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ThoughtWorks Overview

Chicago, IL
1001 to 5000 employees
Company - Private
IT Services
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
We are passionate technologists. We provide software delivery, pioneering tools and consulting for organizations with ambitious missions.

In other words, we build innovative and game changing software. Our focus is not just on creating solutions suited to ... Read more

Mission: Our mission is to better humanity through software and help drive the creation of a socially and economically just world. We bring together the most capable, driven and passionate people to:

1. Run a sustainable business
2. Champion software ... Read more

Company Updates

  • We're honored to be named a 2017 Winner of the Top Companies for Women Technologists (in North America) for the second consecutive year.

    Upward, Together

    ThoughtWorks is looking forward to #GHC17 in Orlando this year.

  • Anita Borg Institute names ThoughtWorks as Winner of the 2016 Top Companies for Women Technologists Program -

    Anita Borg Institute Names ThoughtWorks as Winner of the 2016 Top Companies for Women Technologists Program

    ABI names ThoughtWorks the winner of the 2016 Top Companies for Women Technologists Program with the highest overall score. ThoughtWorks, a global software company, has been recognized as a true leader in recruiting, retaining and advancing more women in technical roles.

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ThoughtWorks – Why Work For Us?

Considering a career with ThoughtWorks? Check out this popular post on our Insights blog: "The Most Difficult IT Interview I've Ever Loved" by Steven Lowe.

OK, let’s get the corporate stuff out of the way first. ThoughtWorks is a global IT consultancy providing Agile-based systems development and consulting services. We've pioneered many of the most advanced and successful Agile methods of software development and best practices used in the industry today. 

In other words, we build (amazing) software. It’s amazing because we build it with a complete obsession on doing the right thing for the user and the customer, and some innovative methods to get us there really quickly. It’s also amazing because it’s the stuff that makes or breaks companies; software which creates competitive advantage. 
But that’s only part of the story. ThoughtWorks is a social and commercial community based on three pillars – (1) running a sustainable business -- which enables us to (2) deliver software excellence and (3) advocate for positive social change. You’ll hear us talk about our Pillars at lot if you join us.

We see building software as a social activity, best done by teams of brilliant people, not a mechanistic process where individuals are interchangeable cogs in a master plan. Our hiring model focuses on finding outstanding talent, over the mastery of tools. 


Since 1993 ThoughtWorks has grown from a small group of passionate people our founder, Roy Singham, gathered in his basement in Chicago to a company spread across 24 offices in ten countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

We’ve been building game-changing software for our clients since we started. We specialize in creating technology that helps differentiate companies, or that helps make a positive change in the world.

It’s not that straightforward though. If you ask anyone who works here what we do, they’ll give you a different answer. ThoughtWorks is very much what you make of it, and your experience will be shaped by the projects you’re on and the people you work with. We’re also a bunch of entrepreneurs and so we’re just as likely to tell you about the company we want ThoughtWorks to be, as what we are today.

Since we started, in that basement in Chicago, we have made many mistakes, and have learnt a lot about how to build software, but more importantly, how to work effectively. We’re fanatical about helping our industry to get better and we do this by writing books, blogging, and talking at conferences.

Our mission is to better humanity through software and to be a role model for the 21st century socially responsible company. Martin Fowler, our Chief Scientist, blogged about what this looks like when you’re a ThoughtWorker. You can read it at



In terms of our organizational characteristics, we think the following sums us up pretty well:

  • Do the right thing
  • Attitude, aptitude and integrity
  • Service to others and society over self
  • Solidarity over charity
  • Serve holistic goals over achieving targets
  • Personal and organizational transparency
  • Curiosity, creativity and passion
  • Fail fast and publish our mistakes
  • Intolerant of intolerance
  • No jerks
  • High values alignment, loosely coupled

There's something else you should know about us. If you think that the lack of women in IT has something to do with women being genetically indisposed to programming, ThoughtWorks isn’t the place for you. That goes for any other diversity dimension you’d care to suggest. We are really proud to be an equal opportunities employer and an awesome place to work. Our recruiting team is fanatical about sourcing people from all sorts of different backgrounds, because this is what helps us be a more innovative, more inclusive community.



