Guidance Software Reviews | Glassdoor

Guidance Software Reviews

Updated August 11, 2017
188 reviews

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2.5
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Guidance Software President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Dennis
Patrick Dennis
75 Ratings

188 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good people, encouraged to develop skills (in 12 reviews)

  • good product, just need to enable the whole company now (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Mgmt, and HR indifferent to retention makes for very high turnover (in 7 reviews)

  • With the recent layoffs and how desperate Guidance is to get deals it is hard to believe they are not trying to sell the company (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (8)

    "A tech turn-around story in the making."

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

    I have been working at Guidance Software full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    In spite of the challenges the company has a lot of potential, great people to work with and a predominantly collaborative culture. Strong core product offering in forensics and digital investigations ...a dynamic and interesting market to work in.

    Cons

    After years of losses under the former leadership, company is pushing for profitability and growth under the new management team. It requires hard work and very lean teams. This can be a challenging environment for some who were used to a different culture with lower expectations.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to push us into profitability and turn us into a grown-up company. Next, modernize the infrastructure to reduce friction of mundane tasks such as expense reports.

    Guidance Software Response

    Feb 8, 2017

    Thank you so much for your open and honest review. We really appreciate you taking the time to be specific and highlight the areas that are so important to our employees. At a recent all-hands... More


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Only if you enjoy pain - and arrogance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The facilities are pleasant and well tended. There is always enough free coffee to float a small flotilla. Pay isn't too bad at all.

    Cons

    Guidance software is a purely development driven company. Core development alone decides what will or will not be included in a product release. All other development efforts must lobby core for access to even remedial core functionality, often at risk to continued employ.

    Leadership is poor at best, attrocious is the norm. Morale continues to drop with no signs of improvement. The attrition rate is over 40% and consists of mostly great contributers who have either crossed a select inner core of the development leadership or have simply burned out from not being allowed to succedd, having credit for their good work taken by their managers or simply being ignored or marginalized.

    In the time I was employed, I did not receive a single formal performance review. While many did receive at least annual reviews, the content was said to be generic with no real value to the employee as a tool for improvement.

    The rumor mill is extremely active with high levels of inuendo and rumor spoken of other buisness units throughout the company. There is a very distinct "us and them" atmosphere that almost seems to be fostered and encouraged.

    Stock prices have steadily declined since going public and should be considered a key indicator when assessing the Company's mid to long term place in the forensic and e-discovery space.

    Generally, leadership has little confidence in the competence of "non-developers" which contributes to a somewhat hostile working environment.

    If you are content to simply do what you're told and get a paycheck twice a month, this may be a good fit for you. If you are looking for positive professional growth, opportunity to excel and be innovative, then I suggest you seek employ elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership needs to realize that Guidance Software isn't a start-up any more. Quit thinking like a start-up.

    Examine what your target market needs from you, that solves their current and evolving problems, that they are willing to pay for, and create it! Your competitors, in deference to what I've heard many of you state, are passing you by.

    Do not hold the supreme arrogance that you know what your customers want. They know what they need. If you deliver, they will pay premium dollars for it.

    Don't ride on the laurals of EnCase. It's great and all, but "what have you done for me lately?"

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your very detailed review, posted on July 22, 2010. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new... More

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Do Not Work In The Customer Service Department"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is okay and Pasadena is a great location to work.

    Cons

    Too much of a dictatorship from management in that department and you will never be able to advance unless the management deems you worthy of it, which is rare. It is also a high-stress department and management loves to micro-manage.

    Advice to Management

    You need to do some serious work on your people skills.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on March 2, 2011. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new day here... More


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Worst days of my professional career."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Working at the forefront of digital forensics and that's it.
    -Employees are generally friendly and helpful.

    Cons

    -There is absolutely NO training provided and false promises of helping employees advance in their careers, by middle management, run rampant.
    -QA managers are more like project managers rather than people managers.
    -Micro management is the name of the game.
    -Morale is very low and there are no signs of improvement.
    -Goals are assigned that will help management advance and look better and not help the employees at all.
    -Employees tend to avoid management as much as they can.
    -Meetings are stretched and very unproductive.
    -Most of the times work is assigned and instructions are given on completing the assignment so no brain power is needed.
    -The company revolves around R&D and other departments are secondary.
    -R&D is keen on using its proprietary scripting language and any other technology is dismissed even if it will help the company deliver better products.
    -Trust issues between management and employees.

