Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Excellent Work-life balance | Glassdoor

Employee Review

Employee Review

Helpful (1)

"Excellent Work-life balance"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Livermore, CA
Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Livermore, CA
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than a year)

Pros

- Good work life balance: better than most places, but could still be a little better
- 15 vacation days a year
- Low people Politics, no backstabbing.
- People generally try to help each other
- Both Senior and Junior Management are very approachable and open to input,
- Management makes a lot of effort to hear, gather and value your feedback.
- The Site Director (CEO) even has brown bags with rank and file employees to hear feedback!
- Management is attentive to our needs and gives us everything we need to do our jobs
- It's a Better location relative to other bay area companies. But, even here, housing is still 500$/sq foot! So any location outside of CA will be much better
- Salaries are roughly equivalent to other companies in the area.
- Excellent 401K
- Everyone gets an office of their own, wow! And an office phone of your own.
- Beautiful campus with a lake, benches, trees and wildlife, sometimes even right outside your office! Geese and rabbits too!
- Free filtered water in some buildings, free faucet water in others
- Some people can stay here for very long periods 10+ years or even 50+ years! This place will be loyal to you, if you stick with them for a very long time and earn it.
- Medical insurance is not too bad.
- Lots of interesting talks to go to, if you like that sort of thing
- Yearly 5K run event for HOME.
- Depending on the group your in, SE may face less beurocracy than a full software company (less code reviews and meaningless check-in processes). This leads to greater development efficiency.
- about once per quarter there's an ice cream social or something like that.
- Super easy parking on base
- Bicycles and taxi service available to get around on base.
- Great equipment: software engineers get 2 monitors and a laptop
- Occassional free lunches once per month for new members via the NEIT group
- Free yearly biometric reports: blood pressure, blood work, etc
- Hackathons once per quarter, have free coffee, snacks and Pizza
- Full time ergonomist will come by and make sure you have a good chair and computer setup
- Excellent wifi and internet connection, nice and quiet work environment
- Smart and knowledgable coworkers
- Research oriented software has requirements that are more flexible
- Low number of users for your software which helps decrease stress
- Leads and managers often bring in donuts and bagels for everyone, paid for with their own cash.
- Due to "need to know" policy, there is Below average overcommunication, not too many meetings.

Cons

- Bay Area has huge Housing problems that can't be fixed. You better think long and hard before you decide to move to the bay area or anywhere in CA for that matter!
- Lots of substandard tools used: Outlook, Jabber, Bamboo, etc. Jabber has a terrible UI, has bugs, won't let you paste output into the chat, etc. Bamboo is particularly painful. These tools often fail and are a pain to use. You can't change away from any of these tools because it's all they will allow. However, for tools like IDEs and things that can run on your own computer, you may choose the very best tools. They don't like any hosted tools in the cloud: Gmail, Google docs, etc.
- Security sometimes used as an excuse for Technical debt and substandard software development practices (this will vary from group to group, of course). Security concerns often negatively impact productivity.
- Paranoia is rampant
- Extreme security practices mean you'll need to type your password in at least 20 times per day(i'm not exaggerating) and it can NOT be automated.
- need to change your passwords often and it's almost always a huge pain
- You will spend a lot of time doing extra work due to security concerns and overcoming obstacles related to security
- For research done at the lab there's 240% funding overhead! that doesn't include all the security obstacles any researchers must overcome.
- Funding/Work can dry up and you might need to find other groups to join in order to keep your job. So, Long term stability doesn't seem to be option for everyone
- Early work stability (first 5 years) aren't nearly as stable as I thought.
- You may need to work on several projects at once because there's not enough funding for you to be on just 1 project.
- Things are always changing: tech stacks and technologies
- Enormous variety of technologies used: every team uses a completely different tech stack, which makes it much harder to ramp up, if you're going to another team
- Getting a clearance can take 3+ years. You will spend dozens of hours completing this paper work.
- Administrative training: LTRAIN, a couple dozen hours every year
- Stack Ranking. This sucks because it stresses everyone out and puts a lot of pressure on people. Although, I believe it's not nearly as bad as most other places that do this because you don't get laid off for being at the bottom
- Performance review is much more stressful than it needs to be.
- Although the pace is relatively slow, the workload can still be high because you get placed on multiple projects at once.
- The local cafeteria on base has very short hours: lunch is only open for about 60 minutes or less. You need to be really on time, if you want to eat. Sodeka the cafeteria provider has an exclusive license with LLNL which means they can't add more variety.
- You will need to be very careful about your driving. Getting a speeding ticket can get you in trouble at work.
- Gotta protect your badge. Loosing your badge can get you in big trouble.
- No onsite pictures and no usage of any camera functionality on your phone on base, no pokemon go, no facial recognition login.
- Disruptive building speakers: lots of frivolous chatter about testing. Sometimes this can happen 2-5 times within a few days, then there might not be any tests for many weeks. Almost seems like trolling.
- Since all the services are hosted locally, they can be unreliable.
- Old computer with a broken microphone
- minor: like most places, the printers and projectors sometimes dont work.

Advice to Management

Check security policies to make sure they make sense.

Other Employee Reviews

Other Employee Reviews

  1. "Engaging Work for a Purpose"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I want to feel like my work is for a higher purpose - and that's what I've found working at LLNL. I believe in the mission, the vision and the values. The people I work with have the same passion about their work and we have fun. When someone asks where I work, I'm proud to say I work at the Lab.

    Cons

    Working for the government is not for everyone. There is red tape and bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Transparent leadership is the key to fostering a culture of trust.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Sep 12, 2018 – Recruiting Group Leader

    Thank you for your review of the Lab. We are proud of the Lab's mission, vision and values and we're glad you're proud to work for LLNL!


  2. "Compensation Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Extremely bright individuals work here. You get an opportunity to learn from them. The Lab cares about your career growth Love working for such a great place

    Cons

    To many procedures to follow for the Department of Energy

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Sep 7, 2018 – Recruiting Group Leader

    Thank you for your review. LLNL encourages opportunities for learning and career growth so we are glad you feel supported in these areas.

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