Wolfram Research

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Wolfram Research Reviews

Updated Jul 13, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 57 reviews

47% Approve of the CEO

Wolfram Research President Stephen Wolfram

Stephen Wolfram

(45 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good PTO and flexible work hours if you belong to the frat boy club(in 12 reviews)

  • Flexible work hours, friendly and intelligent colleagues, great office environment(in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Low salary compared to other companies(in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of career growth, resulting in a revolving door with many employees leaving(in 3 reviews)

57 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    If you like being belittled this is the place for you

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe name looks nice on a tech resume

    ConsCEO is one of the worst human beings I have ever encountered. Thinks he is incapable of error, but always takes the time to point out, in front of others, your perceived failures. Acts like a spoiled child most of the time. Not a good environment for anyone.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTell of Stephen off from time to time. Needs to realize that actual HUMANS work for him, not servants.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Was very happy there

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Champaign, IL

    ProsI got to work with incredibly bright, ambitious people who were passionate about what they did. The work was fairly interesting and challenging in the right ways. There were always fairly sophisticated ideas on the horizon. It has a bit of a start-up culture feel for such a well-established company.

    ConsThe pay was noticeably lower than other opportunities. It's great for the experience, but it was hard to justify the low salary after a few years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEstablish more of a decentralized, spread-out leadership rather than such a heavy focus on the CEO.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Great People, Overbearing CEO

    (Former Employee) Champaign, IL

    Pros- Name looks great on a resume in the tech space
    - Fun and respectful co-workers.
    - Flexible hours.
    - Fun company picnics and geeky tech culture.
    - Awesome design team.
    - Perfect job to kick off a designer's career, but don't stay more than 2 years — you deserve better!

    Cons- Low low salaries.
    - Overbearing and mean CEO.
    - Micromanagement.
    - A lot of office politics.
    - Cruel executives.
    - Poor layoff strategy
    - Terrible HR department.
    - A lot of legacy code.
    - Waterfall product process.
    - Unqualified hires.

    Advice to Senior Management- Do annual reviews on time, it's disrespectful to your employees to put them off.
    - Give raises and bonuses
    - Trust your employees to think for themselves and solve problems themselves.
    - When you do a layoff, do it on one day and get it over with, don't draw it out and cause company wide panic.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great company for people interested in Science, engineering and scientific computation

    Software Developer (Current Employee) Champaign, IL

    ProsFlexible working schedule. Always have fun project at hand. Colleagues are very nice and it is a relaxing place to work. Great place to explore new technology and learn computer related stuff. Also the flagship product Mathematica gives developers somewhat pride.

    ConsMost time I feel kind short of people on project. Overlapping is common. Income can be improve. Since Champaign is not expensive to live, not too big problem before having kids.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBecause this company is like small-medium business entity, so there are only a few people between developer and Ex committee.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Tyrannical, borderline insane leadership

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Champaign, IL

    Pros- Best insurance benefits ever
    - Flexible work schedule
    - Great work ethic

    Cons- Inconsistency at every level
    - Dishonest management
    - Ridiculous workload
    - Zero succession planning for projects
    - Low salary
    - Poor/lack of process for many things

    Wolfram Research is such a difficult place to work you're considered an old timer if you've been there for more than 6 months.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStand up to the CEO.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Old-school

    Software Developer (Former Employee) Champaign, IL

    Prosstephenw has great vision, will probably keep the company relevant for a while.

    ConsLow pay.

    Low-level decisions always made with worries over how management will react.

