - Engineers are not involved in product decisions within teams - Since I've worked here, we have restructured the tribe almost every month. And of course not fixing any of the issues we have had before, just kicking them down the road - Mobile engineers are blamed as the reason for slow releases yet we're often blocked on backend work - People are forced to delete public messages on Slack if leadership doesn't like it. Social media/public messages are just ignored or justified with some generic comments - Always building MVP and never improving it. We end up with tech debt tickets that end up de-prioritised a couple months later - There's no proper QA, it's been promised for months that we'll get more but no signs of progress. Devs and product are testing features and bugs often go unnoticed - No career development: squads "force" engineers to work on new features/tickets leaving no time for chapter work - Engineers are pressured to deliver - Morale is low, team socials are usually vent sessions where we can complain about all the things that don't work - Office is not a good environment and because of the "we can work better under one roof" culture WFH is not promoted. No breakout spaces, no lunch space, not many healthy snack options - Internal showcases are mostly prototypes of what product imagines, not what we've delivered. Even our demo that's shown to outsiders include features that are not even on the tribe roadmap - The CEO is taking advice from senior leadership who don't listen to their teams - If the CEO wants something, it becomes number 1 priority and everyone has to drop whatever they are working on. And this priority can change every week - When you have a suggestion, it often feels like a battle (in a long war) trying to suggest it. And if you keep suggesting something that goes against the leadership's view, you'll be asked to stop - Benefits that were promised when I joined were never made available: no employee discounts, no gym (east office) - It's all about politics, not about experience - Peakon (internal survey/feedback) is considered biased and often ignored - The COVID pandemic was used to restructure the company and get rid engineers :( - My mental health has seriously worsened since I've worked here. Nobody cares though, even if I talk with my team leads, they are supportive during the discussion then ignore it right after. I have tried to change teams but my request was rejected because management doesn't think it would be better elsewhere.
Listen to what engineers have to say instead of forcing things onto them. Define the product and what we want to achieve. Instead of forcing good engineers out, try to retain talent. And just read the cons list
Benefits that were promised when I joined were never made available: no employee discounts, no gym (east office)
27 April 2020
27 April 2020
1) Free breakfast (very limited options) 2) Cycle to work scheme, 3) Towels for showering after gym (if still there, not sure) 4) Pension scheme 5% topped up by employer 5) 1 day per week working from home (prior Covid-19) 6) Free friday drinks (very limited in quantity and variety). Used to have Babylon bar monthly, but that's gone now. 7) Great mission, great social impact. 8) Free yoga sessions 9) Free psychological, GP services for employees via Babylon app 10) Great office staff and smart, friendly peers I worked with. 11) Babylon was announced as 19th best paying company. 12) Interesting challenging projects to work on if you are lucky to work on greenfield projects.
1) My experience was that work hours were much longer than official 40 hours a week. Due to very limited resources had to work extra time and often weekends ot be able to deliver on time. However, no overtime is paid since it is stated in the contract. In the end, after investing all my free time for company to succeed over the years, now I know it is just a work, not a family as they say. 2) I felt like company didn't invest into my learning or professional gorwth. Either no budget, or too small to book a conference (some teams get higher budgets than others) or no time to attend due to tight deadlines 3) The office chairs are terrible, causing back pain and qiote crowded desk space. I was experiencing allergies from dusty fake plants. People used to work on tennis tables at some point due to lack of office space. 4) No career ladder. It still doesn't exist. 5) I felt a lot of politics on daily basis, changing requirements and prioritites going around in circles to the level that it was driving me mad. I felt that my opinnion and technical expertise wasn't valued at all. 6) Not many benefits, no shop/restaurant discounts. No extra holidays after years of service. 7) Performance review process is very broken. People can get away with doing bad job or pretending of delivering something and even get promotions. I was never able to review people that I worked with and wanted to review (so that my reviews doesn't show that these people are not performing), instead it was chosen whom I can review. 8) Furlough of 5% as reported in news with potential of redundancies. 9) A lot of staff including high position senior staff just disapears without a sign. 10) The gym in the office is a joke. It is really tiny and people have meetings in there instead due to the lack of meeting space. No gym membership compensations. 11) A lot of recent "bad" hires in management makes the environment toxic. I felt like have no say in decision making. 12) Social media and slack are cesnored. The admins will delete your comment on slack or you will be asked to delete it, if it sparks too much discussions and attracts attention. 13) Working remotely is not very acceptable in the company (only once a week). Finally during covid-19 outbreak everyone was forced to work remotely, but it took some time to get there.
Listen to your staff and make sure all communications are transparent. Value your staff as human beings, not only as workers, so they can enjoy their personal life, so they can be the best at what they are doing at work. For company to succeed there should be conversations between product, engineering and senior management, not unilateral decisions from above.
4) Pension scheme 5% topped up by employer
27 April 2020
17 June 2020
I don't know what to say. There were some nice people, some interesting people. There were a handful of talented and smart people, but only a handful. Great mission.
I'll just say having read through the other reviews, I haven't found any cons I disagree with. Toxic culture, broken promises, poor leadership, no plan or organization, managers that are even worse that the leaders, bad tech, so much money but they don't invest in their employees, plus all of that money is oil money, the mission is just for show, any good people that I met left or were laid off, stock options are a joke.
Toxic culture, broken promises, poor leadership, no plan or organization, managers that are even worse that the leaders, bad tech, so much money but they don't invest in their employees, plus all of that money is oil money, the mission is just for show, any good people that I met left or were laid off, stock options are a joke.
17 June 2020
12 October 2020
The illusion of working for a great Company
The reality: No strategy, no leadership, the company is lost and the business is not delivering, all great people already left. Very poor HR, employees are exploited without any form of recognition and without any opportunity of career
Too late I guess
The reality: No strategy, no leadership, the company is lost and the business is not delivering, all great people already left.
12 October 2020
35 English questions out of 35