I worked at CeleraOne full-time (More than a year)
The main advantage of working at CeleraOne is the international environment: engineers are coming from all over the world. When it is also your case, you have then many opportunities to create connections, get help or advice to settle in Berlin, but also learn about different cultures.
Regarding your daily life at the company, of course you will get free fruits and beverages. Of course there is a weekly Thursday lunch (paid by employees though) to get to know more each other. But do we really need to speak about that? This list of perks is pretty common in any company nowadays. And this is the minimum you can expect to find when coming at work every day.
So what appears to be the main advantage of working there (an international team), is also the only advantage at all at the end…
As stated in the job descriptions, it is true that many clever engineers are working at CeleraOne. But what is the purpose of hiring great people, when you stifle their creativity with bad management?
Well, I guess that all those people have been fooled by the many lies written in the job descriptions themselves. So what do you think about going through some of them? It is probably worth the effort, as many of these lies are sleeping there since several years now:
- Did you hear about a "modern technology stack", or "state-of-the-art technologies"? Yes, they probably exist. But not at CeleraOne. Many software dependencies are pinned to outdated versions for example (sometimes a couple of years old). Upgrading them would just take too much time, and probably break everything.
- Are you “interested in long-term growth and relations” with your managers? Are you looking for “high-level trainings"? Then forget about it! Don't dare even thinking about going to conferences: they are just way too much expensive… You are here to work, not to learn.
In fact, the management has a very short-term view, and doesn't really have a vision for the product they sell (or maybe making more money?). The result is that a lot of people get frustrated:
- the developers, who have to complete one ticket after another. And at the same time, try to understand strange code written by people who left many years ago, and are now living in a galaxy far, far away.
- the project managers, who are asked by the C-level to push people forward. But as developers are blocked in monstrous tech-debt nightmares, customers never stop to complain, which puts project managers under a lot of pressure.
No surprise that none of these people like to stay too long in this situation. Sooner or later, the most talented prefer to leave the company, to not get out-of-sync with the job market demand, or to avoid the burn-out.
But if you still plan to work there, just be prepared to never have the chance to tackle any challenging task. Most of the tickets are about fixing bugs, writing dirty workarounds to get things done quickly, or extending web API endpoints. Nothing fancy… But you will be well paid for that.
Ahem. In fact, don’t even dream about it. Because what is the main advantage of the company (i.e., working in an international team), turns out to be also the main disadvantage for employees. Depending of where you come from, you will not get the same salary than the guy sitting next to you. Even if you are both highly qualified: people from the West just make more money than those from the East. Unfair you said? For sure! But that's how human management works at CeleraOne.
Advice to Management
Dear C-level, do you want to improve this situation?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any magic recipe to give you. But maybe some advice.
The bad news is that many of your employees already gave you such advice in the past. But many of them also left the company since. Perhaps where you deaf at this time? Or maybe had you other plans for the company?
However, in order to not make their efforts futile, the simplest solution could be to start listening to your most dedicated employees. I mean, not only your managers. But also your engineers. Those people who develop the software you are selling. Without their energy, nothing would have been ever possible.
Also, it is well known that you have been recently acquired by your biggest customer, Axel Springer. Has the time come to make your mea culpa? Will you take advantage of this situation to write a new page of the company's story? I hope so.
When you fall into a hole, it is useless to dig dipper to try getting out. The only solution is to catch the hand of the one who wants to help you. This good Samaritan is not hard to find. In fact, s/he is sitting somewhere around in your office. And s/he is fully committed to give the better of him/herself, for the company success. A good idea could be to start showing some respect for his/r work. Because this person is your Employee.
I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at CeleraOne (Berlin (Germany)).
I was assigned a simple task: developing a web application that interfaced with Github's API. Then I went through a series of Skype calls with engineers and CEO of the company.
The first interview probed my technical skills. In the second interview we went through my solution to the task assigned, and they did some more probing of my technical skills.
I believe the third interview was performed by a higher ranking engineer (CTO maybe?), and we mostly discussed the company's operations and stack.
Finally I met with the CEO, and we discussed my interest in the company, operations, and compensation.
From first contact I had a fantastic time, everyone (HHRR, Engineers, CEO) was approachable and accommoddating
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