TransferWise Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

TransferWise Software Engineer Reviews

Updated 21 Oct 2019

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4.3
90%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
Approve of CEO
TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
11 Ratings
  1. Helpful (7)

    "Software Engineer"

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

    I worked at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Great place to learn to build a product. Great place to work if you want to open your startup in the future. - Very flexible in terms of holidays, working remotely (from home or in trips anywhere around the globe)

    Cons

    - Apart from a few engineers, most are quite poor. Lots and lots of tech debt which is hard to pay up due to lack of concern for quality. - Low salary. Pays quite below the market

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to be more present in guiding the direction of teams

    TransferWise2018-05-28
  2. Helpful (23)

    "More of a cult than a company. Overrated."

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

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

    Pros

    TL;DR This is still a good company to work for, but don't just go with the hype or believe these reviews. They are a reflection of what TransferWise does best: indoctrination. If you have a similar offer from somewhere else you should definitely consider it. Other upsides: - Freedom - People can have a say (comes with a price) - It's a quite transparent company everyone is always been told what's going... on - Offices are quite nice - Quite social crowd (if you are into that) - Mission is ambitious. You can feel like you're making a difference.

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    Cons

    Hyper growth is challenging. When you have a company with over a thousand people too much freedom can lead to chaos. Also, the fact that autonomy is one of the core values of the company has turned teams quite selfish about their own goals. Cross team collaboration is almost impossible. It's so hard that ends up discouraging people from seeking to fix or do any task that involves other teams. It's like living... in a country with different factions that pretend to collaborate with one another. The company is divided into several cliques, and the old employees act as tribal leaders: don't even think about disagreeing with them. It's an EXTREMELY political company. If you hate politics, don't bother joining. It's as political as any big old organisation out there (or worse than most). Most leads are quite young and with that comes a huge ego. You will feel like going back to secondary school sometimes. Dramas, gossip, etc. It's a downside of having so many young people together. On the engineering side, it's the most unproductive company I've ever worked for. Anything that took 1 week anywhere else in TransferWise takes 4. Loads of talking, convincing and trying to understand a codebase that has become a huge patchwork of badly designed APIs, very little actual coding. Code quality is average at most. Be prepared to deal with technical debt through the roof. Because the company grows so fast, most of the engineers know very little about the current codebase. No documentation, no javadocs, just hearsay. Last but not least, the perks of being a vibrant startup are mostly gone by now. This is a huge organisation not a small startup anymore. You still get some of the basics, like free fruit etc, but it's the same as you get in any other tech company nowadays.

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    Advice to Management

    Hire more experienced people. When you get this big you need more than youth.

    TransferWise2019-03-21
  3. Helpful (11)

    "Nice work environment but issues with scaling it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are a lot of opportunities to grow and learn, especially if you are rather early in your career, as you are not really stuck in a role and specific tasks but can easily spend some time on anything which is useful for the company. Teams are mostly small, cross functional (except for some aspect like infra) and independent in how they operate. On top of teams being independent people are rather free about... where/when/how they work as long as it is not abused too much and they deliver (remote working, working from home). If you spend more time than average working in a productive way it will be acknowledged and rewarded.

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    Cons

    Weak leadership of the company and management overall. Leads have mostly ended up there based on time in the company rather than leading skills. Lack of coordination and alignment between the independent teams which reinforce a work in silos and creates confusion around the big picture. It is time to acknowledge that TransferWise is not a startup anymore even if it has managed to keep a lot of nice stuff from... that and put in place efficient structures and processes for the scale it operates at nowadays. Some can abuse the independence and freedom mentioned in the bad points with very little control on it which can be frustrating for people playing fair game. The leadership team of the company tends to micromanage or even bypass teams when things are not going in the direction they have in mind, while the root causes of lack of inspiration and alignment from them to the rest of the company doesn't seem to be much addressed.

