Rakuten Kobo Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

Rakuten Kobo Reviews

Updated 9 Jan 2020

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3.8
66%
Recommend to a Friend
62%
Approve of CEO
Rakuten Kobo President and CEO Michael Tamblyn
Michael Tamblyn
47 Ratings
Pros
  • "There are a lot of smart people and you never feel like it's all on you to make anything successful(in 11 reviews)

  • "Options to work from home/attend appointments(in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "I you hav a family they AE not family focused by rather you work long hours and socialized within kobo area(in 8 reviews)

  • "There were some growing pains in the years of transitioning from start-up, to the Rakuten acquisition, to a more established company(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Decent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Dunboyne
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    1. Good working atmosphere 2. Easy enough for people starting in hospitality 2. Beautiful site

    Cons

    Salary is not great and sometimes the stress is too much

    Rakuten Kobo2018-08-10
  2. "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, Dublin
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Dublin office: Nice office, good learning, good fellows

    Cons

    Bad management (Toronto management), no clear idea of what direction to take with the product and not giving external offices the ability to be independent.

    Advice to Management

    Set up you path before start opening developer office across the world.

    Rakuten Kobo2016-11-20
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Dublin
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very relaxed & flexible environment, good people, competitive pay & bonuses. People are generally free to work from home when they want, or take time off for appointments etc. As long as your work gets done, there's a lot of freedom to work when/how it suits you.

    Cons

    Very slow moving to take anything to market. There is little consideration for employees outside of Canada - time zones, meetings, communications & product considerations etc. Execs insist on focusing on new initiatives/features, which totally goes against user feedback. Users complained about several areas, and these were rarely the focus of product efforts.

    Advice to Management

    It's a good place to work, but the company needs to move much faster. Too many chefs in the kitchen for every project, which leads to too many opinions and agendas, and not enough product development, speed and user feedback.

    Rakuten Kobo2016-05-13
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Chaotic and frenetic activity with too little progress."

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

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay was ok, Nice office (but see below). Great location. For me it was easy to get to, good public transport and cycling when weather permitted.

    Cons

    Chaotic (desktop and device dev), Android dev appeared a little more organized. Even though office was nice it's a little too noisy and disorganized.

    Advice to Management

    Better product planning. Agile processes cover up poor planning, poor product design, poor production process (complex and counter-productive). 'Creatives' have too much control (design is nice, simple and elegant but constant change meant that technical fundamentals are not given enough attention). All the usual Agile BS covers up poor productivity (long hours != productivity), poor communications (morning 10 minute BS sessions does not enure good team integration, motivation and mentoring). Chaos and stress are the norm, younger developers don't get to fulfill their potential and are left to sink/swim. As I said my experience of the Android team was better (more cooperation and some attempt at team building, certainly friendlier). Device team dominated by a few 'rockstar' aholes (uncommunicative and unhelpful).

    Show More
    Rakuten Kobo2013-12-10
  5. "Typical issues common in any small-mid sized company"

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

    I have been working at Rakuten Kobo full-time

    Pros

    - social events - free eBook program

    Cons

    - big egos in C level, specifically R&D - high turnover due to poor resource planning - unhealthy level of politics unless you're in a junior position

    Rakuten Kobo2020-01-09
  6. "Great place to grow as a developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo

    Pros

    One of the things that stood out to me the most was how many incredibly talented people are in the company in all departments. I love the transparency in how the company is doing, both roadmap and financials. I never had to worry that I was being left in the dark. The best I could describe it is a large company feel to having standards and a drive for long term excellence coupled with the agility and evolution of a startup. Benefits are good, if you like to read you can get a free ebook/audiobooks each week, RRSP matching, social meetups weekly and a good flexibility for working at home. If you are going through reviews considering if Kobo is a good place, it gets my recommendation.

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    Cons

    The open concept can be a bit noisy at times, though the company is looking to embrace more remote work options at this time that is a breath of fresh air for the introverts. Could be a bit more proactive in promotions

    Advice to Management

    At the executive level I feel they are doing a lot of things right.

    Rakuten Kobo2019-12-22
  7. "Toxic workplace."

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

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    None. Was sold a pig in a poke.

    Cons

    Throw junior employees in the deep end. Bullying Managers. Managers constantly changing their minds about what needs to be done and blaming employees when we can't deliver. Constantly being asked to work late and to drop what we were working on.

    Rakuten Kobo2020-01-03
  8. Helpful (2)

    "Company doesn't value UX Research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Usability Analyst 

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    No ability to move up in the company, they didn't value my craft, management constantly changing their mind

    Cons

    Great people, Nice office, Great benefits, Extremely underpaid and undervalued, Decent work/life balance

    Rakuten Kobo2019-08-15
  9. Helpful (5)

    "Was OK. Some toxic people, especially in management."

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

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Perks, free ebooks. Decent health insurance.

    Cons

    Open office, too loud to concentrate.

    Advice to Management

    You have promoted the wrong people. Middle management, especially in development, are very toxic and throw the employees under the bus when something goes wrong... and things are always going wrong.

    Rakuten Kobo2019-06-20
  10. Helpful (1)

    "You're surrounded with great people"

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

    I worked at Rakuten Kobo full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    So much to say here. First of all, there's a pretty good work/life balance. There are times when you're asked to do overtime to push something that's really important, but a) it's rare and management does everything they can to avoid this, and b) management reimburses you for your overtime with the equivalent time off. I've been at the company 4 years and have only been asked to do overtime on two projects. Another thing is there is a very flat communication structure in the company; You can literally reach out to anybody and they will get back to you. I have reached out to people well above my pay grade many times and they've always returned my communication. Kobo is also pretty transparent. The executive level gives you a lot of information on the company in the regular town halls. You can also transition pretty much anywhere. Once you're done your own job, you can follow pretty much anything that interests you and move anywhere in the company, on to any team, and into any technology. The best part of working at Kobo though are the people. There are a lot of smart people and you never feel like it's all on you to make anything successful. There are a lot of smart people taking ownership, so all bases are usually covered. The people are fantastic. In addition to what I said above, there are a lot of benefits: the benefits package is pretty great, as a dev, you have an MSDN subscription, O'Reilly / Safari access, Pluralsight, other training packages and other training budgets you can access. The mentoring from managers & directors is fantastic. People actually care about you. Also, you get an eReader when you're hired, and they occasionally give out their latest eReader when they have a new premium ereader (I've been given 3). On top of that, they give you a code for a free book or audiobook every week. This is any book in their library too. It's not from a select list or anything. You can read anything. There is investment from higher up to make things better as well. They invested in their release pipeline and exponentially improved their releases. There are also something called Software Wellness Days where the devs decide what they want to work on. This is often clean up things we want to improve which are not a priority for business. This is a great day and they have them a few times a year. It's amazing how much impact a team can have on a project in one day.

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    Cons

    I've always felt that there was an expectation of an immediate response on Slack, so there is a bit of an interruption environment. I have seen a few people who manage this very well and can work pomodoros, but I've never been able to do it. ... it could have been my role though. Also, the weekly meetings with the parent company aren't a lot of fun. It's funny, when the Kobo leadership gets up on the stage at town hall, you feel like you're in the same boat and they're leading it for everybody, but I personally never got that vibe from the mandatory, weekly, parent company briefings.

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    Advice to Management

    Extend the boomerang program to Kobo alumni. :-)

    Rakuten Kobo2019-05-23
Found 129 reviews