Teradyne

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Teradyne Reviews in Boston, MA

Updated November 14, 2014
Updated November 14, 2014
33 Reviews
3.8
33 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mark E. Jagiela
33 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work-life balance, very traditional and conservative company (in 5 reviews)

  • Good environment, good people, many learning opportunities (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • As layoffs continued, the workload for those remaining increased which negatively impacted the work-life balance (in 3 reviews)

  • When I first started there, senior management was mostly engineers who rose through the ranks, now (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

33 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to settle down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in North Reading, MA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in North Reading, MA

    I have been working at Teradyne full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Collaborative, supportive environment. Many talented, nice people. At the heart of a very relevant, highly technical industry (semiconductors). Many challenging assignments. Facilities are nice and kept clean, computer equipment decent. Review process is fair and transparent and career advancement and transfer quite possible. Management has figured out how to run the company profitably in any business climate, so layoffs are a thing of the past. One of the company values is "Honesty and Integrity in Everything We Do". I believe the company lives up to this to a very high degree, and this makes me comfortable and proud of working here.

    Work-life balance is quite good. Of course, you can always work many hours at any company, and your manager will be happy and won't force you to go home and spend time with your family and hobbies. But if you assert your need to have an outside life, Teradyne will generally be very supportive of this need. Hours are flexible and working from home is common, either during snow storms or more often once you have a track record of success and productivity. Many projects do have crunch times where longer hours are expected, but weekends are seldom directly requested by management, and even when they are, there's some flexibility. The development process is a document-heavy, phase-gate waterfall model, for the most part. Many people consider this a negative, but I count it as a "pro" because it makes life predictable, and schedules longer and less chaotic.

    Pay can be good, though I think it's uneven. In addition to salary, everyone gets profit sharing, which can equal one or two extra monthly paychecks per year in good years. Everyone can also divert up to 10% of salary to an ESPP for a guaranteed 15% gain in six months. Top performers get yearly bonuses of restricted stock that vests over five years. If you get these every year and build up a pipeline of them, it can be quite a nice bonus. The restricted nature of the stock means it costs dearly to walk away, the "golden handcuffs".

    All of the above, plus generous vacation policies for long-timers make this a place where many people stay a long time, or leave and come back. Many people spend their entire career here. Not because it's flawless, but because it's pretty good and you're generally treated with human dignity.

    Cons

    The consistent profitability of the company has come at a price. It's not run by the engineers anymore, and so it's not as much fun to work here. Schedule slippage is highly discouraged, and this can lead to pressure and a culture of fear. People are afraid to report bad news up the chain. However, quality is the bedrock of our business model, so it always wins in the end, so features will be cut or in some cases the schedule will be moved out if needed.

    This is not a place where cutting edge software technologies are used. Most of the products are very large, monolithic, decades-old systems. Therefore, they're very hard to change. The company and its customers are also risk-averse. We do advance in technology, but slowly.

    There are many nice and talented people here, but the workforce is uneven. Some incompetent people get in and can stay around for years. Teradyne also continues to outsource a lot of software and QA work to India and other places. The quality of these engineers is generally lower, compounding the difficulty of working with people who are far away in a different time zone and don't speak great English. Management thinks they are saving money by outsourcing, but the drag on the local workforce erases these gains and hurts morale.

    Schedules are getting more and more important, and righter and tighter. It's hard to know if this will get worse, or if the pendulum will swing back and work-life balance will remain good.

    Resource allocation sometimes changes suddenly due to re prioritization. This, coupled with long planning cycles and offshore teams results in a lot of inefficiencies from context switching and delivering software to QA before it's ready. The heavy top-down command and control structure means there's little an individual contributor or low-level manager can do about this.

    Training and career advancement is not as structured as it used to be. You need to design your own career advancement and assert your right to do training and side tasks.

    Our product hardware is in short supply, so when you need to work on the system, this can demand working odd hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using offshore resources. All of the savings are completely illusory. Everything they do needs to be reviewed or redone. We could do it a lot better and more efficiently if we had all local teams.

    Stop the culture of fear by encouraging honest reporting and finding some way to reconcile the inherent unpredictability of engineering with the need to meet customer commitments. Focusing on maintainability of software (rather than rewarding high line counts) might help.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good Place to Learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in North Reading, MA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in North Reading, MA

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

    Pros

    This place has a good mix of hardware/firmware and software. Even if you are not trying to actively learn about other technologies or areas of engineering, you will by the nature of the job. The work-life balance is very reasonable. I see people working putting in the whole range of hours, with some spending extra time because they want to and others putting in less because they get their work done.

    Cons

    The company has had a hard time being really competitive with pay. Pay is not everything, but it can't be discounted entirely. You can make enough to live a good life, but you may not be in the same boat as your friends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More effort needs to be put into staying competitive to keep and gain the talent. Don't let the short term savings blind you because it will be harder to gain back the loss once it's gone.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Looking Back...

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

    I worked at Teradyne full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Competitive benefits and pay when the company was thriving. Had both a Retirement and 401K for several years. Good amount of paid time off with a reasonable carry-over policy. Very upbeat culture in the early days. Until about 2007, I would have recommended it as a great place to work.

