Stripe engineers on $400k at risk of being worked even harder
Payments fintech Stripe is seemingly looking to change the way its tech teams work. It's acquired Okay, a tech firm focused on analyzing and boosting engineers' productivity. Productivity has always been a tricky thing to measure in the tech space, but this may be a necessary step from the $50bn decacorn.
Does Stripe's engineering team have a culture problem? Its employees seem to think so. Reviews on Blind in May say there is burnout "across all departments," with "a lot of inefficiency." Despite this, "expectations for output are high" and "work-life balance is nonexistent."
Clearly there is room for improvement. Interestingly, Okay previously had Stripe competitor Plaid as a customer. Plaid seems to be a friendlier place to work. The CEO "really cares about the culture and people" and the tech company has "a great environment," according to reviews on Blind.
Plaid's blind average score is 4.3 stars, Stripe's is just 3.6. This didn't prevent them from having to make cuts to 20% of its workforce in December.
Okay may not be the cause of this, though. Introducing measures to monitor developers' productivity is notoriously unpopular and can be imprecise. JPMorgan, for example, was compelled to withdraw BlueOptima after developers complained. Twitter's infamous culling of developers based on how many lines of code they'd written last November was a cruder but equally unpopular approach.
Stripe currently has 74 unique engineering job openings worldwide, 17 of those are the elusive staff engineering roles. At their highest, (machine learning gets the most love), Stripe pay salaries upwards of $400k. With issues of revenue-per-head abundant for the firm, it will want to make sure the people making those salaries are actually worth it.
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