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How are senior leaders perceived at Ocado Technology?

12 English reviews out of 12

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13 December 2018

Pros

Extreme cutting edge technology(for now) and lots to learn. Good benefits package and casual dress code. CEO is very capable and is building a strong company. Good for young engineers to cut their teeth in.

Cons

Huge cliquish culture. If you don't fit in, you will never belong and will be miserable. At best you get ignored or worse, completely ostracized. Jealousy between colleagues happens a lot. People will know what grade you are and they extrapolate on your benefits package based on that. Certain personality types will not fit into the culture. If you don't fit in with the managers idea of what is an ideal employee, be prepared for performance management plans with lofty goals which you have no idea of how to attain. Poor opportunities for growth or promotion, people with the weirdest people skills are promoted. HR seems to face significant turnover and feels highly inexperienced so don't expect experienced HR to help you out. Very poor work-life balance. Made worse by a policy of literally forbidding working from home, even though the software suites and working tools makes it very easy to work from home. Strong distrust ferments among colleagues if you ever win this concession.

Advice to Management

I distrust line and middle management so I'm not bothering. I can't reach upper management, not at the site I am based in so again I won't bother.

CEO is very capable and is building a strong company.

13 December 2018

Reviewed by: Anonymous in United Kingdom (Current Employee)

7 August 2020

Pros

I have never been happier in a job. I work with the most amazing colleagues. The culture is great. The work is interesting and it really feels like you’re making a difference. We have a proper career structure within product, and it really does feel as if everyone wants you to succeed. My manager is very supportive in my personal development. During the pandemic the support has been brilliant. It feels as if everyone’s mental health has been put first.

Cons

Sometimes it feels like we are trying to do too much. But I think most product managers will say that no matter where they work. Other than that, none. I love working at Ocado.

My manager is very supportive in my personal development.

7 August 2020

Reviewed by: Product Manager in Hatfield, East of England, England (Current Employee)

8 November 2018

Pros

Great place for new graduates, exposure to latest technologies, helpful teammates, some really nice people. Great communication from CEO and Sr leadership, gives you the feeling of togetherness. Great values and vision of Sr leadership.

Cons

Team leads/line managers are untouchables, because they joined Ocado many years before. Ocado values and code of conducts do not apply to them. Tend to hire those within their close networks. These hires are then favoured in promotion and high salary raises. Team leads frequently use profanity, often disrespectful, particularly to women, openly or covertly; high turnover of staff.

Team leads/line managers are untouchables, because they joined Ocado many years before.

8 November 2018

Reviewed by: IT Engineer in Hatfield, East of England, England (Former Employee)

9 January 2019

Pros

You will have the opportunity to work with cutting edge tech. If this is important make sure you state this as a requirement when you apply, because this varies a lot depending on which team you go into. I have found line managers are very supportive. It is easy to switch teams if your experience is different. I have not encountered anyone with problematic people skills. The recruitment process filters them out well. Pay is good for Hertfordshire. If you live in London and plan to for the foreseeable future, you can do better.

Cons

Lack of parking and poor public transport connections. Working at home is rarely an option. Unless you live within cycling or walking distance of the office, your commute will be stressful. Management are penny-pinching in some areas (e.g. software licenses), but wasteful in others (e.g. unnecessary town halls that tie everyone up for hours). The main office (Trident Place) has poor facilities. Be sure to keep a portable fan and warm jacket at the office to be prepared for 15-27C temperatures. Throughout 2018, overcrowding was a problem. Sometimes, you may be queueing 30 minutes for sub-par canteen food. Maybe it depends on which team you are in, but I have not found the work very challenging or my time well-used. Feature development seems very slow. Mostly due to lack of motivation/incentives, indecisive business/retail and poor processes. Backwards security policies - inconvenience when it is not needed and disregard for the real risks.

Advice to Management

General managers should talk directly to dev teams to hear their concerns. Be more willing to hire people with lesser qualifications and experience. There are too many managers in relation to engineers. Consider improving the ratio or having managers do some technical work.

I have found line managers are very supportive.

9 January 2019

Reviewed by: Senior Software Engineer in Hatfield, East of England, England (Current Employee)

28 October 2020

Pros

- Friendly colleagues and a great environment overall. - Lots of opportunities for learning. - Exciting technical challenges. - You can move between teams and your manager can't stop you if you get an offer. - Company values encourage collaboration and you can grow by helping others. - Some other reviews say that avoiding conflict is the only way to move forward. This is not true. Healthy conflict is actively encouraged. Compromises have to be made, that's what business is. And I say this having been on the bad end of most compromises involving the department I work for. - If you get a good manager (I've had 5 of them), you can be very happy. - James Mathews (current CEO) is very open to feedback and gives a very positive example of what leadership should be. - Good work life balance. - Pay rates are not at the top of the industry, but I haven't stopped looking around and can say that I'm very satisfied with it considering all the other advantages of working here. - Having an office outside of London is an advantage for me.

Cons

- It is becoming quite a big company and this involves some dreadful processes and standards. - As you can see in other reviews, some people think that "meritocracy" means you can be a great engineer and an unpleasant person to work with at the same time. Luckily, the company policy disagrees, but you may still get in a "team" with those self called great engineers. - You need to be very open to change. Even your job position might be subject to change suddenly. If you are too attached to a technology or a piece of work, you might have a bad time. - As an engineer, you might get frustrated because business decisions might contradict what seems to be the best technical path to follow. When this happens, there's no argument that will change it and you should be able to let go. - Management policies are not standardized enough, from what I see. All my experiences (I've had 5 managers so far) have been extremely good, couldn't have asked more from my team leads, but this doesn't seem to be the same for everyone and I've seen some micromanagement to ridiculous extremes. - Lots of company politics playing a part in senior leadership. For a company that claims to avoid finger pointing, there's a lot of it in meetings where problems are discussed. This leads to the next one: - Cross team communication can be really broken. One of the ways your performance is assessed is how much your impact reaches across teams and departments. It can get really frustrating to try to do that and hit a wall of full agendas, team support policies and other steps on the way of a conversation.

Advice to Management

Get feedback from good managers, there are some incredibly empathic and kind people who are great examples and should be leading the way, instead of getting stepped on by narcissists who turn every cross team meeting into a genitalia measuring contest. Those who keep imposing their views and blaming others get their way because most people in a nice environment don't like to point their finger back, you need to stop the bad habits and get people to work together, instead of fighting for a spotlight in all hands meetings.

- James Mathews (current CEO) is very open to feedback and gives a very positive example of what leadership should be.

28 October 2020

Reviewed by: Software Engineer in Hatfield, East of England, England (Current Employee)

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12 English reviews out of 12