Symbian
3.8 of 5 20 reviews
www.symbianfoundation.org London, United Kingdom 1 to 5 Employees

Symbian Reviews

Updated Nov 20, 2013

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3.8 20 reviews

                             

0% Approve of the CEO

Symbian Executive Director Tim Holbrow

Tim Holbrow

(1 ratings)

81% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews
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Great Software Company

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
London, England (UK)

I worked at Symbian

ProsThere was a real focus on the software, and keeping the engineers happy. More so than I have ever seen at any other company.

ConsUnder resourced. Our internal and external customers asked for a lot - there was always too much to do, and not enough time to do it in.

Advice to Senior ManagementOverall a fine job. We had a vision of the way forward, and apart from minor issues along the way, we tended to execute that vision.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good lifestyle, poor pay

Graduate Software Engineer (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsWork life balance is very good
Management are sensible w.r.t work practices..felxitime, no suits etc etc

Conspay/compensation is below average
middle management are often flaky
attitude towards promotion/work reviews isn't great

Advice to Senior Managementreward the efforts of workers in line with other companies. continue to respect the style in which employees may choose to work

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Compensation and benefits good, managers need improvement.

Network Engineer (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsThe compensation is at least comparable with similar London-based companies, at least in Information Systems. ~This may be due to the presence of city-based companies (i.e. financial institutions) in the vicinity - although it will be interesting to see how their difficulties at present influence Symbian's compensation packages.

The benefits are good, especially medical insurance, which a number of people I know have made use of.

Management attitude to work/life balance is favourable, and it is always possible to take time off for necessities & emergencies.

The work is often interesting and challenging - although not always so!

ConsIS management are definitely not people-oriented, and seem to make a habit of putting their foot in their mouth every time they try to make an announcement. Furthermore, one or two in particular seem to go out of their way to avoid exchanging even a single word with some of their staff. I'm sure that some middle managers don't even know who some of their staff are, despite working yards away from them!

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease try to get managers with properly developed people skills. And please stop avoiding peoples' difficult questions about the future.

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Great people, nice place for techies, salary could be better.

Graduate Software Engineer (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsWorking atmosphere:
Friendly atmosphere. Graduates are treated great and get to form great relationships.

Work/life balance:
Flexible working hours and management is supportive when you need to be absent for medical/personal reasons.

People/fun:
Great people. Lots of drinks, social events. Chance to propose your own social events/sports.

Office environment:
The office environment depends on the floor you work at. The "worst" floors are going through major refurbishment though.

Opportunities:
There are hopefully going to be loads of opportunities now that we are becoming part of Nokia.

ConsGraduates seem to be stack with the graduate group that they joined. There are a lot of people that joined 5-10 years ago and form the core of the company. There is a great gap between them and the new joiners.

Compensation!

Not enough information about different opportunities and career paths within the company.

Advice to Senior Management-

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Enjoyable place to work, but management competency varies between teams, and not best for graduate salary.

Technical Consultant (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsWorking atmosphere:
Friendly and relaxed atmosphere (no dress code) where people are hired for their talent and then trusted to do a good job.

Work/life balance:
Flexible working hours and 5 weeks' holiday plus opportunity to buy/sell 5 days' holiday make for a good work-life balance.

Senior management:
Senior management bring a clear direction and positive vision to the company and the company's success is well communicated to employees leading to us feeling proud of what we achieve.

People/fun:
The people are great and we regularly head down the pub for drinks after work because we all enjoy each other's company. There are also team days out and a sports and social club which organises company events.

Office environment:
There is an office redecoration program in place and Symbian doesn't underestimate the importance of a good working enviroment. Free tea, coffee and fruit!

Overall benefits:
Good stakeholder pension with company contribution, healthcare plan, free phone, season ticket loan, childcare vouchers, amongst others.

ConsJob security:
The main downside at the moment for employees is that we are about to be taken over by Nokia which naturally leads to fears about job security and uncertainty about what sort of work we will be doing in the future. Additionally, Motorola have just pulled out of making Symbian phones so we have recently lost a major client.

Compensation:
The pay for graduates is comparable to that on grad schemes in other industries but within the software industry it is lower than many. I am not confident that the compensation situation is likely to improve in the near future, unless I leave and rejoin which is supposed to be the best way of obtaining a pay rise at Symbian.

Feedback/career development:
I don't believe it is that easy for graduates to progress in their career at Symbian, other than developing a technical specialisation. A few will make it to e.g. tech lead, technical architect or project manager but I believe managers generally have a preconceived idea of who is naturally "the best fit" for such a job, rather than encouraging everyone with some relevant strengths and some weaknesses to develop to the level where they would be able to apply.