    Advice to Management

    Hire middle management that is good in managing people. The founders of the company should step aside and let real business people run the company. I agree with the previous posters that people should be promoted to management depending on their leadership ability and not how well they know the software. The employees are not committed to their managers or the goals of the company, they are complying with them. Bring in consultants that will tell management what is wrong with the company and its structure and how they can take advantage of the low-hanging fruit to implement changes and see immediate results.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on March 10, 2011. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. A lot has changed since then... More


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Soul-killing bastion of mediocrity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation may be adequate, but it may vary wildly for people at similar career levels. If you are interested in computer forensics, this is a good place to start.

    Cons

    This is the worst work environment I've ever seen. There is NO design documentation. The only requirement are emails that the project managers send to the software managers, who then hoard them. Encase is an awful environment, and Enscript a joke of a language. Working here builds no skills that are portable. Managers play favorites and disrespect employees left and right. No communication between managers and rank and file.

    Advice to Management

    Throw away Enscript. Try using some actual engineering process. How about some actual documentation? An auto generated class diagram with 1000's of classes does not constitute an architecture.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on May 23, 2011. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new day here... More


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Unprofessional & Poorly Managed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    No one cares if you do your job well or not, or even if you do your job at all, so there's rarely anyone breathing down your neck.
    It's a very relaxed environment - people curse, no dress code.
    There are often free lunches because of meetings - they are not cheap with hotels and restaurants, so you can end up eating and/or staying at some nice places.
    Pretty flexible scheduling - as long as you don't abuse and get your work done, you can change your hours around.

    Cons

    POLITICS!! They will affect you even if you aren't involved.
    No one knows what they are doing - everyone here has their jobs because they were in the right place at the right time and made the right friends. There is no accountability and no transparency regarding any decisions or actions by co-workers and management.
    It's a process-obsessed company where no one is familiar with any of the processes. Everything is made up as you go along, even when there are precedents for how to do things.
    Extremely high turnover - they've had 4 or 5 marketing VPs over the past 4 years and constant lay-offs in all departments at every level - NO ONE is safe.
    Very low level of education and experience from almost everyone - although it's a tech company, you feel like you work at a manufacturing plant with people who can barely read and write.
    Endless meetings that are more for people to continue their vendettas rather than to actually get any work done.
    Never express your point of view on the project at hand - it is not welcome here. If you're smart, you'll be seen as a threat. If you're average, you'll just be ignored.

    Advice to Management

    The management is part of the problem. This company is only doing well because the marketplace is very, very tiny. They will sink once other cyber defence companies get bigger and stronger. The culture at this company is rotten and that comes from the top down. My advice to management: fire yourselves and let an entirely new group of people run this place.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your very detailed review, posted on July 25, 2011. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Overworked, and very little reward"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guidance Software full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    SF office has a great location.

    Cons

    Management doesn't recognize employees' hard work. The company culture is non-existant, and nobody believes in the product. I spent too many days working late into the night, and never felt like my work was appreciated. There's a real lack of training and professional development.

    Advice to Management

    i can't think of anything that would help management, or they would take seriously.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on Dec. 18, 2013. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new day here at... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Smart people but toxic environment with poor senior leadership team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Director in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guidance Software full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Reasonable comp; benefits are fair, not great.

    Cons

    Company culture is toxic to say the least; poor executive leadership in virtually every area.

    Advice to Management

    I was in a fairly senior leadership role and saw a lot of odd behavior for an enterprise software company. Sales, Marketing, Services all seemed to not know what the other orgs were doing nor care; each area of the organizations is managed as a fiefdom and Victor (CEO) let's it happen and or claims to be unaware of the dysfunction. Amazing he is still collecting his high comp given the direction of the company. CFO is strong but has some weak people underneath that enable bad behavior. For a publicly traded company, it was a bit frightening to see the lack of controls in some areas of the business. The Services organization is poorly managed from the top down; very top heavy and ruled with an iron fist. Tremendous level of attrition at the company so I would think twice before joining. Overall, not a positive experience.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on Feb. 25, 2013. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new day here at... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "“Only good if you have the right friends”"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guidance Software full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the people are worth getting to know.

    Cons

    Management only promotes friends, not those that can do the work. Growth opportunities do not exist even though management says they want to help, they hold people back.

    Advice to Management

    Stop bringing in friends and promoting those that do not know anything. Stop holding people back because once they are gone, they are gone

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on Feb. 28, 2013. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. But today is a new day here at... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "What A Horrible Place To Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    They Pay Above Market, That's It.

    Cons

    No one is happy here. The environment is tragic, toxic, and contagious. AVOID this company like the plague.

    Guidance Software Response

    Jun 4, 2015

    Thank you for your review, posted on June 6, 2014. We are sorry to hear about your experience. At the time you posted this review, our company looked very different. Today, however, is a new day here... More


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