158 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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3 people found this helpful  

Exciting Place to Work and Apply Your Engineering Skills

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer  in  Hawthorne, CA
Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Hawthorne, CA

I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

The level of autonomy for engineers is very high, almost overwhelming at times. Many decisions are made by the engineers, and the assignments are very challenging. Often, workers must take the initiative to discover, analyze, and address potential issues. Watching the launches is nothing short of entirely exhilarating. The company buys us all lunch each month and throws a great holiday party. The president, Gwynne Shotwell, is particularly concerned with making employees happy. Having worked at a big, established aerospace company, I can say that SpaceX is completely different. While they're taking two months to add a doubler at a stress concentration, we're troubleshooting far greater issues in less than two weeks.

Cons

Depending on where you work and whether you are "the long pole" driving the schedule, work hours can be very long. Some people burn out, and some people are able to pace themselves a bit better. I think the technicians are ridden particularly hard to churn out hardware. Management sometimes makes decisions that are baffling to us engineers, and sometimes they refuse to make decisions and opt to just blame the perceived guilty party when things don't work out (not always--it's gotten a lot better). There is a constant prevailing sense of urgency and risk (could be a good thing).

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Taking large risks is necessary, but sometimes being a bit conservative is prudent as well.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for Space Exploration Technologies

  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    Exciting place but not a realistic workplace for adult & professional parents

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Statics Engineer  in  Hawthorne, CA
    Former Employee - Statics Engineer in Hawthorne, CA

    I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    great and exciting product, the engineering team is wise and most of them very fun to work with, the company sponsors fun events to keep employees happy, full of sugar and caffeine. Christmas parties and launch parties are a blast. If you are buddies with the right people in the engineering team you will be invited to some great house parties. Make sure to find a DD.

    Cons

    Spacex will hire and fire as quick as the flavor of the months comes and goes, some management is comprised by inexperienced youngsters with no leadership skills, profane language is widely used, the team practices very little fellowship, work hours are in the range of 13 hrs+ daily including weekends. Great place for an intern but not so much for professional parents that need the stability of a set work schedule. The company is going through some growing pains and your happiness here will depend on how much you are willing to tolerate and who you are buddies with. If you mind a harsh non-collaborative culture that endorses the use of profane language, and work hours in the rage of 13 hrs+ daily then this place might not be for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in management and leadership training for your managers. Establish a culture of respect among management and downwards. Value people for their skills and stop the tall-telling to evaluate someone's performance. A buddie's opinion isn't always right and unbiased. A buddie's seniority shouldn't play a role in his/her value to the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 12 people found this helpful  

    Employees are overworked and discarded for any issue

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

    I have been working at Space Exploration Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some of the greatest and most hardworking people all working together to accomplish amazing feats under tight schedules. The amount of support you recieve from technicians, machinists, welders, and other support staff is astonishing. People will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

    Cons

    No matter the anount of work that you put in or what you accomplish. The ever shifting upper management will discard you if it prevents them from having to face the CEO. Snap judgements are made and people scarmble to place the blame. Schedules are unrealistic. Knowledge is lacking. Methods are questionable. Highly unprofessional upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to blame others for shortcomings and understand that you're not building cars. Understand what it takes to actually design and build these parts and assemblies and the sacrifices that it takes to achieve the impossible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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