Index Exchange Employee Reviews about "ix"

Updated Aug 13, 2020

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3.8
65%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
Index Exchange President & CEO Andrew Casale
Andrew Casale
121 Ratings
Pros
  • "Fair compensation, great work-life balance(in 18 reviews)

  • "Free lunches, "unlimited sick days" (though roughly 20 sick days taken per year will affect you and your promotability negatively)(in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • "Growing pains of any other successful company(in 16 reviews)

  • "PS: The real superstar engineers at IX are modest and great people who are regularly treated poorly as they don't play office politics(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "ix"

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  1. Helpful (6)

    "Great company that takes care of it's employees"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This is the first time I've given a 5 star rating ... for anything. That's not to say the company is perfect, but the cons are small enough that I don't feel it's fair to take a full star for them. With that... - Work / life balance is insane. Attention is paid to not over-committing, timelines are generous, arranging time away from the office (WFH, sick/personal days, vacation, etc) is trivial, and the hours are extremely flexible. - Career growth (in engineering) - managers pay attention to every single engineer, discuss goals and work on getting them accomplished. That's not to say that promotions are handed out easily, but there is a clear path to a promotion, and enough guidance to get there. If you want a promotion, and are willing to do the work, one will come for sure. Additionally, there's enough budget for training, conferences, books, etc, and whoever *wants* it, gets it. Finally, there's enough smart people in key positions that everyone can learn from. - Tech - sure, there's legacy stuff that isn't all that exciting (much like anywhere else), but the company is going all out on modernizing it's tech stack, so engineers get to work with some of the latest stuff out there (Kubernetes, Golang, CI/CD pipelines, latest versions of Angular, etc). - Company culture - people are very friendly and teams do work as teams rather than groups of people. The formula for "team building" seems to be working here. - Office - very modern, open, some pretty cool gadgets, electronic white boards, massive conferencing screens, etc. - Job security and compensation - managers will work with engineers to course correct if needed, and they have lots of patience if they see improvement. Company has had just a few forced departures over the past little while, and they were never a surprise to either the person forced out, or the rest of engineering. They try to retain people at all cost, and when people need a change, there's an opportunity to go to a different department, work on different things, etc. The compensation is fair as well - not as generous as the top 5 companies out there, but definitely beyond reasonable. - Solving interesting problems - this is individual, but the scale at which the company operates demands that the problems are solved in a creative and efficient way. Also, problems are solved bottom-up, meaning engineers design solutions and implement them, rather than solutions being pushed from above and engineering is just to blindly implement. - Locations - there are multiple to choose from for now (although once you pick, it's difficult to switch). There's engineering offices downtown, uptown, in KW, Montreal... - Transparency - company goes out of it's way to share how things are going on all fronts with everyone. People know when the company is doing great, and also when it's time to do better. - Other perks - free lunches, wall full of snacks / drinks, company swag (you can go for a full week in clothes provided by IX), team outings (every 2 months, with some crazy budgets), company 2-3 day events (engineering hackathon, all hands, etc).

    Cons

    I can't say there's none, but I don't think any is significant enough to be a deal breaker. Here's some: - Sometimes Product can be a bit on the difficult side. It's not unheard of in the industry, but this place isn't immune to it either. - The legacy code needs to go away sooner, or needs to be fixed as it's slowing down delivery across the board, and it's just painful to work in. - There's times when the conversation just goes in circles, and meetings tend to run too long. Some managers contribute to this problem instead of fixing it. In general, fewer meetings and more efficient meetings would be nice. - Some groups just aren't great with committing to timelines - there's constant and unexplained delays for many things (moves, survey results, etc). - Part of the compensation package are "stock options" that in reality aren't worth anything at the moment, and this is unlikely to change in near to mid-term future. - Career path outside engineering isn't very clearly defined. For some positions it's unclear what's considered "a job well done". - There's some office politics, but this doesn't trickle down much to the engineers.

  2. Helpful (10)

    "Decent place to start your career, excellent place to stagnate your skillset."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Free lunches, "unlimited sick days" (though roughly 20 sick days taken per year will affect you and your promotability negatively). Engineering wise: - they own their own metal, and it's pretty cool to have thousands of ad servers at your fingertips. - It's a good place to get started as a fresh grad, they'll get you on your feet. - A good deal of the engineers at IX are awesome, awesome people who are really good at what they do.

