Uptake Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Uptake Reviews

Updated 3 March, 2019
122 reviews

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3.4
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Brad Keywell
94 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "I was on the data science team during the majority of my time at Uptake, so my review will largely be focused around my experiences as a data scientist" (in 12 reviews)

  • "Surrounded by very smart people" (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "But as time went on, there is a lack of transparency and trust" (in 5 reviews)

  • "I was also told there was good work/life balance, but I usually see people working during the evening and on weekends" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Good place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Chicago, IL (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Really smart people, interesting work

    Cons

    Can be hectic because it's a startup


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Software Developer"

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

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

    Pros

    1) The company is really trying to make a big change in the world and it is a very interesting journey.
    2) Amazing people and environment, not only technical but sales and management
    3) The company is big but it still has this start-up mentality, which is really cool
    4) Great place in terms of life-work balance
    5) Very inclusive and friendly

    Cons

    1) Have to admit that the last few months were quite depressing and it was frustrating to see your colleagues and friends being laid off. However, the company is still evolving and it had to make adjustments. As far as I know, all laid off people got good compensation.
    2) Uptake still has the ambiguity of an early stage company when it is 4 years old. In the past, the company changed its vision quite a lot and it always results in huge uncertainties within the company.

  3. Helpful (21)

    "Really missing the mark"

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

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

    Pros

    * still lots of great/smart people left despite mass layoffs and attrition

    * still plenty of interesting problems to solve and huge market opportunity

    Cons

    * decisions seem to be driven heavily by non-technical people who appear grossly uninformed about the state of the product

    * huge push to hire sales and marketing people while hemorrhaging engineering talent - why sell a product that doesn't even exist?

    * lack of focus on listening to and retaining key technical talent. this led to a huge amount of work being offloaded onto already resource-constrained teams.

    * mind boggling lack of transparency/clarity around layoffs. direct questions and feedback are met with non answers and platitudes

    Advice to Management

    compensate key contributors fairly - why would high performers stick around for below market pay in a white-hot job market?

    identify flight risks and try to make them feel valued/heard *before* they quit. the time to do this is before they consider leaving - not a week after they give notice.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, great place."

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

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

    Pros

    Uptake encourages a culture of open communication, engagement, and collaboration. I have met some of the smartest and friendliest people while at Uptake.

    Cons

    Uptake is an extremely quick paced environment. Sometimes you are running in one direction but then must quickly pivot in another.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "A bit of a work in progress"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL (US)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Things change. Don't like something, wait 3 months.
    Fun and challenging projects in an emerging space.

    Cons

    Lack of a product as a product company.
    Tends to sell without an understanding of scope leading to extra work in less time.

    Advice to Management

    Work on process to get contracts properly scoped out


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Upcoming company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jalore (India)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jalore (India)

    I have been working at Uptake full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Lovely comapny lovely upcoming

    Cons

    Lovely company advance management


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Uptake (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of responsibility given to every employee—a very "GSD" mentality. A great business idea and model. As an employee who does a lot of market research, it's clear that Uptake's products and services are far beyond what other companies are trying to do. Uptake really did create this space.

    Cons

    Like any startup company, Uptake is trying to find its way—which can make for a bumpy ride, at times. (It's also part of the fun!) Luckily, it has a strong leadership team charting the path forward.

    Advice to Management

    As the company grows and matures, I think it will be really important that we preserve the GREAT start-up culture that got us here to begin with!

  8. Helpful (18)

    "A start-up still trying to get over the hump"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Product
    Former Employee - Product
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Uptake full-time

    Pros

    The level of talent at Uptake is great. There are smart people with incredible track records everywhere you look in the company. Even though many really talented people have left in the last year, there are still great people around.

    The new leadership team is committed to change. Executives brought in during the last year, from GE and elsewhere, are focused on improving the culture. While the new executives can be polarizing, they’re genuinely trying to take steps to move the company in the right direction.

    As others have pointed out, benefits like free snacks, a lunch subsidy, and unlimited time off are also nice. These benefits are almost always found at tech companies nowadays, though.

    Cons

    Culture is not very collaborative and morale is low. Teams operate in their own silos and a significant amount of time is spent playing politics rather than building. Waves of recent layoffs and poor transparency around those layoffs have led to poor morale and people fear for their jobs. The new team is trying to improve this, but they have a ways to go - this is deeply embedded at Uptake.

    Constantly changing, unnecessarily complex strategy has put Uptake significantly behind the competition. Although the product roadmap has been clarified, we’ve been constantly asked to create new product features and change we’re building based on new strategies (that always end up changing).

    This has also led to sales teams having difficulty finding and singing on many new customers, while we see competitors sign big names.

    There’s no rhyme or reason to promotions or explanation of how to build a career at Uptake. Teams often excuse this away by saying Uptake is a start-up. Unfortunately, with more than 500 people, there’s no excuse for not being able to explain what it takes to get promoted.


  9. Helpful (22)

    "Another Theranos Waiting to Happen"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    With so much chaos going on, it is easy to get away with not doing anything or delivery anything.

    The data science team, a few engineers, and a few product managers are crazy smart.

    Cons

    Very toxic. Very cliquish. Very little clear direction from leadership. Very poorly run. Very poor leadership.

    Everyone is worried about how they look to Brad, and Brad himself is very worried about his image. Every charity donation he makes has to be announced from the top of a mountain.

    Brad Keywell is on a mission to become a billionaire again, and as fast as possible. With that desperation comes a lot of chaos, and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. When I was there, he hardly seen the product in development.

    They now have an entire new leadership form GE who all live in Silicon Valley. The GE execs have failed at GE creating a platform, and now they think they can become successful at Uptake?

    Advice to Management

    Stop making the opportunity about your ego. Work on small problems for a lot of customers, and before you know it, you'll have a platform.


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Uptake is a boys club"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    data science is good

    Cons

    it's a boys club. The company obviously does not ask any behavioral questions during the interview

    Advice to Management

    get a hierarchy. Hire actual senior software engineers instead of engineers that just started working there a few months ago.