I have been working at Index Exchange (More than a year)
Free lunches, great benefits, flexible hours, open-concept office, etc. - standard benefits/perks most tech companies have. The story of the company, the leadership and its amazing growth are what makes it unique. Definitely different than other companies in the space in terms of how it has evolved and grown -
teenage founder, no VC, key pivot into a full-fledged tech company, organic growth, fully private with no need/aspirations to go public/get acquired. The growth in both revenue and headcount is absolutely insane.
Working environment is intense but rewarding - they aren't kidding when they say 'fast paced'. From the ceo on down some of the smartest people and best leaders I have worked with. I have been given more room and support here to try new and different approaches than any other company. Expectations are high but there's absolutely room to fail and learn as well. I have yet to have a day where I have been bored. Has been a great magnet for Ad Tech talent across all teams/offices - lots of great people to learn from.
A lot of what needs to happen next is already in progress. No company is without 'growing pains' and IX has had their share. Huge project currently underway to shore up management in Engineering - this has completely changed how Engineering is run (for the better). They've been very lucky to bring in 6+ experienced and amazing leaders in 2017. Still lots of work to do across the company in terms of growing up, formalizing policies and processes (both big and small) and getting ready to continue to scale the company.
Like all growing companies IX struggles with how to stay loyal to long-time employees but also usher in change. This very localized to certain teams/departments but something they'll need to continue to address as they grow and their needs evolve.
Not a lot of formal frameworks for learning - both internally and in a professional development sense. Internal knowledge transfer, onboarding, etc seems to be a work in progress - so you need to be comfortable approaching the right people to fill in the gaps. Same can be said for review/feedbacks - no standard exists across the company and thus it can vary from team to team. Core focus on Engineering can sometimes come at the expense of properly growing other teams or even related disciplines within Engineering.
Advice to Management
Continue the recent trend of focusing on building and scaling the company in a sustainable way. Make sure leadership is aligned with the areas they excel in and hire experts to address gaps that emerge. Keep tech as your core focus and work to introduce even more strong leaders across that side of the business. Work hard to keep talent within the company and provide more defined avenues for growth. Create a professional development fund to aid in learning and advancement.
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Index Exchange (Waterloo, ON) in December-2016.
Nothing really different from what everyone else has said. Coding challenge on Codility was first -- as someone else mentioned, you have to go about the string manipulation question the correct way first, otherwise you won't have time to finish comfortably. The SQL part is challenging enough if you have not had experience with non-trivial queries. I didn't do extremely well on this part unfortunately.
I was told within the next day I'd have a phone interview, they gave me the topics beforehand too. The interview itself is a lot of definitions, but if you don't really know this stuff, some of the questions could throw you off. I thought it was pretty painless. Interviewer was very pleasant.
Since it was snowing pretty hard I was offered a Skype interview with a lead engineer for a technical interview a few days later. Two SQL questions, they expect you to walk through your thoughts with them. Then I was assigned to create a data type in an object-oriented language; here they want efficient solutions, and they want to know why. Very friendly interviewer, but she will challenge you on your solution. Some behavioural questions too; Index wants people that are fun to work with. Even if you're a good engineer, you may not be a good cultural fit for them.
The next morning I was told I was invited to visit the Kitchener office to meet the Engineering Manager and a lead engineer for another chat. This wasn't very technical at all; some questions about my experience in my former positions and as a developer in general, but mainly just personal questions. Again, here they really wanted to get a sense of me as an individual. However, I'm pretty sure I was the only applicant with an interview that day, so I think it was mostly a formality. I received an offer a few hours after I left.
All in all, the process was not stressful, and if you're prepared and well-versed in the topics, you can do fine. Everyone is very friendly and want to make sure you succeed, but they have their standards too.
I didn't negotiate, I'm still fairly junior and what they offered was what I expected.