I have been working at Workplace Systems full-time (More than a year)
Absolutely the best working environment I've ever had the good fortune to find myself in. A fantastic culture, a world class product team, great and trusting management who Actually Get It, motivated and passionate coworkers. I can't see myself moving on for a good long time, which in this industry is about the most glowing review I could give! After years of mediocre jobs, this has been the absolute jewel in my career. And, surprise surprise given all this, I've never worked harder for a company.
If I was pressed I'd say the lack of hierarchy means career progression opportunities in a traditional sense are limited, but given the recent takeover this seems likely to change anyway. No complaints - professional development IS on offer.
Advice to Management
Keep doing what you're doing. We have faith in you, and we appreciate the latitude you give us to do our best work. Very refreshing to be able to critique a management team and reach that conclusion.
I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Workplace Systems (Milton Keynes, England) in June 2014.
A 20 minute phone-screening describing the company, the role, and discussing some problems that are being faced at the moment. Talked about my interest in being an engineer, and asked some straightforward questions on OO design, software security, and performance optimisation.
I was given a simple spec for a problem, and invited to solve it in my own time, and submit the code before a face-to-face interview.
The interview was in two stages at their Milton Keynes offices and took just over 3 hours.
The bulk of the interview was with a team leader and a senior engineer. They described the company and role in some more detail, then went on to a code review for my solution to the problem, discussing it with me, and asking a lot of questions. After, we expanded on the topics in the phone screen, and I was given some more in-depth technical, personality, and team-working questions. Everything felt quite relaxed, and wasn't rushed.
We took a break, and I was given a tour of the office by another engineer, before moving onto the second stage. This was with the team leader, and a product manager, going into more depth, and asking me some more difficult questions.
I had a follow-up phone call a few days later with a job offer.