I worked at Index Exchange full-time for more than a year
This is the first time I've given a 5 star rating ... for anything. That's not to say the company is perfect, but the cons are small enough that I don't feel it's fair to take a full star for them.... With that...
- Work / life balance is insane. Attention is paid to not over-committing, timelines are generous, arranging time away from the office (WFH, sick/personal days, vacation, etc) is trivial, and the hours are extremely flexible.
- Career growth (in engineering) - managers pay attention to every single engineer, discuss goals and work on getting them accomplished. That's not to say that promotions are handed out easily, but there is a clear path to a promotion, and enough guidance to get there. If you want a promotion, and are willing to do the work, one will come for sure. Additionally, there's enough budget for training, conferences, books, etc, and whoever *wants* it, gets it. Finally, there's enough smart people in key positions that everyone can learn from.
- Tech - sure, there's legacy stuff that isn't all that exciting (much like anywhere else), but the company is going all out on modernizing it's tech stack, so engineers get to work with some of the latest stuff out there (Kubernetes, Golang, CI/CD pipelines, latest versions of Angular, etc).
- Company culture - people are very friendly and teams do work as teams rather than groups of people. The formula for "team building" seems to be working here.
- Office - very modern, open, some pretty cool gadgets, electronic white boards, massive conferencing screens, etc.
- Job security and compensation - managers will work with engineers to course correct if needed, and they have lots of patience if they see improvement. Company has had just a few forced departures over the past little while, and they were never a surprise to either the person forced out, or the rest of engineering. They try to retain people at all cost, and when people need a change, there's an opportunity to go to a different department, work on different things, etc. The compensation is fair as well - not as generous as the top 5 companies out there, but definitely beyond reasonable.
- Solving interesting problems - this is individual, but the scale at which the company operates demands that the problems are solved in a creative and efficient way. Also, problems are solved bottom-up, meaning engineers design solutions and implement them, rather than solutions being pushed from above and engineering is just to blindly implement.
- Locations - there are multiple to choose from for now (although once you pick, it's difficult to switch). There's engineering offices downtown, uptown, in KW, Montreal...
- Transparency - company goes out of it's way to share how things are going on all fronts with everyone. People know when the company is doing great, and also when it's time to do better.
- Other perks - free lunches, wall full of snacks / drinks, company swag (you can go for a full week in clothes provided by IX), team outings (every 2 months, with some crazy budgets), company 2-3 day events (engineering hackathon, all hands, etc).
I can't say there's none, but I don't think any is significant enough to be a deal breaker. Here's some:
- Sometimes Product can be a bit on the difficult side. It's not unheard of in the industry..., but this place isn't immune to it either.
- The legacy code needs to go away sooner, or needs to be fixed as it's slowing down delivery across the board, and it's just painful to work in.
- There's times when the conversation just goes in circles, and meetings tend to run too long. Some managers contribute to this problem instead of fixing it. In general, fewer meetings and more efficient meetings would be nice.
- Some groups just aren't great with committing to timelines - there's constant and unexplained delays for many things (moves, survey results, etc).
- Part of the compensation package are "stock options" that in reality aren't worth anything at the moment, and this is unlikely to change in near to mid-term future.
- Career path outside engineering isn't very clearly defined. For some positions it's unclear what's considered "a job well done".
- There's some office politics, but this doesn't trickle down much to the engineers.