AltaML Reviews

Updated Jul 28, 2021

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Found 17 of over 29 reviews

3.8
55%
Recommend to a Friend
86%
Approve of CEO
AltaML Co-Founders Cory and Nicole Janssen (no image)
Cory and Nicole Janssen
12 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Game Changer

    Jun 16, 2021 - Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    AltaML has the most engaging, collaborative and inclusive work culture. I was hired during Covid and still have yet to meet most of the team in person. What is amazing is that I have never felt more connected to a team that I have never met. Even at previous roles where I was interacting in-person, the atmosphere at AltaML is humble and everyone is invested in our mission and vision. If you want to be part of a team that helps you grow professionally and personally - this is it. Cory and Nicole make time to speak to everyone (no matter what your title is). There are moments of vulnerability that are shared at our weekly All Hands (our learnings, our stories) that allow us to feel that we can bring our true selves to work. What a game changer.

    Cons

    It can get very busy (but in the best way), so as long as you are able to lean on your team for help it is manageable.

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  2. 2.0
    Current Employee

    Good people, but swings between not doing things and bureaucratic box ticking

    Jul 28, 2021 - Manager in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    They have a very good DEI culture. Good work life balance if you are not in a niche technical role (basically anything other than Machine Learning/Data Science developers). Great place to launch a data science career. No jerks. I haven't met one mean person here.

    Cons

    We used to have a pretty open culture. That is now gone, a combination of it not mattering (as little gets done about employee problems and concerns anyway as follow through is terrible) and them lecturing people using the suggestion box as "negative." Increasingly bureaucratic. Endless forms and slide decks and reports and updates and time tracking. Main piece of management software is a checkbox software called Squadley where we have to generate goals we all view as useless to check off each quarter. I only ever hear from my manager about my goals, not my day to day project work. It is worse than when I worked for the provincial government. It is a decent place to be. Less so if you actually want to get work done.

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  3. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Decent consulting practice, but more bluster than anything else

    Jun 25, 2021 - Technology Analyst in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Direct manager is excellent. I have a resignation letter for the minute it is announced he is leaving. He's the only reason I don't leave right away. - Lots of people to do interview prep with on work time.

    Cons

    - Turnover is high. Someone has left every day this week. - One new group has lost most of its original employees despite being founded less than a year ago. - Squadley. Ask any rank and file member at AltaML about Squadley. - Senior management is a blocker on everything. - No career growth. - Steady stream of firings. - Management has weekly all-hands meetings to pat themselves on the back. - Company that is deliberately located in Canada for cheap labour. Stated in a pitch deck they presented.

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    4 people found this review helpful

    AltaML Response

    Thanks for your feedback. We agree it is a very competitive market and we have lost some good people, but we have also made several strategic hires. In fact, we’ve had 26 people join AltaML over the last 3 months alone. In addition, we have hired 20 Associate Machine Learning Developers to join our Applied AI Lab. Our priorities over the next quarter include advancing professional development opportunities, improving communication on new initiatives, and ensuring an inclusive, equitable work environment.

  4. 1.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Great for ML Developers, not so great for anything else

    Apr 27, 2021 - Developer in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    If you love ML and are an ML developer, you will get treated very well. There is no other company in the area that will give you more ML experience than AltaML. You will be given all the tools you need to succeed and will be put on some very interesting projects with some not so interesting projects in there as well, but that is the reality of the private sector. If you are a Project Manager or Product Manager you will also be treated well and be allowed to gain valuable experience communicating with high profile clients in a high stress environment.

    Cons

    If you are not in one of those rolls mentioned above, you will be treated like an unwanted step-child. Many of the departments outside of Project/Product Management and Data Science seem like they receive almost zero budget. There are many other companies that I would suggest applying to first if you are into software development or anything outside datascience. The culture unfortunately has been much worse than it used to be, due to managers hiring employees that are for lack of a better term, arrogant. I've seen a good portion of the employee base have actual mental breakdowns on a regular basis due to bad culture and workload.

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    5 people found this review helpful

    AltaML Response

    Thank you for your feedback! We have been scaling rapidly in our first three years and you’re right, some teams have grown at different rates. Finding the right balance between flexibility, agility, and growth has been challenging. As a company, we acknowledge these “growing pains”. The well-being of our staff is our priority and we have enhanced support and mental health measures during the pandemic. We are dedicated to continuous improvement. In addition to supporting systems and processes for our machine learning developers (which are the origins of our company), we have taken steps to improve service and product team processes for improved efficiency in operations and customer experience.

  5. 2.0
    Current Employee

    Good place to start, but low pay makes staying silly.