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    TransferWise2018-11-24
  4. Helpful (6)

    "Excellent product, colleagues and culture"

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

    I worked at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Product is really good and with a clear value to customers. People is very honest. Great colleagues. Opportunity to have an impact in whatever you want, it's up to you to decide where your responsibilities end. Most of the projects are challenging and fun. You and your team will prioritise and decide what to do each quarter. Very team oriented, lot of amazing people.

    Cons

    - Salaries for Software Engineers are bellow average for a Fintech; value added by the engineering work deserves a better compensation. - Not for you if you just want somebody to tell you what to do/build

    TransferWise2018-02-18
  5. "Software Engineering intern"

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

    I worked at TransferWise for less than a year

    Pros

    TransferWise has an amazing company culture, which can be sensed on a daily basis as well as during the company's annual Summer days. The teams at TransferWise have a lot of autonomy, which means that you really get to have an impact on the product and mold it even as an intern

    Cons

    I was placed in a team without a specific mentor. A mentor would have been very helpful at least during the first month in order to make my introduction to the codebase smoother.

    Advice to Management

    A more structured internship program with specific mentors and feedback loops would make the internship experience a bit more valuable.

    TransferWise2016-10-20
  6. Helpful (6)

    "Reinventing Banking"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The best of working at TransferWise is the amazing people who I work every day, we choose smart and nice people that can help us build the best team to beat the traditional Banking industry

    Cons

    Work is really hard but salary is average

    TransferWise2015-10-07
  7. Helpful (2)

    "Get things done together"

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

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

    Pros

    Real customer focus, a lot to learn from your colleagues. Awesome drive in people, great community... And so much more! Travelling, getting to know people, flexible and supporting environment.

    Cons

    ehm... Well the coffee machine breaks sometimes

    Advice to Management

    Keep it the way it is

    TransferWise2015-06-18
  8. "Join if you want to b e a part of the revolution"

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

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

    Pros

    One of the fastest moving FinTechs to work for. Lot to learn and expand horizons in directions. Very nice people to work with and learn from Quality work to keep you motivated Extremely supportive team Flexibility of work

    Cons

    Sometimes there is a lot to do at ones

    TransferWise2019-10-21
  9. "friendly and welcoming culture with modern tech challenges you've always dreamed of"

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

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

    Pros

    You work on things at scale. Many of the challenges that smaller companies are afraid of wasting their time, over-optimizing for, are crucial here. You're trusted to do your work independently and given support when you ask for it. Engineers (and all team members!) are completely involved and relied upon during project planning - so you always have a say in what your team will work on. Flexible remote... working policy (e.g. expecting a delivery at home today, traveling, etc.) Travel opportunities to work with teammates or cross-teammates from other offices

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    Cons

    There is a chance some of your work will be on legacy code (Java 8, groovy, grails, angular 1.x), but this is quickly changing and as of late 2019 many services have upgraded to a newer Java (11+) and/or latest frameworks (React, Spring). Fragmented frontend code. TW has taken a "microservices for frontend" approach which is more difficult to work with (versus the ease of developing a true SPA). Team structure... happens organically which makes sense to those involved but looks quite strange from anyone trying to understand where to go for specific help. Some times it's very obvious and other times it's not. Too much information. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of nontrivial initiatives going on at once and keeping abreast is challenging but somewhat expected of you (to a degree).

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    Advice to Management

    Training should not stop at onboarding or be completely left up to the individual teams. A . formal plan for keeping engineers at above a particular level of competency would work wonders. Especially as internal tooling, libraries, and best practices are created.

    TransferWise2019-10-09
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great company, great people, product brings great value, product is good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - freedom of choice of what to work on - involvement in product thinking & evolvement - multinational company with a great culture, opportunity to work with smart & interesting people - the product is in exciting and hype domain (finance) - the product brings value to the people around the world

    Cons

    - sometimes too much of freedom which kinda create a lack of ownership and management

    Advice to Management

    - I would hire less but really great people from more exciting, ~stronger and bigger companies than TransferWise (e.g Google, Apple, Github, StackOverflow, Airbnb, Intercom, Spotify etc.).

    TransferWise2019-07-29
Found 27 reviews