First Derivatives Reviews

Updated 30 Jun 2020

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3.2
60%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
First Derivatives CEO Seamus Keating
Seamus Keating
4 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Being placed on a project: This is from other people's experiences whereby they ended up staying in Newry not on a project for some time(in 47 reviews)

  • "When you are in client site you almost forget that you work for FD(in 32 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    COVID-19
    Helpful (12)

    "Good Communication in Crisis"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Engineer in Newry, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Senior management were very quick to respond and keep us in the loop during Coronavirus pandemic. -Very quick to make arrangements to allow us to work from home -Young, sociable culture -High-profile clients -Great training opportunities

    Cons

    -Long working hours -Some of the accommodation isn't great

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "Friendly Staff"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great Expenses Package Opportunities to Travel Staff are very friendly and want the best for you

    Cons

    Graduate salary at the beginning is less than some other companies, but the expenses package makes up for this.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Business Analyst"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in London, England

    I worked at First Derivatives full-time

    Pros

    Not enough time to give adequate feedback

    Cons

    lack of projects means long bench wait

  4. Helpful (3)

    "Projects are a gamble"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Engineer in Newry, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great package - the package really is excellent once you are on client site, huge tax savings too. Easy travel - you can move city often and FD will arrange your flights, visas, landlords, etc all on your behalf. Colleagues/networking - the company is young and social (most employees are only 1-3 years our of uni) and you meet a lot of employees at prestigious clients.

    Cons

    Travel opportunities are mis-sold - the fact is you could spent most or even all your time in Newry where your compensation is cut by about half. Also for UK contracts in Financial Engineering about 90% of the work is in Newry/Belfast/Dublin/London. Poor support - after month 1 you are essentially left on your own with no manager, a mentor who you wont see (and only a couple years more experienced than you), and essentially no connection with FD. Poor career prospects - a lot of the projects require low skill and offer worthless experience (e.g. data labelling) and FD doesnt really have any internal ladder to climb.

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  5. Helpful (8)

    "A terrible place to begin a career in Software Development"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Newry, Northern Ireland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at First Derivatives full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Expenses are OK if you get a project that isn't based in Newry. Can gain responsibilities quite quickly, which can make your CV look attractive. The company has a young workforce, so it can be fun to socialise

    Cons

    The salary is well below market average for Software Engineers - if you get expenses for being on-site it can compensate a bit towards this, but the 'near-shore' projects, which are becoming increasingly more prevalent, you're going to be getting paid among the worst of any company in Northern Ireland. A lot of the work in now in the kdb language (which FD owns the technology for). These roles are primarily based in Newry. From my understanding, it's quite a difficult language to learn, and there are very few job prospects outside of FD (certainly only 2 or 3 companies in NI that use it). I've heard this can be a bit of a trap for many people working there, as their skillset is very specific, not that useful for most of the Java/C#/Python jobs that make up most of the jobs in NI, so it can become difficult to leave - and this problem gets worse over time. There is a lack of experience and mentorship across the company, there was a 'buddy' program they came up with when I started, but my 'buddy' just said hello and then went and sat with his other mates who'd signed up to the scheme at the free lunch that they brought us to. If you have a difficult technical problem, there is no-one that will be able to help, as there aren't enough experienced people on projects to lead anything - you'll probably find yourself leading the team if you hang around for a few years, as most people don't last that long. As frequently mentioned, HR are a nightmare to deal with, they don't listen to anyone's concerns, which usually results in projects being understaffed, people being over-stressed, and then people leaving because they're burning out. People shouldn't be burning out in the first 2 or 3 years of their career. I avoided HR as best as possible, but when I inevitably did have to deal with them they would get stressed and annoyed very easily, become quite aggressive at times. Very unprofessional in my opinion. I'd say they were under a lot of stress as the company is so poor that there is a constant stream of people leaving (at the time, they were taking on around 30 graduates a month, but the overall employee count didn't actually grow very quickly) - if only they improved things then maybe they wouldn't be so stressed. HR are always over-exaggerating experience too, as a grad you'll be sold as having a few years of experience, which puts the pressure on immediately when you start your roles. You'll soon learn not to believe anything that HR says, as they will big up a new member of the team, who has a few years experience and is really good, who ends up having being a grad with no experience. The hours in the office are 9-6, which is above average for most companies in NI. Around the time I was leaving, they were having new grads studying 9-8 until they got some of their training exams done. If you're on site you can expect to work for longer, and this isn't compensated for (I've heard of some people working an extra 3 or 4 hours a day, which is pretty significant). The Newry office itself is quite cramped, has poor natural light, and uncomfortable chairs, and doesn't have much space to sit and eat lunch - the cynic in me thinks this is to encourage working through lunchtime. The company can be quite cheap in regards to buying equipment also - I had to wait a few weeks after starting before I got to use a company laptop (I had to wait for someone to leave) The training courses they run are terrible also, it is mostly taught by a few un-enthused Newry based employees (I was one of them haha) who don't really remember much about it, and aren't really very good teachers. The pass marks are very high for each module (80%+, 90% for the first one), so passing them can be difficult, although usually there is a cheatsheet floating around to get through some of them. HR ask grads to leave reviews on Glassdoor in their first month of working there. They've been given a few free welcome lunches, brought out for drinks a few times to settle in, and then given their first paycheque, which is bigger than anything they'll have earned before. Unfortunately this makes it look like perhaps a much better place to work than it actually is. I could make a list that would cover my arms of negatives about FD, but in short I would sincerely not recommend here as a place to being a career, and if you currently do work there I would recommend leaving as quickly as possible for your own sanity and career.