ThoughtWorks believes that people are central to creating great software. We value technological expertise and innovation, but also personal integrity and enthusiasm. At ThoughtWorks, you’ll get a chance to do amazing work, alongside some of the brightest people you have ever met, without the typical frustrations and big company politics (well, at least not internally).

We’re out to build a community of experts, not just provide a one or two-year stepping stone for job-hoppers, so we have a different philosophy of hiring and career development. We have a very exciting graduate scheme, but that doesn’t mean we hire large numbers of inexperienced people and filter them out each year with an 'up or out' approach. We think that leaves something to be desired, and to be frank, it doesn’t fit with our values.

Instead, we hire carefully (and sometimes slowly). If you become a ThoughtWorker, we try and tailor a path that is uniquely right for you. We don’t believe in boilerplate career plans with pre-defined roles. If you have what it takes, we want you to follow your passion. Whether that means moving towards management, immersing yourself deeply in a technical specialty, becoming a cross-discipline general practitioner, or something else entirely of your own choosing.

In terms of our specialities, we generally hire the following types of technical people:

  • Developers (predominantly Ruby, RoR, Java and C#. ThoughtWorks developers are interested in all sorts of other languages too, such as Clojure, Scala and F#)
  • Quality Assurance (especially people who are interested in test automation using tools like Selenium and Watir)
  • Project Managers (with a passion for Agile, servant leadership and enabling self-managing teams)
  • Business Analysts (who take an adaptive approach to requirements gathering)
  • Build and Configuration experts (to help us think about continuous delivery and getting applications into production)
  • UX/UI specialists (as we continue to build our footprint in the world of user experience)


And of course, we also hire all sorts of operational people as required.


ThoughtWorks Reviews

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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao
Guo Xiao
262 Ratings
  • "Principal Consultant"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ThoughtWorks (More than 3 years)


    Excellent people to work with. On any random project with 10 employees you ave personally never met before you can 100% count on them all being excellent and dedicated


    heavy travel requirements. unwillingness to accept government contracts.

    Advice to Management

    add an equity participation program

See All 721 Reviews

ThoughtWorks Photos

ThoughtWorks photo of: IWD
ThoughtWorks photo of: Steve Laughing
ThoughtWorks photo of: ThoughtWorks University Class Graduation
ThoughtWorks photo of: Our own Jez Humble, talking about Continuous Delivery
ThoughtWorks photo of: Rebecca Parsons, our Chief Technology Officer
ThoughtWorks photo of: ThoughtWorks Ecuador
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ThoughtWorks Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at ThoughtWorks (San Francisco, CA) in November 2017.


    1. Phone call with talent scout.
    2. Phone call with software engineer, mostly non-technical.
    3. Take-home project. 3 options to choose from.
    4. 7-hour (!) on-site interview. This consists of random technical and behavioral questions, a pair-programming session (adding features to your take-home project), a personality test, and a logic test.

    Overall I thought the interview process was pretty good, but it's such an enormous waste of time if you don't get the job. I think I spent 15+ hours between all the interviewing and the take-home project. It's frustrating to receive a very vague reason like "not experienced enough". My experience and coding abilities should have been pretty apparent from my work history and the project that they reviewed before they called me in.

    Interview Questions

    • Choose from three projects:
      - finding an efficient route between several points
      - parsing strings to translate currency from one format to another
      - comparing schedules   Answer Question
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ThoughtWorks Awards & Accolades

  • Chicago's Best and Brightest Compaies to Work For, National Association for Business Resources (NABR), 2015
  • Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, National Association for Business Resources (NABR), 2015
  • San Francisco Bay Areas Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, National Association for Business Resources (NABR), 2015
  • Top 20 Places for Women to Work in Brazil, Great Place to Work®, 2016
  • Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, National Association for Business Resources (NABR), 2016
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