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Young and single? This is a dream job

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL

I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (more than an year)

Pros

Amazing people - absolutely brilliant coworkers, variety of technology stacks and projects, lots of management support (at least at the project level), pretty good benefits.

ThoughtWorks has the best coworkers I've ever even imagined. Every single person I meet who works for TW I end up liking. One of the things TW does BEST is selectively hire for both talent and personality. You can immediately trust your coworkers, more than just for technical competence, but also for their good personalities, willingness to help out when needed, go the extra mile, be generally nice and civilized people, etc.

Lots of fun to be had while traveling, provided you don't have anyone waiting at home for you (this job can rapidly destroy a romantic relationship) - drinks on the house, lots of people to hang out with, eat dinner out all the time, etc.

You also have loads of support for technical learning, and the benefit of being able to ask some very, very smart people for help.

Cons

Pay is a healthy notch below the market rate; terrible work-life balance; traveling all of the time is miserable; ethically, rather full of themselves and hypocritical.

A lot gets made at ThoughtWorks about the "pillar three" (social and economic justice) values of the company, and a lot gets talked about it. I don't see so much actually being DONE about it. Some of our biggest clients border on the downright bad (child labor, invasion of privacy, etc), and almost all of them are "just business", ie we're there in mediocre technology stacks simply to make money.

Also, there is not much "pillar two" or technologically cutting-edge stuff happening, at least in the US. Lots of making money though, so it is not a place I would be worried about going out of business. And it's not a bad place to work at all - just gets tiring hearing this self-congratulatory back-patting all of the time about how ethical we are when we work for like, retail and auto industries. Come on.

These are kind of... reactions to the ideologues within TW. At a practical level, there are 2 things that make it very difficult.

1) Pay. While not bad (nobody making a living as a developer is getting paid "badly" at the moment), it's not competitive, and it can be frustrating to go on job sites and see less-talented-than-you developers making 50% more a year in cases. It's demoralizing. It's also tough to be approached for less-fun-and-interesting jobs but jobs that pay in some cases 50% more a year almost weekly without starting to wonder if you're being a fool for turning down serious amounts of money.

2) Travel. This is really the big one for me. Traveling every week is pure misery. Even if you're lucky enough to have shorter flights, you will inevitably end up with delays, waiting in long airport security lines, and spending 3 or 4 or 5 nights a week - every week - away from your loved ones and your home. If you can stay with your parents and have no significant other and just save money and enjoy the travel, this is no problem. Once you're in a relationship, you'll find your husband or wife (or fiance or whatever) will eventually get tired of you being away most of the time. Also you will grow to vehemently despise the American traveling public and become a bitter, jaded, cynical, angry person any time you are forced to step into the miserable places called "airports" (I had stronger words but apparently they were too profane for glassdoor.com). Seriously. I am being sort of funny, but I can't find words strong enough to describe my hatred of air travel. And it started off being fun! I was excited, then I got status, got upgrades.... now it is just tedium and unpleasantness.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Stop being so pretentious. Talk less about P2/P3 and DO MORE about them. Also, stop treating your big accounts like you are too afraid to lose them - take more risks. Consider the benefits of having an office that has more travelers, but is in a cool, affordable city (NYC/SF/CHI too expensive, ATL/DAL/AUS too lame, TOR also rather lame).

Also, seriously slow down with the hiring. You will lose the valuable culture you have fought so hard (and done SUCH A GOOD JOB) to get.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

293 Other Employee Reviews for ThoughtWorks (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    The best job I've ever had

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

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I love that I am able to work on the things I am most passionate about; no matter what they are. Always knowing that the work you are doing is part of the greater good is a big pro for me. Some companies have a few projects a year that are aligned with making the world a better place, but I love knowing that every minute I put in at ThoughtWorks is going towards something good.

    Cons

    It can be hard to to have so many teams and groups at one company. You really need to pick a choose which one's you can make the most impact with. My first mistake was joining to many internal groups. That is kind of a pro as well though. There are so many ways to help out at ThoughtWorks that you have to audit your choices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great learning experience

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

    I worked at ThoughtWorks

    Pros

    Very smart people and great energy

    Cons

    Traveling is very difficult. You are always on airports

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