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  6. Helpful (9)

    "Little benefit but you’ll lose all respect for the company and HQ"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The people you meet along the way

    Cons

    HR send out emails to ‘check in’ and tick boxes to ensure they’re covered but rest assured they do not care about you. They do not care about your mental health. They do not care about your well being. They. Do. Not. Care. Expense system has the potential to be great for individuals, however it seems those who now work on the team have little capacity to use common sense. They’ll query the smallest thing, and often are wrong but will send across a newer version of the policy that they’ve just updated in order to prove their point. This has happened multiple people at numerous points in time. 3 month notice period. And don’t expect to get paid because they hold back expenses and pay within this period. Expect to have to lie to the client. I could go on. Honestly you sell your soul to work here, all with the promise of somewhere exotic to travel to. But rest assured you won’t be so lucky. You’re more likely to end up in a dirty single bed in an apartment with no lock. Do yourself a favour and run.

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Newry, Northern Ireland

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Friendly People and atmosphere Get to learn and work for top business clients Flexible working hours for those with children Good Salary

    Cons

    Not obvious how to progress HR can be difficult at times

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Kx Technology"

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

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Kx Technology is the way forward. -Really friendly and outgoing staff. -Extensive training opportunities within CMTP. -Opportunities to work with senior management.

    Cons

    -Don't expect a 9-5 job. -Kx is mostly used within finance, however it does seem to be expanding into other industries.

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  9. Helpful (2)

    "Enjoyable and challenging job"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior BA in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at First Derivatives full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Was able to take on some interesting projects in South Africa (really loved the place) -Amazing accommodation in Johannesburg -Work was challenging, but management would listen to issues if brought to their attention. When I left they were introducing more of a mentoring role which should allow the grads to have better communication upwards -Grads were treated a lot better than we were as grads (similarly named company to FD but just add a letter)

    Cons

    -My manager (Ciaran) was great, but he was only one man and seemed to have a lot of people reporting into him, however FD did seem to be changing for the better to increase more levels (Laura) and better chains with the support of mentors so I am sure things are better now -Got to say it (and everyone seems to) their expenses system is very old and requires a lot of time and effort, when you're on a project which is requires a lot more overtime, the last thing I wanted to do was trawl through receipts and write a number in the top right corner - this led to massive buildups of expenses -On boarding process was a bit clunky for senior hires -No company laptop (had to buy my own)

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  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good company for career evolution"

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

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good benefits, good clients and great opportunities. Management will listen to you if you request a change

    Cons

    lack of engagement with management

Found 211 reviews