    Hard to work on meaningful software if you're new.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    It's a fantastic, genius, fascinating group of people being simultaneously abused and paid less than some janitors.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Champaign, IL

    Pros-Free coffee, juice, and hot chocolate
    -Awesome employees who bring in free cake, cookies, etc to share all the time
    -You get to work with geniuses with great senses of humor
    -People swear like sailors and wear geeky t-shirts with flip flops and hang up colored christmas lights in their offices (and if this is not a pro for you, you may want to consider working elsewhere)
    -No straight-laced boring types (again, at least in tech) -- everyone is interesting

    Cons-Wolfram hiring mangers employ direct and unabashed agism. I have directly witnessed with my own eyes a candidate being refused an in-person interview based on the date he graduated college, the comment being along the lines of "look at the date he graduated -- this guy must be really old."
    -Worst pay on the planet. People have migrated from Wolfram to Yahoo here in town and made more than double what Wolfram paid them
    -The entire company is Stephen's toy, meaning you are also his toy; decisions are made that make absolutely no sense ($50 Wolfram|Alpha app, anyone?) and you have to learn how to please his peculiar sensibilities to survive (hint: mind your font kerning. He's into font kerning.)
    -Lots of secrets are kept. No communication. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, even when it directly asks because it is necessary in order to do its job.
    -Do not work here for more than about 4 or 5 years. The skills do not transfer. The way things are done at Wolfram have nothing to do with the way any other company does anything. There's no Agile, there's no Subversion, there's very little SQL, almost all regularly used tools are custom/proprietary so you are robbed of being able to list them on your resume

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper management? I don't even know what they do. Excom is in Cambridge. They are basically like an Illuminati cult and I am not even sure they exist.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    You're expendable...and don't you forget it

    Applied Research Group (Former Employee)

    Pros-Flexible in terms of when you come into the office
    -Casual work environment
    -Free coffee

    Cons-As a guy working in this environment I was deeply offended by how women get treated in this company and how its deemed acceptable. These women are your equals not your mothers.
    -The CEO only cares to groom certain people whom in turn treat everyone as terribly as the CEO treats them except these people aren't the CEO nor does it excuse such behavior.
    -Extremely low pay
    -Ridiculous expectations on production
    -Lack of team work; the management do nothing to encourage team work and when people work as a team they get more work with unrealistic deadlines hindering group work even if people are getting along. Often times you're the only person on a project so if no one is there as back up you're on your own and in trouble...
    -CEO treats his staff as though they're invisible unless he finds them stupid and incompetent in which case he takes the time to embarrass them in front of the group.
    -There is zero direction if you want to carve your own way in the company and zero support. If you can't do it on your own and aren't blessed to be in the inner circle forget your dreams even if your manager gives you their blessing to move forward.
    -You will be spread as thin as possible.

    Advice to Senior Management-Give raises
    -Say thank you
    -Encourage growth
    -Create a team environments with collaborative environments
    -Tell Dr. Wolfram to be a little more polite instead of a petulant child.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Working for Wolfram

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Champaign, IL

    ProsLots of creative flexibility.
    Very intelligent individuals to work with and learn from.
    A lot of personal freedom.

    ConsVery poor communication with staff and expectations.
    Very poor outlining of goals and long term plans.
    Very little assistance in getting started in the company.
    Do not work there if you are just starting out or changing career directions.
    Saw Wolfram threaten someones job in a company wide staff meeting.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to communicate with your staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    2 people found this helpful  

    Good for a first job, but don't stay more than 3 years

    Web Developer (Former Employee) Champaign, IL

    Pros- Very flexible schedules, if you're in the right department.
    - Name looks good on resume, most people have heard of the company (in tech industry)
    - Good location ... a lot of places to eat within walking distance
    - A lot of smart people work there

    Cons- Compensation is terrible. Way under market value, even for the area.
    - Slow to adopt new technology. If you stay too long, you'll find your skills are becoming irrelevant and you won't be able to get a job elsewhere.
    - Mathematica isn't really a transferable job skill
    - Lot of incompetent employees that have been around for too long. Including some management.
    - Not very open about financials. Senior Management seems to always give them impression that sales are up 5000%, won't admit failure about anything.
    - Free drinks, but you have to pay for snacks... becoming pretty rare in the tech industry

    Advice to Senior Management- Be more open with employees about state of the company
    - Reprimand low performers!
    - Pay at least market value. It's better to have a few high performers than a lot of junior roles. High performers can easily make 50% more elsewhere, so they're going to leave. That leaves you with only the people who have no other options...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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