    Cons

    If you had a good manager, you were gold. If you didn't, employees were not protected from bad middle management. When they made layoff decisions, Senior Management rarely touched Middle Management but rather cut core expertise to hit the headcount goals. As layoffs continued, the workload for those remaining increased which negatively impacted the work-life balance. During the growth and decline periods, the company culture, which used to be outstanding, got lost along the way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a better job of making sure your middle management is trained to the level needed to manage effectively. When RIF decisions are made, be sure you have enough talent left to build the company back up as well as strong change management in place to handle the peaks and valleys that impact the dynamics of the company's culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    An open place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Assembler in North Reading, MA
    Current Contractor - Assembler in North Reading, MA

    I have been working at Teradyne as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    I'm doing something different almost everyday

    Cons

    Lots of bosses who contradict each other's priority

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    talk to each other

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    sharp and experienced, but aging

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Reading, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Reading, MA

    I have been working at Teradyne full-time

    Pros

    Competitive pay, extremely nice and sharp co-workers. Engaging work, that makes you take pride in what you do and want to perform your best. Relatively lax office culture, as long as you get everything done on schedule.

    Cons

    The average age is so high it may isolate some fresh college grads. Very long term project planning, so it is hard to come up to speed if you arrive at the middle of one the cycles. Outsourcing of some development jobs makes communication slightly less smooth than it ought to be.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Worked there 18 years, not continous, last time they bought out my company so I was forced back.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in North Reading, MA
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in North Reading, MA

    I worked at Teradyne full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fairly flexible working environment. Lots of good people. Good health benefits.

    Cons

    There are a lot of managers that have no people skills. There are a lot of managers who have been in their jobs for many, many years, but they really aren't very good at what they do. Their tuition reimbursement is not competitive. A lot of people are stuck in their ways, doing things the same way they've always done them. They are not good at adjusting to the marketplace, I see big changes in the ATE environment coming, but management doesn't see that, in a few years, they'll be playing "catch up". Field applications has shrunk more than 50% over the past 15 years, management doesn't realize field applications used to help sell testers, they don't "get it". You cannot get promoted to a senior level position at Teradyne unless you are "in the club". When I first started there, senior management was mostly engineers who rose through the ranks, now senior management is all MBAs from Harvard and MIT. If you are an engineer with aspirations to get into senior management, DON'T work for Teradyne. Senior management, including the CEO, are always convinced they are the smartest people in the room, even among experienced, smart engineers. Senior management often makes stupid decisions because they think they are so smart, they don't try to get differing opinions from other people. The internal job listings are a joke, I applied for probably 10 jobs, every single one they already had someone in mind, they were just going through the motions posting the job to make it look like they were actually doing a candidate search.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote sharp people from within instead of hiring outside MBAs as managers. Allow customer support, (field applications, service, etc.) to be break even again instead of forcing them to return money to the division. Customer support sells testers! Look at the industry, get feedback from customers and try to anticipate where the industry will be in 10 years and start planning/changing NOW!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    good company with decent opportunity for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Information Systems Architect in North Reading, MA
    Former Employee - Information Systems Architect in North Reading, MA

    I worked at Teradyne full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    company promotes from within and salary structure is competitive

    Cons

    typical hierarchical management structure, the test equipment business also can also have long periods of downturn.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    instituting an ope door policy would be these guys

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Material Planner in North Reading, MA
    Current Employee - Material Planner in North Reading, MA

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

    Pros

    The people are smart and driven to do the right thing. The culture is focused on people and innovation.

    Cons

    The overall business is volatile. There are a lot of ups and downs, and they have trouble dealing with the swings. This leads to drastic hiring and potential layoffs on the downturns.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to adopt positive reinforcement for the key performers. Reward good talent and give them recognition.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent company with growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in North Reading, MA
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in North Reading, MA

    I have been working at Teradyne full-time

    Pros

    There are many growth opportunities at Teradyne if you perform well. They like to hire from within. The company also sponsors and holds quite a few "team-building" type celebrations to help build morale.

    Cons

    There is still some old-school train of thought when it comes to flexible schedules, etc. Also, there is a small company feel in many parts of the company, in which a few people make most of the important decisions. If you get on the someone's bad list, you may not come off.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great day to day, poor growth opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in North Reading, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in North Reading, MA

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

    Pros

    Very friendly coworkers and approachable immediate managers. Managers are understanding of real world situations. MSDN subscriptions for engineers.

    Great place for someone that just needs a stable job. Most employees have been their for a long time or their whole career. Very easy to be good at your job.

    Despite the negatives below its a lot of fun to work there. You sacrifice technical growth for a great work environment. You will overall enjoy working here.

    Cons

    Decade behind current software practices at best, never knew how to write good software at worst. Better like Waterfall.

    Every single con that exists with Waterfall exists here.

    Compensates for its bad software practices by throwing more and more employees at the problem and consistently missing deadlines. Also leans heavily on outsourced lost cost labor that ultimately ends up costing the American engineers more time than it saves.

    Political climate within management is that Agile is the devil and would lead to catastrophic results. Management has a serious misunderstanding of what Agile is.

    Anytime the process fails they add additional process.

    Employees are very knowledgeable but generally only about Teradyne related software.

    Despite having access to MSDN except tech stack to be 3-5 years out of date for new projects. Worse for existing project.

    Continuous integration doesn't exist.

    Engineers don't eat their own dog food, separate QA department that is isolated from the engineers building the project.

    No pair programming.

    Source control is a mess.

    For anyone with exceptional talent this company is at best a stepping stone. Do not stick around long. Only a handful of 3+ year seniority employees pursue software as a passion.

    Work environment will not keep your skills current. It is common to see senior engineer (10+ years of experience) that can barely do .NET at a mid tier developer level despite the company being a fully Windows shop. If you are great at software this place will hold you back or develop bad habits.

    Compensation is mediocre to below average. Besides a few critical engineers management has no interest retaining talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You desperately need to adopt agile and create an environment where employees are constantly expanding their skillsets.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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