Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

www.t-sciences.com
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There are newer employer reviews for Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

Helpful (5)

The Technology is Fun. The CTO & Technical Leadership do not exist.

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

I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time (more than a year)

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook

Pros

The software can provide some really interesting projects.
There are some great engineers and the work life balance is good.
There are fun parties and good activities.
The Benefits are very nice.

It could be a GREAT place to be if you didn't have to compensate for some really bad employees.

Cons

Salary lower than what you can make elsewhere.
There is no career path for tech, and the company does not have a CTO.
Government work tends to come with people who are meat in a seat. TST definitely has some of that.
There are some terribly bad people who don't work (game, screw things up, pass work off on others) but stay employed because of magic.

Advice to Management

You have to let people who do not contribute go. It doesn't matter if they were in the service, or an old friend. It breeds and atmosphere of nepotism and then moral tanks and then those who are not in the buddy club stop pulling the dead weight.

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  1. Laid back company working on innovative products

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

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Casual work environment.
    -Interesting work.
    -Free snacks and drinks.

    Cons

    -Lack of documentation for projects.

    Advice to Management

    Keep maintaining a casual work environment, but place more emphasis on documentation and organization.

  2. Helpful (5)

    Going down hill and speeding up

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

    I worked at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Casual dress code. Company uses Google Hangouts and Google Apps for collaboration.

    - Flexible on work location. Many of the staff members are remote employees that are in different states and countries.

    - Get to use Good Hardware.

    - The tech support team is awesome for resolving internal issues regarding equipment. They make sure everyone has what they need to do their job effectively and realize the workers need an environment to be productive.

    Cons

    Most organizations claim to have lofty goals and values, but many fall flat when you look at what actually matters to them in how they reward or disincentivise certain behaviours and environments. Thermopylae’s problems are many and deep, but can generally be broken into two distinct categories: compensation and environment.

    Compensation
    The annual review process, or lack there of, has no bearing on raises and bonus. Raises are less than inflation and bonuses appear to be based purely on social status.

    There is little to no opportunity for career or skills growth. There is no pathway to being respected for technical skills. Employees should be able to become an expert in a field and teach their co-workers what they’ve learned. There appears to be an inferiority complex amongst many in management and some engineers that actively punishes initiative takers and keeps the company from realizing it’s potential. To make matters worse, the company has a tiny training budget that most don’t qualify for.

    Employees are constantly in fire fighting mode and expected to work 60+ hours to “overcome challenges”. At the same time, salaries are below average and there is no overtime paid for time beyond 40 hours.

    Environment
    Many companies are highly productive by being a flat organization, but Thermopylae uses it to hide problems and maintain chaos. Experts in fields are ignored, skills go unrecognized and good people are underutilized. There is no accountability to deliver the best solution and there are no consequences for failure...people just get moved around. It’s a pretty easy job to stay at if you’re interested in not doing much of anything.

    There are rumors that Thermopylae has asked specific employees to write reviews on glassdoor taking away anonymity or objectivity. I don't know if the rumors are true, but 4 of the 5 star reviews here were posted within a 2 day period by current employees...it seems fishy. No one is going to write an honest review when HR is going to check what you wrote.

    Management often makes promises to appease or acquire employees but avoids following through by using excuses like “business needs”. Why make promises you can’t keep?

    They use last years government slowdown as an excuse for poor morale and people quitting (averaging 1 per week for months). Good companies get better in slowdowns. They improve their position and improve their core staff. Thermopylae did the opposite.

    While management claims the opposite, their behavior makes it clear that Thermopylae is a consulting company, not a product company. There are more people working in management than developing products. There are 3 products, but these are used to get consulting contracts (often completely unrelated to what the products actually do). The number of product sales could be counted on 1 hand.

    My reason for leaving was not a snap judgement. I’m not one to complain to management about paying me more. Everyone can always go get more money by switching jobs. I realize that you can’t get a raise every time you ask or always get your way. Before my departure I decided I would stick it out and see if it would be better in a year (either in the sense of acquiring more technical talent or financially). When that date came around, I made the decision to start entertaining offers. If Thermopylae’s issues had improved, I would have stayed, but I didn’t see myself better a year from now. I honestly believe it is still getting worse.

    Advice to Management

    Realize that the people choose to work for your company, not because they have to.

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