ThoughtWorks

  www.thoughtworks.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

ThoughtWorks Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 272 reviews

80% Approve of the CEO

ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao

Guo Xiao

(54 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It still employs the highest density of smart people in the industry that I've ever seen(in 36 reviews)

  • You can learn a lot at TW in your first couple of years(in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance for the billable consultants is pretty poor(in 11 reviews)

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

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

     

    Unfortunately stumbling along

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Amazing growth opportunities

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsThe opinions are based on my personal experience and is about London office. Your experience might vary. For example I keep hearing that in US people are expected to travel way more. Be sure to read the reviews/contact employees from the region you're planning to apply to.

    * Opportunities to grow both on personal and professional levels
    * Lots of interesting technically work
    * Usually you get quite a lot of influence on what projects you're being sent to. You want travel internationally - can be done, you want to stay in London - can be done, a technically complex project - can be done, a project that is complex from human/organisational perspective - can be done etc, etc. A bit of luck and not expecting that all you requirements will be met helps though. Don't expect to get a project in London that is interesting from both technical and organisational perspective all the time.
    * Great people to work with - smart and fun
    * Informal and fun atmosphere
    * Great career opportunities if you decide to leave
    * Does more to improve the world around us that any other commercial company that I've heard of. Impressive and creates that warm feeling inside that you're doing your bit
    * Frontrunner of technical excellence in the business. Sometimes creates new trends and quick to pickup interesting approaches from other sources and spread it in businesses

    Cons* Can be intimidating and hard to navigate at first. More experienced Thoughtworkers are supposed to help you out in the beginning but from what I've experienced and heard from others it doesn't work out that well in most cases.
    * Being good with people is even larger requirement than in other IT jobs. Creating rapport, managing expectations, influencing people are part of your regular job and help a lot in the internal work relationships. Can be good or bad for you but it's something that is good to be aware of.
    * Little structure means among others that there is little structural support. If you have trouble you need to reach out. Not much interest from anyone while on the project - unless your PM cares about regular catchups with you.
    * Social and economic values are more often preached than practiced. UK is told it sponsors work done in other regions
    * You get paid significantly less

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore pure technical career paths. Make people feel listened to. Listen more carefully why people are leaving - it affects those that are staying as well. Put more emphasis on sponsors - it is a great idea that could work way better.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good consultants, awful management

    Lead Consultant (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsIf 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.

    ConsThoughWorks 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 Senior ManagementHire 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.

    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
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great people, good projects, salary below the average

    Senior Software Developer (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsThere is a good recruitment process in place that guarantee an above-the-average quality of the employee. The focus on the social and economic justice is always welcome. Highly recommended for grads and generally for the people-ware ones

    ConsThe salary is a bit below the market average, sometimes you have to travel in quite far locations.

    Advice to Senior Managementbe sure to secure the highest company value: feedback

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

     

    Fantastic company to work for, with some strange flaws

    Consultant Developer (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsFantastic working culture - doing agile the right way. Strong emphasis on professional development. Because TW works in small teams in client sites, you will be freed from much of the hierarchy that it present in a normal business. You will also be able to take on stretch roles that you'd never be able to get into in a normal business. Company is very open about finances and releases summaries to the entire business. Strong focus on working with people - I learned a lot about soft skills here. Fantastic internal training program for graduates ("TWU")

    ConsAnnual review process systematically disadvantages those unable to game it. Company political stances (socialist/progressive) sometimes go overboard. The travelling can be unsustainable - it's even worse in the US. The loss-making parts of the business can sometimes cause wider belt-tightening. Occasionally I thought about sectioning members of the senior management team under the mental health act.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease reform the annual review process

    If you can reduce the burn rate in the loss-making parts of the business, then you'll be able to make the business as a whole more stable.

    Stop indulging the founder

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Exceptionally enjoyable and welcoming.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe 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.

    ConsBeing 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Fun until the travel gets to you

    Consultant (Former Employee) Atlanta, GA

    ProsYour peers will be awesome, some of the best people I've worked with anywhere. Travel is great if you like travel, you can expense almost anything. Time off is okay. The technical culture is very much a free for all, opinions are expected and respected.

    ConsManagement is mediocre at best. The political culture is more important to your advancement than your performance, there's a lot of favoritism to the old hands. You end up being evaluated by people who never work with you due to the distributed nature of the job. The political culture is very monolithic and activist, expect to be expected to agree with everything that the chairman says about everything.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay better and allow diversity of opinion. Give employees more flexibility to move between projects.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work. Arrogant at times.

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get to be at the cutting edge of technology. Work with really smart people. Feels like working at a different company every 6-8 months since you get to change projects. You can learn a lot at TW in your first couple of years. A good place to stop by.

    ConsLot of dogma around various 'best' practices around software development. A lot of 'us' vs 'them'. Looking down on client people all the time. Thinking they all suck and we are the 'best'. A lot of arrogant ThoughtWorkers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Making the world a better place, At least the software development industry

    Software Developer (Current Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsWhy I love working here
    1) Your colleagues are incredibly talented, extremely diverse(I mean it and be prepared for it) and lot of fun.
    2) Everyone actually care about the quality of the code and improving software development process. You get to transform big software companies and make it agile and make programming fun for your client developers.
    3) Travel (This is both pro and con, sometimes i love travelling)
    4) It is actually a company with a conscience. Yes I know everyone says that, but here you actually get a chance to make world a better place, and sometimes stop bad people from making it a bad place.

    ConsTravel
    Some Clients can be boring, and unwilling to change. Well you can only do so much.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

     

    A great first software development job

    Software Developer (Former Employee)

    ProsThere are plenty of talented and passionate people here to learn from. They have offices all around the world and can be good about letting you transfer. If you show initiative they like helping you move into positions with more responsibility. The company structure is relatively flat so you don't have to deal with people whose sole purpose is to climb the ladder.

    ConsTW is good but not all of the clients are, so you could end up on an awful project. People there say that there's a very openminded, transparent culture and it's not completely untrue but it seemed to me that you'd better share everyone's general opinion or keep quiet. The pay relative to how much you get billed out to clients for can be bad.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Worked for ThoughtWorks? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.