Synapse Product Development

  www.synapse.com
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Synapse Product Development Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 18 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

Synapse Product Development CEO and Co-Founder Ross Collins

Ross Collins

(2 ratings)

72% of employees recommend this company to a friend
18 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Not What they Portrayed themselves to be

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsPros – Above average benefits
    Free Lunch on Wed.
    Free Snacks
    Interesting projects

    ConsI have been working at Synapse Product Development full-time for more than a year

    Cons – Where do I start. There are so many cons about this company. They draw people in with their free beer, free Wed. lunch, games and the "freedom" to express yourself. They do have all of this with the exception of the freedom to express yourself. You are only free to express yourself as long as it fits into their philosophy and Synapse culture. Some of the behavior is extremely cult-like. They push their company CULTure relentlessly. If you do not exhibit appropriate Synapse attitude and culture you are at risk of losing your job or being pulled from projects.

    Fratboy behavior permeates the culture. This begins with your first week of work when you are stood in front of the entire company and hazed and humiliated. People spend more time trying to be funny and come up with practical jokes or drink beer than actually do some work.

    Employees and co-workers consistently put up road blocks which make it difficult for management to manage, and for projects to get done in a timely manner.
    Lack of process has contributed greatly to financial loss and internal frustration on teams.
    People lacking any real world or management experience have been placed in management roles which set teams, and the company up for failure.

    Managers (and I call them that because there are no people with leadership skills here) lack the skill to forecast or to understand basic business practices. There is no strategy for next projects and how to fully utilize staff. People were laid off and 1 month later that role is open again and they are hiring the next poor sucker.

    This company has a history of mismanagement of projects and funds which have lead them to multiple layoffs over the years, not only in 2013-2014 . In the past year there have been 2 significant layoffs resulting in the layoff of about half of the company. One of their favorite sayings is "People before Profit". Ha! When the hard times hit, the founders did nothing to try and save jobs like cut expenses or improve process. Their first reaction was to lay people off. Not only am I not optimistic about this company but I have lost all respect for this company. The founders are doomed to repeat their mistakes.

    Getting out as fast as I can.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdvice to Senior Management/Founders – Stop allowing inexperienced staff and employees to run the company and influence your business decisions.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Synapse Product Development Vice President, Human Resources responded to this review

    May 6, 2014

    Thank you for your honest feedback. I really mean it! It is important to hear these frustrations in order for Synapse to address and turn the corner to being a great place again. Multiple layoffs ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Time to start looking for a new home

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBesides a paycheck, nothing

    ConsLeadership is severely lacking a vision. Constant on-boarding of new Senior Management is a joke. The CEO is spinning in circles with no direction and no idea how to build or make Synapse into what it was 2 years ago. The same clients we have had for years are pulling back on projects so revenue is drastically falling. We just went thru another layoff which was horrible and saddening to go thru.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAll of your rock stars are getting ready to leave because of the Leadership

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Great culture and environment, lack of projects and clients make it very challenging

    (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsFantastic people, great work location, and amazing perks: free beverages, beer Fridays, Weekly Wednesday lunches, generous PTO.

    ConsUnfortunately, there is not enough diversity in clients, and plenty of competition in the marketplace. Having just a few is very risky. As a result, Synapse has had yearly layoffs - of 15-20% every year - due to client project need changes.

    You may also be placed in a role that is outside of your area of expertise, making it more challenging.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe upper management team has tried for 1 year with very little success on obtaining new clients and new sales opportunities. Recommendation would be to have new sales teams, to diversity projects and clients, including a change in leadership.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Bad impression

    Director (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsThe office is great, the general staff seems accomplished.

    ConsThe in-house contract company doesn't like their relationship or how they are treated.
    Synapse has the worst recruitment/hr process I have ever experienced.
    The business leadership in Seattle seems lack-luster improperly experienced.

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange your Seattle management team.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Hard to see where this is going, but it's an interesting ride.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsThe coworkers are outstandingly diverse, interesting, driven and highly competent. You can learn something new every day from each person who works here. Each project has its own interesting aspects that keep you on your toes and learning. The work / life balance is excellent and the benefits are top notch.

