Wolfram Research

  www.wolfram.com
  www.wolfram.com

Wolfram Research Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
64 Reviews
3.2
64 Reviews
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Wolfram Research President Stephen Wolfram
Stephen Wolfram
48 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • There are a few really smart people in here which includes Stephen wolfram (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • It's great for the experience, but it was hard to justify the low salary after a few years (in 7 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work. Can be a little frustrating at times.

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

    I have been working at Wolfram Research full-time

    Pros

    • Incredible health insurance
    • Free drinks from the fridge and free fountain drinks
    • Good amount of vacation days
    • 401K matching (3% of your total salary if you max it out)
    • Ability to work remotely
    • Casual dress code
    • Very flexible work hours. Work on your own schedule or work from home if you need to.
    • You are treated like a professional
    • You will work on products that are well known and effect a lot of users.
    • Looks good on your resume.

    Cons

    Wolfram can be a little frustrating for a few reasons.
    • Not a whole lot of room to grow your career
    • Low salary compared to other companies
    • The company is a little too corporate. Too much corporate government and approval during projects.
    • Meetings meetings meetings. Expect to be in meetings for a large chunk of your day.
    • Your projects can take forever to get released. Several years is a common timeframe for your project to be taken public.
    • Stephen Wolfram is a micromanager which is pretty frustrating at times. He can also be downright rude. He will yell at you during meetings if he's unhappy.
    • Extremely high turnover rate. People don't stick around this company for very long so you will always be working with new employees.
    • Free snacks would be a major plus in my book.
    • There is no lunchroom so people either eat at their desks, in the library or go out to eat. It would be nice if there was a space dedicated to lunch where people would be encouraged to meet/sit together more.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    developer

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

    I worked at Wolfram Research as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    friendly staffs, flexible work hours, diverse employee, good chance of moving around in the company, good place to raise a family.

    Cons

    lower compensation than its competitors, terrible place to live (champaign) if you are single, bonuses and perks are not as good as its close competitors, upper management can do a lot better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    need to listen to staffs and their ideas more than they do now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Perks more than make up for the crazy.

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule
    Smart employees with diverse backgrounds
    Ability to work from home or work remotely
    Casual dress code
    Adequate PTO, holidays
    Free beverages: soda, juice, hot cocoa, tea, coffee, etc.
    Opportunity to work on diverse projects, never boring
    Solid insurance, 401(k), other benefits

    Cons

    Compensation could be more competitive
    Working with eccentric CEO frustrating for most
    Pretty high turnover rates

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nice place to learn and start your career

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wolfram Research full-time

    Pros

    Good place to learn and study various scientific and engineering topics. The things I learned in the company benefit a lot on my own research. Colleagues are nice and willing to help.

    Cons

    The compensation could be higher to attract and make talented employees to stay. It is hard to gather enough people to work on the projects currently.

  6.  

    Interesting consulting gig

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

    I have been working at Wolfram Research as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I had a lot of freedom to choose how and when I worked as a consultant and to pursue ideas. And I had the priviledge of working with geniuses.

    Cons

    As a consultant, I was too isolated from the rest of the company. The relationship would have worked better if I had come into the office at least once every six months.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Could have been great

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

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

    Pros

    Their technology is actually great. You can do a lot very quickly and therefore you would feel happy developing such technology or putting it into use.

    Cons

    Management, starting from the CEO Stephen Wolfram, is completely out of touch with reality and hence business decisions they make are horrendous. They do not have empathy for the employees and their growth etc. You will feel lonely, fighting a loosing battle all the time no matter how good you are. Those who try to speak are either fired or resign themselves.
    And oh yes, they will pay you peanuts. They expect you to feel its a privilege to work at Wolfram (nobody else thinks that way, surprise! surprise!)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire intelligent people and give them freedom to do great things. AND pay them what they deserve.
    Listen to others' ideas. Yes, you may be surprised that somebody other than Stephen Wolfram also can have great ideas.
    Stephen has been running this for 25 years, the same time as Mathworks. And yet, they are only about 5% of the size of Mathworks, both in product sales as well as number of employees etc.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great company, low salary

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

    I have been working at Wolfram Research part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    People here are brilliant. Free coffee, and colleagues bring in cake and other snacks to share with everyone. For a very established company, it feels like a CA startup company.

    Cons

    Salary is far too low. I haven't had any problems with the CEO, but I have seen incidents and heard of stories of his overbearing tendencies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you're gonna lay people off, get it over with asap instead of letting it draw out. That strategy causes company wide panic.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    The opposite of work hard, play hard.

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

    I worked at Wolfram Research full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Work can be quite interesting if you're academically inclined given the technical computing nature of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha
    - Very flexible hours for most developer positions
    - Ability to work remotely
    - Relaxed and easy-going culture
    - Company sponsors green cards
    - Visionary CEO

    Cons

    - An insulting, ridiculously low salary. A starting tech support engineer with a PhD will make around $35,000 and an entry level software engineer will make around $50,000. Yahoo, which is just down the street, pays an average of $100,000 to a software engineer.
    - Non-transferable programming skills unless you work in in C/C++/Java (Mathematica kernel or front-end). No other company cares you know how to write Mathematica code.
    - Company is essentially's the CEO's toy toolset. Various projects are launched that are complete duds from the beginning with no business model whatsoever to back them up.(WolframTones is an example)
    - Awful to work with the CEO, who is constantly yelling at people. Makes it for a terrible culture and you know that a company's culture starts at the CEO and spreads downwards.
    - Way too many shady HR practices regarding green card sponsorship.
        - They'll only sponsor you after 3 years of work.
        - you're not allowed to discuss your salaries with anyone else. It's in your contract.
        - No matter your skill level, sponsorship is at "software engineer I" level, so that they can pay you the minimum by law.
        - you're not allowed to discuss your green-card sponsorship level with others. HR will tell you they only sponsor at EB3 (even though job role and education could warrant EB2), but there are various individuals whose bosses really want them and are then sponsored at EB2. Essentially, you'll work for 6-10 years to get your green card at horrible pay levels that you'll never be able to "catch up" after you get out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    If you like being belittled this is the place for you

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

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

    Pros

    The name looks nice on a tech resume

    Cons

    CEO 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was very happy there

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

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

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Establish more of a decentralized, spread-out leadership rather than such a heavy focus on the CEO.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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