Autonomy
2.0 of 5 301 reviews
www.autonomy.com Cambridge, United Kingdom 1000 to 5000 Employees

Autonomy Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.0 301 reviews

                             

38% Approve of the CEO

Autonomy SVP & General Manager Robert Youngjohns

Robert Youngjohns

(26 ratings)

17% of employees recommend this company to a friend
301 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Free breakfast Wednesday, free lunch Friday"
    in 33 reviews
  • "Nice office space and free lunch on Fridays but thats about it-"
    in 11 reviews
Cons:
  • "Hiring staff was difficult as senior management would only approve a new hire if they came from a university that was acceptable to them"
    in 18 reviews
  • "upper management but they've all left since HP acquisition"
    in 18 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Disapproves of CEO

4 people found this helpful  

Nano-managers

Research and Development Engineer (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I worked at Autonomy

ProsThe main focus of the company is to sell, not to develop good quality software. The whole production and sales is governed by a "Let's sell it ASAP, we (may) fix it later" mentality.
Mid-managers are inadequate, they over micro-manage their team members (I call it nano-management).

They are strict about work hours: they record people's arrival and check out times every day. Phone calls are recorded, email communication and internet traffic is monitored heavily. Access to personal email services and many other sites is not allowed by their firewall. I once attempted to access a personal email domain of mine, which the filter did not permit to my surprise. Only a couple minutes later, as I was going downstairs I saw the page I tried to access (my email domain web site bearing my personal logo) in front of the company's Chief Operation Officer!

The HR is inadequate, too: They didn't bother asking me why I was leaving at my exit interview! In fact, they are not aware that the three people (from the same group) who left before me, and the person who resigned after me did so because of the same problem/person. Unfortunately they are not aware that the cause of many of the problems in the company are their control-freak group leaders who are not aware of any modern-day management techniques.

There is no concept of trust in the company. For example, I report a problem to my group leader, he goes to someone else to challenge my claim, treating me like a potential liar in front of everybody, and despite I end up being correct I never get an apology for the shouting and lack of trust. I use a mobile phone to check my emails while getting a coffee outside of the office room, he gets angry and tells me "if you continue to use your phone I will take you to the HR". Very laughable indeed. It was me who went to the HR to resign in the end :) You can't run a company with terror like this, even if you do so you can't expect these qualified people to work for you. Qualified people are hard to find, and they can easily find (better) jobs somewhere else!

ConsFree lunches, nice Christmas trips every year.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't be afraid to get rid of some of your team leaders! Regularly give negative (if any) and as well as positive feedback to employees. Also get some regular feedback from employees! Don't wait for the exit interviews for that (which are useless at the moment). Improve your bonus scheme and benefits to please your developers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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8 people found this helpful  

shiny baubles distract from rotten core

Software Developer (Current Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I have been working at Autonomy

Prosfree lunch in the canteen each day, free ice cream in the summer, weekend abroad in plush hotel for a christmas party, friendly and helpful colleagues on the shop floor.

ConsNo support or guidance from management- they ignore you entirely for large stretches before swooping in without warning to berate and patronise you. No documentation for any code- all in the heads of others, who while generally helpful are too highly strung and busy with their own work; sales is everything, quality not even an after thought - just so long as the sales rep can blag it past the client. Churn and burn of graduates who are about 90% of their developers- constant stream of people leaving after 9-18 months.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide support and feedback to your employees. Stop treating them like drones in a sweatshop.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

No appreciation, no progression, no point

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I have been working at Autonomy

ProsStarting salary is good, though don't expect it to go up.
Free meals and a good christmas party

ConsLong hours, no appreciation.
Are expected to put the extra untold (unpaid) hours in, week in week out.
management are so sales driven that they can only focus on the end of the week
no thought towards the future
things have only gotten worse since the acquisition by HP

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your staff better, or they'll all leave, and since the entire company is in the head of a select few developers, you'd do well to try and keep them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Glad to be out of there

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I worked at Autonomy

ProsGood colleagues among the other engineers, free lunches, better salary than at some other places, that's about all I can think of.

ConsNo communication from senior management; my immediate manager's manager never once spoke to me in all the years I was there. No performance reviews, and my written request for a pay rise after some years there was not even acknowledged, let alone refused. Strict hours of work; you have to be there between 9.30 and 6.00, never mind whether you have family or other commitments, and working from home is not allowed. The top floor was usually unbearably hot (well above the World Health Organization recommended limit) throughout the summer and management's response was not to do anything to remedy the situation but just to send an ice cream van to the front door every afternoon. A dispiriting, soul-destroying place to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your engineers as human beings, not just coding machines.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

Terrible - Graduates do not come here!

Presales Engineer (Current Employee)
London, England

I have been working at Autonomy

ProsReasonable compensation if your prepared to have no life
Nice colleagues
Some capable upper management

Cons- Terrible, incompetent middle management. The best pre-sales/tech have left leaving those who were average to push the pencils. Some have never experienced anything else than Autonomy and are incredibly blinkered.
- churn and burn culture with grads
- Virtually no QA
- projects delivered ad-hoc with slaves/graduates
- unreasonable hours
- zero training
- zero respect
- poor quality software - try and find a working version of introspect/eas/digital safe/etc.
- over marketed software (bordering on propaganda)
- lies/deceit to unsatisfied customers
- graduates are clueless as have no guidance - experience is irrelevant in engineering i suppose?
- rushed software for sales based culture
- zero communication (especially for non UK offices)

Advice to Senior ManagementClear out middle management
Pray customers dont start asking for references

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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12 people found this helpful  

Worst. Job. Ever.

