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DataSift Reviews

20 reviews

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3.9
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Tim Barker
6 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Loved it, but enough is enough"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Reading, England
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DataSift full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Made a lot of friends within the team. Would love to work with any of them again in the future
    - Great opportunity to learn about developing and deploying distributed systems
    - Free food/snacks means that people socialise at lunchtimes etc

    Cons

    - Zero career progression options
    - Stagnating product unless you're lucky enough to be chosen to spearhead the latest idea. Everyone else spends their time changing configuration files or fixing flaky tests for months on end
    - Most people have no faith in upper management. The best they hope for is that management keeps out of their way
    - Any grass-roots initiatives are "supported" but no time is allocated to them, meaning they die as fast as they start

    Advice to Management

    You have to keep your existing staff somehow. People are leaving not because they want to leave, but because they see no other choice. Encourage them to work to make the platform more efficient and stable.

    Compensate them with cash, not options (which are widely believed to be useless). When people are getting several recruiter emails a week paying 20-30% more (and you have an amazing team, so believe me when I say that they are) it's only a matter of time until they give in and leave. The people are what is keeping people there at the moment.

    Encourage professional development and realise that some flexibility from the company with be reciprocated ten-fold from those that choose to develop themselves outside of the office and sometimes need a little support (mostly time, sometimes financially [PS: They wouldn't need financial support if the aim wasn't to pay everyone as little as possible]).

    In summary: Invest in people. You have an amazing team that will go above and beyond for the company. However, they don't see anything in return from the company for anything but turning up and sitting in their chair. Ask them what they think, how they would change things, if they'd like to get involved in orchestrating that change. People want to help, but they just don't feel empowered to do so.

    DataSift Response

    1 Oct 2016 – CEO

    Thanks for sharing your feedback.

    Not sure if you were here during the 1:1s that I did with every employee, but several of the topics you raise came up here. I'm focused on a few areas that I... More


  2. "Limited ability to execute"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Crowthorne, England
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Crowthorne, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DataSift full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    In Tim Barker, DataSift have an enigmatic and effective CEO. Whilst I feel that his installment (some time ago now) may be a case of too little too late, I think he is DataSift's best chance of success as the company faces significant challenges making a real success of their SaaS products.

    Cons

    DataSift has no direct competitors in the market and without competition, there are no external forces that are really testing the internal assertion that the company is building a world class software platform. A few years ago, the things DataSift were working on were perhaps fairly novel. However, the processing pipelines DataSift are developing have largely been commoditized by big players through the likes of AWS and Google's big data and stream processing offerings.

    DataSift's core technology (SaaS data stream processor deployed to physical servers) now looks a little antiquated in the context of what can be accomplished through more modern managed offerings from the big cloud platform players. To compound this problem, DataSift's biggest asset is has become its biggest risk I think: The commercial relationships with their data partners (eg Facebook) mean that usage of modern, managed offerings for stream processing are simply off the table. This enforces the continued use of more traditional, labour intensive, approaches and means that a lot of time is spent building and maintaining infrastructure components rather than focusing on true value adding software. This is a shame and the effect here is that the company's ability to deliver features that will really drive revenue is being limited.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to modernise the software platform and focus on value adding software over infrastructure. I acknowledge that this could be difficult given DataSift's unique position that constrains it to on-prem deployments.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Still feels like riding a rocket into space"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have a little more than 1.5 years at DataSift under my belt now, and I must say that the company keeps surprising me in a very positive way. As with all start ups there are ups and downs, long hours of hard work solving incredible challenges, but hey - that is what I signed up for, so what's not to like.
    I am constantly learning new things.
    I have more fun in this job than I have ever had in school or professionally.
    Holiday's are a pain as they rob me from my ability to work - yes, a bit on the edge, gut it is actually super cool to work in a place where you catch yourself missing work while on holiday.
    Anyways, DataSift is on an incredible journey, paving new paths in the art of big data and data science.

    Cons

    The teams are split across geography (San Francisco, New York and London), which makes decision making, communication and team work more challenging than a single location would.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Follow up and through with the latest strategy and keep communication strong. We are in for a ride!


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Good company and interesting tech - poor senior leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Developer in Reading, England
    Former Employee - Developer in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great place with some interesting and smart technical people. The concept of social media analytics as a service is interesting, though not as compelling. Fun place to work too. Lots of character within the office which made the hard work enjoyable. Fast moving environment.

