ThoughtWorks – Why Work For Us?

OK, let’s get the corporate stuff out of the way first. ThoughtWorks is a global IT consultancy providing Agile-based systems development and consulting services. We've pioneered many of the most advanced and successful Agile methods of software development and best practices used in the industry today. 

In other words, we build (amazing) software. It’s amazing because we build it with a complete obsession on doing the right thing for the user and the customer, and some innovative methods to get us there really quickly. It’s also amazing because it’s the stuff that makes or breaks companies; software which creates competitive advantage. 
But that’s only part of the story. ThoughtWorks is a social and commercial community based on three pillars – (1) running a sustainable business -- which enables us to (2) deliver software excellence and (3) advocate for positive social change. You’ll hear us talk about our Pillars at lot if you join us.

We see building software as a social activity, best done by teams of brilliant people, not a mechanistic process where individuals are interchangeable cogs in a master plan. Our hiring model focuses on finding outstanding talent, over the mastery of tools. 


Since 1993 ThoughtWorks has grown from a small group of passionate people our founder, Roy Singham, gathered in his basement in Chicago to a company spread across 24 offices in ten countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

We’ve been building game-changing software for our clients since we started. We specialize in creating technology that helps differentiate companies, or that helps make a positive change in the world.

It’s not that straightforward though. If you ask anyone who works here what we do, they’ll give you a different answer. ThoughtWorks is very much what you make of it, and your experience will be shaped by the projects you’re on and the people you work with. We’re also a bunch of entrepreneurs and so we’re just as likely to tell you about the company we want ThoughtWorks to be, as what we are today.

Since we started, in that basement in Chicago, we have made many mistakes, and have learnt a lot about how to build software, but more importantly, how to work effectively. We’re fanatical about helping our industry to get better and we do this by writing books, blogging, and talking at conferences.

Our mission is to better humanity through software and to be a role model for the 21st century socially responsible company. Martin Fowler, our Chief Scientist, blogged about what this looks like when you’re a ThoughtWorker. You can read it at



In terms of our organizational characteristics, we think the following sums us up pretty well:

  • Do the right thing
  • Attitude, aptitude and integrity
  • Service to others and society over self
  • Solidarity over charity
  • Serve holistic goals over achieving targets
  • Personal and organizational transparency
  • Curiosity, creativity and passion
  • Fail fast and publish our mistakes
  • Intolerant of intolerance
  • No jerks
  • High values alignment, loosely coupled

There's something else you should know about us. If you think that the lack of women in IT has something to do with women being genetically indisposed to programming, ThoughtWorks isn’t the place for you. That goes for any other diversity dimension you’d care to suggest. We are really proud to be an equal opportunities employer and an awesome place to work. Our recruiting team is fanatical about sourcing people from all sorts of different backgrounds, because this is what helps us be a more innovative, more inclusive community.



ThoughtWorks believes that people are central to creating great software. We value technological expertise and innovation, but also personal integrity and enthusiasm. At ThoughtWorks, you’ll get a chance to do amazing work, alongside some of the brightest people you have ever met, without the typical frustrations and big company politics (well, at least not internally).

We’re out to build a community of experts, not just provide a one or two-year stepping stone for job-hoppers, so we have a different philosophy of hiring and career development. We have a very exciting graduate scheme, but that doesn’t mean we hire large numbers of inexperienced people and filter them out each year with an 'up or out' approach. We think that leaves something to be desired, and to be frank, it doesn’t fit with our values.

Instead, we hire carefully (and sometimes slowly). If you become a ThoughtWorker, we try and tailor a path that is uniquely right for you. We don’t believe in boilerplate career plans with pre-defined roles. If you have what it takes, we want you to follow your passion. Whether that means moving towards management, immersing yourself deeply in a technical specialty, becoming a cross-discipline general practitioner, or something else entirely of your own choosing.

In terms of our specialities, we generally hire the following types of technical people:

  • Developers (predominantly Ruby, RoR, Java and C#. ThoughtWorks developers are interested in all sorts of other languages too, such as Clojure, Scala and F#)
  • Quality Assurance (especially people who are interested in test automation using tools like Selenium and Watir)
  • Project Managers (with a passion for Agile, servant leadership and enabling self-managing teams)
  • Business Analysts (who take an adaptive approach to requirements gathering)
  • Build and Configuration experts (to help us think about continuous delivery and getting applications into production)
  • UX/UI specialists (as we continue to build our footprint in the world of user experience)


And of course, we also hire all sorts of operational people as required.


ThoughtWorks Reviews

288 Reviews
288 Reviews
Rating Trends

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ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao
Guo Xiao
64 Ratings

    I gained so much experience and many new job skills here

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

    I worked at ThoughtWorks full-time for more than 5 years


    The people! Smart, Forward thinking, movers and shakers. They promote from within. International company and contacts.


    There are consultants who make the company money, and they are treated like gods. Then there is everyone else. All Support or administrative staff merely cost the company money. No real hierarchy or chain to go up with issues. Its common and expected for people to work well over 40 hours a week, that's the bare minimum.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

ThoughtWorks Interviews

Updated Sep 26, 2014
Updated Sep 26, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Software Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 days - interviewed at ThoughtWorks.

    Interview Details

    I thought this was my dream job, I loved the agile development process and outreach done by the company. I met the recruiters at a computer science conference, where I did pair programming on some code I had written. It went very well and I was excited to get flown out to New York City for a 2 day interview. The interview was a HORRIBLE experience, it was much more focused on political beliefs than programming or consulting abilities. I'm pretty sure some of the questions they asked me were illegal in an interview. They are strongly against meritocracy, we argued a lot and by the end they openly claimed to be anti-American and socialist. They told me I was disadvantaged for being a woman and that I only got to where I was because I was privileged. Awful experience.

    Interview Questions
    • What is your stand on meritocracy (i.e. the idea people should be rewarded for hard work and ability)?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview

ThoughtWorks Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
Fast 50, Crain's Chicago Business, 2012
101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Chicago, 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, 2012
Finalist Cyndi Mitchell-ThoughtWorks Studios Managing Director, Cisco Everywoman in Technology Awards, 2012
Best App in the e-Government Category (Smart Services QLD, Flood Donation App), Queensland State iAwards, 2012
101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Chicago, 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, 2011
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Additional Info

Headquarters Chicago, IL
Size 1000 to 5000 Employees
Founded 1993
Type Company - Private
Industry Information Technology
Revenue $50 to $100 million (USD) per year

ThoughtWorks is a global IT consultancy providing Agile-based systems development and consulting services. We've pioneered many of the most advanced and successful Agile methods of software development and best practices used in the industry today.

In other words, we build (amazing) software. We build it with a complete obsession on doing the right thing for the user and...

Mission: Our mission is to better humanity through software and help drive the creation of a socially and economically just world. We bring together the most capable, driven and... More

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