Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

  www.t-sciences.com
  www.t-sciences.com
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Thermopylae Sciences & Technology Reviews in Arlington, VA

Updated July 22, 2014
Updated July 22, 2014
11 Reviews
3.9
11 Reviews
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AJ Clark
6 Ratings

7 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Overpromise, underdeliver

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Writer  in  Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    + Positive work environment. A casual, Big Bang Theory-like atmosphere where the company and its employees do serious work but don’t take themselves too seriously.

    + Excellent benefits. Four weeks of PTO for sick and vacation, two flex days, flexible spending account preloaded with $5k, excellent health and dental insurance, 401k, revenue sharing, and holiday bonuses. HR always has interesting and fun events from happy hours to karaoke to keep employees happy and engaged.

    + Interesting and innovative work. I learned much about Agile software, REST software, and numerous Google apps and how a startup operates.

    + Company is always looking to improve and innovate its products, expand its market (overpromise).

    Cons

    - Executive management is unclear on how to accomplish said goals (underdeliver).

    - Thermopylae’s system of documentation is horribly disorganized. Instead of having one centralized system for all its technical documents, there were five different systems depending on which project you were working on.

    - Lack of mentorship/direction. As an entry-level technical writer I didn’t receive much if any training on how to effectively do my job and was left to my own devices to figure out what managers and engineers wanted.

    - High turnover. Many of the people who were there when I started left within months of my hire, including the engineering management officer who hired me.

    - Seven months after I was hired I was abruptly laid off despite a positive review of my work a few months earlier. I received no notification or warning until HR called me down and told me that there weren’t enough billable hours for technical writing. Because there was one other technical writer but was hired after me, I can only surmise that they paid her less, keeping her and firing me. You would think that in a state of downsizing, a company would follow a “first hired, last fired” rule but I guess not. As a recent college graduate trying to find and keep a job in a difficult economy while paying off debt, this layoff was just unfair. It left me reeling for three months before I found another job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be clear about what your goals are and have a plan to accomplish them.
    Offer some sort of mentorship or training program so that new hires can learn about this industry and effectively do their jobs.
    Notify someone weeks before their termination date if they are going to become a cost of doing business. If employees must give two weeks notice, so should HR.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Opportunity for those who want it

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

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great corporate culture
    Lots of opportunity; employees have to seize that if they want to grow
    Access to upper management

    Cons

    High expectations for everyone; this sometimes means putting in a lot of hours and making some real commitments to overcome some difficult challenges

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain as much integration between technical and non-technical staff as possible

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to start a career!

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

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    TST is a great place to work professionally and socially. I've learned (and am continuing to learn) a lot and have sharpen many previously developed skills.

    Career growth is endless here, if you have the desire to grow.

    I can honestly say, I look forward to coming to work. The frequent happy hours, surprise lunches/breakfast, health days, ice cream socials, annual cake and beer (mimosa for me) and game room shenanigans are amazing!

    Cons

    No cons at the moment!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work with the open door policy. I enjoying speaking with the CEO, CFO and or COO at anytime.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Comfortable work environment with great people.

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

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I very much enjoy the environment at TST. The casual dress code is great bonus, especially in the summer. I feel like the company cares about my well being. Easy to get close with your team. Generous PTO and benefits. Snacks and drinks is a nice perk too.

    Cons

    They have tried to spruce up the office the best they can, but the building its in really isn't all that great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Flying by the seat of their pants

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

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Environment wise TST has been a wonderful place to work. There are a lot of intelligent, funny, and genuinely caring people. Work hours are very flexible, you can leave early and work from home as needed. The important part is that the work is getting done. There are plenty of work related events and happy hours.

    The technology is interesting but still mostly sitting at untapped potential. Doing well at your job will quickly propel you into a leadership role.

    Cons

    TST is not for the new graduate. The pay is lower then most companies to the point where it is borderline insulting. There is a lot that the company need to do in terms of mentorship. If you are not a self starter you should stay away! A lot of the work will have you learning different technologies and exploring mostly undocumented code bases. Disorganization inside of the company can lead to awkward and frustrating exchanges with management and customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Setup mentorship programs and define project roadmaps. Stop over committing to project sinkholes. Bring in more technical savvy people and listen to their recommendation. Cut the fat by getting rid of employees that are not pulling their weight. Stop letting customer dictate your products.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lots of promise, lacking in delivery

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

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The work environment is very casual -- as long as you roll in before your first meeting and put in your 40 hours then no one will bother you. People sometimes envy that the workers here can come in wearing shorts and flip flops. The software that is developed has great potential. The people are generally very fun to talk to and happy hours are a frequent event.

    Cons

    The company seems to lack direction with the products. Technical people get bored of the contracts as each new project hardly feels new. Money is wasted on social events if it isn't spent on hiring better employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's easy to sell the company to a person looking for a fun-filled company that likes to party as hard as they work. At the end of the day, people will look to party less and they will realize that besides the atmosphere, TST does not have much to offer. There is a reason why there is a high turnover rate on good technical employees -- trust their input and cut the bad people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Cutting edge technology in an extremely intelligent, driven, agile environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

    Pros

    Before TST, I've been with several different companies varying in size (small to large). I must say, I've never been in an environment with as many technically sound and intelligent people ranging from all ages. This environment makes me better in my profession.

    From peers to management, the people here are also humble, friendly, and caring. You get a sense of family here. Employees are well taken care of with frequent company events, a game room, and generous supply of snacks/drinks.

    If you're doing a good job, setup a level of consistency and trust, TST will work with you to make sure you're schedule aligns with your priorities.

    Cons

    Even though there's a high concentration of highly talented and driven people, resources lack in comparison of the work the company is awarded. The average work week can stretch well beyond 40 hours, but you're compensated in other ways (3 different bonuses, sometimes overtime pay).

    TST is growing rapidly and naturally runs through some growing pains such as resource allocation and recruitment. It's not easy finding the level of personnel that meets TST standard.

    There also aren't defined career path strategies, however, the President is aware and stated plans to develop them in the previous quarterly, company newsletter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You guys are doing a fantastic job, however TST needs to continue to recruit aggressively to help lower the average hour work week. Career paths and mentor programs should be more clearly defined and enacted upon. I'd suggest that management can make suggestions on who should mentor whom, or what career path is advised, but also allow employees to make requests.

    Recommends

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