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Index Exchange Reviews

Updated 6 February, 2018
84 reviews

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4.4
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Index Exchange President & CEO Andrew Casale
Andrew Casale
74 Ratings

84 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Company is focused on trying to create a good work life balance for employees (in 9 reviews)

  • Free lunch on Fridays, unlimited snacks and drinks, amazing espresso machine (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • A few growing pains but all being addressed by management (in 9 reviews)

  • Company is growing fast, not enough seats (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Analyst in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Recently joined Index. Some pros are: fantastic manager, helpful and friendly coworkers, good work environment & benefits. Most importantly, challenging yet rewarding work projects.

    Cons

    Can't think of any, no company is perfect but no major cons.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "High turnover rate, inexperienced management and coworkers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free snacks
    Free lunch
    Free swag sometimes

    Cons

    No work-life balance
    Little respect for working parents
    Immature, inexperienced hires fresh out of university
    No mentoring
    Weird family business dynamic
    Managers without people skills or training (lots of internal hires and promotion)
    Little to no experienced senior people

    Advice to Management

    Don't work so much / have a life outside of work and external achievements--it'll help you understand the people who work for you better

    Index Exchange Response

    4 Dec, 2017 – Sr. Director, Engineering

    Thanks for taking the time to provide a review. I don’t know how long you’ve been away - but in 2017 we’re delighted to have hired a very strong new group of Engineering leaders. While we’re proud to... More


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Just say "No" to working here!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Enticing, modern work space. Free lunches & anytime snacks. Don't let these things fool you.

    Some people are highly skilled and smart, but sadly confined by drama.

    Cons

    IX has a lot of seemingly great people, but the company is sadly ruined by a strong minority who are dramatic, like gossip, are uncooperative, complain and fiercely do not adapt to new ways of working. Also, this difficult behavior is unfortunately supported by some poor managers.

    Company acknowledges that they need to make improvements and progress, but when you try and implement things, they ironically shut you down.

    HR does nothing in the way of creating internal programs for employees to support change management and new ways of working, and reduce resistance, nor invests in enhancing the culture of the company.

    Some people are "comfortable" in their jobs with no motivation to strive further, and are lazy and slow. Some also take things too personally, don't manage their emotions, or focus on working even a little harder or more efficiently without breaking down, calling in sick, etc.

    Product is a department to avoid. No support. Lots of gossip and drama.

    Index says they are pro remote work and have the tools for this, but that only works with people who have effective communication skills, and Index lacks greatly in this area.

    Upper management is non responsive and unhelpful to employees in general.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach. Support your managers. Focus on the job and not emotions, or whether people like each other one day or the next, or have emotional reactions when their role changes or they have to work harder. Adaptability is the key to success. Some managers need to go due to a lack of maturity. Culture needs a big shift away from drama and gossip.

    Index Exchange Response

    30 Nov, 2017 – SVP, Engineering

    We regret that your experience during your short tenure with us wasn't as you would have hoped. We wish you the very best in your career ahead. With respect to the specifics you shared, while we're a... More


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Working here keeps your mind sharp"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Other than the obvious pros stated in other reviews (lunches, gym membership, flexible hours), there are a couple of unique pros associated with this company. The biggest is the people and the culture. There's a lot of genuine respect and admiration within teams, and the spirit of teamwork is very strong here. The second pro is that the pace of work combined with the actual subject matter creates a work environment that is always intellectually stimulating and challenging. Working here keeps your mind sharp.

    Cons

    Many other reviews have addressed the rapid growth of the company and all the resulting issues, particularly in relation to management. This is definitely true and has been fairly disruptive for some teams more than others. However, I'm maintaining a positive outlook and I've found that the recent changes we've seen throughout Engineering and Product are significant and positive.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that people respond to change in very different ways, and try to provide multiple avenues through which employees can voice their concerns and ask for support.

    Also, every single employee should have a well defined career path and description of responsibilities, and they should be aware of both. Keep working on this.

    Index Exchange Response

    5 Oct, 2017 – Engineering Manager

    Thanks so much for being part of our team and sharing your perspectives here. Fully agreed on the exceptional team and the stimulating mind-sharpening work. As a relatively new Manager, I've... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great company with a positive atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My experience with Index has been great so far. The hours are flexible, the benefits package is generous, and catered lunches are provided everyday. I'm still fairly new, and my work environment has been positive so far: people are friendly, willing to help, and talented at what they do; and management has made me feel that my contributions are valued. I'm also fascinated by the work that Index does; ad tech is an interesting, fast-paced industry and I feel like I learn something new everyday.

