Index Exchange Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Index Exchange Reviews

Updated 22 September, 2017
74 reviews

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4.3
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Index Exchange President & CEO Andrew Casale
Andrew Casale
64 Ratings

74 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The healthiest work life balance I have experienced including background with agency, publisher and DSP (in 8 reviews)

  • Index has an incredible inclusive work environment (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Growing pains are present but management is very aware of challenges and are already investing in solutions (in 8 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "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)!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "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.


  3. "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.


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  5. "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


  6. Helpful (10)

    "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


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Don't be fooled by the free lunches and perks"

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

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

    Pros

    Flex hours and the ability to work remotely are great especially for those who have long commutes.

    The other benefits and perks such free daily lunches, very good health insurance, three weeks of vacation are all pretty good. Definitely makes you feel comfy.

    Decent equipments (hardware wise) to do the work at an optimal level.

    Accepts new graduates more easily than other companies. When they mean by zero years or experience and more, they mean it.

    Hard working employees (mostly) - they are what make working here worthwhile.

    Cons

    Salary for the job is less than the industry average.

    Management is lacklustre at best as there are some who aren't adequately qualified (i.e those who have not gotten any sort of training in the field they are in).

    Would be great if the teams are not so isolated from one another within each branch of the company. Some collaborative projects between the different teams is a good starting point.

    To be extremely honest, the way you handle the restructuring the company is horrifically naïve. Mass firing competent employees especially ones who have worked for longer than this re-brand (it is now its second year as Index Exchange), is awful. Just awful. If you keep this up, I won't be surprised to see your company file for bankruptcy.

    Advice to Management

    There is no shame in being more upfront especially if you find that your employees are not performing to your standards. Likewise, management should learn to take criticisms from their employees as well. That is how you can all grow as a team.

    More transparency with what is happening with the other teams and executive levels would be great. That way, all of your employees at any level can understand what is happening with the company. Also, it can help reduce the petty bureaucratic nonsense between the teams.

    You can only have so many lavish events and frivolous projects that do little to nothing with the longevity of this company. Instead of spending money on those, focus on improving the company itself - from management to employees and equipments.

    Index Exchange Response

    21 Jul, 2017 – VP, Human Resources

    Thank you for this review and for working with us for a time. We're proud of the pros you cite - especially the exceptional team! We're committed to investing in setting people up for success and... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Finally in transition, albeit quite delayed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The perks are pretty good, i.e. free lunch, snacks, drinks, etc. Benefits are quite inclusive as well, including health, dental, vision, RRSP matching.

    They are finally transitioning and listening to their devs, albeit quite delayed. More responsibility is given to squads to offer solutions rather than everything needing prior approval. They're also focusing on hiring experienced management and engineers, filling in for what the company lacks.

    Cons

    Most of the management doesn't have experience from other companies. Seniors and leaders of the company can't seem to decide on where to take the company, they have pulled projects a week before it can be delivered.

    The "engineers" (really they're just developers) are straight out of university and some lack the necessary training to do the job. They can hack but can't design. Due to the overwhelming number of devs and not enough managers, office politics is quite apparent. Seniority also seems to coincide with the length of employment rather than skill, and there are no checks and balances. Those with seniority also sometimes seem to feel their ideas are more valuable and will do whatever they see fit, without discussion.

    The code base is quite horrendous. There is no adequate testing strategy being implemented, while a massive test regression suite takes days to run due to many things being under one monolith system. Deployments have about a week overhead and there are constant fires with the system and many hacks that are over-designed.

    Compensation seems to be below average, at least for the skills that they're asking for.

    Advice to Management

    More experienced managers need to be hired to clean up the mess. The lack of management and the lack in their experience is very detrimental to the company.
    You should move away from your obsession with processes and documentation as they have been working against you for the past couple of years.

    Index Exchange Response

    18 Aug, 2017 – SVP, Engineering

    Thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback. While some of it was tough to read - a few points in your assessment rang true for me. On other points, our perspectives would diverge. For... More


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Beware. This company is heading downhill!"

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

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

    Pros

    Free meals and snacks. Free parking on the premises. subsidized fitness programs. company outings and barbecue events .

    Cons

    The company may give you free meals but they work you like a slave. Management has no regard for family time or a balance between life and work. If you call in sick,, you will be looked down upon. there is no such thing as an eight hour day. You are expected to work 2 to 3 hours more in average every day. I

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees. Consider life and work balance.

    Index Exchange Response

    12 Jul, 2017 – Sr. Director, Engineering

    Thank you for your honest feedback. As a recent member of the management team, I see and understand a transition occurring within the company, and much of it is fuelled by employee feedback. Since... More


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