SMA und Partner AG - Very professional IT department, lovely atmosphere - I will miss you! | Glassdoor
  1. "Very professional IT department, lovely atmosphere - I will miss you!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Zürich
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SMA und Partner AG full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I have been working for SMA for almost five years and I am about to leave the company in a few months. I've had a great experience here and I am sure I will miss this company, despite my decision to move on. The following is my personal experience, I’m obviously biased but my bias is honest. The points are in no particular order. - The IT department is very professionally organised, but without the overhead and chaos of larger companies. - All of the code is in C# (an advantage by itself, IMHO), the tooling is good and is regularly kept up to date. - The main developed product has a nice size: it's very large, especially if compared to the size of the team, complex and challenging enough to be satisfying, but not to the point of being overwhelming. It’s way too large to know it all, but you keep the overview and easily learn to navigate your way through the code. - The business domain (railways) is very interesting. Handling trains, station tracks and rosters is more pleasant to me than handling mortgages, interest rates and financial transactions. - You work for the flagship product of the company, not something that is delivered and then forgotten. The product is constantly developed, maintained, kept up to date, extended and cuddled in the long term. - There is real care for code quality and elegance. Considerable time is spent in code reviews with a "can we make it even better?" mindset. Budget is allocated for refactorings that improve the code without adding features. I believe that this is not something that can be taken for granted in any company. - The product is used daily by some thousands of users, so it is important that it works reliably and that regressions are avoided, which is a challenge. However, no trains will crash if the software fails, no bank transactions will be lost, no patients will die and in general nobody is using the software at weekend. Also, most railway data is not really confidential. All of this means low stress level and no paranoia at all. - An "anybody can work on any part of the application" philosophy. While of course not strictly applied to 100%, it requires and encourages a good degree of consistency throughout the code base. - There are some very cool patterns and features of the internal framework. Also, a couple of internal tools are the kind of thing that makes you think "how can other companies ever work without this?". - Non-distributed developer teams. All your colleagues are in the office and at reach. People know what their colleagues are doing. Code reviews are made in person. - Awareness that too much stress and pressure leads to poor quality and costs a lot in the long term. Developers are shielded from pressure as much as possible. - Speaking and expressing ideas (technical or not) is always welcome. Also, you can talk to anybody at any level. - No micro-management and good work is appreciated. - Relaxed environment in general. Informal dressing code, everybody is always ready for a good laugh, table soccer matches taking place every day. - Flexibility with working hours, vacation, occasional home office and special requests. In my personal experience, having always requested holidays and days off in a timely manner, the answer was almost always "yes, no problem". - The company (not just the IT department) feels very solid, receives constantly very good feedback from customers and has a very good reputation in the railway branch. - Office location is in Oerlikon: very well connected and without the chaos of the city center - It is a management-owned company. The partners of the company are all employees as well. This is the best possible insurance policy against nonsense we-have-to-please-the-owners management. The owners ARE the management, live within the company every day and feel the company needs both in the short and long term. - Developers are involved early in the process and in the design of solutions. Nothing is sold before developers at least roughly sketch a solution and estimate the effort. - Over time each developer tends to develop his own influence areas and this works surprisingly harmoniously across the team. Most of the times, it is possible to work on the things you care about the most, especially if you ask, and there will be other people who happily care about the things you don’t care about. - More in general, you don't need to be in a management position to feel that you have influence over the things you care about. - People are really nice and meet each other outside of the office as well. - Relatively low turnover, people, including developers, tend to stay a long time with the company, and this is always a good sign. - Perfect company for foreigners seeking a better integration in Switzerland. This point is of course only relevant if you are a foreigner like me, but for me it was extremely important. The written and spoken language within the IT division is German, however you can practice it in a low-stress context, where everybody understands you in English as well and where you don't have to have a lot of contact with external customers (unless you wish to). Also, there are not too many other foreigners (apart from Germans) with whom you can isolate yourself. The code base, the identifiers and the comments are all in English anyway. All in all, I found this company an excellent “training ship” for me as a young graduate wishing to improve my skills, and the low stress level makes it perfect for later phases of life as well (e.g. having a family). I am very grateful for the many good things I have received from this company and also for the super-fair behavior of my bosses from the day of entry until now, even after informing them of my decision to move on.

    Cons

    - The variety of technologies to work with is limited to those used in the products. However, besides the flagship product, there are a few smaller products, a couple of planned projects and occasional customer projects that make use of different technologies. - The stability of the company means you cannot expect the team size to be doubled (nor halved) within a year. This could be seen as a disadvantage by people hoping for quick career boosts.

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    SMA und Partner AG2019-02-09

Other Employee Reviews

  1. "Intern Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SMA und Partner AG

    Pros

    Great colleagues and work environment.

    Cons

    Nothing to declare. Everything was good.

    SMA und Partner AG2017-08-17
  2. "Good experience at a great company."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Zürich
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at SMA und Partner AG full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very interesting work with various client in the rail industry, great team of intelligent, experienced and friendly people. Company takes good care of growing and supporting its employees.

    Cons

    Professional development depends highly on self-motivation and building your expertise and project management skills. No pre-defined career path, which may be challenging but also opens potential. Work hours are a bit above the German standard (42.5 hours per week) and vacation less than German standard. Office location could be at a better location with more food choices nearby.

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    SMA und Partner AG2014-08-06

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