Lockheed Martin Reviews | Glassdoor

Lockheed Martin Reviews

Updated November 19, 2017
4,999 reviews

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  1. "word processor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Word Processor in Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Former Employee - Word Processor in Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Lockheed Martin full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Easy work, easy to learn and lots of interaction with others

    Cons

    lots of down time, repetative and no chance of progression


  2. "Technical Writer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Writer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Writer in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Lockheed Martin full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    great place to work, good raises

    Cons

    not much opportunity to advance

  3. "Good but boring"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Multimedia Design Engineer in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Multimedia Design Engineer in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lockheed Martin (More than a year)

    Pros

    Stable work
    Great benefits
    Awesome 401k
    Medical Clinic inside the complex
    Giant Lunch room and cantinas open most of the day

    Cons

    You feel like just another number
    Boring work
    No recognition
    Mind numbing
    Very strict

    Advice to Management

    The whole company culture needs to change and it wont happen over night. It also needs to be enforced and not just suggested like they did this year with the whole Join the Journey. That was just a giant waste of everyones time, and it focused on the wrong problems.


  4. "Software Engineering at LM RMS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Lockheed Martin full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I served as software engineer for MANY years the LM Rotary and Missions Systems (RMS) facility on Lake Underhill.

    I spent a considerable amount of time with the company because I’ve worked on some of the most rewarding programs in my career. I also chose to leave this LM business unit because I also came to a personal conclusion that it was headed in the wrong direction on a variety of issues that I didn’t agree with… During my time with the company, I learned a great deal how this LM business unit functions, leadership’s mentality (via their actions), and would like to provide a little bit of insight and depth to existing employees and potential candidates and focused feedback for management.

    Some of the pros that I personally experienced or witnessed:

    • LM develops some of the coolest products to support the needs of our government and military. There aren't too many places where you'll be presented with the opportunity write software for the next generation of attack submarines, launch a cruise missile as a part of validation testing, or develop the next rover to land on Mars.

    • The leadership / management training courses that LM has developed to train emerging leaders are exceptional. LM has managed to extract all of the important/relevant topics that would be covered in an expensive MBA program while removing all of the extra fluff.

    • Immediate functional management cares about the well-being of their employees and understands the challenges they face. This is mainly because at LM RMS, functional managers typically serve in a part time capacity on the same program that their employees are allocated. Thus, it's not unusual for the functional managers to feels the same successes and pains of their employees.

    • Program Managers (PMs) and software leads are typically give a wide degree of latitude to customize their program management and software development practices at program inception. This is a double-edged sword because the initial decisions made at inception usually dictate the amount of overhead that the team must conduct to prepare status, document and service software issues, conduct releases, etc. I've been on programs where initial upfront foresight and planning was excellent, but I’ve also served on programs where it led to a lot of extra work for engineering...

    Cons

    Some of the cons that I experienced or witnessed include:

    • Business capture teams often set program execution teams up for failure. For any government request for proposal (RFP), there's typically more than a hand full of competitors vying for the contract. This heavy competition forces defense contractors to do stupid things – like knowingly underbidding the scope of work to win the contract! This horrible practice sets up an unachievable expectation on the program execution team when the contract is awarded. Leadership typically clamors that "this doesn't happen", they "don't chase bad business", and have controls such as "functional sign offs" to prevent this from happening, but my former colleagues and I have started on multiple programs that were, on inception, behind schedule and forecasting costs overruns...

    • A "Work harder, not smarter" exists… PMs at LM answer to the business leadership and the contracting agency. Since most PMs are in charge of programs that are challenged (see previous bullet), they tend to be highly risk adverse. This makes them lean towards rejecting any ideas that are not guaranteed to succeed, require a sizable investment from management reserve, or impact the program schedule since they can't stomach chasing an opportunity may not pan out. Instead, PMs encourage their engineering teams to leverage even harder on existing (and usually suboptimal) processes, procedures, tools, and software baseline that the team wants to optimize. This in turn drives a "work harder, not smarter" mentality, stifles innovation, and forces the engineering team to brute force their way to a solution. As a software engineer, there’s nothing more disappointing than to be asked to shut off your brain and “just do it”.