    Cons

    - A legacy Perl codebase, lots of projects that go no where (certain bird-named projects fit this criteria) - Monolith doesn't even begin to describe their codebase. - Office politics are real and incredibly demoralizing. - A legacy Perl codebase. They've been trying to move some parts of their system to Golang for years now, but that hasn't taken off and it is no where close to being a priority on anyones radar. - Engineers are codemonkeys who get little-to-no recognition. Business drives the business, and engineering is just there to "take too long to accomplish what we tell them to do" apparently. - A culture of "we are a family" (hint: no company is your family, and any company that calls itself your family is lying to your face). - A culture of a lot of grunts, and a few "superstar" engineers who are promoted heavily by some managers who do not know what they're doing and thus do nothing but hinge their own successes on the efforts of these so-called "superstars". PS: The real superstar engineers at IX are modest and great people who are regularly treated poorly as they don't play office politics. The "superstars" do play the office politic game, and are treated well. - A culture of work/ideas being stolen, who promptly pull rank and run off with the credit. There are snakes in the weeds, be careful. - The management team varies heavily - a lot of them are decent/great people who care about the success and wellbeing of those under them. While others provide little to no value to their direct employees, let alone the company as a whole - 0 tech savvy, and 0 industry knowledge, and can talk lots without really saying anything. Senior management seems to Know this and does nothing about it, it can be Really disheartening. - Heavy disconnect between engineering and business/product. - A legacy perl codebase. - Legacy C-suite engineers seem to enjoy stoking fear in people, have sizable egos, and are on a Massive power-trip. - Incredibly shady business practices and lying to their engineering department to build out these questionable features (ie, google "index exchange bid caching"), but don't worry "we are a family". - At its core - it's an advertising company that's invading the privacy of people around the world in order to build profiles on them, in order to sell them targeted ads. The same can be said for facebook/google/etc - so do with that as you will. It didn't sit right with me. - A legacy perl codebase. - Legacy decisions drive engineering to this day, and fixing them will never happen as the money printers must never be stopped. - Infighting and rudeness/anger between Montreal and Toronto engineering departments. How can IX be a family if their engineering departments take every opportunity to assign blame, shift responsibilities, and generally be vitriolic.

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    Index Exchange Response

    August 26, 2020Senior Director of Recruiting

    Thank you for your feedback. We’re glad to hear that you feel Index Exchange is a great place to start your career. Our products and technology are the cornerstone of our company, and we invest heavily in developing our engineering team so that we can provide the best experience for our customers while ensuring the work is rewarding for our employees. Together we are building for the future with the majority of our platform teams dedicated to delivering the basis of our new architecture, enabling other teams to follow in the coming months. We have implemented numerous vehicles to facilitate feedback from our teams including 1:1 discussions with managers, company-wide anonymous employee surveys, Q&A, and open dialogue sessions with our People team. This allows us to continually iterate and improve the employee experience. We will continue to identify all opportunities to refine our approach as we continue to grow as a company.


  3. Helpful (11)

    "A great company to work for if you want to stagnate your technical skills and abilities"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible hours and great perks, such as catered lunches, free snacks, and gym memberships. Frequent team outings and company-wide events. Management and process improved during my time with the company but could be improved upon still. A lot of nice people in most departments.

    Cons

    Note: This is for the Toronto location of the engineering department. Nepotism, company politics, and poor cross-departmental communication are very rampant in this company. If you want to grow your career and not worry about being caught in company politics, go elsewhere. The Toronto tech scene is thriving, and IX does not play a role in that. Management and leadership team lack in management skills, industry knowledge, and communication skills. They have hired some great new managers to help the team scale, but unfortunately, the majority of senior and tenured employees lack experience and are behind in what is happening in the tech scene, have poor communication skills and low emotional intelligence. The most disappointing part is that the culture of unwillingness to learn and communicate has trickled down and is perpetuated by employees who have been working with the company for a while. As a result, the tech stack is extremely outdated and the company lacks innovation. People want to stick to what they know because they are afraid to try anything that would hurt their egos. People would rather be right than actually do what is best for the product. The process has improved in my time working at Index, but still has a long way to go. There was very little thought and planning into the products we were building. It doesn't help that there is very little communication between the business and engineering teams. It's very common for projects to pivot mid-way or not even ship at all, because of poor teamwork, planning, and resourcing. Additionally, the company culture is awful. The HR and people team don't do anything to help their employees and are willfully ignorant of how it truly is them. The HR and people team are just like IX's social media presence - all style, no substance. How the company is portrayed in social media is extremely deceptive and only represents a portion of the company. Index does not encourage diversity of thought, backgrounds, or opinions either. Almost everyone comes from the same cookie cutter background. Voicing your opinion that is against the status quo is extremely frowned upon. The company was heading in a right direction in actually listening to their employees' concerns; however, when employees actually started voicing their opinion, they changed how people can communicate their concerns in a way that actually discouraged them to do so. Index is definitely experiencing growing pains and that's understandable -- however, whenever Index takes a step forward in improving as a company, they'll take another two steps back.

