ViaSat

  www.viasat.com
  www.viasat.com
There are newer employer reviews for ViaSat

1 person found this helpful  

Major management issues

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Network Engineer in Denver, CO
Current Employee - Network Engineer in Denver, CO

I have been working at ViaSat

Pros

Good benefits, nice coworkers, interesting work, nice vision.

Cons

Projects meander, with no one in a leadership position making strategic decisions, until the last minute, then there is a flurry of activity and 7 day weeks to get the project out and make the deadline. As a result things get released to customers less than fully baked. Luckily Viasat has good lawyers.

Viasat also has a tendency to replace groups of people instead of taking the time to figure out who is valuable and who isn't.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

The management structure is not innovative. The flat management thing is fine for smaller companies, but there is a reason larger companies don't have a flat structure like Viasat.

This is going to be a greater impediment as the company grows.

Approves of CEO

125 Other Employee Reviews for ViaSat (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Excellent Place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Carlsbad, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Carlsbad, CA

    I worked at ViaSat

    Pros

    The culture and environment at ViaSat are geared towards making the employee happy and willing to excel with new opportunities and positions. They are willing to move people from one position to another if they think that the new position will be a good fit.

    Cons

    Sometimes the management does not see the individual work being done and can overlook competent people. There is a culture of long hours on many projects and a common 'work more to finish it on time' attitude. This can burn people out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Watch out for the people on the projects that are running late or in trouble as those are the employees who are most likely to run away when the system starts to grind on them. These can be some of the best and brightest.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Not recommended for RF engineers looking for career growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - RF Engineer in Carlsbad, CA
    Current Employee - RF Engineer in Carlsbad, CA

    I have been working at ViaSat

    Pros

    The company does not layoff its engineers often, and offers many positions with low levels of responsibility for those looking to coast. The fear of layoffs within the company is often out of proportion.

    The 401K matches up to 10%, and annual salary raises are provided between 5% and 10%.

    A free gym membership is offered to the gym next door.

    The location in Carlsbad, CA is a 10 minute drive to the beach and offers all the fringe benefits of Southern California weather.

    Cons

    For an RF engineer, Viasat offers little skill development and technical growth in the field. The work consists of chain analysis via excel spreadsheets, PWA layout, RF testing, and working with production. The RF testing is the largest portion, with the majority of the time spent in a lab doing RF Tech level testing (eg measuring RF parameters across multiple samples using spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, etc). For a design engineer, this work isn't appropriate and doesn't develop skills in creativity and analysis inherent in RF design.

    There is almost no work with critical RF simulation tools such as ADS, Momentum, HFSS, etc:

    Ansoft Designer is used for lumped filter analysis, however this work doesn't develop any useful simulation skills. Simulation is never taken seriously because none of the models are accurate.

    Skills in design aren't developed among its junior RF engineers:

    The framework consists of a handful of senior RF engineers (+10 years) who primarily do a design such as a transceiver chain using excel, then pass the PWAs for testing to the junior engineers. The junior engineers then debug issues (usually involving a schematic error) and make measurements across multiple samples to support the design. The designs use off the shelf components for 1 - 2 GHz transceivers , with the analysis and component selection typically rehashed.

    Management has serious flaws at ViaSat:

    The managers are picked by seniority over ability to manage the project and its engineers. This results in managers who do not handle the project and its engineers with dexterity, but rather go to war with forcing them to meet unrealistic deadlines. ViaSat wins its contracts by underbidding the competition with an unrealistic schedule, then puts aggressive managers who can push the RF engineers to work long hours. On a prototype project, expect to work 12 hour days taking measurements over several months.

    I'll close with an RF engineer I worked with recently. In order to meet the project deadlines, he would leave work before his kids woke up, and arrive after they'd gone to bed. He consistently worked 12 hour days in the lab doing testing and tuning, developing no new skills but rather working to keep his job. This is not atypical at Viasat. If you plan to interview here, dig deep with questions to the lower level RF engineers to find out the full story.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on getting the junior RF engineers into design as soon as possible. Have a planned trajectory for their skill development with scheduled benchmarks. Work on sharing information between projects and departments, to improve the IP at ViaSat, while providing an educational resource to the engineers for continued growth. Remove the managers who operate by force and work on scheduling directly with the engineers. Treat your engineers as a respectful resource rather than a labor tool.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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