FreeWave Technologies Reviews

Updated March 1, 2015
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2.3
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Kim Niederman
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  1. Learning to be a wireless communication test engineer

    Former Intern - Systems Test Intern in Boulder, CO
    Former Intern - Systems Test Intern in Boulder, CO

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly employees who are willing to help you learn.

    Cons

    Pay is on the low side for graduate student intern.

  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Seemed like a good fit, at first.

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

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    An opportunity to be a part of what I thought was a legendary company, some great colleagues, some short lived fun times. Like most reviewers here, I thought the move from the old office to the new office was a good choice. The new office is really nice. I also liked the free drinks and fresh fruit every day. It gave the impression of a company that cared for its employees. But impressions can often be deceiving.

    Cons

    My first 6 months were great. I made some fantastic friends and felt really good about my decision to join a company that had such a good reputation in the marketplace. Add in the bonus and SEP schemes and it felt like Christmas. But then things drastically changed for the worse.

    Impossible deadlines, poor management, hostility, disrespect, and a clear lack of direction. Being critical of anything was a big NO NO! Anything remotely perceived as negative would get you fired, even if you were awesome at your job. The short sightedness of these decisions really worried me. Seriously, who wants to work under conditions such as those? When you can't be critical of where the problems lay how are you supposed to fix said problems?

    I genuinely feel sorry for the people who still work there. It's an oppressive place to spend your days.
    Then there's compensation. No SEP for Q3/Q4 '14 and by all accounts it won't be coming back, ever. Bonuses were never part of the equation for me even though it was part of the "package" I signed for.

    Overall, a professional mistake on my part, but I did take away some good life lessons and great friends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want credibility on this site it's probably best not to leave fake reviews that paint a false picture of what is really going on. Because there appears to be a lot going on.

    And I think everyone knows that treating your staff with respect wins you respect. I was on the receiving end of some pretty disrespectful interactions that ultimately led to my desire to get out. Disrespect wins you nothing but failure. Putting yourselves in the shoes of employees would bring some benefit to your leadership, which was often questioned by numerous employees during my time there.

    Lead from the front and take care of your people, because at some point you'll have nobody left but yourselves. And where will you be then?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. Exciting company for those who want to be part of the solution.

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

    I have been working at FreeWave Technologies full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    This company is redefining itself, and it's a great time to be working here. I enjoy the opportunity to make a visible, significant difference as an individual contributor. Compared to public companies and even private ones with 2-3X as many employees, FreeWave is an exciting place to work. It's not for everyone, though. If you like being pigeon-holed in the same job, designing the same widget, day-after-day, this company is not for you.

    Cons

    Sometimes, management can get too busy putting out daily fires to adequately tend to the strategic task of steering the company through the competitive waters they find themselves in. However, this "con" is well-known and discussed openly, and I see signs that real attempts to fix this are being pursued.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to listen and accept feedback from your best critics--your own employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Difficult Environment as an Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Boulder, CO
    Former Intern - Intern in Boulder, CO

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    1) Free drinks
    2) Some experience

    Cons

    During my employment as an intern, I experienced the sharp transition from what used to be a fantastic learning environment to one that was confused and stifling. Engineers, who at one point would kindly assist me with any details regarding a project or present new project opportunities, were mysteriously fired and replaced. Asking questions to the newly-hired engineers was discouraged. The engineering department became secluded and the concept of working as a team diminished significantly.

    The company takes advantage of interns as they acquire more experience. Unrealistic deadlines, poor communication, and lack of documentation make it difficult to progress with any given project. You may expect to be jumbled around to different departments as each one experiences some crisis and requires your assistance - even if you were hired for the department you intend to pursue a career in.

    Currently, I am now working at a similar radio company and am amazed at the contrast. All of the employees are friendly, laid back, and success-driven. Communication of priority tasks and feedback on work are both expressed clearly. Interns can expect to receive a copious amount of experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - If you appreciate the work of your intern, demonstrate it and don't take advantage of them.
    - Give your intern feedback on good work and areas of improvement
    - Avoid unnecessary and excessive cursing or immature comments
    - Operate as a team

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Good company with good products getting beat up by sour ex-employees

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

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The CEO is rough but he cares and wants the company to succeed.

    Cons

    There are a lot of sour grapes who used to work for the company and make it tough for current employees and managers who are still working there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't allow employees so much input into the decisions that are made. They end up becoming disgruntled when you don't take all their advice, leave and post nasty comments. Most companies don't allow for this much input and employees know they don't run the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful

    If you enjoy negativity, sarcasm, tantrums and a generally hostile environment, this is the place for you!

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

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Some team members who really care and keep trying to make a difference.

