Mission: We believe that a few talented individuals, working hand-in-hand with like-minded customers, can bring about a disproportionate amount of good.
Have you ever seen the Asymmetrik rallycars? No, we're not getting into the racing business (though maybe it's time to diversify.....) #vroomvroom
We celebrated the end of summer with crabs at our annual family picnic. Though the weather was soggy, we rallied anyway and had a blast. Here's a recap of our first-ever Crab FeastFest!
NIMBLE MOVES MOUNTAINS
Asymmetrik is a Maryland-based company specializing in software development and data analytics.
Since 2008, we’ve been helping government and healthcare organizations solve their toughest problems. Our small team development approach is precise and efficient, attacking complex challenges with an arsenal of tech expertise, deep-dive analytics, user experience design, and research fundamentals.
LIFE IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
At Asymmetrik we promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage a high quality of life for our employees. We are committed to offering a competitive benefits package to protect our employees and their families now and in the future.
THE A-TEAM IS WHAT MAKES US SPECIAL
We recognize that our employees are a huge part of our success, and they're what makes Asymmetrik such an amazing place to come to every day. Members of "The A-Team" are distinguished by their intellectual curiosity, a fierce desire to learn, a great sense of humor and the ability not to take themselves too seriously.
• We treat everyone we interact with as respected individuals, and give A-Team members opportunities to discover their potential. We demand the best from ourselves and from those we work with.
• We have a modern work environment with ergonomic sit/stand desks, MacBook Pro, Slack and Google ecosystem for easy collaboration, a fully stocked kitchen with drinks and snacks, and a game room complete with foosball, ping pong and air hockey.
• We consider family members part of the“A-Team” too! We host regular family-friendly events such as our Family BBQ and Star Wars Night with the Bowie Baysox. Family members are always welcome at social events including Happy Hours, Renaissance Festival outings, Poker Night and Movie Theater Takeovers (new Star Wars movie on opening day, anyone?)
• Our engineers hold regular Tech Exchanges to share how different teams use emerging open source technologies
• We believe in corporate responsibility, and support our employees in bettering the communities in which they live
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
All software engineers, regardless of seniority, complete a coding challenge prior to joining our engineering team. We recognize that autonomy, new ideas and collaboration are critical to creating an environment where engineers succeed.
Everyone, focusing on what they do best – that’s the solution for truly remarkable progress.
DO BIG THINGS—WITH LESS
Asymmetrik’s mission is to improve “how our clients do business” by combining their knowledge of their industry with Asymmetrik’s technological and analytical expertise. It takes only a small number of good people working in partnership to bring about a change that is extraordinarily greater than the sum of its parts.
I have been working at Asymmetrik full-time (Less than a year)
This is a comprehensive review addressing all major categories.
The current model is to maintain a laid-back, supportive culture, and use latest technologies to do more with less while keeping customers happy. The company welcomes open-source projects and uses that model to keep on top of current technologies and to develop the reputation that they're here to make significant impacts.
I have a high respect for how this company operates. Senior leaders are committed to company's values and maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. They care for employees by having a great work culture, generous perks, benefits, and plenty of opportunities for professional advancement.
Culture: Team Dynamics
Team dynamics are strong and fulfill all major factors of motivation - empowerment, autonomy, and sense of purpose. Members demonstrate humility, respect, and trust. Work environment leaves plenty of time for individual learning, although one-on-one training could be improved.
Project managers promote communication via multiple formats (JIRA, Slack, shared drives, 1-on-1 meetings, team meetings, company all hands, etc) to increase transparency, understanding, and cooperation. Synchronous communication (meeting) involves only a few necessary people. Asynchronous communication (e-communication) has a broader audience. Team culture is resistant to major changes but is also open to improvement. For example, project portfolios were the result of team's recommendation, creating a system where missions, objectives, and tasks are well defined.
Team leaders are responsible for the technical direction but do not assume all responsibility. Members have a clear sense of purpose and autonomy. There are no micromanagement, no big ego, no finger pointing, no blame games, and no observed poisonous behaviors (immaturity, hostility, inability to cooperate, overentitlement, etc).
Supervisors support everyone's professional development by recommending relevant conferences and seminars. They are open to ideas and follow the concept of not conforming to the status quo. There are many opportunities to demonstrate skills and knowledge, creating a sense of empowerment with respect to work processes.
Observed work assignments have been fair with no favoritism. Everyone was encouraged to disclose suspected violations of any regulation without fear of reprisal. A non-tracked web service makes anonymous comments possible.
Work matches my skill set, relating well to company's goals and priorities and therefore creates a sense of accomplishment. The team tailors work to members' best abilities but also allows members to be on different projects as requested, many of which would require additional time for training.
Growth and Development
The company is committed to helping everyone grow professionally, offering an industry-standard training fund annually, and more depending on roles. Employees are encouraged to keep learning by attending conferences, online courses, and getting certifications. Conferences directly related to work are billed not as training but as work.
