Wise Software Developer Reviews

Updated 7 Apr 2021

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4.2
87%
Recommend to a Friend
90%
Approve of CEO
Wise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
13 Ratings
  1. "Awesome Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    - Flexible Working/Good WLB - Product/Customer Focusing - Autonomy - Great Colleagues - Fantastic Mission

    Cons

    Nothing I can think of at the moment.

  2. COVID-19
    Helpful (4)

    "Fine Environment, Nothing Special, Not Many Perks"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England, England
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Autonomous teams are good, but fairly ubiquitous in today's tech companies. The offices are nice and there is the yearly summer days event. The product itself is useful and the mission is admirable.

    Cons

    Questionable priorities that are not always transparent to the employees. Since COVID there hasn't been much support for working from home - a one-time £100 reimbursement for equipment does not go very far. Benefits vary widely between offices - New York employees receive 16 weeks paternity while for most other offices it is only 2-3 weeks. Management has been pushing teams to "not become complacent" at a time when a lot of employees are struggling.

    Continue reading

    Wise Response

    March 4, 2021People Team Lead

    Thank you for taking the time to leave this review. Lockdown has been difficult for all of us, but it’s particularly sad ro read that you feel Wise is not supporting the team through this. It’s definitely not what we want our people to feel and we can only get better by receiving feedback like this. I really hope you’ve felt able to voice your concerns to your Team Lead or a member of the People team. If you feel comfortable coming forward, I’m happy to have a confidential chat with you or I can connect you with another member of the People team. Feel free to reach out to me. Best wishes, Maire.


  3. "The best company I worked so far"

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting job, smart people around, good company culture

    Cons

    Some of the teams are quite overloaded with work.

  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great culture!"

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

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

    Pros

    I absolutely love it here. People are generally helpful, the culture is great, there's a lot of transparency and trust and opportunities to grow even beyond your area of core competence. 💯 Would recommend!

    Cons

    Not a major one, but I think pay could be better. But then transparency and consistency with pay ranges has it pros. Unlike where I worked before, you'd rarely find people talking about being unfairly paid compared to some other person on the same level. That removes a lot of bad blood

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  5. Helpful (9)

    "Full of people pretending to be nice"

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

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

    Pros

    - TransferWise employees get to travel a lot. - Free lunch on Friday

    Cons

    - Full of people who are nice to your face but care about the company more than you. - Their technical stack is very old. With the goal of every piece of work that is done to make some money it’s left their products in a terrible position as there is no attempt to pay off technical debt. The load speed of some their web pages on mobile are what you’d expect to see from someone who has just started web development and has no idea what they’re doing. - Lots of the sites logic is stuck in templates - The tech leads are completely evangelical about outdated principles from books way out of date.

    Continue reading

    Wise Response

    September 23, 2020People Team Lead

    Hi, thanks for taking the time to share your current experience at TransferWise, I’m sorry to hear some of the concerns you are sharing, it sounds like you’ve been facing some real challenges. If you feel comfortable to make yourself known, I can find some time to sit down and talk about the issues you raised face to face and Harsh has said he’s also happy to connect with you and discuss your concerns. Whether it’s with me, your lead or, someone else you trust in the People team to talk things through confidentially, we'd really like to hear more and see what we can do to improve things for you. Feel free to slack me, Jihan

  6. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome place to work for people that like dynamic environment"

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

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

    Pros

    - Good work-life balance - Fast-growing company - Stock options for all employees - High level of transparent - Reasonably flat organization - Owners and leadership are accessible - It's truly mission driven - In general, people are quite nice - Teams are highly autonomous (which I really like, but it can also be a con depending on what you're looking for)

    Cons

    - TransferWise really cares about its mission and that's quite nice, but sometimes I wish that we could have more missions other than only "Money without borders". For example, we are not very into closing economic gap, or reducing gender inequality. - In general, people here are quite nice and when someone is clearly rude the person receives feedback and can get eventually fired. However, there are some grey areas, especially when the person is rude but at the same time the person is a high performer. If it was up to me, I would not allow this "rude but high performer" people in TransferWise.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "5 out of 5 if you're looking to join a fintech company"

