Redwood Technologies – Moultonboro, NH
Driver and Application Level programing on PC based Windows and RTOS platforms. SQL Database and… Job Board
Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookApproves of CEO
- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I worked at Redwood Technologies full-time (Less than a year)
There were few positives to be taken away from my experience at Redwood. The most enjoyable aspect was that, as a graduate fresh out of university, I entered a company where there were many people my own age, most of which were likeable. The CEO likes to meet every new hire personally, which I thought was a nice touch. Pay was reasonable for a fresh grad with no experience in the field.
Virtually everything else. Work life balance was non existent in a company culture in which you would be scowled at for leaving at 19:30, when the work day contractually ended at half 5. Often people would work well into the night, with no recognition or appreciation from middle management. In my time there I saw many examples of this, not least of which when a colleague of mine worked solidly from 8am one morning to 5am the following day without compensation. She had been in the company less than 6 months. Expectancy is high in a culture in which helping your neighbour is not an option. Formal training is non-existent and you are very much expected to pick it up as you go along. This would be fine if it were okay to ask for help when stuck, but the reluctance and eye-rolling with which you are met every time you ask a question, no matter how complex, makes this very difficult. As a result the average work day involves toiling on, and getting immensely frustrated by, tasks which, should someone take the time to show you, should take minutes. It is also for this reason that work days are so long. Indeed, during the interview process it is stressed to you that the work is difficult, complex, and highly demanding; that it really separates the men from the boys. This, I found, was not the case. The reason the staff turnover is so high in the company, and why so many new employees struggle so much, has nothing to do with competency. Rather, it is because of the lack of training and support new employees receive in their attempts to get up to speed. On the rare occasions my colleagues did take time out of their days to teach me (there were far too few of them, but doing so was much to their credit when one considers the pressure put upon them to complete their own tasks) the content of what was being taught was actually quite straightforward and intuitive, but not something that you could teach yourself. Nowhere is the unhelpful environment epitomised more than the unfriendly, unhelpful, condescending and unsupportive middle management. Despite seemingly down to earth and amiable in an interview setting, put them in a work environment and the middle management are anything but. Those immediately responsible for me were abusive, dismissive, irrational bullies. One, in particular, would, rather than respond with 'good morning' when you greeted him in the morning, instead shoot you a filthy look before looking away. Manners and general human decency are values deemed surplus to requirements in an environment in which every man fends for himself, making the office environment incredibly hostile. I have since found employment in the finance sector in central London, and it is a world away from what I experienced at Redwood. The actual work isn't all that dissimilar, but the attitude towards development, people's willingness to help one another, the support offered and the atmosphere in which you are expected to work is infinitely better than at Redwood. I implore those reading this, those considering taking up a role at Redwood, to think again. There is so much better out there, spare yourself the tortuous few months I endured.
Advice to Management
There is a difference between knowledge and intelligence. It is this fundamental lack of understanding that is costing the company thousands of pounds every year, in paying employees who will later inevitably leave or be fired because of an untenable situation in which they either are so fed up they no longer want to work for the company, or have been sacked for their lack of work ethic or failing to progress their understanding. The people you are hiring are graduates. They are ambitious, driven young individuals who want to progress their careers. Failing to work until the late hours of the evening, or early hours of the morning, does not equate to a lack of drive or work ethic. Rather, it pertains to a lack of incentive. Why work those hours for a company who mistreat, and are abusive to, their staff? Why work those hours on a task on which you have received little to no instruction, blindly struggling to find a solution? The flaws in the company will not be easily addressed. They are not do to with business decisions, not to do with business strategy or direction. It is to do with company culture. Throwing a big Christmas party and having a pool table in the dining area does not resolve these issues. It is about day-to-day interaction, about making staff feel valued, about setting up an internal support network in which employees from the bottom up can receive help should they need it. It is also to do with listening to your own. Looking at the reviews on this very website, do you think your employees are happy? If there was a way to be heard, an anonymous feedback system, you would quickly identify that there is a problem. It is naive to believe this is simply part and parcel of the industry you are in, that it is stressful and therefore people will be unhappy. It is in every company's interest to develop knowledge internally, to form a solid team of informed, bright individuals committed to the cause. Your company will not properly manage this without addressing these issues. Besides anything else, you are spending quite a few pretty pennies on individuals like myself who join, stay for a few months and leave, having made minimal contribution having never been given a chance. Money is not everything. You may pay an ok wage, but this is not a substitute for common human decency.