Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Computation Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Computation Reviews

Updated September 27, 2018
51 reviews

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Computation

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein
Bill Goldstein
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance is the biggest advantage" (in 111 reviews)

  • "I see the lab working hard to be a great place to work, which it is" (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • "Being a government contractor does mean there is a lot of red tape" (in 40 reviews)

  • "Of course, the cost of living in the Bay Area makes the 'good' salaries not reach as far" (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A place where you can do awesome work *and* have a life outside of work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist 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'm a bit over a decade into my career here at LLNL. During that decade+, I've been able to work on a wide variety of things from computer hardware, to software development, to team leadership. My colleagues are generally excellent: they work hard, their egos are non-existent, they're interested in building great stuff as a team, and they're as willing to learn as they are to teach.

    I get to work on projects that push the frontier of high performance computing. The fact that some of the world's most powerful supercomputers are just downstairs from my office is simply amazing. That I get to help, in my own small way, push that frontier forward is the opportunity of a lifetime.

    And, not only do we push the art of supercomputers forward, but there's tons of amazing, world-altering science and engineering occurring here at LLNL. The Lab's catchphrase is "science in the national interest." And it's true! When I think about all the world-class scientific discoveries which I indirectly support, I'm consistently blown away. I love my iPhone, but the work to help create the next-generation smartphone pales in comparison to all the scientific discoveries and breakthroughs occurring here at LLNL.

    As wonderful as the work atmosphere is, I'm also able to have a great non-work life. I'm able to be home each evening to have dinner with my wife and kids. My weekends are family time, not extra work time. Schedule flexibility is pervasive (for example, the AWS schedule that gives me every-other Friday off is quite nice). And I can afford to live in the same town where I work: there's no soul-crushing commute wherein it takes me 35 minutes to move 10 miles on a jammed freeway.

    Cons

    Cons — doesn't every organization have them? The Lab is a large organization. Sometimes the gears of progress grind more slowly than they should in surprising places. For example, it takes a looooong time to get a new computer for your office.

    Being that this is a quasi-governmental organization, there are various restrictions in place that you might not experience out in private industry. There are no stock options, no exceptional account-busting bonuses, no compensation for volunteer work, no kegs with fresh beer at the end of the hallway, or other types of perks that you might expect at a Google, Apple, or other typical Silicon Valley enterprises. But, the fact that I get to see my family at a reasonable time at the end of every day more than makes up for the lack.

    Another con is that Silicon Valley is close by; the companies there love to poach Lab employees. This can be difficult. It's hard to see a steady stream of my fellow colleagues get enticed by the large salaries, free lunches and dinners, in-building massages, and other Silicon Valley enticements.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to stem the flow of our colleagues heading out to work in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley isn't going anywhere; the problem won't solve itself. It's going to take active and creative measures — including how the Lab sells itself to potential new employees — in order to keep people working on all the important problems we have before us here at LLNL.


  2. "Computer scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    It has a Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy can be annoying at times.

  3. "Computation Internship"

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

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is better than what I would get in my home state.

    Cons

    Couldn't find anywhere to live. Had to move 5 separate times because I couldn't find a stable living situation which meant I had very little money left at the end of the summer. The hiring process was very stressful compared to my past internships. Expect a bunch of paperwork...

    Advice to Management

    Provide housing for students.


  4. "High Performance Computing"

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

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

    Pros

    Get to work in HPC on some of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

    Cons

    Sometimes very slow adopting new technologies.


  5. "Computation Student Intern"

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

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

    Pros

    Very flexible around School, wonderful facility, passionate mission and interesting staff. The environment feels almost like a university, and it is very welcoming. Work life balance is the biggest advantage

    Cons

    The average age of the normal employee is very high, which leads to very powerful views on certain things. The pay system is very strict and significant raises are hard to come by, so be sure to have a degree if you want the great pay.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Computer Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist 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

    World class programming challenges, world class supercomputers to work on. Brilliant and friendly people to work with. National security is a vital mission, and that is what LLNL does.

    Cons

    Stifling red tape and regulations. Staggering amounts of training required. If you need a government clearance, two years is probably what to expect for the wait, unless you have something unusual---then it is anybody's guess.

    Advice to Management

    Work life balance is really important to me with a young family: I'm glad that's an LLNL priority. However, so is compensation parity with the private sector.


  7. "Computation Summer Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Intern - Computation
    Former Intern - Computation
    Recommends

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern

    Pros

    Always interesting
    Lots of events
    Learn new technology

    Cons

    Strict rules so need to be careful with bluetooth/speakers, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Too many emails!

  8. "great coworkers, good work-life balance"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    most people here have advanced degrees like PhDs. You can most define your pace of working. No one raises eyebrows if you take vacations.

    Cons

    layers of paperwork to get things approved. Management overhead is high.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce management overhead


  9. "Senior Computer Support Technologist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Computer Systems Operator/Technician in Livermore, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Computer Systems Operator/Technician in Livermore, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The group I work for is comprised of a very wide variety of highly motivated individuals with a very wide variety of backgrounds and technical expertise. Everyone gets along with everyone in the group and all strive to achieve minimum downtime and shortest possible return to full operation of the systems we monitor and maintain. The systems we maintain are constantly changing, as older systems are retired and new systems are installed. This requires all members of the group to stay on top of things and the group facilitates this by providing training about our ever changing work environment. The shift leaders go out of their way to support the employees that work on their shifts by being advocates for their team members to upper management. Upper management really appreciates the job that we do and the group and many members of the group have received recognition for their efforts in various ways - cash bonuses, certificates of recognition and the like. All in all it is a very wonderful place to work, in spite of all the challenges we have to meet on a daily basis.

    Cons

    Some of the support staff, especially in the area of technical support, have no clue as to the extent we have to be able to bring up monitoring tools. For an example, I usually have 16 desktops on the Redhat Linux machine I use to monitoring tools - over 75 Firefox windows with multiple tabs, and hundreds of terminal sessions to run monitoring scripts.

    Advice to Management

    Please get the support organizations to try to understand the comprehensive monitoring we do and to recognize that our group is like no other due to the amount of windows, both browser, and terminal sessions, that we need to be able to run 24/7.


  10. "Top notch technical work coupled with flexible work/life balance"

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

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

    Pros

    + working with state of the art technology and people
    + supportive when working part time and taking care of family members
    + always striving to do what is ethically speaking right

    Cons

    - No fancy free cafeteria food
    - Large organization which can be difficult to get small and significant changes implemented across the entire organization (9/80s, 10/40s, work at home, etc )

    Advice to Management

    Keep working on recruiting and retention.