    • Despite being provided some of the best corporate training in the industry, the level of competence and savviness of that most program management demonstrates is surprisingly low. This is even more true for even more senior leaders within the organizational hierarchy. My personal observation over the years is that LM RMS treats program managers as generalists that can be freely shifted around within the company. They're often placed to run programs that they possess no domain knowledge in. Since they lack domain knowledge, they usually make poor judgements and short-sighted decisions. The ones that realize this blind spot are willing to defer to engineering leadership for direction, but still take a risk adverse approach. Sadly, for the majority, collaborative decision making process with their engineering teams is a completely foreign concept. Thus, most PMs typically execute their role by hiding out in the shadows, simply monitoring cost and schedule metrics and squawking to the engineering team if something will impact their own yearly bonus or cause them to have a tough conversation with the business or customer. Ask rank and file engineers how often they’ve collaborated with their PMs.

    • LM's approach to software reuse needs a serious re-evaluation and can be characterized as “penny rich, pound poor”. LM attempts to drive down the cost of contracts by reusing software they've developed on previous contracts – this a sensible business/engineering approach. Unfortunately, in my opinion LM comes up short when executing this concept. LM has developed many monolithic software products to support multiple lines of business that have been developed over a period of many years (and decades in some cases). These behemoths utilized the languages, technologies, tools, and processes of their time. Unfortunately, they show their age and by continuing to utilize these old technologies, contain a high degree of technical debt, are riddled with worst practices, and are ultimately very costly and difficult to maintain. How could this happen?!?! Since most programs are challenged on inception (again, see previous bullets), program management pressures the engineering team to get the job done as quickly as possible to meet contractual deadlines and get out as quickly as possible to meet cost targets in order to realize and maximize program awards. This forces the engineering team into a myopic situation where it's has no choice (and funding) other than to prioritize the short-term goal of closing out the contract over the long-term goal of reducing the total cost of ownership by performing activities that increase maintainability (i.e., advancing to the latest tech stacks, addressing technical debt, adopting new tools/processes, etc.) so this begets an even MORE monolithic software product -- rinse and repeat...

    • Your skill set will diverge from the state of the art. Most of the software tech stacks that are used are AT LEAST a decade old. This is not necessarily a problem for LM, the government, or the war fighter, but if your goal is stay current with the software industry and keep yourself marketable to non-defense related employers then working on most LM programs will take you in the opposite direction.

    • Unless you're considered a high performer, your opportunities for growth will be extremely limited to non-existent. LM has a pretty decent process to identify their top tier performers. Every year the company carries out an employee calibration exercise as a part of their yearly pay and performance cycle. Ratings go from 1 (top tier) to 4 (bottom tier). If you received a couple of 1 ratings in a row, reminded your functional manager you were seeking advancement, and ensured he/she was looking out for your career, you could reasonably expect decent raises and the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. Anything less than this, your advancement opportunities go down significantly. Do you think you’re a top performer? Check out the other comments on glassdoor.com and you’ll notice that a lot of others thought they were too… Don’t expect this journey up the corporate ladder to be automatic.

    • For most employees, yearly raises do not keep up with inflation and the added costs of healthcare benefits, even if you're rated as top tier employee for the year... Top performers can expect a raise percentage that fits on the number of fingers on one hand. Everyone else, start subtracting fingers as you go down from there...

    Advice to Management

    My advice to senior management / leadership to right the boat:

    • Step up your game on all fronts. As far as several former coworkers and I were concerned, the company is headed in the wrong direction and we chose to speak with our feet and exit the company.