Strategists and managers often review and evaluate projects' progress to make sure everything aligned with company's mission. Investments are made to bring in subject matter experts to address key market domains. Senior management is very open to new ideas and keens on developing connections with policymakers and professional organizations to establish a presence and dominance in targeted areas. The company workforce, therefore, has relevant knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish organizational goals.
Creativity is rewarded. I was told to think outside the box and if there's any limit in my imagination, address them with relevant personnel to freely explore other possibilities. Because of these empowerments, I feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things.
Support for Diversity
The company focuses not only on getting talented individuals but also on people with different backgrounds and combinations of experiences. The combination of engineering and analytical abilities had been very successful. The company is willing to take risks, venture into new markets, and hire the right people. This process is very different from the typical focus on staff with a pure technology background, which suggests that the company is looking to grow big and willing to do whatever necessary to be competitive and dominant in new markets.
As for awareness of diversity issues, I'm not aware of recruitment programs specific to women and minorities. However, there's a good mix of different ethnicities and gender within the company and that supervisors work well with employees from different backgrounds.
Senior leadership understands the value of technical interviews and is not afraid to deviate from it. They tailored the interviews to my experience. We went off script. The interviews were not as technical compared to most.
There's a post about getting more values out of technical interviews at Medium. I feel this company knows this concept and is able to get the most out of the process.
The workload is reasonable with plenty of resources and time to get the job done. It's preferred that everyone is available from 9:30-3:30 pm. Hours are extremely flexible. Requests for WFH, OOO, PTO, etc are casual and stress-free. Many members occasionally work from home as they see fit. Compensation hours can be banked for use instead of PTOs.
Perks, Benefits, Pay
Compared to the industry, pay and benefits are generous. The most common employment option offers 31 PTO/Holidays + all common leaves, bonuses, 15% retirement contribution (no matching needed), and 100% health/dental coverage.
All employees get a company branded metallic name badge, bottle (personalized with employee's name), cup, shirts, backpack, candy, birthday gift, etc. Lunch cafeteria/room has loads of free snacks, drinks, wines. The playroom has ping pong, foosball, air hockey tables, which are available at all time.
Management puts a lot of thoughts into making everyone comfortable, happy, and empowered, which generates respect, trust, and pride.
Onboarding Administrative Paperwork
Well-thought-out, 15-20 forms are completed in 30-60 minutes. Health coverage is available on the start date, provided the morning paperwork is complete.
I'd highly recommend this organization to anyone. It's a psychologically healthy place to work in. The culture, the people, the mission, and vision are great. I couldn't have asked for more.
An initial list of onboard items would be preferred, including setup, configuration, software, and additional training sources.
More 1-on-1 training/shadowing might be helpful.
Use of conference rooms for group discussion to keep noises down would be preferred.
Advice to Management
I applied online. I interviewed at Asymmetrik (Annapolis Junction, MD).
Interviewed here on-site within the last 12 months. I met with 5 different people including the CTO and CEO. It's a tiny company (less than 20 people). While I found the engineers smart, pleasant and easy to converse with, I couldn't entirely get a handle on the leadership team and their vision for the company. I found the CEO to be vague when answering even basic questions regarding the company's direction and plan for the next few years. The impression I got was: whatever work falls into our lap is what we will take on. I found this really unfocused and pretty unmotivated. Not the most exciting place! I think one of the employee reviews is spot-on in saying "for those looking for a get rich company, this is not your place".
In terms of the interview: I completed a coding exercise which had to be submitted online, before being invited on-site via email. I did not have a single phone call with HR before the in-person interview. In hindsight, it probably would have been really helpful to have that conversation to learn more about the company and the role.
The technical interview on-site started off with some CS concept questions - it was a list of "explain this" and "define that" type of Q&A. I would have appreciated a more open-ended design conversation that unearthed my knowledge of these concepts naturally rather than a "do you know this or not?" type of approach. The coding question I was asked to whiteboard wasn't very difficult, but I think the interviewer was more focused on getting a specific answer vs. understanding my thought process. I got nervous under his hammering the question to get me to reach a particular solution and didn't do as well as I would have liked. This was either due to his inflexibility to change gears and ask something else that would have tested my problem-solving skills, or my own nerves and confusion -- but the type of questioning here just left me feeling dumb.
I also had a 30 min interview with a non-technical person (don't remember her job role). She seemed unprepared for the interview and asked lots of vague, general questions. "Do you like to work in small teams or large teams?". She was totally caught off guard when I asked a few questions of her. "Most people don't ask questions!" Umm. All in all... while the people I met were very nice, I walked away not knowing what to think!
Veteran Hiring Commitment
Committed to helping America's military veterans find work
Pay Equality Pledge
Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience
Tech Hiring Commitment
Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers
Career Advancement Program
Helping employees "upskill" into higher-paying positions
Social Responsibility Pledge
Formal programs or foundation to give back to communities
Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce
Pledge to Thrive
Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being
First Job Programs
Maintain entry-level hiring and career development programs to give people career starts