Ik heb een voltijdbaan bij LateRooms.com (Langer dan 3 jaar)
There's been a few negative reviews on here recently and as a current employee I wanted to say what I felt from the coal face. I suspect many of the recent reviews have been from people who have unfortunately been made redundant. This is never a nice thing to have to deal with, and I can understand their upset.
LateRooms is suffering the same fate as many of its competitors, in that it's costing more and more to acquire customers, while meanwhile their commission margins are being squeezed by the hotel chains. This has left LateRooms in a position where they need to check the sums, and see what they can do to make money.
The CEO Hugo is a man who (despite his taste in socks!) knows the travel business, and has seen a gap in the market offering a combination of travel and activity booking along with original high quality guides and content. However he - and the wider business - realise that throwing more money at the same business model isn't going to work, so is starting to pivot to a B2B model where this new platform can be sold or licensed to partners - maybe big travel companies who already sell tickets for their transportation but have no guides or content, for example.
So, while LateRooms.com ticks along, making money (and it does still make money) that money is being invested into building a brand new platform. While we do that, some savings needed to be made (referring to the redundancies).
From an IT point of view this is extremely exciting - it's not often you get the chance to work on a green field project, using the latest technologies (and not just because they're the latest technologies, actually because they are the best for the job).
We're building a React.js website with GraphQL running on Node.js which connects to C# .Net Core APIs. The whole thing is hosted in Docker containers running in Rancher. It's complicated, but challenging - and I know being challenged is something I get out of bed for.
Away from the technology, we're a good team. Sure some of the managers can either be too distant, or too involved but overall they care about getting the right thing done. It's been nice to have some consistency too for a change with some managers who have been there throughout the year - and actually doing one to ones. And actually caring about career progression.
We’re on the edge of the city centre, so we’ve never too far away from food and drink, and there's a Co-op food shop next door. We’ve got free tea and coffee and we have fridges, microwaves and crockery - which I know some large nearby businesses don't have!
The company throw Summer and Christmas parties, usually at a bar in town and they’re always a good excuse to relax. And I find bar queues are a great leveller - last summer I had a long chat with Hugo while waiting to get served. He seems very approachable and seemed to care how I was getting on.
Some negatives? Well, there is a risk that if the result of us pivoting doesn't work out, we could all be stuffed. I guess that's true in any business these days? Things look optimistic at the moment though.
Sometimes it can feel there is lack of direction or clarity. This has reduced over the past 12 months (as we used to just swing from one poorly thought out idea to the next with no value realisation performed). If you’re someone who doesn't enjoy moving at a face pace, learning new technologies quickly on the job, and requires a long term project plan to work from - this place isn't for you.
Oh, and that proximity to town I mentioned earlier - don't expect to maintain a slim waistline with all the trips to Yard & Coop/This & That/Tim Hortons...
Advies aan management
My only advice is to keep up the open dialogue. It's been nice to hear the negatives in the company briefings (rather than sweep them under the carpet).
Remember that not everyone is always on the same wavelength as you - keep reminding people of what we need to do and why we need to do it.
Keep rewarding people too. If the next 6 months of work lines the company's pockets make sure you give some big “thank you”s out to the people who built it for you. Don't take IT staff for granted. We’re in high demand in Manchester - we can go work elsewhere if we don't feel respected or rewarded adequately, and replacing us is not an easy task.