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I am completing a PhD in maths, and want to move in to software development. Some of the companies I am applying to are rather small, and do not have any feedback from either current or past employees on websites like glassdoor.

What are good ways to judge software companies (preferably pre interview, since obviously one can ask anything at the interview), and how good they would be, when the information described above is not available.

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    Related question for during an interview – enderland Aug 5 '14 at 11:29
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    I have no idea why this question was down-voted, but it is valid. I'm upvoting it to correct the oversight. – Mike Van Aug 12 '14 at 17:10
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Doing some independent research on places such as glassdoor can be useful, however it's worth noting that many people will readily share negative experiences whist positive feedback is generally less forthcoming.

I know it's mentioned time and again but remember an interview works both ways, you're both deciding whether you want the other. On a couple of occasions if I've been invited to an interview but am unsure about the company, it's ethos/working environment etc. I've asked to spend an hour/half a day etc. whatever works for you and them with the team you'd be working with should you be successful. Spending the time with the team rather than the management should give you the opportunity to diplomatically find out from them what opportunities are offered and what the company is like to work for.

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Well, one possible way would be to check out the source code of their business website. It could give hints on how their coding standards are, and possibly what kind of process and technology they use. But other than that, if there is no information on them anywhere, and you don't know (or they don't have) any ex-employees, I think it's going to be very difficult to review the company before an interview.

  • Not necessarily true, business website is often completely separate from the product, for instance, I have seen where the website will be in wordpress and is just meant to be a landing place and point of contact. – Ray Aug 13 '14 at 14:49

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