    Cons

    Although the open-concept office is great, it can sometimes get quite loud, to the point where it can be difficult to focus on what I'm doing. It could be useful to have more quiet areas (that aren't just meeting rooms)!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Company learning from struggles"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - fast paced, growing company
    - enthusiastic leadership
    - flexible hours
    - lunches and snacks
    - frequent reviews including compensation increases
    - management willing to recognise failures and improve. They have overhauled the organisation recently based on challenges from past couple of years

    Cons

    - location is inconvenient for out of town commutes
    - the downside to a fast paced company is long hours required. Not always having to work late but it is frequent if you want to perform

    Advice to Management

    Keep showing you are willing to recognise mistakes and improve. The company has shown tremendous improvement and the pains of years ago are going away.


  8. "Good company to start with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Talented and helpful coworkers ,
    Good place to learn new stuff,
    Lunch provided,
    Monthly outing,

    Cons

    Work/life balance is a joke,
    Management are not very experienced,
    Tight deadlines most of the times.

    Advice to Management

    In long term it is not very good idea to somehow courage the employees for working long hours sometime 12 hours per day and value your employees based on the hours they work.

    Index Exchange Response

    18 Sep, 2017 – Sr. Director, Engineering

    Thanks for taking the time to submit a review. I’m glad that you enjoyed working with the talented engineers that we have in our organization. Since I’ve joined, I’ve also been amazed by the... More


  9. Helpful (13)

    "It's a mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time

    Pros

    The perks come in the form of free lunches everyday, and fully stocked kitchen. Employee benefits include health & dental insurance, gym membership, RRSP matching. Fun team outings. People are generally nice and friendly and, are willing to help each other.

    Cons

    The Engineering department is a mess and even the leadership team has conceded there's still a lot of work to be done in that area. So don't be fooled by their social media and promo videos - reality paints a different picture.

    Deadline driven projects are set by people at the top without consulting the engineering team. They normally just pass it down to engineers with the expectation that they are just going to do whatever it takes to complete the project. It is completely normal to see people having to stay late at the office, or deploy to production after office hours, or even be at the office over a whole weekend during a snowstorm. In the rare occurrence that the team gets a chance to do project planning, we are simply showed an Excel sheet with a list of features which nobody has any idea about. We get a very brief description of each feature from the manager and then required to give an estimate on how long it would take to complete them - there is no Agile estimation techniques involved at all. Furthermore, engineers do not work off Product Requirements Documents simply because none exist. On every project I've worked on, some requirements were either unclear, missing or keep changing. I've even seen requirements change on the day of deployment!

    The engineers are always scrambling to meet unrealistic deadlines, and fix the numerous fires (production issues). In many cases those fires are a direct consequence of cutting corners during development and testing. Over time, there has been a huge amount of technical debt accumulated and there is always a plan(in theory) to address that debt but inevitably get forgotten. In addition, there is no QA team - engineering teams are responsible for their own testing. That could still work in theory except that most people have never gotten proper training in Test. The automated test suite has not been maintained properly for ages and is now in limbo. There is no stress testing and it's not surprising to see the production system choke up a few times. I have also heard accounts from other teams where they were told to skip testing altogether so as to meet the deployment deadline. As for my team, we were told by the manager on several occasions to complete testing AFTER deployment is done!

    Upper management team lacks vision and experience at managing as most of them come from a tech background. The CEO himself was forced to step in and act as a kind of product owner for the engineering teams - this is something that you would expect at a brand new start up, not at a company boasting 300+ employees. Managers/VP's always blame the lack of communication whenever something does not go well, but the truth is good engineering practices are simply non-existent at Index Exchange. Projects can also be scrapped at any stage, not because the company is so disruptive in its industry like they claim, but because there is no foresight and the inability to stick to their road map.

    One last thing to note is the low base salary.

    Advice to Management

    As several other reviews here mentioned, management is quite poor. People have learned to take whatever management says with a grain of salt. Hopefully the new managers who recently joined will be able to help change things for the better. You've also conducted a lot of exit interviews over the past few months, those are the more honest feedback, so take the appropriate steps to transform IX into a good workplace.

    Engineering practices need an overhaul starting with the need for proper product requirements, let the team come up with their own estimates/deadlines before communicating those to clients/partners, train the engineers properly with emphasis on testing, or have a dedicated QA team.

    Index Exchange Response

    26 Jul, 2017 – Sr. Director, Engineering

    Thanks for the review. As a recently hired member of the management team I can empathize with the challenges you’ve experienced, and I know that it has been a serious topic of discussion and more... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Unique Company, Unique Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange (More than a year)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Good Opportunity to Learn and Grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As a new graduate, joining a growing company like Index Exchange was a chance to understand the start-up culture and growing pains better. The company provides the opportunity to expand on current skill-sets while having multiple resources present to learn more. It also values dedication and is willing to go many extra miles for employees when necessary.

    Cons

    Nothing that isn't part of the usual hiccups with a growing company. Roadblocks, when identified are quickly rectified.

    Advice to Management

    Management is changing for the better. Recent additions bring outside experience which in a short span of time has led to many team members gaining clarity and renewed motivation.


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