Few line managers I have come across have been very interested in providing career development advice or opportunities for their reports to develop the skills they need to progress (or even giving feedback on what they believe those skills are) - for instance, in my department, appraisals are frequently conducted late, or even not at all. Having spoken to people who used to work in my department but left, I know it's not just me who thinks this.

However, having said all that, I'd say my department is worse than most at taking career development seriously, and there are a mentoring scheme and plenty of formal training courses available, an internal job board to see what else is available, and the opportunity to do secondments (though those have dried up a bit at the moment what with the Nokia acquisition), so it's not all bad, but you need to be prepared to take responsibility for your own development.

Advice to Senior ManagementConsistency between teams (singing from the same hymn sheet):
I think that there are plenty of good improvement schemes happening within Symbian, but with the company growing at the rate it is, more needs to be done to ensure change initiatives are taken seriously across the whole company and rolled out in a consistent way - at the moment it seems to me there is plenty of variation between departments and line managers.

Communication/feedback:
While there are good channels for feedback from employees to senior management (employee satisfaction survey, sounding board) which is acted upon in a top-down way, I would also like to see more of a bottom-up feedback culture where employees can give feedback to and via managers.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Graduate pay is much too low and rises disrespecfully slowly.

Graduate Software Engineer (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsSymbian is a great company with very talented people. A Software Engineer can make a real impact on people's lives with over 200million devices out there. There is a great graduate scheme with brilliant recruitment process - The best I've ever experinced in any Tech company. There are good benefits in general with 5 weeks paid holiday and a 5% company bonus. Possible to become an expert in a certain area very quickly. Current employees about to become Nokia employees which can only be a good thing. Very relaxed atmosphere. market leaders. need eight more words to fill this box.

ConsPay within Symbian is very substandard. Graduates salaries do not reflect the technical nature of the jobs they do, with graduates in certain "lesser" teams being promoted before those in better teams where the technical side of the role is substantially harder. (Kernel verses System Test).
There is no salary negotiations, with the CFO dictating pay rises (or lack thereof considering inflation).

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat graduates with more respect in terms of salary and grades P1 to P2 should be considerably higher pay increase.
LMs should be gunning for promotions for graduates, not scolding them when they ask for a pay rise.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good Place to Work and Grow. Bad and Old Technology for Operating Systems.

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
London, England (UK)

I worked at Symbian

ProsThere are some stupid managers BUT, if you are lucky enough, you can find some superb manager that will help you grow skill and career wise. And you have a certain degree of "possibility to move around", so you would be likely to change manager and, so, try different ones.

The company, even if relatively small, is structured as a big one, with all the services and processes that are important to manage correctly (and fairly) people.

ConsThere are only very few young managers: this made the company being stuck on their dominance position for too long, and today it's going to sink while other companies are entering the market with fresh, modern, new products.

Advice to Senior ManagementInnovation should be, sometime, rewrite stuff from scratch: Symbian had ages to do that, but the company always preferred to focus on "binary compatibility".
With all the people hired, it would have been possible to focus on Binary Compatibility AND start a complete new Operating System.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good brand, but uncertaininty due to recent news about Symbian Foundation

Project Manager (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsGood brand to work in the industry. Symbian is widely known brand and a global company. It provides great opportunity to work in one of the most dynamic industry.
Likely to be taken over by Nokia i.e., opportunity to work for the largest mobile phone manufacturer.
Good senior leadership team.

ConsCompensation.
Far too many changes. There has been number of changes being introduced, employees are losing the commitment to a change - because the change will be replaced by another one!
Limited growth opportunities. Though Symbian is growing, external applicants seems to be given priority compare to internal applicants.
Uncertaininty due to recent news about Symbian Foundation.

Advice to Senior ManagementImprove compensation/benefits and manage changes

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Symbian - a happy place to work.

Engineering Manager (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at Symbian

ProsThe calibre of the majority of other employees. The presence of a strong social programme. A good benefits package. The training opportunities for non-technical competencies is very good and applying and being accepted for training courses is automated and rarely declined. Communication of company news via monthly team briefs is excellent and most welcome.

ConsThe difficulty of removing less than stellar employees. Some of the communication is inconsistent - not all teams get the same level of quality of information cascade.

Advice to Senior ManagementAggressively continue the current programme of improvements. Information in team cascades could be made more interesting and relevant to the engineering teams.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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symbian bangalore

Graduate Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Bangalore (India)

I have been working at Symbian

Prosgreat work culture, informal atmosphere, good benefits.. and good compensation in India. Although thats a big issue in uk.

Consnew starters are integrated into the sytem very slow

Advice to Senior Managementnothing much

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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