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    Index Exchange Response

    April 30, 2018SVP, Engineering

    Thank you for your review. I regret that you didn't have a more positive experience at IX. My colleagues in Management and HR are committed to ensuring every employee has a positive experience with us, and we take feedback seriously. While several of the concerns you raised had valid basis in my view, where our views would seem to differ is on the extent of the issues, and on the level of commitment to making positive changes. Over the last couple of years I've seen this leadership team get out of its comfort zone to embrace an influx of talented new leaders bringing fresh and diverse thinking, leverage new technologies to pull well ahead of our competitors, and humbly share the problems we're looking to solve internally to continue to improve the employee experience. While we are far from done, our commitment to improving and embracing change has never wavered. We hope you have a satisfying role today. Thank you again for your feedback, and best of luck in your future endeavours. M

  4. "Many opportunities to learn and contribute"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kitchener, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Note: I have never worked in any of the offices except for the Kitchener office so my feedback does not apply to the Toronto office (main office). What stands out most among my experience at IX is that there are many opportunities to become a technical and team leader by taking on additional responsibilities to drive the project architecture. Time is allocated towards project research and having the motivation to dive deep (as is reasonable) is rewarded. Team members are also encouraged to spend a portion of work time doing activities that are not directly project-related. Book clubs, conferences, courses are all recommended. It's left to the engineer to figure out what avenues of exploration provide the most value to them. Management that understands what it means to keep employees happy in the long-term and how to assist in career growth. They often have the competency to contribute to meetings with the explicit goal of unblocking engineers. Teams are encouraged to push the boundaries, even if there's a possibility of failure, which is expected and a good learning experience. People teams are exceedingly friendly and company culture is taken quite seriously. They work hard to get to know everyone and aren't seen as a distant HR manager. The company provides fairly regular business updates and Q&A sessions that provide good insight into how the company is progressing. Executive team demonstrates frequently in Q&A sessions that they are passionate, but beyond that, they are people -- not always perfect and can react emotionally to emotionally charged questions. Personally, I feel like this makes them more approachable. The engineers that I've worked with are smart and helpful, interested in continuous improvement, despite the overall engineering talent being somewhat younger in age and more junior than what you might expect to see at a mid-sized tech company. The office is pretty nice and spacious. There are a lot of non-work-related interests that are apparent within the office and groups are formed when a bit of context switching downtime can be squeezed in during the workday. Whether it's ping pong tournaments, rocket league competitions, or a thoughtful game of Go, the concept of a balanced work schedule is not met with any resistance here. Salary and benefits are quite competitive, but still pretty far from the compensation provided by large American tech firms. My impression is that the executive team understands the ad-tech market very well and are able to drive focus onto the most important growth initiatives. The company, however, does recognize that there are very clear deficiencies in some of the software solutions provided and that technical debt needs to be addressed.

    Cons

    There is a lack of visibility into architecture teams and excessive reliance on their feedback before making decisions. The company seems to be in a state where architecture resources are frequently needed to help make decisions but a lot of the decisions should likely be delegated to senior engineers instead of having project bottlenecks. Projects can also be slow to ramp up as insufficient planning or understanding of the scope of work forces teams to figure out what needs to be done on the fly. This is both a negative as well as an opportunity for those that take the initiative to serve as a technical product owner within their own team. The office services team is slow and unresponsive in terms of allowing employees to enter the office outside of core 9-5 hours. There have been multiple occasions where I've come to the office slightly earlier or wanted to come outside of those time periods and not been able to get in. This is really a downer and should be a really trivial issue to fix.

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    Index Exchange Response

    April 2, 2018SVP, Engineering

    Thank you for this very thoughtful review. We invest a lot in providing opportunities for learning and career growth, but we also have ambitious goals for our work output, so we sometimes lose sight of the former when the urgency of the latter looms large. It's so great to read a review like this - such a great reminder of what really motivates a team! And I can't agree with your pros without agreeing with your cons a little bit as well. We're looking to unblock bottlenecks wherever they exist, communicate better, and generally "get out of the way" if we're ever holding our talent back. We're also looking into the office access issue - but I hope you'll try not to work too many odd hours. Thanks again, M.

