FDM Group Software Engineer Reviews

Updated 10 Sep 2020

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3.2
51%
Recommend to a Friend
60%
Approve of CEO
FDM Group CEO, Founder, and Director Rod Flavell
Rod Flavell
85 Ratings
  1. "Amazing placement experience"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software Developer in Leeds, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FDM Group for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent overview of the IT Industry. Improvement of both - technical and professional skills. Amazing team that will support you through any issue that you might face.

    Cons

    No real downsides to the placement. A few more holidays would have been beneficial.

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  2. "Review"

    3.0
    Current Contractor - Software Developer in Glasgow, Scotland

    I have been working at FDM Group for less than a year

    Pros

    Large demand of graduate developer

    Cons

    Contract is a bit too longer and the job benefit is less as compared to the other companies.


  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (7)

    "End of 2 year review, FDM is a below adequate company"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FDM Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are loads of negatives about this company and the way they handle consultants. However, they did get my foot in the door. This is the only positive about this place and is the reason if I had too, would go through this all over again (considering how desperate I was for a job). They have some decent contacts with great FTSE 100/250 companies. While there is no guarantee you will be placed on-site with a client while on training, you will at least have a unique opportunity to apply for these companies. Account managers having a direct line to the hiring manager.

    Cons

    I have been working with FDM for a little of over 2 years (about to transition to perm at the client but everything is delayed due to COVID) and started in their Business intelligence stream. Went on around 6 weeks of training, then after some interviews, I was placed on-site at a client. The training is fairly basic but a good intro to various subjects. Instructors were nice and well versed in their subject area. You are not paid during training but your travel is covered. Overall my experience of FDM is that it is a below adequate company. While onsite I experienced the downside of corporate life going through 3 rounds of redundancies. As a result, I had little to no guidance when it came to learning or career and it was a very solitary experience. I had to teach myself a lot of technical skills and fund my certification. Absolutely no help from FDM (apart from plural sight but most of the stuff was on youtube) and they do not support you in funding certifications. I have also experienced how strict they are with the contract as during these redundancies I was asked to shift to Scotland. I was unable to do this as I was supporting a family member going through severe mental health issues. Since I wasn't the primary carer the response from FDM was that they care about mental health but if I don't go I will be in breach of contract and liable to pay the exit fee. There was a lot of effort on my part to secure a new role for myself. Thankfully the client I was working for was really helpful and understanding of my situation. Account manager communication is fairly no existent. They only contact to chase a contract extension. Communication with FDM is fairly non-existent with that only being to chase up late timesheets. They do not do any socials like Christmas parties or other events for their consultants. They did one summer party that was during my training but after that, they never did any consultant socials. Would have been nice considering other consultancies offer these sort of socials for their consultants. However, when onsite you probably will get the chance to go to client socials. Salary is very low compared to other grad schemes with companies of a similar size and holiday entitlement is pathetic frankly compared to other companies. But if I am honest at the time I was just happy I got my foot in the door so didn't really care about my salary for the first 2 years. As I entered my third year I went through salary negotiations and you are benchmarked against other consultants rather than your skills and industry. As a result (and in my case) the third year salary was very low compared to industry standards and compared to the skillset I had worked for over the past 2 years. Once again there is no room for negotiation on this. Probably why they have such a high turn over as they expect consultants after 2 years to either leave or go perm. Met a few consultants who have been there for a few years and are doing okay but it all depends on your skillset and circumstances. My advice to anyone applying, take into account the strict contract and take into account your situation before applying. There is no consideration for your location and you can be placed anywhere. (All my interviews were for roles up north, I was very lucky to be placed local but most of my stream were sent up north). In terms of the stream to apply for, it really depends on you but I experienced those in the technical stream (BI, software dev etc.) did get placed quicker. That's not to say that the project managers, BA's or ITSM didn't get placed but it took longer and some were benched for a while. I did experience people getting benched and eventually let go. Not too sure if my experience/views are in the minority but if you do join FDM don't just wait for places on the opportunity board to show, by that time it is usually too late. Constantly speak to all the account managers directly and keep chasing them.

