Tom Sawyer Software

  www.tomsawyer.com
  www.tomsawyer.com

Tom Sawyer Software Reviews

Updated October 2, 2014
Updated October 2, 2014
22 Reviews
4.2
22 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Brendan Madden
18 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    This is a great company to work for!

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

    I have been working at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I have found that my presence and employment is highly valued. Management is open to new and innovative ideas. My role has been adjusted to fit my needs and utilize my skill set. The CEO and company in general really value each individual’s abilities. People can really make a difference here and implement new suggestions. I definitely do not feel like a cog in the wheel. The CEO is very passionate about the company and it shows through his attention to detail.

    The amenities are great as well. We each have wonderfully large Mac monitors and Macbooks. We also have an allowance to purchase any educational materials as needed. The office is beautiful and well lit with natural sunlight. The kitchen is always stocked with snacks and coffee. A cleaning service makes sure everything is spic and spam weekly. This all makes for a very comfortable and uplifting environment.

    Cons

    Sometimes it feels that there are too many hands in the pot. Some minor things could get done faster if there was a linear system for critiques rather than a free-for-all to pipe in.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great place to work, cool products

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

    I have been working at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Creative and great people to work with, opportunities to learn new tools, telecommuting, tuition reimbursement, flexible hours.

    Tom Sawyer Software is a small company and the CEO and other managers continually work hard to improve workflow and department structure so that the company can grow. Its policies reflect the CEO's willingness to support the employees' growth potential by fostering both personal and professional growth. Employees are encouraged to expand their work skills by forming and reforming project work groups across departments. This blurring of specialty areas nurtures company participation and enriches the work environment.

    Tom Sawyer Software is also a family-friendly company. The CEO has continually proven his heart-felt dedication to his employees. For instance he has on more than one occasion held a job for someone while on personal leave for extended periods, allowed work schedules to change periodically to allow students to continue in school, and even extended health insurance for a terminally ill employee.

    Cons

    Not enough seasoned workers to get the work done. This can clog up the works when trying to expand into new areas and break new ground, since the products are complex and training takes quite a bit of time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More time between releases. Spend more time organizing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager and Software Designer in UC Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Manager and Software Designer in UC Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Its a great place to work. You get out of it what you put into it. You are expected to work hard but that's what I'm paid to do. The company is extremely flexible where you work as long as you get it done. The talent at the company is very strong. If you have good ideas, people will listen as long as they are presented in a scientific manner. A good amount of process is being put in place, new systems are being built to make the company work more efficiently. We are using our own software to do it. Any company, especially a small company like ours, should be proud to have a customer list like Tom Sawyer does. I have worked at huge software companies and small companies. I much prefer the culture at Tom Sawyer to large companies. You are not treated as a number. You have the ability to make a difference if you work hard.

    Cons

    Its a small company of less than 100 people at the moment. Innovation can sometimes take longer than one would wish due to supporting existing customer base. It is hard to make big changes without affecting existing customers. That is a general issue I think most software companies have however.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Best Graph Visualization Software, Encourages Employee Ideas and Growth, Great Coworkers

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

    I have been working at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It is very exciting to work with the most experienced graph visualization company, especially at a time when this field is booming. Many people are also very friendly, and there are talented smart individuals who are a definite pleasure to work with.

    I really appreciate that the CEO and managers are open to new ideas and improvements to a department. I’ve worked in larger companies before, where I tried to implement an idea, but was told I had to go through many layers to make changes, even if they were obvious to everyone. Here, I am able to constantly research new ideas, have opportunities to present them, and am almost always supported to give new strategies a try. As a result, I am able to grow both the department, as well as personally, which is something I really value. Tom Sawyer also encourages employee development, and gives an annual educational stipend. If you have the drive to improve the company, and are willing to learn, you are supported by the CEO and Personnel department to do so. Furthermore, the Personnel department is always willing to listen, and do their best to assist in providing solutions when you go to them with issues.

    Cons

    I may not always have someone tell me exactly what the best practices are to do something, but that becomes part of the learning process. While this may take longer to figure out, sometimes I actually learn more through the research process. Additionally, granted that I may not always agree with the decisions of upper management, most of the time, I feel that I can understand why certain decisions or viewpoints are made, and try my best to adapt.

    There are pros and cons to all companies. Weighing them together, and depending on what is important to an individual, Tom Sawyer Software can be a wonderful place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Excellent data visualization technology.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Tom Sawyer Software

    Pros

    Excellent products, terrific engineering team.

    Cons

    High price point for the oroducts - customers do not always require sophisticated visualization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leverage the products to grab maximum market-share.

  7.  

    Best in class. Can be exhilarating and frustrating environment at the same time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President of Sales
    Former Employee - Vice President of Sales

    I worked at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Clearly the company is focused on being the best in class. This entails working with extremely talented people on extremely interesting projects. The priority is taking the time now to do the job right vs. taking short-cuts to meet a product release date. If you are good, the exposure and opportunity exists - you will learn a lot. The work environment can be intense but, if you are up for it that can be a good thing. The customer list is first tier which is a testament to the product quality. From the perspective of a sales person, being able to reference this customer list is a significant positive.