    • First off, you are compensated far more than rank and file employees -- your salaries are SEVERAL times that of the employees that report to you AND you receive excellent bonuses. Most of your employees make a fraction of your salaries and receive no yearly bonus. This is interesting because individual contributors are actually moving the bar towards program success far more yet getting paid far less. This is quite inverted... Up the pay and provide significant annual bonuses (i.e., 15%+) for rank and file employees.

    • The right words are preached, yet a different religion is practiced. My former coworkers and I have observed the following:
    o “balanced risk taking” and “change agility” yet program management is too afraid to invest in innovation
    o “pay for performance” and “LM surveys the market every year and makes adjustments to pay bands to stay competitive” yet many employees I know leave the company and end up getting big salary adjustments at their new jobs
    o “market pressures are the driving factor why your benefits will cost you more next year” yet LM is a self-insured company, has been making record profits (see public filings), and provides a huge salary and incentives to the CEO
    o Asking employees to “model personal excellent” and “stay above the line” yet readily departing from these same principles by saying “we’re going to go below the line with you on this topic” as if acknowledging it’s about to occur makes it any less hypocritical
    o “developing effective relationships” and “creating an inclusive environment” yet rarely engaging with rank and file employees by setting up all hands meetings, meet and greets, etc. that allow for networking and feedback

    • Find ways to keep your products up to date, cutting edge, and maintainable so that you truly provide the customer the best tech and value AND create an environment where engineers flock to work the product versus have to work it…

    • Silicon Valley has discovered something that you have not and are attracting and keeping top notch talent… a small “A” team will significantly outperform a “B” or “C” team any day of week. An “A” team individual is much you – they want autonomy in making decisions, to be provided challenges but not told how to do them, they want to work with other “A” team individuals who carry just as much responsibility as they do, they want growth opportunities, they want to be handsomely compensated for their contributions, etc. Make a serious effort to explore how you do business, create and maintain your products, etc. in order to attract these employees unless of course you want to stick to the status quo…

    • Trust the judgements that your engineering teams make and enable their ideas.

    My advice to existing employees is to proactively manage your careers!

    • Leadership is so worried about their own careers that they don’t acknowledge yours. Directors and VPs typically have several hundred employees that indirectly report to them. Most of them don't even know you report to them! Have they ever stopped by to introduce themselves to you? Do they make themselves readily available for conversation/feedback? When you pass by one in the halls, do they greet you by name? These big wigs are typically alpha personalities, place their goals/careers first, and are willing to jump/transition elsewhere to get ahead. Keep in mind, this is on top of YOU making them look good by executing towards program success. Take a play out of their book and look out for your own career too – it’s just business.

    • If you're not receiving a top performer rating every single year, your salary WILL fall behind that of your peers inside and outside of LM. Your career will also stall because the performers ahead of you will be presented with opportunities and advancement.

    • If you’re not receiving a top performer rating, you first need to look at yourself and make an honest assessment of the value of your achievements for the year and determine if this is fair in light of what everyone else has accomplished. Have you produced results? Have you done everything you could have to separate yourself from your peers and be viewed as a top performer? If not, regroup make appropriate changes otherwise you’ll be subject to Einstein’s definition of insanity.

    • If you believe you should be receiving the top performer rating, there’s a couple of things you need to do. First off, don’t be afraid to see if there’s a better fit between your skills and the needs other programs internal to the company – this could be a win-win. Secondly, don’t be afraid to put it all on the line and challenge your management by bringing back offers from other companies. When this happens, keenly observe the action that LM takes… You should be prepared to part ways or take a lowball from them, but if it’s panic at the disco you probably should have been a top performer. Nothing forces management to immediately consider your previous and future contributions than the threat of you leaving.

    • Take an inventory of your current skills and remind yourself of your larger goals. The tech stacks used by a majority of LM programs is older than of "actual" industry. If your dream job is to work at Google or Facebook and you're working on a program that utilizes an antiquated version of the C++ standard (i.e., v2 versus v14), an operating system that’s several years behind current, packaging builds in a tarball, and manually deploying an application from a CDROM then chances are you're not going to have the skills necessary to appeal to the companies that are pushing the state of the art. Periodically take the time to step back and consider whether or not you're positioning yourself appropriately for your career (internal to LM or external to it) and not just falling into the role your program has you in.