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  4. "Good support from Account Manager and amazing class and pathway into the IT industry"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at FDM Group full-time

    Pros

    - They were supportive, and my account manager was professional and friendly. He is thoughtful and even reached out after I had left. - I liked the rigorous assessment centre - Good class sizes, built a good rapport with everyone and still in touch with many today

    Cons

    - I was an exceptional case (from those I know at FDM), in that I started on the client site before I had completed my training. Therefore I felt nervous about my abilities to deliver high quality code, especially as I didn't have prior experience of coding in the particular language that I was working in. - Training can be a bit full-on, but it is good for keeping it in your mind.

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  5. Helpful (22)

    ""Home of the 20K Handshake""

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer() in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FDM Group full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    FDM is a fascinating company, in both a good sense and a bad, but before I get into that let me tell you my story with them. I studied Commerce at University College Dublin. I had plans to join one of the the big 4 as a Business Analyst, or maybe even one of the big 3 strategy firms if I was lucky, before I moved to London. 2 days after my arrival I got a random call from FDM, still no idea how they got my CV, and I had an interview. I was going to turn it down for all the reasons you would normally turn FDM down for, but having completed the interviews they offered me paid training (a special Irish thing) as a Software engineer, something I wanted to do but was unqualified for. I agreed, went to the Glasgow office, stayed in Glasgow for 5 months and trained as a Software engineer, moved to London and started working full-time in BNP Paribas for 2 years and 3 months, came back to the pond loaded with this priceless experience and left FDM with a job in the third largest global hedge fund at nearly a 6 figure salary and a girlfriend. ---Pros--- - Becoming a software engineer is highly lucrative. To do so with no qualifications is amazing, FDM is the only place I know where you can do that. For free as well! Forget that nonsense of 'you're paying 20K for training', that's just pretext to keep you for 2 years and to sell the idea to clients that you're trained. - Its good banter, the pond, which is the training area, is basically a room stuffed with people in their 20s with not a lot to do. I'll leave it to your imagination what that entails. - Not only do you become a software engineer for free, you start your career in companies where some software engineers spend their whole careers trying to reach. I was flooded with job offers after having done 2 years in BNP Paribas. I couldn't have been in that position without FDM.

    Cons

    Having given them all that praise, I can say confidently that FDM are a joke. Let's do the rundown on flaws: - Unpaid training, unless you're Irish or ex-forces. The training is absolutely awful, it is 100% a pretext for that dodgy contract. Its fun! Don't get me wrong, but its simply not worth 20k! You'd learn more watching YouTube for 6 months. One of the classes was the funniest, literally on how to tie ties and shake hands. Not even joking, come get your 20K handshake! FDM brings networking to the table, nothing else. - You have practically no control over your first client, which can make a MASSIVE difference to the course of your life. A lot of the industries are 'No experience, no entry', if you want to get into investment banking and your first client is Virgin Media, good luck to you! This also applies to location, I was sent from Glasgow to London. Its not just a detail on the contract. Sometimes the Salespeople even have the temerity to put you forward for roles that have nothing to do with your training! I've heard horror stories of people interviewing for dev roles and end up being application support on site, not writing a single line of code! And until your 2 years are up, its quite hard to turn down interviews, getting strong armed into roles you don't want is not unheard of in FDM. Its a lottery, a lottery I won big time, but its still a lottery. - After entry level positions, ie after your two years, there's practically no chance of you getting placed with a client again. The salesteam avoid you like the plague, as it is likely you will leave after a few months and their commission is based on how many months you are on site. For me, this was perfect, as I could sit around writing external CVs all day, read or study French, chat to people and play chess. Its a paid holiday really. But forget about long term career development. - For a self-proclaimed IT consultancy, its really not a tech savvy place. The computers are 'pre the dot com bubble,' 'pre Alan Turing' maybe, you can't do any serious development in that office, as what the hardware limits, the IT Software security policy strangles. - Speaking of IT policy, one of the things that annoyed me the most was that all your passwords for all the different systems in FDM, including email, get reset every 6 weeks, which sounds great from a security perspective but it means that when you’re on site and want to use anything you’re always locked out and have to spend a week emailing IT Support trying to get back in. Its unbelievably painful. - Ah the salary. For those of you weak at heart, look away now. FDM's business model is genius really, they get desperate grads and lease them out to roles they're totally unqualified for, charge them 20K if they try leave and charge the client 3-6 times what they would pay for a normal grad. Its vaguely impressive. I'm not joking though, you get a third or a quarter of what the client is actually paying. FDM will never tell you this but you'll find out later. The overtime is tear inducing, they literally pay you the exact same rate as your normal hourly rate, and they take home your overtime bonus that the client pays. This is how they can afford to have consultants sitting around on bench for months on end, its pocket change to how much they make when they’re on site. The third year salary is also far below average, I doubled my salary when I left. - There's quite a strong chance you won't even be working! I was lucky and I got a continuous 2 year contract. Some people are back on the bench every 3 months and end up there for ages doing nothing, getting paid half salary. - FDM don’t care about their employees so long as FDM get paid. One story I heard was that a girl’s manager on site was overworking and bullying her. For months she begged FDM to take her back but they kept putting it off and delaying it, ‘see what the next month is like’. It continued until the girl eventually got clinical depression and had to leave the client. My advice to you is ONLY join FDM if you want to become a developer for a blue chip, having come from a non IT background. When in, assert your right to manage your own destiny with the salesteam, making sure the role is something you actually want to do.

