Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory "bay area" Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Employee Reviews about "bay area"

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29 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Excellent place for a CAREER"

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

    I have been working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As a scientist at the Lab, I have had a range of 'jobs,' all interesting and relevant to the needs of the country. I have done some great research and also worked in a more applied/operational area. My work life balance is pretty great and teamwork has been a total plus within the groups I have been a part of. The benefits are excellent as well.

    Cons

    While pay is good, the process to increase your pay is in small steps, so you have to take the long view regarding your salary trajectory. Of course, the cost of living in the Bay Area makes the 'good' salaries not reach as far. There is the bureaucracy associated with working at a national lab, of course, but I have adjusted to that as a necessary evil. Also, the priorities of sponsors can sometimes change faster than we are able to which means you can end up being tasked with a lot of short turnaround offshoot projects that are aimed to impress sponsors and bring in more money. These are not always effective.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the work toward making the Lab a flexible, diverse, and welcoming work environment. The changes are being felt around the lab and they are welcomed.


  2. "Interesting place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting projects going on all around. Different types of opportunities. Dedicated employee population.

    Cons

    Playing catch-up to salaries in the Bay Area

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Science to solve big problems"

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

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

    Pros

    This is great place for scientists and engineers who want to have a big impact on some of the big problems facing our country and the world. The Bay Area is a great place to be, and working at LLNL isn't going to eat up your weekends, giving you time to enjoy living here.

    Cons

    -Expected bureaucracy in getting some things done
    -Washington DC policy, Congress, and political appointments affecting funding


  4. 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.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Computation Intern"

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

    I worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an intern

    Pros

    A nice place to conduct research. It's like a semi-academic environment where interns can work on topics they like and get access to amazing computing facilities.

    Cons

    Pay is low compared to other industries in the bay area.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Research Laboratory"

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

    World class research facility with experts in almost every field of the physical sciences and engineering. Leading scientists guest speakers and numerous seminars in various fields. Beautiful campus setting in Livermore Valley.

    Cons

    Bay area traffic is difficult to navigate. Cost of living in CA is relatively high entrance cost for housing.

    Advice to Management

    Incentives for young staff could include some kind of financial guidance and planning. Specifically discussing retirement, housing, taxes, etc...

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Apr 30, 2018 – Employee Relations Program Leader

    Thank you for your review. The Benefits Office has scheduled a series of workshops throughout the year to provide information intended to increase employee awareness of programs available to enhance... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good Place To Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Working on significant world-class challenges in a constantly changing world. Amazing small and large science projects and exploration.

    Cons

    Heavy bureaucratic environment driven by funding sources. Salaries are generally lower than the Bay Area salaries in certain job classes.

  8. "Great Career Move"

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

    Great compensation, benefits, 401k matching, and work/life balance. Most importantly, LLNL is a leader in many advance technologies and the work directly impacts the safety of our country.

    Cons

    Being a government contractor does mean there is a lot of red tape. Coming from another DOE contract laboratory, that is to be expected when you are dealing with the government.
    Commute traffic in California Bay Area can be really bad, but supervision at LLNL will work with you to find what work hours works best for you and your commute (within reason) and are understanding if you are late due to an accident on the interstate.
    Additionally, housing prices in the Bay Area are very high. Overall the pros far outweigh the cons.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Jan 29, 2018 – Employee Relations Program Leader

    Thank you for your review. LLNL has a very competitive benefits package and values work/life balance.


  9. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Networking opportunities, events/seminars, a phone number to call when you have a problem with anything computer related

    Cons

    Definitely feel taken advantage of as an intern doing multiple jobs and not being compensated or recognized for them. I feel used and underappreciated for the amount of work I contribute. It is not fair to be breaking my back and stressed over completing other people's jobs for positions that are waiting to be filled while not being compensated at that level or receiving any benefits whatsoever -
     just because I'm only an "intern". I always go above and beyond in every task I'm doing, not just to make a good impression, but because I actually care about what I am doing, however I guess it does not matter much to anyone at all.

    The Lab, especially the organization I work in loves an antiquated ways of doing things and you cannot really question why, it's just the way things are done. What is the point of compiling statistics when they aren't put to use to improve processes? You would think that the Lab would be more welcoming of innovative ideas, but as the lowest rung on the ladder who sees how things are done firsthand, you don't really have a voice. That is pretty frustrating when you see areas where things can be improved, but you can't do anything about it.

    Also, a definite lack of diversity compared to the rest of the Bay Area - I don't think they emphasize or even discuss diversity and inclusion much at all (except on the Newsline), which is really important for workplace morale to have an inclusive environment.

    Advice to Management

    Be more welcoming of ideas and suggestions - saying there's an open door is one thing, but actually asking for where things can be improved is really important. Also, if you don't value the new & young (people and ideas both), you're really loosing out and people will take their brains elsewhere to put to use if you don't recognize and compensate them for what they do. Also, the hiring process is too slow - you're not going to retain and recruit the best if this organization (not to be named) doesn't have their own recruiter, otherwise it will continue to have high turnover and take months to fill a position.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Response

    Nov 3, 2017 – Employee Relations Program Leader

    We want to acknowledge your honest feedback and thank you for providing it. At LLNL, we value you and all of our interns as part of our workforce. We apologize the experience didn’t meet up to your... More


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