General Atomics

www.ga.com

General Atomics Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
197 Reviews
3.0
197 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
General Atomics Chairman and CEO Neal Blue
Neal Blue
52 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • flexible hours, flexible schedule great benefits encouragement to learn and work independently (in 10 reviews)

  • I really enjoyed the 9/80 schedule (work 9hrs/day and get every other Friday off) (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management is very arrogant and doesn't listen to their employees (in 4 reviews)

  • Very poor upper management, unqualified (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Just a paycheck, not a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rancho Bernardo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rancho Bernardo, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    Cool products. Some really smart people. I really like my job, but the company culture is so bad that it makes most people disgruntled. Every other Friday off is nice.

    Cons

    Horrible culture. Employees left out of the loop on purpose. Management tries to keep engineers talking to customers. A lot of infighting - multiple personal "kingdoms". Most supervisors not trained properly. HR is absolutely worthless. Two classes of people at GA: the managers and the "sorry people". Employees blamed for management screw-ups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fat, Dumb, and Happy. So much money is thrown at this company that you can afford to have more managers than "worker bees". Managers should realize that they have a job due to the hard work of the people doing the work and charging direct to contracts. Don't hire experienced engineers to work for inexperienced managers. Chain of command extremely confusing. At least 3 managers per worker. Shape up before the rug gets pulled out from under you by your customers. Too many decisions made based upon personal relationships and not business based. Too many fire drills. Reactionary management vs. proactive management. Very poor communication to the employees, but I guess that's ok because employees can't be trusted at GA.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Generally favorable but have doubt in capabilities of upper management

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    Great workplace, excellent people, long-term growth opportunities

    Cons

    unrealistic expectations from employees, too qualified people in low positions with very unqualified in upper management

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Growth phase concerns

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Poway, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Pretty decent benefits, varied assignments, and 9/80 work schedule. The company seems to have a fairly normal work life balance.

    Cons

    Unorganized. Could use more consistency in management team. Seems to be more reactive than proactive and results in rapid response efforts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and try to support them. Many of them are overworked while others seem to be underutilized.

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Wacky place

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    good money and three more words to submit this.

    Cons

    HR runs the whole thing and the patients are running the insane asylum.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a job somewhere else because you don't have a handle on the place

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Product

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

    I have been working at General Atomics

    Pros

    The technology and the work are amazing

    Cons

    There is entirely too much tribal knowledge floating around.
    Some upper level managers are so inept that they cannot lead their way out of a closet

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to people and stop stealing ideas. Maybe they will surprise you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of Competent Management

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

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    9/80, pension, holidays, time off are all very generous.

    Cons

    Management, all levels, are not experienced leaders. If they make a decision, it takes FOREVER or is not focused on the company goals (wait goals oh yes, there are none that we know of except make money). The decision is based on what is best for their interests to move up ladder or what their "Exceeds" employee best interests are to move up the ladder.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the "founding fathers" of this company do what they do well, math, science, engineering and bring in REAL managers that know how to run a company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Typical Defense

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer V in Poway, CA
    Current Employee - Software Developer V in Poway, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great salary if you negotiate it coming in.
    Amazing benefits - pension, health care, year end bonus, 9/80 work week, etc,,,
    Interesting work
    Mandatory overtime is rare
    New buildings devoid of mold and mildew
    Diversity - the engineering staff is multiethnic and there seems to be little or no discrimination

    Cons

    First off, there are none of the perks engineers from other industries might be used to - No free coffee, no free soda, no takeout if forced to pull long hours. Sometimes you're lucky if the AC works. I've heard three very different people refer to this as "the sweat shop" since they have cut the AC and lights before cutting power to the computers. Basically, the company behaves like a startup that is on the tail end of their venture capital money.

    Minimal support from other departments. I get the sense IT, HR, and Payroll would rather not be bothered. If your only work computer breaks, you may have to wait for days until IT comes by to take a look. They're getting better about this, but at one time it was inexcusable. Some of the project managers are great. Some are Ivy league snobs who have no problem disrespecting their worker bees in front of customers, taking credit for their work, or throwing them under a bus.

    Politics - bullies, slackers, and other rascals are given free rein which drags moral and productivity into the gutter. When you're getting rewarded the same as the guys who literally talk hockey for half the day, why bust your butt? You'll probably be put into a cubical so you have to listen to this all day long. At least one person every 20 feet must be half deaf because the place is NOISY! Management knows all about this, and seems to think it's cute since they're right in there gabbing with the chatty cathies. The company has a policy against earbuds and headphones, which people like me ignore for the sake of our sanity. Fortunately they turn a blind eye to that was well.

    Mandatory overtime is downright punitive. I heard one guy complain he has to work from nine am on his birthday, which was on a Saturday. I've never done it, but heard this overtime is unpaid. I wonder if it is the company's way of encouraging people to quit since people on the affected projects are forced to come in even if they are caught up on their work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire and promote workers and not schmoozers.

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work

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

    I worked at General Atomics full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good people, interesting work, contributing to unmanned aerospace program.

    Cons

    Not much chance for upward mobility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show employees a career path and help to mentor them along that path and you would keep a lot more talent.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Exciting work- Gerry smart people, relaxed environment

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at General Atomics

    Pros

    Challenging problems, growing company, every other Friday off

    Cons

    No working from home, deadlines can result in extended hour work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Broaden acceptable candidate base

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    good place to start but not really a place to stay

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at General Atomics

    Pros

    flexible hours, flexible schedule great benefits encouragement to learn and work independently

    Cons

    management not very proactive. compensation is low. luck on the draw on which product you work on. some are not not managed while others are micromanaged

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