    Cons

    The CEO, who is by the way the company founder, is hyper-focused, driven and knows exactly what he wants/expects. He is extremely knowledgeable about finance, legal, sales, marketing and, of course, software. His experience is invaluable at times but, can also present a challenge for senior managers to do what they were hired to do. For a small company, you would sometimes expect it to be more nimble but, the heavy focus on quality and precision introduces a lot of structure and process. In the end, the structure and process is probably a good thing but, in the moment can appear unnecessary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One impediment to growing sales was the extremely complex software licensing price models. There is no "price list". Nearly every deal is custom priced and negotiated with the CEO's involvement. That can significantly slow or stall a deal. But, it has been several years since I worked at TSS so this may have changed since then.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Interesting work, great coworkers

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

    I worked at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - You get to work on interesting products. Some of the work involves writing advanced algorithms for example.
    - The products are used in a lot of different industries. So you get to meet and work with a variety of interesting people.
    - Some of the engineers there are really good. It's a good place to learn.
    - You get assigned higher responsibilities sooner than you would in other companies.
    - You get treated fairly. You can speak up.
    - It is a stable company. CEO is competent where it matters the most, weathered several financial crisis and made product transitions at the right time.
    - A lot of former employees are now working at Google, Microsoft and so on. It makes it much more likely to get into these companies later on in your career if you are interested.

    Cons

    - It is an unusual place that is definitely not for everybody. But employees who can adapt tend to have personality traits and a sense of humor that make them pleasant to work with.
    - Managers hired externally don't last.
    - It is not a company interested in growth. Or maybe it is unable to grow. It is likely both.
    - there is a tendency to spend a lot of time on things that matter very little

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A Great Company, Doing Important Work, and With Very Good People

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Tom Sawyer Software is a long-lasting company that does very interesting and important work in data relationship visualization and analysis. The company definitely pioneered the commercial graph visualization and analysis field in the United States having started in its work in the early 1990s before many companies and organizations learned, or knew, that graphs would become widely important. It has important top-tier customers in many markets as well.

    Tom Sawyer Software also has very nice facilities in a number of countries, and staff could go and work in other offices from time to time if they wanted to. The company also has pretty good benefits, and pretty good work-life balance. The work has become more agile and quick-paced in the last four or five years and the new work gets out there pretty quickly to customers as long as it is reviewed, tested, and developed to a high-level.

    Also, the company has a very international staff, and this helps bring some respect and appreciation for different peoples and cultures. All of the staff including employees and consultants receive good salaries, stock options, and fair benefits. Staff has pretty flexible work schedules as long as the person earns the respect of the peers and managers. There are no second-class citizens in the company, it's a meritocracy where good careful work is appreciated by the staff and managers. It also has an egalitarian approach where everyone from senior executives and managers to entry-level staff is hands on and is supposed to work with the same rules. If there is a problem in the company, a person can report it to their managers, or their peers, or even to executive management. There is no criticism about it, just a sincere interest in solving what may need fixing.

    The company has a long history of trying to be organized. It is building a lot of new systems and applications in order to improve the way the business flows. I think a lot of the staff see that now actually. The company also has a pretty clear path forward, is entering into larger markets with where it will have room to grow more easily, and it is trying to get all of this new work done. I think the company has a lot of new work for the staff so the next years should be very interesting for the people who work there.

    Overall, I think Tom Sawyer Software is a great company and it is admired by many in the software industry.

    Cons

    Tom Sawyer Software is a very technocratic company. It is a good place for people with strong technical skills, who are organized, and are willing to work formally and properly use the company's systems. It is not a good place for people who don't like to have their work reviewed, and it's not a good place for people who like to do quick and dirty work, or who are not clear or don't do what they said they would do. It's not a good company for talkers. It is not a good place for vertical silo or fiefdom builders as the company is always tearing these kinds of structures down.

    At Tom Sawyer Software the work will iterate over and over to a high-level. Even senior executives should expect to have their work carefully reviewed by multiple people in this company. If a person doesn't like having to get something very, very clean, this this would not be a good place for them. But overall I think that the company is fair in how it approaches work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think sometimes the managers and directors are too nice, and this makes it harder for the CEO. I know the CEO would like to delegate more and trust the managers more but they sometimes need to not be caught flat-footed about issues that they could have, and should have, seen coming and solved earlier by themselves.

    A number of the managers are growing in experience, and learning to step up, and this is very good - just please don't be too nice all the time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Stable company with great growth potential

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

    I have been working at Tom Sawyer Software full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Friendly coworkers, casual work environment, very understanding and flexible with regard to family obligations, very supportive of continuing your education, cool technology, access to the latest hardware and software, relatively flat hierarchy. The CEO is very accessible and works closely with all departments, which shows his dedication to the quality of the work for every department, not just one particular department.

    Cons

    Too much work and not enough staff in some departments or teams makes it hard to move projects along at a fast pace.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers should provide feedback to employees at more regular intervals and before problems escalate.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great potential but......

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

    I worked at Tom Sawyer Software full-time

    Pros

    It was a great opportunity to learn about data visualization, interact with companies that were building innovative software and work with some amazing people. Work-life balance was great and the benefits were generous. Promotions were more in engineering than other departments.

    Cons

    Initiative is stifled by the CEO. There's a lack of strategy and planning.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Tom Sawyer Software Response

    Aug 9, 2014Administration Manager

    Thank you for your review and for recognizing Tom Sawyer Software's potential. We highly value initiative, but do expect that ideas go through the proper review and approval channels, and then proper ... More

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