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  6. "unorganised"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Trainee Software Engineer 

    I worked at FDM Group full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    a lot of useful training

    Cons

    lack of communication. unpaid training

  7. Helpful (1)

    "Okay"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Software Developer in London, England

    I worked at FDM Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Intense and good training

    Cons

    Unpaid training Low salary 2 year contract

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Do not go to FDM"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Leeds, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FDM Group full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They pay for travel

    Cons

    Oppressive - you lack any freedom on where you are placed and once you realise FDM is not a fit for you then you are threatened to pay £15,000. Managers are also very unsympathetic even if you have mental health issues. You are not a human but a number for the employer and also Account managers lie so much it’s unbelievable. FDM clients are also lied to as FDM consultants are marketed has been experienced when most are just recent graduates. The company takes advantage of desperate graduates and forces them to serve 2 years it’s like a prison sentence.

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  9. Helpful (2)

    "A poor company with some decent opportunities"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Software Developer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at FDM Group for more than a year

    Pros

    You have the opportunity to work for some good companies that will pay well after your 2 years with Fdm is up. It is Job security for 2 years.

    Cons

    1) MINIMUM 3 months unpaid training - Note you will remain unpaid until you secure a job - a lot of employees will be waiting longer than 3 months ( I knew 2 hard working guys that waited roughly 5 months to get their first day on site) 2) Very poor sick pay - I ruptured multiple ligaments in my ankle and had to take huge cuts to my pay checks for a few months. (I had moved 130 miles south for my job, meaning living costs were quite hard to manage) No assistance provided. 3) Poor attention to employee satisfaction. A good example is the extra holiday per year of service - this is not true. It goes off calendar year, So starting in December has a huge advantage over starting in February. (As I did) - By the time I received by additional days holiday, I was 1 year 10 months into my contract and as I finish in February, I was given 2.5 days holiday up until this time, which is the same amount i'd have been given if I was still on 20 days holiday - very sneaky from FDM. 4) You get what you're given - if you interview at a company you don't want to work for and they like you, you have little choice and will most likely have to go and work for them. So although there are many good companies to work for, it is not a given you will work for them 5) Poor training - I was forced to arrive by 8:15 every day , meaning a 6:05 train. However most days my trainer didn't arrive into the classroom and begin teaching until 9/ 9:30 - big waste of my time.

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  10. "Fdm"

    1.0
    Former Employee - Software Developer 

    I worked at FDM Group full-time

    Pros

    Good company to work for

    Cons

    Un paid training for 3 months

Found 169 reviews