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Cascade Microtech Reviews

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14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Company, New Regime tough but fair"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company has changed over the last two years since I started working here years ago. The new regime, specifically in manufacturing, has been putting new policies and procedures in place which is helping move our company from a small, family owned business to a mid-large sized corporation. It was tough for me to accept at first, as what I had come to know was changing drastically. The new factory manager told us he had an open door policy and to bring up any concerns. After speaking with him personally, in what he called a 1 on 1? he explained the his vision and mission to me. It was refreshing to finally have some transparency, but conversations like this need to happen more often with more people.

    The Pros:
    People are held accountable for their actions and performance
    Development path for Technicians
    Much better training system
    Opportunities for improvement, but you need to make it known that you want to advance
    Work/Life Balance is great
    Pay has gotten much better
    Transparency has gotten much better

    Cons

    New Management has high expectations of their, which has been difficult to adjust to for tenured employees.
    Benefits are below average
    Loss of Small company culture

    Advice to Management

    Please have more face time with your technicians. Take more time to explain what the new vision and mission for the factories are in terms we understand and can relate to.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Pleasantly Surprised"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Test Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I joined this company very recently, so this review is from the perspective of a new employee that comes from a much larger corporation.

    When I joined Cascade Microtech, they had just announced they were going to be acquired by Formfactor. I was a little bit nervous about that, since I had just joined the team. My supervisor and his boss made sure that in the coming weeks they had Q/A sessions and alleviated most of the concern/anxiety the current workforce had.

    Coming from a much larger corporation, which housed 100k employees, I was interested to see how things were done in a much smaller company. Most of the reviews, on glassdoor or indeed, were either very good or very bad.

    Management and Training:
    I was pleasantly surprised by the transparency between the technicians and management. They acknowledged, at least to me and the other new employee on day one, that they did not have a real training program but were working on it and were going to roll it out in a few weeks. They kept to their promise and gave out detailed expectations of each job function and what would be required to attain the last level. I noticed that a lot of the more senior employees did not like this, nor some of the new policies that had been rolled out under the new management. I think that had to do with the fact most of them had not worked anyplace else. I feel that the new management, of the factories at least, are very fair and transparent and that the policies are very generous and lenient compared to most companies in the area.

    They delivered to me a 90 day new employee plan that had mapped out what I needed to be proficient in by the end of the time frame in order to keep my position. All of the expectations were fair. The actual training had some bumps in the road, as they were trying out a new training plan. The senior employees were responsible for the training, and executed as well as could be expected for people that had no previous training baseline or expectations. The one thing that I did feel was the trainers were holding back some of their "tribal" knowledge/BKMs. That could have been due to the fact they are updating their work instructions and most of the processes were not written down previously. Overall, they are going in the right direction and things were good.

    The Supervisors and factory manager are all new and from much larger organizations. They are doing what is right to make the transition from a small company to a mid-sized corporation. They are very forthcoming about everything and take input from the employees and act on them. There are quarterly reviews with your direct manager, and weekly meetings to go over your progress.

    The only issues with management that I notice are between tenured employees and the new management. The employees that have been here since this was a small company are having a hard time adjusting to the changes and letting go of the "old cascade". They seem to be the most resistant to the changes that have been implemented.

    Upper Management:
    The team that has just left was very jovial and easy to talk to. I am not sure if the new executive team from Formfactor has a similar personality, but I hope they do. One of the nice things is that the current VP of operations will be staying and he great! He always comes down to the factory floor and has conversations with each employee and remembers everyone's name!

    Work and Life balance:
    Work is stressful. We have more and more products we have to get out of the door and it seems we always are working ridiculous amounts of overtime to complete it. While I feel the workload used to be manageable, I did not work here when it was not busy, we always have an insane amount of orders to work on. When we are not working on orders, we are working on process improvement. There is always something to do.

    Overall:
    This is a great company to join during its growth. Management is great and are doing the right things. The Training program, work instructions, and growing pains of going from a small to mid-sized company are things that are being worked on and will need to continue to improve. It is a tough work environment and they expect a lot out of their employees. The benefits are average, but hopefully with the acquisition from a CA based company will improve. If you want to join a company where you can make an immediate impact where they expect a lot out of their employees, I would recommend it. If you want to just come in and collect a pay check, it might not be a good fit.

    Cons

    There is a constant struggle between the "cascade of old" and the new cascade/formfactor. The employees who have worked only at this company need to understand that things can not be as they were. There is some resentment from these employees towards the new management as I stated above, but long term I do not see it being an issue.

    The benefits, specifically health, would be a grade C. I think they are doing the best they can, but hopefully it improves.

    Upper management has shown tendencies to favor/protect tenured employees.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management: Please do not protect/favor the employees that have been there forever.


  3. "Not The Cascade Of Old"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Beaverton, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time

    Pros

    Generous time off (28 days PTO for 10 years service). No forced overtime or extra long workweeks.

    Cons

    Unbelievably clueless management in the Systems business unit. It is inconceivable that Cascade reappointed Claus Dietrich as head of this business unit after he nearly brought Suss to complete ruin (before Cascade bought Suss). However, it is not just Claus, the entire Systems management chain is flawed: lacking knowledge in this technology space, tyrannical, micromanaging... More downside includes the perils of international development with a team in East Germany, clueless marketing, and too many variations of products and "specials".