    Cons

    - Lack of information sharing, collaboration, trust, and general respect across some departments and leaders.
    - Road-blocking by managers
    - Tantrums (yes, really), outbursts, and hostile, sarcastic off-hand remarks by senior team members that are just plain unprofessional
    - Elimination of bonuses, decline of SEP shares due to poor decision making by senior team looking to point fingers at the everyone else.
    - The never ending drama related to the personal dispute between the original founders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Stop being defensive and LISTEN to those who try to help you.
    - Truly partner with your mid-level staff to solve problems.
    - Share information to help improve technical competencies.
    - Stop allowing unhealthy, unprofessional behavior at ALL levels (lying, throwing angry fits, cursing, belittling others, going behind people's backs on pet projects, etc.)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful

    This is really, really bad place to spend your week (and weekends)

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

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    1) nice new-ish building. 2) free diet cokes

    Cons

    Are you considering a position In Bellevue Washington? Or in Boulder, CO?
    Think again! Learn from past Boulder employees:

    I write this mainly as a warning to others, as it is impossible for me to offset the badness here. This is, by far, the most messed up place I have ever worked. It is dysfunctional from the top on down. Our 3 year old "management" team and their doesn't-apply-to-us rules a.k.a. "Freewave 2.0" are just plain toxic.

    Engineers report that reasonable, but already-aggressive time estimates are further slashed by a factor of 2x-3x by management which purports to "know better". In a practical sense, this means that you will be given NO time to simulate, prototype or debug your designs. Instead, there is barely enough schedule for you to throw something on paper and ship it!. But you'll be sorry if it doesn't work the first time...

    This is called responsibility with no authority. And it permeates this company at all levels. (But excludes the management team, of course.) Without any schedule or technical authority whatsoever (oh, but bunches of responsibility), engineers are leaving in droves.

    In an environment where staff is so short-handed from all the people leaving, you then are forced to work Saturdays and even Sundays to meet the ego-driven, fabricated schedules which you had NO input on. (as YOU clearly are "behind", right?). But when you are forced in on weekends, you will not see any of the management team. As they never have to live by their own rules or decisions...

    In order to address the wide gulf between what is demanded and what you are actually enabled to do, management has introduced the "PIP" (Personal Improvement Plan). It is effectively a probation tool that is just one step away from firing. Sadly, once you are given a PIP, there is no mechanism for undoing it. It is permanent. I have seen really good, conscientious people quit for this policy alone. (Or likely it was just their last straw...)

    Read the other reviews on this site: Our bonus plan is GONE as of early 2013. And now our SEP (retirement) plan is largely reduced. Meanwhile again, on this same site, look at all of the new postings for engineering positions! This is NOT a sign of growth. Rather, it's a sign of panicked replacement of all of the engineering talent that left! Simply, Freewave has burned through the large engineering population in Denver-Boulder. Plus here the word about this workplace is out. This is why the Washington office has opened.

    Finally, in the company profile, you can see testimonials from those happy employees. I know several of them. They aren't so happy now. Please note that these testimonials are about 5 years old. So much destruction has happened and bad managers hired since then.

    And yes, H.R. knows of this site and all of these factual reviews. In response, they have padded Glassdoor reviews with now 3-4 fake good ones in an attempt to dilute what is really happening.

    Learn from the mistakes of many others and just don't go here.

    If you really want to work with radios, check out Xetawave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have repeatedly hired bad people into management positions.
    Someone else needs to fix this, as you clearly don't know what you are doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful

    Unfortunate Experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Good people before they all left or were forced out by incompetent management.

    Cons

    People were let into the leadership despite bad references. Officers now "leading" were not properly vetted or qualified and are now repeating their past failures with this company. HR is a joke and is nothing more than a part of this company's many problems despite their posts as "employees" to the contrary. Many good people left and will continue to leave until this company acknowledges its ridiculous turnover rate and gets its act together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bullying and intimidating are not leading. Respect cannot be mandated and will never be earned in the current environment. Try to mitigate the damage you are doing to people and their careers - karma is real.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful

    Only Because You CANNOT Choose NO Stars

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

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Soda and popcorn machines. Nice new building. On bike trails.

    Cons

    Leadership or lack there of. There's a reason why this company has so many poor reviews. These are not hostile employees and it's says a lot when companies feel they need to have a plant go and put something good thinking it will change all the bad. HR is not your friend. They lie and cheat. Do not go to them with any employment concern. But that is leadership as a whole. Cannot be trusted. They have turned some great happy employees into very angry mad and depressed people. This twice before joining this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move on. It's time to either close the doors or step aside and let a true leadership team come in and make a difference in a positive way. Live up to your own values. Why did you put them into place if you are not going to walk the walk?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful

    Once a great radio company

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

    I worked at FreeWave Technologies full-time

    Pros

    The office location near Boulder Creek and Valmont bike park make for restful lunch breaks.

    Cons

    What was once a great radio company is now reduced to reselling cheap Taiwanese built radio modules. Many of the original employees in the company have left to work for a new company by the FreeWave cofounder. I am one of them. The new CTO is now starting an R&D office near his home in Bellevue, WA. Two more great people left in the last few weeks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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