    Jul 1, 2021 - Machine Learning Engineer in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    AltaML is a good place to start your career, especially if you have little experience. The AI Lab is a great place to get your foot into the door and for full timers AltaML is pretty open to other backgrounds as well. Friendly place to get your feet wet. It is also pretty welcoming of non-traditional candidates, although that has pros and cons for co-worker capability. The company is very strong on diversity and inclusion as well as corporate learning. The name has a good reputation when job searching.

    Cons

    You would make more at even some of the low paying companies such as CIBC or even the Government of Canada based on their salary ranges, not to mention Benevity or Amazon (even in Canada) or Yelp. The pay here has fallen deeply under market as demonstrated by the perpetual job listings for more experienced people. The problem is that nothing AltaML does scales, meaning that there are no superb margins and most problems being addressed are tiny. That and a ton of government grants. Few opportunities for complex large scale work either. No real processes for anything. Whether this is good or bad depends on your personality. Unlimited vacation has its pros and cons. A big con is that the company gets passive aggressively lectured about using too much of it during all hands. Same with raises. Company is being strip mined for talent and they cannot hire replacements. Tenures are increasingly measured in months, not years. I am joining the stampede out the door.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    AltaML Response

    Thank you for your feedback. We’re happy to hear our equity and inclusion initiatives are well-received. We value the diversity of our team and are dedicated to creating a welcoming culture for people from diverse backgrounds. We value your input on growth and recruitment. Recently, we’ve made some hires on the People team and are working on a talent recruitment campaign to attract and retain top talent. As we scale, we’re committed to evolving our processes, remaining competitive, and transitioning our policies to meet the needs of our team.

  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    A Company that cares - I don't mean corporate language- but actually cares about is employees.

    Apr 23, 2021 - Client Services Team Member in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I am writing this review after a powerful internal meeting we had. In a COVID situation where people are struggling the company has stood up and is supporting its employees any way possible. The amount of effort, care and passion shown here is quite amazing and humbling. It has a positive culture that is hard to find in market. But then there is the usual of: 1. Great learning opportunity 2. Scaling company 3. A Leadership that listen's to its employee's feedback 4. A team that is willing to support you through your journey 5. A truly diverse team that respects and values diversity I would recommend it to anyone

    Cons

    I do not see anything glaring apart of the obvious pains of a scaling company.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  7. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Don't be fooled by the shininess

    Apr 29, 2021 - Other in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Unlimited vacation (if you have a boss that likes you) Flexible work hours

    Cons

    Don’t be fooled by how shiny AltaML looks from the outside. It is not a good place it work. The culture has become terrible, upper management does not seem care about employees and their well-being, managers are disorganized and don’t talk to each other, HR is non-existent, the healthcare and benefits are very poor, raises will only be given to those who go “above and beyond” (and that’s as specific as they’ll tell you), they're secretive about financials so you don't know how well the company is actually doing, and they hire under-qualified people for important roles, who then make everything worse. All of their good employees are smartly leaving for other jobs. If you’re looking for that “start-up” feel, in that you’ll be overworked and underpaid, this company is for you. If you want a company where you have an actual career path, managers who care and mentor you, and a positive work environment, do not work at AltaML.

    4 people found this review helpful

    AltaML Response

    We appreciate your feedback! We have grown from 20 to 120 employees in 3 years and try to maintain the culture and values that help us shine. We embrace our quirks -- warts and all as we live our value of Agile and continue to iterate to make improvements. We value positive culture, employee health and well-being, and professional development. To support our team, we have guided meditations, stretching sessions, education programs, and an Employee and Family Assistance Program. We are in the process of revamping our benefits plan to make it more robust, based on feedback from employees. As with most private companies we share some financial information with all staff and the Co-CEOs have discussed in broad terms how we are doing including sharing cash on hand, revenue and net income. Our People team (we purposefully do not use the work HR) is very active and has grown to support our growing company. After significant changes in our organizational structure, we experienced a gap in communication, which we have taken steps to improve. These improvements include, better strategic planning, goal tracking by all team members, alignment on priorities, leadership portfolio updates, and transparency on current projects and initiatives. To help our staff advance in their careers, we have implemented fair and equitable compensation practices, professional development opportunities, and career planning.

  8. 2.0
    Former Employee

    disorganized

    Jul 21, 2021 - PdM 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    friendly people that are easy to work with

    Cons

    very disorganized with focus on some unimportant stuff

    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Love working here

    May 13, 2021 - ML Developer in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    One of the best ML teams anywhere. Great people to work with. Like the focus on responsible AI and the variety of projects.

    Cons

    Crazy pace with how fast company is growing.

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  10. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Work environment

    May 14, 2021 - ML Engineer in Edmonton, AB
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Every day you learn something new

    Cons

    It has branches in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton but No branch in Vancouver.

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    AltaML Response

    Thank you for your review! We are happy to hear that you are learning something new every day. We are excited to see what is on the horizon in terms of growth and opportunities across Canada.

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