Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

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

5 people found this helpful  

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 an year)

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 ManagementAdvice

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.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook

12 Other Employee Reviews for Thermopylae Sciences & Technology (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Overpromise, underdeliver

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Arlington, VA

    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.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

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