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White Oak Technologies Reviews

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Alan Broder
0 Ratings
  • Helpful (3)

    Flying by the seat of its pants

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer


    Engineers are given tons of respect, and there are literally no businesspeople or marketing people getting in their way. The benefits are very good (4 weeks time off your first year, 5 weeks thereafter). Salaries are quite variable, it all comes down to how agressively you negotiate, but many employees are making less than they could make somewhere else because they like the company.


    White Oak's engineers are massively more arrogant than they have any right to be, IMHO, and management encourages this. Because all the work is classified, its hard to know how our products compare to those built by others, and nobody has ever expressed interest in finding out. Our products generally work, but not technically all that impressive, IMHO, compared to the things everyone knows the government (not to mention commercial companies) already knows how to do.

    Advice to Management

    White Oak writes software for the intelligence community (mainly DoD), but little of it gets used. Management justifies this by saying that their mission is "research and development", and that's somewhat true, but part of the problem is the quality of the work. The company really likes to hire inexperienced, uncleared workers, evidently to keep salaries down, but at my facility, I don't know a single programmer who has done intelligence work before... few have even done commercial software development anywhere else (many of the support staff have government experience, though). Engineers are given an enormous amount of trust to do things however they think they should be done, but that's partly a consequence of the fact that little of our stuff goes into production, and the fact that managers, both in the company and the government, aren't technically competent to understand the decisions being made. There is little to no use of standard software development techniques like unit testing, documentation, and issue tracking, and product stability suffers severely as a consequence. The company needs to hire more experienced developers, and have some decision making process other than "whoever implements it first gets to decide how its done".

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