    Cons

    Ex-gamer former CTO/CEO tried to run it like a gaming dev house. Crunching to meet artificial deadlines, little thanks for lots of work. Naive belief that C++ was the only game in town for 'high performance' though C++ modules were some of the least performing and least reliable aspects of the platform.

    Some technical people not as good as they believe, I've seen much better since leaving from much humbler people.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the fun aspect from gaming, ditch the crunching. Remain humble and hungry.

    DataSift Response

    22 Jan 2016 – CEO

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll take it into consideration. 100% agree on humble and hungry. I'm not going to debate the merits of C++ vs others on this thread... but i agree with your sentiment that... More


  6. Helpful (1)

    "An epically innovative and exciting place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great product with stacks of continued market potential.

    Cons

    Lack of stock option scheme so share the equity success of the company with employees.

    Advice to Management

    An ongoing employee stock option scheme will help attract and retain the best talent required to build a world class organisation.


  7. "Super workplace, great colleagues and unique business culture..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work challenges, fun & games, (very) talented people. Unique culture that makes you feel part of something bigger than just 'work'.

    Cons

    Perks could be better. Company has start-up mentality, but is probably a bit beyond that stage why you would expect a set of core benefits that currently aren't there, i.e. pension contribution, health insurance (UK only) etc.

    Advice to Management

    Safeguard the DataSift culture - we are in for a ride, but core values are important and must be protected.

    DataSift Response

    24 Jun 2014 – Head of HR

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. DataSift is in the process of improving the UK benefits scheme. So be on the lookout for information on pension contributions, PMI and Season Ticket Loan programs... More


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Smart people, high performing company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Working with smart people on great technology.
    Lunch is provided.
    Employees are well supported with regards training and conferences.

    Cons

    Startup chaos
    Formulating processes and procedures
    Communication can be poor
    No pension or health care

    Advice to Management

    Better communication between the UK and US offices to prevent cultural divide
    Need to look at benefits package

    DataSift Response

    18 May 2014 – Head of HR

    Thank you for the feedback. I think most employees would agree that one of the greatest positive aspects of DataSift is the smart people and great technology.

    I'm glad this employee took the time... More


  9. "Great place to work; full of innovation in a fast growing market and a great culture too."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Fast growing company in a fast growing market
    Innovative approach to market problems
    Highly skilled and high calibre employees
    Great culture and office facilities
    Free food
    Lean development process increasing speed to market
    Opportunity to travel to US offices

    Cons

    Challenges of communication with US offices
    No Pension

    Advice to Management

    Don't lose the great culture you have created as the company grows


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Poor Leadership, Poor Management & investment required!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reading, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    You do get some cool gadgets when you start there but only if you are developer. No one else matters to the company or it's management team. You can tweet and use facebook at work but be warned they change the rules from underneath you.

    If you like working in a silo this is a great place to work!

    Cons

    The company is disorganized, has no direction, mangement is virtually zero and their focus is on technical masterpieces and not on making money. There is no strategy being lead from the senior management team and the company desperately needs VC funding.

    The product is not unique and as a result there are competitors in the US that are more forward thinking with a better leadership team so they need to look after their staff and provide the benefits and services that you would expect form a company of this size looking to make waves.

    Advice to Management

    Consider getting a CMO in very soon, look at why staff are leaving in droves at the moment and why you are strugglign to recruit people. A companies reputation is one of it's most important assets so consider what you say before tweeting!

    The company needs to find it's unique value proposition and pitch itself in it's niche against it's competitors in a sensible and informed manner. Salaries need to be competitive within the market and pensions should be offered (they aren't currently and they should be). Bonuses and targets would help as would valuing all employees no matter what department they work in.

    And above all take the ego out of the office and make it a friendly and exciting place to work.

    DataSift Response

    18 May 2014 – Head of HR

    I cannot argue whether or not this was valid feedback in 2011 since it was before I joined DataSift, but a lot has changed since the!. DataSift is well funded; having received a $15MM series B round... More


  11. Helpful (2)

    "DataSift Thoughts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Exec team and a fun space

    Cons

    Made some mistakes in the past that have hurt the business

    Advice to Management

    Continue to communicate with the team!


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