ThoughtWorks Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated October 11, 2014
Updated October 11, 2014
295 Reviews
3.6
295 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao
Guo Xiao
69 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent place to learn the trade and work with really smart people (in 39 reviews)

  • Good work life balance (sometimes depends on the client too) (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance can often be a sacrifice if you wish to grow (in 15 reviews)

  • The problem is you often don't get to choose, which can result in a lot of travel as well (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

29 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Awesome!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time

    Pros

    Great colleagues. A lot of growth if you can sustain the travel. If you like challenges, this is the place to be.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be difficult to maintain. Might feel isolated from the home office if you don't visit the TW office regularly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Inconsistent across countries

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Good place for unexperienced people
    Some good people still in the company

    Cons

    Consultants are at the mercy of sales and management. Recently a large amount of experienced consultants have been leaving the company due to the way the company is managed, which reflects on the quality of projects being sold and how they are run.

    Travel can be very tiresome and in many cases it's arbitrary.

    Experience in different offices vary wildly. I've found that the USA is the most problematic country to work at, due to the politics, and sheer management immaturity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make yourselves liable and receive direct feedback from the consultants

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Unfortunately stumbling along

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    + Great culture; smart people
    + Interesting mix of clients/industries
    + Opportunities for international assignments

    Cons

    - Company leadership is young, still in their "first job." It really shows.
    - Financial feast-or-famine mentality
    - You can earn 20% more salary anywhere else (at least); it makes it hard to attract top talent.
    - Poor consulting skills across the org; only a handful practice them
    - Lots of young, inexperienced hires per capita.
    - TRAVEL. It gets tough.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Develop yourselves. Take classes on public speaking, leadership development, etc
    * Hire more experienced people
    * Sell better

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    ThoughtWorks is great in so many ways, but the lifestyle is draining.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Great Culture
    Great Benefits
    Work with Best and Brightest

    Cons

    Travel
    Work / Life Balance
    Developer Centric

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

    Young and single? This is a dream job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing people - absolutely brilliant coworkers, variety of technology stacks and projects, lots of management support (at least at the project level), pretty good benefits.

    ThoughtWorks has the best coworkers I've ever even imagined. Every single person I meet who works for TW I end up liking. One of the things TW does BEST is selectively hire for both talent and personality. You can immediately trust your coworkers, more than just for technical competence, but also for their good personalities, willingness to help out when needed, go the extra mile, be generally nice and civilized people, etc.

    Lots of fun to be had while traveling, provided you don't have anyone waiting at home for you (this job can rapidly destroy a romantic relationship) - drinks on the house, lots of people to hang out with, eat dinner out all the time, etc.

    You also have loads of support for technical learning, and the benefit of being able to ask some very, very smart people for help.

    Cons

    Pay is a healthy notch below the market rate; terrible work-life balance; traveling all of the time is miserable; ethically, rather full of themselves and hypocritical.

    A lot gets made at ThoughtWorks about the "pillar three" (social and economic justice) values of the company, and a lot gets talked about it. I don't see so much actually being DONE about it. Some of our biggest clients border on the downright bad (child labor, invasion of privacy, etc), and almost all of them are "just business", ie we're there in mediocre technology stacks simply to make money.

    Also, there is not much "pillar two" or technologically cutting-edge stuff happening, at least in the US. Lots of making money though, so it is not a place I would be worried about going out of business. And it's not a bad place to work at all - just gets tiring hearing this self-congratulatory back-patting all of the time about how ethical we are when we work for like, retail and auto industries. Come on.

    These are kind of... reactions to the ideologues within TW. At a practical level, there are 2 things that make it very difficult.

    1) Pay. While not bad (nobody making a living as a developer is getting paid "badly" at the moment), it's not competitive, and it can be frustrating to go on job sites and see less-talented-than-you developers making 50% more a year in cases. It's demoralizing. It's also tough to be approached for less-fun-and-interesting jobs but jobs that pay in some cases 50% more a year almost weekly without starting to wonder if you're being a fool for turning down serious amounts of money.

    2) Travel. This is really the big one for me. Traveling every week is pure misery. Even if you're lucky enough to have shorter flights, you will inevitably end up with delays, waiting in long airport security lines, and spending 3 or 4 or 5 nights a week - every week - away from your loved ones and your home. If you can stay with your parents and have no significant other and just save money and enjoy the travel, this is no problem. Once you're in a relationship, you'll find your husband or wife (or fiance or whatever) will eventually get tired of you being away most of the time. Also you will grow to vehemently despise the American traveling public and become a bitter, jaded, cynical, angry person any time you are forced to step into the miserable places called "airports" (I had stronger words but apparently they were too profane for glassdoor.com). Seriously. I am being sort of funny, but I can't find words strong enough to describe my hatred of air travel. And it started off being fun! I was excited, then I got status, got upgrades.... now it is just tedium and unpleasantness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so pretentious. Talk less about P2/P3 and DO MORE about them. Also, stop treating your big accounts like you are too afraid to lose them - take more risks. Consider the benefits of having an office that has more travelers, but is in a cool, affordable city (NYC/SF/CHI too expensive, ATL/DAL/AUS too lame, TOR also rather lame).

    Also, seriously slow down with the hiring. You will lose the valuable culture you have fought so hard (and done SUCH A GOOD JOB) to get.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Passionate, Diverse, Activist

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    In addition to being a very brainy and passionate bunch, they take social justice very seriously. Instead of just seeing issues such as CSR, diversity, and discrimination as boxes to tick off, they are constantly trying to improve themselves. They are also always willing to invest a lot in their employees, both in terms of initial training and future professional development.

    Cons

    You shouldn't come to TW if you're looking to cash in. Junior Consultant salaries won't get you a penthouse on the Mag Mile. Instead, come for the environment and the interesting work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay true to your values! It's what makes TW unique.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Best job ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Continuous learning, new experiences, smart people, collaborative work

    Cons

    So much pressure to bill

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go lean - too, too many managers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Amazing company to work for

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

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Thoughtworks is not like any other company that i have heard of. Not only do they do great work and run a very successful business, but they are concerned about improving the world around them. Thoughtworks wants to use technology to improve social issues globally. They are heavily involved in many organizations reaching out to young women and people of color or low income to encourage careers and interests in technology.

    Along with their social work, they are a forward thinking company. Using Agile methodologies and always staying on top of the newest tech ideas and topics, they are able to offer unique solutions to clients problems.

    Finally, the people at Thoughtworks are amazing. Incredibly diverse, smart, talented, and excited to be there. The office has regular discussions on the topic of race, politics, basically everything you're taught NOT to talk about, Thoughtworks addresses. People are open to discussing issues and controversial topics without being offended. As an employee we are given the opportunity to learn from others and to discuss interesting topics without judgement or pretense.

    Cons

    no cons come to mind

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    ThoughtWorks is comprised of very talented people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Working with very talented people.
    Great brand and culture. I genuinely liked my colleagues.
    Great people, amazing technical talent and strong/passionate community

    Cons

    Not many if you can tolerate the traveling/consultant lifestyle and find the right project

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep senior people honest and relevant by keeping them in front of clients and in touch with project teams

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    ThoughtWorks is a great place to make a difference in the world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time

    Pros

    Work with and learn from amazing people.
    Push for social justice.

    Cons

    Travel is a big part of consulting.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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