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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time (less than an year)Pros
+ Positive work environment. A casual, Big Bang Theory-like atmosphere where the company and its employees do serious work but don’t take themselves too seriously.
+ Excellent benefits. Four weeks of PTO for sick and vacation, two flex days, flexible spending account preloaded with $5k, excellent health and dental insurance, 401k, revenue sharing, and holiday bonuses. HR always has interesting and fun events from happy hours to karaoke to keep employees happy and engaged.
+ Interesting and innovative work. I learned much about Agile software, REST software, and numerous Google apps and how a startup operates.
+ Company is always looking to improve and innovate its products, expand its market (overpromise).Cons
- Executive management is unclear on how to accomplish said goals (underdeliver).
- Thermopylae’s system of documentation is horribly disorganized. Instead of having one centralized system for all its technical documents, there were five different systems depending on which project you were working on.
- Lack of mentorship/direction. As an entry-level technical writer I didn’t receive much if any training on how to effectively do my job and was left to my own devices to figure out what managers and engineers wanted.
- High turnover. Many of the people who were there when I started left within months of my hire, including the engineering management officer who hired me.
- Seven months after I was hired I was abruptly laid off despite a positive review of my work a few months earlier. I received no notification or warning until HR called me down and told me that there weren’t enough billable hours for technical writing. Because there was one other technical writer but was hired after me, I can only surmise that they paid her less, keeping her and firing me. You would think that in a state of downsizing, a company would follow a “first hired, last fired” rule but I guess not. As a recent college graduate trying to find and keep a job in a difficult economy while paying off debt, this layoff was just unfair. It left me reeling for three months before I found another job.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Be clear about what your goals are and have a plan to accomplish them.
Offer some sort of mentorship or training program so that new hires can learn about this industry and effectively do their jobs.
Notify someone weeks before their termination date if they are going to become a cost of doing business. If employees must give two weeks notice, so should HR.RecommendsApproves of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks – interviewed at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology.Interview Details
I was contacted by Thermopylae for a position they had open that looked like a good fit for my skill set. Spoke to the HR contact, then did a phone interview, followed by an in-person interview
The phone interview was pretty standard with one of the technical members of the team who mainly just asked about my background and explained some of Thermopylae's services. Nothing surprising here.
The face to face interview involved myself and 3 others. One was the hiring manager and the other two were technical employees on the team I would be on. It was very similar to other interviews in which they ask about background then begin a more technical dive into details on how things work. They all appeared knowledgeable and quite friendly.Interview Questions
Reasons for Declining
- Had to write some pseudo-code on the whiteboard (shell script) for a fake use case Answer Question
Upon receiving the offer I had some concerns about discrepancies between HR and the hiring manager and asked for clarification which would influence pay/benefits. HR was to go iron things out and get back to me. 3 days after receiving the offer he called and said they needed anoter few days. 9 days after the offer I reached out and asked for a status and didn't get a response for another 6 days (18 days total). That response was talking about contracts and that they needed another few days to get the contract right.
Never heard a word back after that. No returned calls, no emails, nada. I had other offers pending and have since moved on, but now (3 months later) still haven't heard back. Obviously, they rescinded the offer but never bothered to inform me.
Maybe I fell through the cracks, or they didn't like my counter, but not going radio silent is a big issue with me. If I was still in the market I wouldn't accept the offer after 3 weeks of being ignored.Declined OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview