Mission: To be an enduring company by creating superior products for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sports that are an essential part of our customers' lives.
I have been working at Garmin full-time (More than 3 years)
Interesting technology and projects, good 401k matching, and cheap health insurance.
The career growth opportunities are very limited (even more so for females and other minorities). I’m in one of the largest departments in the company and, in that department, I am only aware of four people who aren’t white males that have direct reports.
If you do join the company for a resume boost, as a female or minority, you have to consider it as an investment of a certain number of years and have an exit plan to move on as you will not have meaningful opportunities for career growth.
Advice to Management
Management must recognize that we have a very small number of non-white employees and create some programs to help with the isolation this can create. If this kind of organization is created, don’t treat it as absolving the organization from any further action as seems to be the case with the Women’s Business Forum.
HR must do a better job of training all members of management. If they are consistently ranking a female or other minority team member highly, ask the managers what they are doing to grow that team member’s career. Take an active role in helping management recognize their biases - ex: asking why they’re promoting yet another white male when another team member is a higher performer.
Remember that having representation in leadership helps in recruiting additional non-white, non-male employees and that diversity leads to better products. A workforce that is 80% male and probably has an even worse white/nonwhite ratio is going to have skewed perspectives.
I applied online. I interviewed at Garmin (Olathe, KS) in June 2017.
About two weeks after applying online on the Garmin website I was called by a recruiter who set-up a phone interview, which took place two days later. The phone interview was a basic screening call with a member from the HR department. There were questions that you would encounter in a basic interview about strengths, weaknesses, greatest challenge, resolving conflicts, etc. There was some technical questions that mostly focused on explaining basic programming concepts, much like on a test or quiz from college classes. Lastly, I was asked if I had any other offers from other companies.
About a week after the phone interview I received an email asking to schedule an on-site interview at Garmin in Olathe, Kansas. It was also requested of me to provide my latest performance review documents from my current employer, as well as two references.
The on-site interview lasted 2.5 hours and consisted of three parts; an HR interview, a technical interview, and a tour. The HR interview was with the same person who performed my phone interview and spent most of the time explaining to me how the benefits work, and asking if I had any questions about the benefits programs. This interview lasted about 30 minutes.
The technical interview was with three software developers; one was a manager, and the other two worked under the manager. This interview lasted about 1.5 hours and consisted of several questions, the important ones I have listed in the Interview Questions portion. In addition to the questions I listed, there were multiple programming concept questions, similar to the ones asked during the phone interview.
Something very important to note is that Garmin uses only C++ and not any other languages. When they asked my language set, I listed the 8 to 10 that I use in my current job, and the Garmin developers were not familiar with any of them (they only knew C++). Yet, they were adamant that I prove my proficiency in OOP, specifically C++, and were not concerned with much else. It gave the appearance, to me, that the software development at Garmin might be behind the times, and not moving forward with the industry.
After the technical interview was a tour of the campus that lasted about 30 minutes, after which I was dismissed. The building is very old with low lighting, and most offices are in the middle of the buildings without windows. There are often 3 to 4 employees sharing a small interior office. It was not very inviting.
I hope this experiences and observation is helpful to others.