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13 people found this helpful

my experience at puppet labs was not bad

Former Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
Former Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR

I worked at Puppet Labs full-time (less than a year)

Pros

one of the main pros about puppet labs was the overall great company morale. the work was great and very satisfying. i loved what i did.

Cons

one of the main cons about puppet labs was lots of back stabbing and politics.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Relaxed and mature company made up of adults

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Puppet Labs (more than a year)

    Pros

    The culture isn't very much like a startup. I think it's because the software isn't glamorous . We make infrastructure. It's relaxed, friendly, we swear and drink beer, but it's a company by adults for adults.

    Speaking of adults, the work life balance is very good. Most people have families they want to go home to. Except in rare "oh god everything is on fire" moments, I see my team come in at 9, leave at 5, or come in at 10, leave at 6, that kind of thing. You can work from home basically any time you want. Your dog's sick? WFH. Stubbed your toe? Take the day off. As long as you're getting your work done, no one cares what you do or how you do it. It feels very much like I'm on a team of adults working toward a common goal, instead of engineers being herded and prodded by managers.

    As far as I can tell, Puppet is one of the better places to work in tech, in terms of being respected, treated equally, etc. We're not bro-ish, or too aggressive. What I've seen personally is people publicly voice concerns about this or that policy not being conducive to being an accepting work place, and the upper management jump on it and try to resolve it. We know that to get the best talent pool we need a diverse group of people, and try to create a mature atmosphere that everyone will be comfortable in. Also try to be accommodating as much as possible with things like catered events and free lunches, there's always vegan and vegetarian food, not that that's surprising given the city we're in.

    The people are exceptionally friendly and easy to work with. The hiring process must filter out the not-nice people pretty well. I think I could name one person in all the time I've worked here that I didn't like hanging out with.

    The couple of bosses I've had have been very supportive of my own personal career goals and always willing to set aside time to talk about my concerns

    The company is very conservative for a start up. We have parties with food and all that, but it's always in moderation, and money isn't just thrown around. We switched (wisely) from 30" Apple monitors to nice 30" Dell monitors last year, for instance

    What else... I've worked at a failed web dev start up and Intel, and I have to say Puppet has exceeded my expectations. I have no plans to move on any time soon. I'm sure there are other companies just as great in the Portland area, but Puppet is for sure one of the nicer places to work.

    Luke (the CEO) is a joy. He's bitter, dry, always vaguely unhappy looking, and hates giving presentations. Former sysadmin, so you know. I have faith in him because he's incredibly transparent. He's pragmatic, intelligent, never talks down to us, doesn't sugar coat the truth.

    Cons

    I'll just say that like any engineering job there's a disconnect between engineers' desires and the product owners' desires. There's always grumbling about release schedules and scope changes and all that. But no group of people will be perfect, and it could be so much worse, I know.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't know, just keep not being unreasonable people. As the company grows we should strive to keep everyone as interconnected and friendly as possible. Intel's a great company but for let's not become like them

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Exciting and progressive place to work, but very little career growth opportunity for a startup.

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

    I have been working at Puppet Labs full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The CEO is remarkably genuine, sincere, and approachable. The atmosphere is very laid back, with lots of perks like free food in the kitchen, a great vacation policy, a flexible schedule, and dogs in the office. They are also very dedicated to supporting remote work, which opens up options that a lot of companies are missing out on. A great many of the people in the trenches are just all-around fabulous to work with.

    Cons

    It's fashionable for companies to put staff in a "bull pen", and Puppet Labs has followed suit. At least they provide headphones so you can try to drown out all the distractions.
    The social culture in some circles can be over-the-top progressive. You have to keep your head down, unless you are into identity politics and disparaging those outside the "right groups".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find and hire management that knows how to scale with growth. Much of the current engineering management seems stuck in a 50-person startup mentality in terms of communication, structure, and accountability. At larger scales, that mentality leads to confusion, inconsistency, and numerous "emergencies".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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