ThoughtWorks Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
293 Reviews
3.6
293 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 15 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Some of the best people I've worked with!

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic talent, great attitudes, minimum layers, open culture, liberal environment.

    Cons

    The company struggles between balancing between internal culture and accommodating to client needs. The engineers enjoy a lot more career opportunities as compared to other roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set better expectations with consultants on what to expect in client engagements. Get a better appreciation for non-engineering roles and nurture those talents as well for a better future.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    I gained so much experience and many new job skills here

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

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

    Pros

    The people! Smart, Forward thinking, movers and shakers. They promote from within. International company and contacts.

    Cons

    There are consultants who make the company money, and they are treated like gods. Then there is everyone else. All Support or administrative staff merely cost the company money. No real hierarchy or chain to go up with issues. Its common and expected for people to work well over 40 hours a week, that's the bare minimum.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    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
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    Really good for Women.
    Work with some of the smartest people around.
    Make friends all over the world.
    Encouraged to be a leader.
    Reviews happen at least once a year.
    If you work in the San Francisco office you have a choice between local work and travel work.

    Cons

    Travel.
    Smart people can be arrogant.
    It's easy to feel small in such a large company.
    Hard to find a work life/balance.
    Never know what can happen with a client.
    DOn't have control over the technologies you work with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Management gets in the way

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

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

    Pros

    For an inexperienced software developer who's happy to travel around, ThoughtWorks can be a great company. It favors good software development practices, and in general consultants are pragmatic.

    Cons

    For more experienced developers, ThoughtWorks is increasingly becoming challenging to work at.

    Sales doesn't do a good job of finding clients that provide interesting work that would accommodate innovation, and the few good projects that are unlikely to be assigned to people who are not the favorites of the operations teams (resource management, human resources, sales and senior management).

    Senior management enforces a high degree of politics in the company, so that in order to be considered for anything relevant in the organization consultants have to do a lot of self marketing and building fake social relationships with management. For many consultants, delivering good work in a client is not enough, and often that's not considered as good performance; on the opposite, being loud and creating the appearance that a given piece of work was good, independent of the actual outcomes, is considered a lot more relevant.

    As of mid 2014, the management in NY managed to put most projects in a critical state, failed to find local work despite the good market demand (which forced a lot of consultants to travel just to land into unfulfilling projects), and systematically protected itself disregarding consultants, which ultimately created a confidence crisis between consultants and management. As a consequence, many senior consultants left, causing the highest attrition in the history of the company. That's very bad news as the bulk of the consultants in the company is not experienced, and without proper guidance they can't deliver effectively; that makes clients suspicious of high consulting rates which ultimately damages the reputation of the company. Also, replacing experienced consultants is a hard task in the current market conditions, as there's a lot of demand for people who can deliver software effectively.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote good work over appearance and politics. Replace the current management if possible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Compelling People, Fun Projects, Frustrating Pay

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

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

    Pros

    ThoughtWorks consists primarily of off-beat technologists from the 99th percentile of intelligence. Very smart people, very diverse. TW has been referred to as "the island of misfit toys" which I take as a compliment. Very non-hierarchical. Very tolerant of minorities. Very supportive of a diverse workplace.

    Cons

    You must be ready to work on projects that are not always thrilling (it's called work for a reason). Because it is so welcoming of unconventional personalities, non-hierarchical, and exclusive in it's hiring process - and fun to be at! - TW can [apparently] get away with systematic underpayment. Salaries are consistently below average despite the fact that staff is superior to their cohort at higher paying companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Devote more resources to skill training - it's unprofessional to assume staff will learn everything in their personal time. Pay at least average market wage for superior talent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good idea but flawed execution

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

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

    Pros

    Mostly great people, who really do care about helping the underdog. A few people who work their way through the company like viruses that don't uphold the TW values.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership from managers all the way up.
    Pay is not competitive.
    Flexible schedule means: Work all hours of the day and night. Get to work early, have a few hours lull in the afternoon, then work all night. It's more flexible for the company really.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think the people of thoughtworks and the management of thoughtworks are out of sync. The management are legacy folks who can't lead or plan. Legacy = Lifetimer's or Friends of Roy. Often times a legacy person is put in a major role in the company while having no prior experience in that area. Management is a joke, there is no leading going on. No formal goals in place. No reporting on meeting un defined goals. There are a number of gerbils running the machines, and the leaders just fly around the world visiting with each other.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Exceptionally enjoyable and welcoming.

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks

    Pros

    The sense that the work we're doing is indirectly (and sometimes directly) contributing to social good makes working at the company very worthwhile. Because projects come and go relatively quickly, there is no time to get bored or stuck in a mindless routine. There are always new things to learn here.

    Cons

    Being on a travelling project can be difficult for relationships that rely on close proximity. Compensation is poor and the structure of the company is not very obvious/intuitive.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good consultants, awful management

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

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

    Pros

    If you're starting your career, ThoughtWorks will give you the opportunity to learn good practices in many clients and different domains. You'll have plenty of experience in a couple years. However, if you're already experienced, ThoughtWorks is a hit-and-miss kind of place, as you'll have to tradeoff bad work in clients for policial power, which supposedly gives you the ability to get good work one day.

    Cons

    ThoughWorks is Roy Singham's (the founder) experiment. There's a huge gap between what Roy says and what the company does. in terms of social responsibility and innovation. You'll be working in clients that are morally questionable, doing work that is not fulfilling (as sales in the company is rather incompetent and would settle for low quality work easily), and making less money than what the market would pay you so that Roy has a chance to go around pushing for his ideas.

    The management team in ThoughtWorks north america is quite immature, and makes decisions that frequently are against the best interest of the consultants. Therefore, they are widely not trusted by the consultants, and the turnover rate among the really good consultants is quite high; the consultants that tend to stay for a long time in the organization are either not competitive in the market, or after years of work they achieved some political power in the organization that makes them comfortable (and eligible to become the next batch of managers).

    Human resources is not in the side of the consultants either, don't expect support or understanding from the HR management in any way. They are bureaucratic and superficial, mostly filled by people who have been in the company for a long time (as opposed to be competent) and will most of the time side with the operations side of the company more than with the side of the consultants.

    ThoughtWorks is not the same company across countries, so what applies to north america may not be the same in Australia or Europe.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire mature and experienced people who knows how to deal with human beings, hire smart and aligned sales people, and stop the policy of promoting people just because they're in the company for a long time. Also, dissolve the current north america management team, it's causing a lot of harm to the brand and the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    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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