    But perhaps the largest (and saddest) is the loss of the old-school Cascade culture to the cultures of Xerox and ESI (as new managers were hired from those companies). Systems was a really cool place to work back in the day...but not anymore.

    Advice to Management

    More democratic leadership. Seriously, listen to team members and take votes on major decisions, leveraging team members that do have experience in the technology space. And/or consider employment elsewhere. Be market driven not marketing driven.


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  5. "Best Small Technology Company in Oregon"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time

    Pros

    - Cascade is a great technology company to work for, a hidden gem in the Silicon Forest of the Pacific Northwest. Lots of very smart people to work with and very hard problems to solve.
    - Good balance of leading edge technology + excellent work/life balance culture.
    - Products touch every aspect of our new digital world, future is very bright.

    Cons

    - Compensation is not as high as some of the other "tech giants" in the area.

    Advice to Management

    Dream Big. Stay Focused. Prepare for Success.


  6. "Love the culture!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I am in accounting and I really enjoy it here. It's a culture where you can rely on everyone to get their work done accurately and on-time, and you're expected to do the same. The management is pretty hands off as long as you continue to get your work done, which makes for a great, low-stress environment. We also never miss celebrating a birthday or big occasion!

    Besides just the working culture, we also have fun on the side. I personally, with 15-20 other players, enjoy playing foosball on breaks. There's great walking trails all around and during the summer, our complex backs right into a park with Frisbee golf! We always have pools for fantasy football or basketball, March Madness, and events throughout the year. There's an Events committee that puts on events like an ugly sweater contest, Blazer fan appreciation day, or reserving a conference room to stream the World Cup!

    Tl;dr Tons of fun, and highly productive coworkers.

    Cons

    The biggest con for me is the shallow org structure that makes it difficult to move up. There are only a certain number of management spots, and there tends to be low turnover (which is nice, I guess, unless you want to move up).

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice to be able to stay connected to what is happening in the company more. To know how we're doing throughout the quarter compared to targets, how product development is going, and more general information about how the company is operating outside of whatever sphere you are in.


  7. "Glad to Serve"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Lead Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good people and good work atmosphere.
    Ethically and Professionally inclined company.
    Strong rules and regulations but not overbearing or unfair to the well being of the employees.
    Highly technical work.

    Cons

    Opportunities for advancement could be limited.

    Advice to Management

    Understand your employees and avoid losing good skilled, experienced and talented workers; they are hard to come by. The best assets of a company are its skilled employees.


  8. "Engineer/Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've been at Cascade Microtech for a long time and I've had no shortage of interesting problems to work on. My job responsibilities have increased several times over the years and I've worked in a variety of engineering and management positions. In my role, I feel like I've had the opportunity to help make Cascade be the place where I want to work, which I think is a rare opportunity.

    Cons

    One area I've struggled with at Cascade is with the company not pushing decision making down to the lowest appropriate level. Another area for improvement is that Cascade's "nice" culture sometimes makes it hard to make difficult business decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up and continue to make investments in growth areas. Trust your team to do the right thing. Work on making hard decisions.


  9. "High tech company that acts like a family business"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time

    Pros

    The people who work at Cascade are great! Everyone is very friendly and the work-life balance is unheard of in high-tech. Most people work from 8am-5pm and there's a lot of flexibility. There are a lot of people who have been here for a long time, so there's a family feeling to every department. The customer list is very impressive - all the top names in the semi-conductor industry. There is no hierarchy and the CEO makes a point of knowing all employees. It's pretty cool to have him greet you by name as you see him walking down the hall.

    Cons

    Management is slow to make changes or improvements because everyone is scared of upsetting employees or hurting feelings. New ideas get brought up but seem to die out quickly if there is a possibility that someone might take offense or be upset by the change. There is a lot of catering to the people who complain the loudest, rather than being fair across the company/departments. Ideas that do get launched seem to last a couple months, then we go back to the way we've always done things.

    Advice to Management

    Act like a high-tech company! It's not 1980 anymore. You can be friendly AND fair. As the company grows, decide a path, communicate it clearly and then stick to it.


  10. "Very challenging and adventurous company to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Engineering Technician in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Never a dull moment. Plenty to do and still a small company so the opportunity to make an impact is great. Many different areas of work within a department which makes it fun. One day you might work on electrical and the next day it might be mechanical or both. All of the upper management are accessible to any employee so there's transparency of information. Very flexible work schedule around school or family emergencies.

    Cons

    Because things are fast paced you have to not let the small things bother you such as different management styles, antiquated software or equipment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Our management team has improved greatly over the past 5 years. They have a vision and goals to get there with results to show for.
    Please continue to reward those that produce product; like a well oiled machine, it will run smoother and continue to print profits if the incentives grow.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "A growth company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Beaverton, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cascade Microtech full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The company is growing and profitable. You can make a difference working there if you want to.

    Cons

    Cascade does not have its culture sorted out. It's currently a combination of many small company cultures that have yet to bind

    Advice to Management

    Lead with passion and continue to follow your growth strategy. It's working.



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