- Celonis SE14.Sep. 2018
There's a huge push to grow large enough for an IPO in 2020, and the pressure is beginning to cause issues. People are, in response to the pressure, exaggerating job descriptions or benefits (HR) or product details (Tech areas or sales) or shading truths to meet goals. Between employees internally this doesn't seem like much of an issue, but the cumulative stack of exaggerations add up to outright lies at times with customers, which employees are then stuck either being silent about (if possible), supporting, or resigning (the option I took).
Where this issues doesn't hit you though, the day-to-day work is mostly just friendly workers having fun on cool projects. People get along well and like one another and are helpful and friendly. The upside of being in a place where the employees are pushed to spend their lives for the company is a fairly tight-knit group of people excited about working together, and this can be a lot of fun.
As noted with communication above, there seem to be few to no avenues for feedback from employees. There is a clear and open push from the company to grow for the 2020 IPO and everything is oriented around what will help reach that goal. There is an accompanying lack of focus on employee welfare in comparison to many other firms (at least based on my experience, which is longer than Celonis has existed) and this is shown with an openness that is a bit surprising at times.
In my own particular case, pushback on issues related to my own position was completely unhelpful. I arrived to find a job situation very different than the one described to me, and while I went to my manager about this early and discussed it a number of times before finally resigning, the impression I got as I was leaving was that my consistent and raised concerns had never been passed on. As such, my own personal experience had a disconnect between the broader communications from upper management and my interactions with my own manager; anything in between I can't speak to.
The people at the lower levels at this firm are really great. This is one of the best parts of working here; truly fun, thoughtful, interesting, intelligent coworkers who want to make something together. Pretty damn cool.
This is one of the best parts of the company. The work itself, if you're on the right team, can be fascinating and cool, and the core software is just a totally awesome and useful technology. Very interesting.
Once a month there's a company-wide meeting in which the founders talk mostly about the company as a whole and their vision from a business-perspective. There's little or no real discussion of the employment situation, and very limited and controlled opportunities for employee feedback. Communication mostly just goes one way.
This is in stark contract to my previous two companies where management regularly sought employee feedback and shared results of employee surveys to discuss the current state and how it would be improved.
I watched one employee get let go for cultural misunderstandings, and I heard of other problematic instances (e.g. a story circled about female employees at the higher levels getting touched by customers at a company party). A number of other rumors indicated sometimes-problematic behavior (or just general unprofessionalism; e.g. people getting yelled at) in this vein at higher levels as well, though it was all indirect so I can't personally speak to validity.
On the lower levels it's pretty fair overall. There is a bit of a male-dorm kind of spirit which can at times be annoying, comments people make or small things they do, but it seems fairly clear that it's not meant badly; they just genuinely don't know better. And frankly, what would one expect from a company that's primarily made up of Informatik students? Would be good if the company instituted some training about this (and wise for them to do so before some offhand comment actually turns into an issue) but for anyone not in upper management it's unlikely to be an issue unless you look for it.
Umgang mit älteren Kollegen
There are too few older colleagues in the company to have a general sense.
Karriere / Weiterbildung
If there's further training I haven't heard of it. For a career, some people seem to think having worked here is good for their CV to get a better next job and maybe they use it that way. For a lot of others, they're pushed to give their all to help the company grow but not to grow themselves unless it helps the company directly.
I'd bet that if you could sell it being useful to the company you could get some support for additional training or courses, but you'd have to sell it yourself, it's not a focus of the firm.
Gehalt / Sozialleistungen
Developers and the younger technical group are openly known to be underpaid. Many are hired straight from Uni and are brainwashed into thinking the company is so cool that they shouldn't mind this, or that it's not true. As a result the company really pushes salaries down. The company was recently declared worth a Billion dollars and proudly and repeatedly sent this news out to the employees asking them to share it! The irony of doing this without ever once mentioning stock options or any other benefit to employees didn't seem to occur to them, and seems generally representative of the attitude. Employees are encouraged to celebrate the growing wealth of the management, but not entitled to take part in that growth.
Free fruit, free müsli, food vouchers for full-time employees (not praktikanten), decent vacation amount, it's not anywhere near the best company out there but overall it's pretty good in this area. Computers provided aren't the fastest out there but more than suffice, and the space is getting tighter but still reasonable. Of note, adjustable desks are the norm. That's a fairly noteworthy standout in a positive direction; here's hoping this becomes an industry norm.
Umwelt- / Sozialbewusstsein
German culture in general is pretty good about this, but the company adds nothing to that itself, and if anything seems slightly less-concerned than the average German (or perhaps I should say, about as concerned as the average Informatik student).
This is one area where the firm marketing and reality differ meaningfully. There is much talk about flexibility and a results-focus, but the actual culture fairly openly expects a 9 AM arrival and encourages staying as late as possible. Much of this is not "mandatory" and a fair percentage of people leave by around 7 or so, but they all still check and answer emails after and working much later is common.
There's also a great deal of pressure to spend more time at the firm, to participate in company events, and to act excited about it. Even admitting that you might not want to be there is sort of frowned upon, and in one case my mentioning that I was going home at 7 during a training week instead of staying for the evening socializing resulted in my being sought out and told by the HR head that the dinner was in fact mandatory, and that my attendance the entire week from 9 AM to 10 PM was required.
If you can say no well and hold a firm line you might be okay most weeks here here but that won't win you any points. The company wants you to make their world yours so you may have to choose; do well in the firm or have a personal life with anyone who doesn't work there.
Pretty good overall.
- There are two levels to this. The first is that I think it's clear and obvious that employees should get stock options. It would enable employees to take part in the results of their hard work without detracting from the momentum of the firm in any way; it seems to me the obvious choice. On the second level, I've thought a lot about what anyone might have been able to do to prevent the situation I landed in. I've concluded that there was no easy solution; a handful of acts from a single person were the primary cause of a daisy chain of issues, and it was only through post-departure follow-up from former colleagues that I even finally understood it all. I may have understood that earlier if I'd gone to HR independently as well. It was at the time unclear to me to whom I would have gone for such or how that would have been helpful even if I'd thought to do so. As the company is growing so fast a clearer and earlier presentation from HR of the role they wish to play in the firm and if/how they could actually be helpful if issues do come up might be good. Even in suggesting that though I recognize how hard it is; wish I had better.
The people (below management levels) and the work. These are the best parts of the firm by far.
The growing pressure to grow and sell by any means, even if they're not really honest, and the undervaluing of the employees.
It's worth noting that I was, for a time, the only Machine Learning Engineer in the company (to my surprise; I'd explicitly asked about this in my interview and was told I'd be joining a team greater than 8). I note this because Machine Learning is one of the places where the stack of exaggerations about products becomes most clear, as ML is so hyped these days. As such, for any considering a position in this team it's worth exploring this issue in more depth. The stack of every person exaggerating a little bit what actually exists and how it actually works means that what the customer finally hears and the code you see may be completely unrelated Worth asking about in advance and trapping for this issue early if you can.
Folgende Benefits wurden mir geboten
- FirmaCelonis SE
- Position/Hierarchiekeine Angabe