  5. "Great company with lots of potential to grow even more"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Engineering management really started to care for their employees. Opinions are now well respected and any form of disrespect is frowned upon and unacceptable. IX grew tremendously over the last few years and most in engineering truly believe we will grow even more. They brought in a several senior people to be the new managers and directors in engineering, and this brought on a very positive change to the department. It's also great to see that the CEO does not have to worry about some external investors, as we are 100% financially independent.

    Cons

    Office needs to expand, but they are already working on this

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    Index Exchange Response

    March 12, 2018SVP, Engineering

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and how they've evolved over time. While I'm pretty confident we always cared, if it wasn't readily apparent to the team, that's all on us and I regret it very much. I'm delighted you've seen us do better of late and your words inspire us to keep on providing better and more empowering leadership. We're thrilled to have made so many great senior tech hires in the last year or so. More to come! Thanks once more, M.

  6. Helpful (11)

    "Just say "No" to working here!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time for 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.

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    Index Exchange Response

    November 30, 2017SVP, 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 work in progress as a rapidly scaling organization, your views do not reflect my experiences or those of the many colleagues with whom I work closely every day. In my long experience working with this exceptional team - the organization has a very low tolerance for drama/gossip as neither are additive to the positive work environment we work hard to nurture. Thank you.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "Unique Company, Unique Experience"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange for 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.

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  8. Helpful (12)

    "Not Great"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Index Exchange full-time

    Pros

    Good snack options and free lunches. They also do performance evaluations twice per year, which is nice. If you are a new grad looking for a job, Index is willing to hire you. It can be tough to find a job with no work experience, and there are definitely companies worse than IX. As one of the other reviews said, Index can be a decent place to start depending on what team you land on.

    Cons

    Most of management has been with the company for their whole career and completely lack the ability to see from other/objective viewpoints. There is a lot of micromanagement, because these higher-ups want to protect their status as "in charge". They limit technical decisions to what they are comfortable with, rather than the best fit for the situation. There's also an inexplicably large number of fires, where they try to make everyone stay late to fix the issue (which often ends up not being an issue at all). There's just a lack of respect for the engineers. It's near impossible to get fired unless you say something that they don't agree with on a personal level. Being completely incompetent is not enough. The engineers in the company are almost entirely junior, or new grads - probably somewhere around 85%. As such, there's nobody to learn from so unless you are fine with not growing and being strictly directed on how to build software, Index will not be a good fit for you.

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    Index Exchange Response

    May 4, 2017SVP, Engineering

    Thank you for your time with us and for this feedback. Thanks also for sharing some positive comments around the great team we're all fortunate to work with. We regret that you didn't see more growth opportunity at Index and certainly hope that others don't feel micromanaged. We've enjoyed great success as a leader in our space and micromanagement certainly wouldn't be a great way to continue innovating and stay ahead. On the leadership/mentorship front, we're very excited to be in the process of bringing on a number of exceptional and experienced Engineering Managers who are already bringing fresh perspectives, tools, and ideas to Index. This is a very positive move for both our junior staff and our tenured leaders; it was also overdue. While we've had a lot of stability in our senior team, we also take pride in constantly pushing ourselves to improve as leaders and as technologists. It's for this reason that we're delighted to welcome an influx of new management who will help us continue to think differently and create a stronger learning culture at Index.

  9. "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Partner Development in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    IX hires amazing people Benefits Career opportunities Great technology Committed to innovating

    Cons

    Typical pain points of rapid growth.

  10. "A company who believes in their employees"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Index Exchange full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I have a fairly long job history so I'm not a first time worker. I've also worked in a variety of fields from not for profits to finance and startups. I'm not upper management. I state this all because this is by far the only company I have worked for where my experience and skills were uniquely valued. I am listened to and respected and that to be the case across the board. IX truly values people's skill sets and empowers everyone to use them for the betterment of the company as a whole. They also intrinsically value individual time. It's about getting the work done efficiently and well, not so much about eating, sleeping and living here. The mental toll of being always on doesn't exist here. Get your work done and you're appreciated. The company is truly flexible.

    Cons

    Still growing so there are odd space issues that are being patched until we get larger locations but they are acutely aware of it and are active in keeping everyone as happy as they can.

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