Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Reviews

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Found 365 reviews

4.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
92%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory CEO Dr. Ralph Semmel
Dr. Ralph Semmel
203 Ratings
Pros
  • "The management supports work/life balance(in 48 reviews)

  • "Great work environment, surrounded by intelligent people who in my experience are more than happy to help each other succeed(in 34 reviews)

Cons
  • "There can be lots of red tape due to the fact that a lot of projects are funded by the government(in 9 reviews)

  • "No Cons thus far, great place to work(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    Helpful (5)

    Great place to make a career!

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Overall
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    - Extremely innovative/exciting work across many different areas (defense, space, healthcare, robotics and autonomy, AI, materials science, etc.) that has a positive impact on the world. - APL is a research center, so the majority of the work you'll be doing hasn't been done before. You will be challenged to think critically, which will help you grow both personally and professionally. - Incredibly smart and passionate...

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    Cons

    - At times, typical red-tape found in all organizations in defense (however, I believe APL does the best job at mitigating these barriers).

    Advice to Management

    APL is heading in a great direction to back its storied history. Continue to promote innovation in all ways possible!

  2. Great Place to Be!

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Overall
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Laurel, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 2 years

    Pros

    Cutting edge work and employee-friendly.

    Cons

    I have nothing negative to say.

  3. I'll be here for another 30 years probably

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Overall
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Analyst in Laurel, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 4 years

    Pros

    They promote work/life balance (and actually mean it!). Flexible hours, great pay, great benefits. Funding for projects is generally reliable/stable. Lots of freedom for staff to pick and choose which projects to work on. Plenty of demand for your technical skills, and the work is stimulating (though not always the most risky -- see below). Management cares about retaining staff members.

    Cons

    Matrix organization, meaning there are two separate organizational hierarchies, technical and programmatic. It can be confusing to navigate as a staff member, and it also makes the institution slow to respond to changes. Management is fairly risk-averse -- they are currently trying to change this image, but again, it's slow-going. There are some really cool projects, but I still wouldn't recommend this place to someone...

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    Advice to Management

    Management appears to be making efforts to attract top tech talent, by rebranding APL as having a similar culture to a Silicon Valley startup: a kooky work environment that embraces high-risk, innovative ideas that will soon change the world. But APL is not remotely the same type of business as a startup, and trying to emulate the culture and values of one is destined to fail, as it leads to disillusionment. Instead,...

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  4. Helpful (1)

    apl

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Laurel, MD

      I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than a year

      Pros

      great learning environment, everyone is super collaborative

      Cons

      bad location - in the middle of nowhere

    • Helpful (1)

      Great Company

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Engineer 
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 2 years

      Pros

      Benefits, Retirement, Autonomy, Interesting Work, Continuing Education

      Cons

      I cannot think of any

    • Helpful (3)

      Not a great place for early-career software developers.

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Software Engineer in Laurel, MD
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than a year

      Pros

      Relaxed environment... and there is some seriously cool stuff is being done here. Compensation and benefits are more than generous, and you can expect a good life/work balance here.

      Cons

      Unfortunately, software is not the priority here. Many areas within APL are very far behind in using best software practices (if they use them at all). Best practices aside, you can expect to use specific and/or outdated technologies. Here, C++, MatLab, and Python are the solutions to every problem; the hammer to every nail. Expecting to interface with a web-service some guy wrote only a year ago? Don't be surprised...

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      Advice to Management

      While there is certainly innovative work being done in many areas at APL...software is not one of them. Silicon Valley is light years ahead of APL. If software is truly going to continue "eating the world", (i.e., become a major component of literally everything) then APL's management would be well-advised to take note of how software-sausage is made outside of APL.

    • Helpful (1)

      Very Good Pay For The Low Stress Level

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

      I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time

      Pros

      Flexible Hours, Good Variety of Work, Good Benefits

      Cons

      Bad Location for Young People, Can Usually Make More Money Elsewhere

    • Helpful (4)

      The perfect place to work

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Data Scientist in Laurel, MD
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full-time for more than 4 years

      Pros

      They have great opportunities for staff to submit innovative ideas to get funded. APL also reimburses employees' tuition for classes through JHU - a great way to continue education. It's great to see a company that cares about their employees' growth. The benefits are fantastic, and the hours are reasonable (great work-life balance). The company is also large enough that you can get a feel for many different areas of...

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      Cons

      If you're coming from the private sector, it takes a while to understand the acronyms and culture of a company that mostly works with the military. The location is also challenging, with difficult commutes to either Baltimore or DC and no public transportation.

      Advice to Management

      It would be awesome if there could be a morning and evening shuttle to the local MARC train! Otherwise, keep up the great work.

    • Helpful (1)

      Culture of the company makes you feel you're contributing to something important.

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      Former Employee - Research Intern 
      Approves of CEO

      I worked at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

      Pros

      My employers and my collegues always felt curious and engaged in the work that they're doing - it never felt like a 9 to 5 job.

      Cons

      Desk work can be tiring, but there's always room to walk and ask others in the building what they're working on - they're always happy to talk about their research!

    • Helpful (1)

      The cutting EDGE

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I have been working at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

      Pros

      Amazing place to work, BLEEDING edge

      Cons

      There are NO cons at JHU

    Found 365 reviews