Software Developer (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I worked at Autonomy

ProsThere's free food in the kitchen and a holiday abroad at Christmas. The company also sponsors a Formula One team, so you might be lucky and get to go to a free practice session. They also sponsor Tottenham Hotspur, so you might be able to go and watch a match.

Oh, there's also a table football game. Because that will cancel out the cons, right?

ConsAs a graduate, do not expect any training. In fact, do not expect very much other than to be placed in front of a PC and given orders! Chances are you will be working alone on some horrific code base that no-one else in the company understands. Good luck with that.

You'll need to learn on the job and under pressure and you will be expected to delivery results however much of your day/night this costs. Most of the projects continually operate in fire-fighting mode because the number of developers is very low. No-one ever has the chance to sit back and say "hey, wouldn't it be better if we changed this bit and did it properly" because they have to fix the bugs TODAY or face a shouting match from superiors.

Software is very much secondary to Autonomy. The goal is sales. Software just gets in the way. This means no emphasis in design, documentation or testing. Or in other words, no value to software guys/gals whatsoever. As a software engineer you are regarded as a button pusher, you have no skill and any software engineer can be replaced by any other (or indeed a new graduate). If you want to become a better software developer, simply don't start here (or come here and then write a book on how not to do things).

Learning on the job is hampered by the firewall. China's censorship policies have nothing on Autonomy. Want to downloads some open-source software? No chance! Want to read documentation? No chance! Do you want to read a blog article explaining your problem? Nope, you're out of luck. The firewall blocks almost everything to the point where you might as well just bring books in and use that. The internet is vastly overrated anyway!

Management can best be characterized as arrogant and technically incompetent. Whatever you can do, they can do better and in half the time. They'll not demonstrate this, but they will use it to try and force you to finish items very quickly, often pressurising you into working very late.

I'll stop there because it says "describe some of the downsides". There's plenty more, but suffice to say this isn't a place I would recommend to others (or my worst enemy for that matter!).

Advice to Senior ManagementThere's no hope. You can't build a company on the lie of great software when the core is so totally rotten.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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10 people found this helpful  

A rancid, seething mess, of a company

Developer (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I worked at Autonomy

ProsCambridge is a great city
Some bright folk that have been conned into working here for a short while
Great sewage work smells
If you have chav tastes you will be well catered for with football tickets avaible at Spurs

ConsExceptionally poor company to be an employee
Sweat shop style
Thoroughly dislikeable management
Feel like a con worker
All the disadvantages of a start up with few of the benefits

Advice to Senior ManagementGet out before the sham is exposed

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

Hell bent on headlines with little in the way of substance and nothing in the way of planning !

Sales Executive (Former Employee)
London, England

I worked at Autonomy

ProsThey pay well. They know it's all that keeps you there.
Technology has a good story, but has failed to move on.

ConsAgressive Microso management with no respect or empathy for staff.
The software has a good story but as they increase product range through acquisition Rand D is suffering in favour of gluing products together.
Customer care is non-existant.
Software is rarely deployed past a pilot.

Advice to Senior ManagementEveryone who works or has worked at Autonomy knows what has to change and who has to go......make the changes before the market changes it's mind. You're only one bad quarter away from what you deserve !

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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8 people found this helpful  

In brief- avoid

Software Developer (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England

I worked at Autonomy

ProsFree food on Friday.
Thats it.

ConsThe management tend to bully workers, have no concept of how difficult a project is and demand unreasonable timetables.
If you complain about a manager, they close ranks and effectively force you out.
They contact your doctors to query your illness, so their is no trust there at all.
Software is a unholy mess with little in the way of comments or documentation.
The workplace is literally a sweatshop, especially in summer. Air conditioning is reserved for managers and guests.
Their legal minions threaten you if you speak out against the company.
They check when you enter and leave the building. They don't care if you start work 15 or 30 minutes early, but raise hell if you leave 5 minutes early.
They expect you to work till demanding hours, and to hell with your social life.

Advice to Senior ManagementStart afresh. Get rid of the managers and hire a new team with new ideas.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

Schoolboy errors in handling a workforce / large company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
London, England

I have been working at Autonomy

ProsOther nice people in your situation to compare bad experiences with.
Tea coffee biscuits.

ConsWhere to start... Well the main issues start and end at the top. It all began as a start-up company in a single office. A place where the founders could watch over every project person and bark orders accordingly. This is where the bad management ethic began. You were expected to work hard to push the company places in the vain hope you would be part of the success. Unfortunately this ethic has stayed in the bigger corporation. All efforts from employees are watched over, taken over and unrewarded... Select people take all the credit and effectively bully the workforce who are frozen out in a static dead end position. The result is a very high employee turnover and a company reaching crisis point through lack of ideas from the powerless disillusioned workforce pushed along by a power crazed CEO. Customers are often misled and analysis are starting to smell a rat.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop... re-assess... Look at what you have and try and build from that. So much potential is overlooked and the technology could be great, but everything is so rushed and people so downtrodden it is wasted. Good luck, but it may be time to sell up and let an experience team take the company places.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Autonomy reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Autonomy CEO Robert Youngjohns. All 301 reviews are posted anonymously by Autonomy employees.