    ConsManagement is pretty much a weak soup. It's hard to know who's controlling what, what the company's long-term vision is, or how we're planning on getting there together. Upper echelons are clique-y and aloof and Synapse is not particularly transparent in its operations. Compensation is reasonable, but not first-rate, but the work-load isn't onerous.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a company vision, a business plan, and share it with your staff. Good things will happen.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Mayday mayday! This ship's going down!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsSome people at Synapse work really hard to make it a good place to work. There are a lot of very smart people to learn from, and there is a culture to encourage that learning (this is seen the most in the mechanical engineering department, but also in others to a lesser extent). If you're into booze - there is no shortage of that here. Most people are pretty friendly and open. Lots of very athletic people if you're into that. Benefits package is pretty good for a small company.

    ConsJob instability. Two layoffs within one year. The future is looking very bleak. HR can be heavy handed in dealing with off color things. As an example - one specific word was censored repeatedly from the internal wiki. In another incident, a coworker was reprimanded for a mildly off color joke. The culture can be very cliquey. Promotions are fairly random and haphazard - more about who likes you rather than what you can do for the company. Management structure changes on a weekly basis. Leadership tries to promote a company "culture" - but almost all of that culture died off between the layoffs and the massive increase in size of the company, so at this point it just feels painfully forced.

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit. Two layoffs in 10 months? You have failed.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Synapse Product Development Vice President, Human Resources responded to this review

    May 6, 2014

    Your pros really tell the story of how great Synapsters are and how Synapse encourages all to be their best. Regarding your cons, multiple layoffs in one year are excruciatingly hard for everyone ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work, but still maturing

    Management (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsCollaboration is a value, and an expected fact
    Brilliant engineers who are creative and know there disciplines
    Open office plan where projects are quickly and easily co-located
    Wednesday company lunches and Beer:30s

    ConsJust changes management and they are struggling with values that made the company
    New management is in an ivory tower a bit and not communicative
    They grew too fast and are trying to bring in business to match current size with limited success resulting in repeated layoffs

    Advice to Senior ManagementTalk with your people and listen to them more. There is a trust issue widening as the belief is that you are all making decisions that impact them and they are not a part of it. They were hired under the "Open Disclosure" promise and see it being violated. If that is no longer the policy, then state it and set out what is the current practice. Stop hiding and excluding them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Talented people that deliver outstanding work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsDiversity of projects
    Talented and committed employees

    ConsWorkload is sporadic and causes lots of churn in resources

    Advice to Senior ManagementTeach everyone how thw company adds value to it's customers rather than adding engineering capacity

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe main thing I like is that we work in a culture of strong mutual respect. Curiosity is the key quality people exhibit and it let's people focus on solving problems rather than politics. Failure is tolerated as long as you own the problem. Asking for help early is always encouraged

    ConsCurrently, the company is facing short term business challenges requiring a change in process

    Advice to Senior ManagementFill the pipeline and don't burden us with process

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    Synapse Product Development Vice President, Human Resources responded to this review

    May 6, 2014

    We appreciate the feedback. Yes Synapse was founded on strong employee-centric principles. Tough times recently have challenged all of us but we are working hard to get on track again and be even ... More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Wacky, exciting, fun, chaotic place to work!

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsSynapse provides opportunities to build very cool products using some very exciting technologies and tools in such areas as medical devices, consumer electronics and laboratory automation. The people are whip smart, social, fun-loving and, for the most part, willing to help each other. Politics is at a minimum and senior leadership is willing to share information to a large degree.

    ConsThe place is chaotic with little, or no, development processes defined or followed. schedules are short and project success depends, to a large degree, on personal heroics of team members. Lack of process leads to different projects reinventing the same wheel. Effort is often misdirected or wasted. There is no defined process to institutionalize corporate knowledge.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSenior management needs to be more business savvy both is getting projects and managing them. Better accounting and financial oversight will help too.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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