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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at The Climate Corp full-time for less than a yearPros
I'm a slave to learning new things. As long as I'm learning, I'm happy. At TCC, I get an opportunity to work right alongside researchers to turn their research into software. I get to dip my toes into data science, machine learning, and statistics all while writing Clojure running in the cloud. For developers like me that want to work on the cutting edge, but don't want to move out of St. Louis, there really is no other game in town that can offer what TCC does without telecommuting.
Likewise, the people you work alongside are going to be of similar mind. The engineering organization at TCC has relatively few positions that don't write any code whatsoever. The enterprise architects that haven't written a line of actual code in years don't exist here. Your QA people are writing automated cucumber tests. Your business analysts are writing python scripts to gather usage metrics. Your Sysadmin/Devops people are writing CLI tools to make your life easier. You're not going to find people that haven't learned a thing about new technology since they got their Oracle DBA certification in 1992. You really have to crave new technology, which is why I say this job isn't for everyone.
One last pro...there is no red tape to get in your way of accomplishing your tasks. For example, we needed a new RDBMS instance to support a request from some researchers to be able to query some soil data. The devops folks had one available for us the next day, with the only debate being around whether to use MySQL or PosgreSQL. At other places I've worked, that request would require literally hundreds of man hours in meetings.Cons
TCC has a concept of a Sprintbattical. This is a 1-2 week break to work on basically whatever you want, so long as you come back and show your colleagues what you worked on and what you learned. I use the word "concept" specifically because in my 6 months at TCC I've never actually seen anyone go on one of these. This would be a huge pro to working here if they actually had a system in place to actually support this, but as of right now, they don't.
I've only been with the company 6 months, but it seems clear that some people that are above and beyond the best engineers in their groups should be in charge of far more than they are. I can not say that this is a systemic issue, but it seems likely that there is a lack of promoting from within. I also don't see a whole lot of opportunity for career growth beyond the Senior Software Engineer level, but that may be simply because most of the legacy TCC engineers are just so young.
Some of the things that worked great for 100 employees are a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea for 500+. As TCC has grown, it has left a lot of mess in its wake. While there is an effort underway to clean up most of these issues, some of the issues are going to take a few years to fix. Just one example...as a startup, it was perfectly fine to just throw all code into the same git repo. Today, the primary git repo is too large to download with the St. Louis office wi-fi. While we're moving to Stash and breaking it up into smaller repos now, I suspect that mega-repo will be used for a very long time to come.Advice to ManagementAdvice
25 years ago Monsanto was primarily a chemical company dipping their toes into biotech. Today Monsanto is a biotech company that has a chemical business on the side. Dave Frieberg, in his letter to the New Yorker, stated that the fact that Monsanto didn't change their name during that transition was one of their most expensive mistakes ever. I feel like we're possibly seeing Monsanto remedy that mistake as they begin their transition into the world of software. 25 years from now The Climate Corporation might be a 30,000 employee software company with a seed business on the side.
At some point, TCC upper management is going to have to decide if they want to stop pretending that they're still a startup and become a mega-MNC, or if they do want to keep the culture that got them where they are today. Whatever direction the company chooses for its future, don't lie to your employees about it. Make transparency a core tenet. When people leave regardless of reason, throw happy hours for them to celebrate what they did for the company rather than just letting them head off into the night and pretending that they never worked there. When people get fired, be open with the team about reason for the firing, and don't let rumors propagate. Don't send out emails saying "we're going to take a step back and slow down on new feature delivery to make sure we're promoting quality software", and then proceed to remove absolutely nothing from the 2014 roadmap.RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 months - interviewed at The Climate Corp in June 2014.Interview Details
The interview process was about as painful as one could imagine. Even after a referral from a current employee, the process to get TWO interviews out of the way took over two months. The first was a 10 minute screening from the head hunter to make sure you were worthy of their time. The second was a thirty minute Q and A all based around personality.
I could tell the gentleman I interviewed with the second time around was either on his lunch break or heavily distracted as the engagement and participation on his end was less than impressive. After being told by numerous people that the decisions would be made within a two week process, I found out quickly that wasn't the case. After two and a half months of following up and wasting my time, they decided, without a face to face, that they were going to pursue other candidates. You would have thought this was for a six figure income position, when in fact it was simply an entry level position worth maybe 45k annually. I appreciate what they are doing in the world, and hope that this company can get through the infancy stages and develop a more effective interview process for future candidates.Interview Questions
No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
- They asked me what my dream job would be, as well as what job I would like to have the least. Seemed fairly irrelevant and didn't prove to be valuable. Answer Question
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The Climate Corporation aims to help farmers around the world protect and improve their farming operations with uniquely powerful software and insurance products. The company's proprietary technology platform combines hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modeling, and high-resolution weather simulations to deliver climate.com, a solution that helps farmers improve...
Mission: Our mission is to help all the world's people and businesses manage and adapt to climate change.