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

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

    Pros

    Given that most people visiting here would be considering job opportunities, or even job offers from TransferWise, let me just make it clear: this is a company that you won't regret joining, if you're confident, independent-thinking, self-motivated and driven by doing the right things while learning from others, then this is the place. It's not without shortcomings, far from it, but compared to most companies, it is a unique place wherever you're in your career. But make sure you're prepared for a tough but fun ride with a lot of people that you'd like to work together, that is if you're acclimated to the culture. There are so many pros but for a software developer (engineer), let me just tell you some facts and you can be your own judge: - It is very product engineering driven; we're talking about many engineers not only knowing their trade well (good programmers) but also caring and having deep knowledge about the products. It is also reflected in the interview process where there is a round of interview with a product manager for all the engineering candidates. - The culture feels the same when it is >400 engineers now, as when it was <100 engineers 2 years ago. Some companies would have simply met their final destination before hitting that number, and others would have different cultures that are so far from the original. Not at TransferWise. - There are so many friendly and collaborative fellow engineers, who would not hesitate to help if asked. Obviously not everybody is like that but the majority are very much so. The reason? Most of us share the same understanding of why we work at TransferWise and how we can achieve our mission, and being a humble contributor seems to be just the cure. - In terms of tech leads, IMHO it is a highly selective group of people and the bar has been held high so far. I'll say a bit more on the cons side below but the pros side is that this makes sure we have the consistency which is key to preserve and evolve the culture. Most if not all the leads are solid developers, and more or less experienced in people management too. - Oh, did I mention that Kristo, the CEO, was/is a programmer? That's not just some stories PR would like to tell you - I've reviewed his code and he cares about engineering. Nowadays he doesn't voice his opinions on engineering any more, perhaps conscious of the weight his opinions may carry; but you can rarely find another unicorn CEO having the same profile. Compensation-wise, everybody owns part of the company no matter how small (or big for some people) it is.

    Cons

    Let me say this first: every company has room to improvement, TransferWise no exception. I've always been keeping a critical eye on things because I care about the company. The scale and field TransferWise is operating on is very different from another company, so the problem we're facing sometimes exposes our shortcomings. In engineering, - Tech leads are very overloaded. From the start, the requirement is that they have to be good at both engineering and people management (as we don't have engineering manager setup like some other tech companies), as well as understand how TransferWise works. Any one of those would be a big ask, let alone three. I personally would start introducing engineering manager (people manager) in the structure. Recent career map on new IC levels also paves way for some leads who may not want to pursue a people management career to stay on the technical track. - Speaking of career, it's hard to see us offering a lot. When we were small, it's all about having the impact, not your title/level; Now we're relatively big, still with the very flat structure in engineering, there isn't much for a promising engineer to go up to, other than being a tech lead, which as I mentioned above, is pretty overloaded/overworked. Hopefully the new levels would help a bit but we may need to change something more drastically to improve that. - Diversity: not that we don't care (at least I care deeply), it's tricky to make start on this when you have an all-male and sometimes all-white interview line-up. There are some good initiatives but we can definitely do more at intern/graduate/experience levels. - Communication: it has improved greatly over time but still room for more. It's difficult given our global presence but I'm confident we'll do better. - Compensation: no bonus or performance related pay is fine when the company is small, as stock options is doing the job; as we grow, stock options may become less relevant and to attract talents who may have a preference on cash over options, this is something we should consider.

    Continue reading
  8. "Awesome Place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Flat Structure, Making an actual change, Awesome Team

    Cons

    Can't think of any at the moment.

  9. "Great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    It's been a great and supportive place to work, full of smart people all working towards the same goals.

    Cons

    The freedom can be overwhelming when joining, but making sure you ask plenty of questions, and build connections helps a lot

  10. Helpful (13)

    "Nice work environment but issues with scaling it"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England, England
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wise 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.

    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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