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Home » Working in a Giant Tech Company in NZ, bad and good

Working in a Giant Tech Company in NZ, bad and good

Company Xxxx is a well known tech company in NZ which is listed on ASX(Australia Stock Market). It is so well known that it became many software engineers dream place to work in. It used to be mine as well until I was there.

However, Everything was changed when I started working there.

In NZ a company with 50+ employees is counted as a big company.

from Te Ara NZ Gov

What do people think?

glassdoor for companies review

There are some comments in glassdoor.co.nz overall comments for this company.

– No overtime!

– Flexible work environment!

– awful middle management

good parts and bad parts from glassdoor

In most of NZ companies, it is not like many East Asia companies, there is always no overtime, and during Corona-Virus, most of companies in NZ have or even force a flexible work policy as well, so the good points belong to most of NZ companies.

If sorting the rating from low to high. There are some very interesting negative comments.

  • bullies and micro management 😢
  • don’t care about people ✔️
  • measure work by how much people talk 🔨
  • not look at your work but your skin color 😮

Some of the comments I could not agree more (bullies and micro management), some of them I don’t 100% agree (work measure), some of them I feel very surprised as well (racialism).

The Remuneration in the company

coins on the table

As a NZ tech SaaS company, it actually has a good remuneration comparing to most of others.

  • nice office
  • free drink
  • nice coffee machine
  • more leaves

But it is not on salary side, because the salary there is not very high.

Engineers and Culture

Collaborate together and care the team

There were great software engineers in the team, they were nice and very professional, while there were problems as well, like the points mentioned in glassdoor, at lease three points from I could tell, micro management, bullies and lack of people caring. Not sure about the racism, but I think it does have diversity problem (from how I understand diversity) in the work place too.

Micro Management

management with autonomy

Joining all stand-up meetings and leading all tech meeting. / Joining code changes pull request reviews too.

What i care most!

1. delivery
2. people

from the manager

There is no problems for managers to join a stand up meeting, but it would be weird to join all tech or engineers meetings. This manager he had a tech background, but due to lack of practice experience, his knowledge were in theory or from 10 years ago, which sometimes gave very bad guideline for engineers. While it made the team less deliverable.

Another story from him I found, was that he did code review, and asked engineer A to follow engineer B’s code styles, without listening to two engineers’ discussion, because he said Engineer B worked longer. Even it was arguable for which was better or worse.

In sum, Micro Management is always the opposite autonomy, when it existed, a manager would be tired and engineers would be exhausted at the same time, and the whole team could not move fast happily. For avoiding micro management, or how to manage a software engineer team efficiently, I would recommend to read this article from Isaac Sacolick(He is an author from InfoWorld.)

Bullies?

collaborate not bullying

1. I knew this would upset you, because of my position, I had to …

2. Your performance was not good, so I would not be happy allow your leave request…

3. You are not social enough (like me), you are less social than…, more social than …

4. Why you leave comments in the codes! I paid you for coding not documenting.

from a manager

Actually, 1 and 2 could be solved in another way through a gentle and work style communication, instead of upsetting people. The communication objective was to solve a problem, not to made another one in an upset way.

3 was the toxic part, judging people from how social they were. I don’t think it is the right way, not only in work place but in all environment.

4, => ? What ? Definitely Micro Management + Bullying

Lack of People Care

work in work place

Sorry, I could not allow you to work fully remotely to have work and life balance… (Even I had one).

You could not buy a $1000 monitor, because I believed it would be fine with $200 one… (Even the company budget is $2000 pp)

from a people caring manager

I believed it could be told from these conversations,

  • The middle management is awful in the company. Their work supposed to be caring people, but they have many excuses to pretend caring people under senior managers’ eyes, but not really caring.
  • There was also lack of transparency as well, the middle manager sometimes hide information from his manager.

Summary

Tips to become a good manager or lead a team properly.

  • Give engineers autonomy to avoid micro management, even you have a 10+ years tech background + a CS PhD.
  • Take care of people, think in both an engineer’s view and a manager’s view, if you have a work life balance, try to bring it to employees too
  • Be transparent, not hiding information
  • Always show respect, higher position you got, more respect you should give. Especially respect differences from others, no judging and no blaming for the differences. Focus on work and solving problems.

Good and Bad of Company Xxxx

  • OK Salary
  • Nice office
  • Professional and smart people
  • Awful middle management
  • Bullies
  • Lack of people care with fast growing

If it was your first job, it is fine to go there, If you have 3+, 5+ or 10+ years, it might not be a good option for you, you deserve a better work place and a better salary.

4 thoughts on “Working in a Giant Tech Company in NZ, bad and good”

  1. Pingback: What I learnt after I worked in a bigger company? - Tim Bai's Zone

  2. I didn’t really have experience in a micro management work style before, so this my first time to experience it. To be honest, I think this is super hard to solve from an engineer’s side, especially the manager is subjective(like in my experience above).

    – so the easiest solution would be `Quit`;
    – the better/harder solution, is to talk to the manager, but because of the micro management leader is usually very subjective, it makes it hard to communicate too. Talking to a manager’s manager will not be very practical, especially when an employee is very new.

    Overall, hope all managers read more and prepare more before going into a lead position, hope all engineers get a good manager(like my current on in Company S) and give you autonomy. All the best

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