General Atomics

www.ga.com
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General Atomics Reviews

Updated February 22, 2015
Updated February 22, 2015
42 Reviews
2.0
42 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
General Atomics Chairman and CEO Neal Blue
Neal Blue
42 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • flexible hours, flexible schedule great benefits encouragement to learn and work independently (in 10 reviews)

  • I really enjoyed the 9/80 schedule (work 9hrs/day and get every other Friday off) (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management is very arrogant and doesn't listen to their employees (in 4 reviews)

  • Very poor upper management, unqualified (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

42 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    The benefits of this company were very very good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - EMS Engineering in Rancho Bernardo, CA
    Former Employee - EMS Engineering in Rancho Bernardo, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    They encouraged their employees to develop new procedures and other things on their own; they trust you.

    Cons

    They do not look after the employees. Time spent with them means nothing and seniority means virtually nothing. Once an employee is hired, I would expect for that company to try and hold on to that employee through anything. They don't. The work is from contract to contract. Once the contract ends, they do not try to place the employees anywhere else even though the employees have many skills that would transfer to other jobs within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold on to the employees you have instead of looking to new interns to do the jobs. Consider the wealth of knowledge the employees have built up for you and build on that instead of looking on the outside - look in your house first.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Incompetent company full of stubborn old men

    Former Employee - Department Specialist III in Poway, CA
    Former Employee - Department Specialist III in Poway, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can never get fired, no matter how little work you do.
    Benefits are ok.
    Most people under 35 are nice to work with.

    Cons

    You will never be promoted, unless you have a relative who can boost your career.
    There is no free coffee or snacks.
    Salary workers are expected to work whatever schedule management decides on a whim, without overtime pay.
    Your ideas will never be heard or implemented.
    Removal of all personal items from cubes made the place droll and depressing.
    The meetings are complete wastes of time.
    Severely poor management of lab resources.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire.

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Soul sucking company. Stay away.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Technician in San Diego, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Clean facilities. Great company name on your resume profile. Good benefits. Generous amount of holidays that stacks up with 9/80 schedule. VERY flexible work hours thanks to their leave system.

    Cons

    Company is notorious for low-balling employees. How internal bid process to other position within company works is ridiculous. Management is extremely poor. Your hard work goes unnoticed. Almost NO chance to advancement or cross training to expand your resume and skills. My co-workers here are doing everything they can to leave the company, because they cannot bear to work there any longer. Talks of outsourcing is always present, resulting in extremely low morale and outlook among employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote more employee cross training and personal growth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Bad place for a software developer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer V in Rancho Bernardo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer V in Rancho Bernardo, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Ok pay.
    Good benefits.
    401(k) *and* pension.
    Nice people.
    Regular 9/80 hours, no crazy overtime.
    Very flexible usage of vacation leave time.
    Opportunities for senior developers to work on very large areas of code.

    Cons

    This is focused specifically on working as a software developer, and does not apply to other positions.

    The company is focused primarily on hardware and therefore does not care, or even know much about software. The leadership is almost entirely clueless about what a large swath of the company actually does. The software processes are ill suited to produce quality code.

    New and exciting ideas are almost non-existent. Experimenting with new tools and technologies comes along once every 5 years or so. Purchasing tools that make a software developer's job easier is entirely out of the question except in very small quantities.

    There is a mid sized training bureaucracy that every employee must continually stay up to date on, yet none of the training applies to the job of software developer. Training on what, why and how the software works is non existent, and must be manually repeated to every new hire that comes along, without any recognition for the effort of the person doing the training.

    Due to the nature of the software being a Windows desktop application, or embedded processing work, the skills don't really transfer if you're ever looking for another job. Most job ads these days want different skills. So the longer you stay working on outdated technologies, the less employable you are elsewhere. Beware the trap.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Either focus the organization on software, or cease writing software.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Wacky place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    good money and three more words to submit this.

    Cons

    HR runs the whole thing and the patients are running the insane asylum.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a job somewhere else because you don't have a handle on the place

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Product

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at General Atomics

    Pros

    The technology and the work are amazing

    Cons

    There is entirely too much tribal knowledge floating around.
    Some upper level managers are so inept that they cannot lead their way out of a closet

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to people and stop stealing ideas. Maybe they will surprise you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of Competent Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    9/80, pension, holidays, time off are all very generous.

    Cons

    Management, all levels, are not experienced leaders. If they make a decision, it takes FOREVER or is not focused on the company goals (wait goals oh yes, there are none that we know of except make money). The decision is based on what is best for their interests to move up ladder or what their "Exceeds" employee best interests are to move up the ladder.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the "founding fathers" of this company do what they do well, math, science, engineering and bring in REAL managers that know how to run a company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Run Away

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Avionics Technician in Palmdale, CA
    Former Employee - Field Avionics Technician in Palmdale, CA

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    No Work life balance when everything is 50+ Miles away in one direction.

    Cons

    Work, Life, Commute, Salary, People

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please Retire or sell to another corporation to go through a restructuring.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    At will company that will.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Security Officer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Security Officer in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and lots of jobs.

    Cons

    The company is well known for low balling you on salary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Another Brick in the Wall

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer V in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Software Developer V in Poway, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on some fascinating leading-edge technology; excellent as a first job and stepping stone to a better-paying job elsewhere for new graduates; good benefits, but you will pay for many of them; 401K and pension plan; fair starting salary but nothing stellar; chance for annual bonus; nice annual event for employees and their families; public recognition for length of service; 9-hour workday with alternate Fridays off; some very technically talented people to work with; as a privately-owned company, GA can take the long view without shareholder interference; San Diego

    Cons

    Excessively bureaucratic; highly compartmentalized with little cross-team interaction; little opportunity for advancement or growth; plan to stay in the same job, doing the same thing, at the same job classification and inflation-pegged raises, for years and years; manager can block intra-company transfer even if it would be for a better job; little autonomy, multiple levels of approval are needed to do anything new, different, or even to get the tools needed for your job; plan to get thrown under the bus at least once during your time at GA so your manager can move up; increased responsibility rarely results in increased pay; training focuses mostly on learning internal administrative policies and procedures; little instruction on the tools needed to comply with internal policies and procedures; virtually no technical training or direction, you're on your own to maintain your skill set; administrative demands, even trivial, always seem to take precedence over customer work and deliverables; no recognition for your work accomplishments; just won a multi-million dollar contract after years of work?, that's nice, now get back to work; no way to report any extra hours you work (bad for project planning and personal credit); no comp time for evenings or weekends worked; no special amenities, like free coffee or meals if they tell you to work late or on weekends; annual performance reviews focus on the past, rarely the future; no career path planning from management; get it out now then firefight the problems later

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let employees perform an annual evaluation of management; truly listen to employee suggestions and make an honest evaluation; new-employee induction process should be improved to cover more than just policies and administrative procedures; when changes are made, explain why, not just "do it"; push management to move as fast as they push the technical folks; take some management classes

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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