I have been working at Sigma Space full-time (More than 10 years)
It seems, almost exclusively, that people that leave a company are the ones that feel a need to leave a review. I suppose it makes you feel better. This results in a very unbalanced view of a potential workplace, so I thought I would add my 2 cents, as a current employee. Sigma has a very fast paced working environment. It is very rewarding to those that demonstrate that they really care about making the best instruments in the world and work well with others in a team environment. This is not for everyone, and that is fine. I have worked at a number of companies, both larger and smaller than Sigma. It seems that if you show a desire to learn and lead, you will be afforded more opportunities than with most large organizations, government or otherwise, without a lot of red tape. Good things come to those that are able to use their heads, innovate, problem solve, and work well with others.
Sigma has all of the engineering disciplines in house that are required to make extraordinary instruments. You get to collaborate with all those disciplines in designing the next generation of products, and learn about all of the engineering tradeoffs and challenges in the process. That is much better, in my opinion, than learning a very specialized task as you would in a large company, or just monitoring what others are doing, as is common with many government organizations. It is really about what you want to get out of your work environment. If you want to be the one that is pushing technology to the next level, then you may want to work for Sigma. Many that work here are constantly thinking about how make products better, how to use a new technology in the next generation product - and enjoy that aspect of the work. If you are looking for a 9 to 5 only "job" where you don't need to think about things after leaving work, then this might not be a good environment for you. It is important to have a work/life balance, and, for the most part, there is a healthy balance at Sigma. However, there are times when you are expected to roll up your sleeves and dig in for a short time to make amazing things happen that are not the norm in most other companies. I enjoy working in this environment. I often look forward to going to work to help resolve complex issues and work on cutting edge technology. Others may just want to get a paycheck. It needs to be a good fit from both sides.
Overall, I think Sigma is a place where you are given the latitude to learn a great deal in a short period of time. Most people that work here will go out of their way to help a new employee to succeed, and quickly give you more complex tasks if you show the initiative.
As stated above, there are times when folks are called to "dig in" for short periods of time. This is a trade with respect to the work/life balance, and job satisfaction. I feel that it is a good trade, for the right personalities, so I don't really see it as a "con", but others might.
Advice to Management
No specific advice to management. Not sure that I would change too much. No employer is perfect, but it is important to find employees that fit with the existing culture. The existing culture is made of of a majority of people that care about the work that they produce, and are eager to learn new things. It is difficult to know who will fit in during the hiring process, but those are the folks that end up sticking around - and who do not typically write a review. Just my 2 cents.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Sigma Space (Crystal City, VA).
I met with the person I was replacing and the management team. Everyone was respectful of one another and friendly. Very professional, yet warm. The interview took place at the actual worksite I would be working so I got to meet some of the others there as well.
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