    • Even if you don't intend to leave LM, interview externally every single year. This allows you to make the aforementioned comparison by hearing what competitors are doing AND determine if your salary is starting to fall behind when they present you an offer.

    For anyone considering a career at LM, ask your interviewer the following questions and consider the following points:

    • Ask questions related to determining the tech stack used by the team (including versions of languages, versions of operating systems, etc.). Then consider if it meets the skill set you’re looking to build and the career goals you want to meet.

    • Ask questions to determine what processes and practices the development team is allowed to utilize. Is the team using Scrum or XP? Is it practicing test driven development? Is it using ClearQuest or is it using JIRA/Version 1? etc. Determine if you can live with these realities.

    • Ask questions to determine if the team is attempting to service a monolithic piece of software with a lot of tech debt or if they’ve kept it relevant. If they try to convince you that tech debt only == bugs, just walk out the door. If they haven’t kept it up to date, determine if you’re up for the challenges and headaches associated with an old system.

    • Ask: What were some of the last innovative ideas your team came up with and implemented? Ensure that the answer here demonstrates the team is empowered to innovate.

    • Ask basic program management / control account management questions: How is the program currently performing? What’s the SPI and CPI? What are your risks? Have you realized any opportunities? Everyone from director to entry level engineer should have a shared picture of where the team currently stands. If they don’t, that’s cause for concern. If the performance questions demonstrate team is challenged, consider if it will jive with your work/life balance expectations.

    • Ask questions related to determining the level of communication that occurs between program management and engineering. Ask for situational examples of this occurring on the program you’re interviewing for.

    My intent was not to come across as overly negative. I am but one former employee with my own opinion. LM is a very large corporation with many programs -- some good, some bad. Read other comments on glassdoor.com and talk with current employees to see if the culture is starting to turn around.


  5. "Financial Analyst"

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

    I have been working at Lockheed Martin full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent place place to work

    Cons

    moving in 2018 to expensive, high deductible health plans


  6. "Big Company"

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

    Pros

    Large organization, lots of oppurtunity

    Cons

    Company's focus changes often. Your division may no longer be viable at the drop of a hat one day.


  7. "Variety"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - EE V in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - EE V in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lockheed Martin full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Unlimited technical opportunity for engineers

    Cons

    Necessary but very thick corporate structure. .

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work

  8. "Quality Assurance Engineering Technician"

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

    I worked at Lockheed Martin full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent Vacation plan. 401K is good.

    Cons

    35yr employee. Benefits decline every year. Example include elimination of pension plan, took away extra week vacation after 20 years of service. They treat us like idiots. Every change made to save them money and stick it to employee, they twist the truth and tell employees they will be better off. The employee service center is a joke, sounds like it is overseas now. I have been waiting for 3 months for my vacation pay check after my last day. Work load was way too much. Asked for help last two years I was there. People retire or move no replacement is hired. Work is just dispersed too already over stressed department members. People loved the flex 40 work schedule, they forced change to 10/80 which is way less flexible. The big deal it was to give us every other Friday off. Most the people end up having to work at the site or from home on that Friday "off".

    Advice to Management

    Aerospace field is much different than most the companies. I would think keeping employees around that have built great experience and have seen all the problems would be Paramount. The worse thing LM has done in last 20 years is scraping the pension plan. This is what set LM apart. This also helps to keep people with the company.


  9. "Good place to work at"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Norfolk, VA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Norfolk, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Lockheed Martin (More than a year)

    Pros

    lots of good work and people

    Cons

    None that I know of

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing a good job


  10. "Lockheed Martin"

    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 Lockheed Martin full-time

    Pros

    Great problems to solve for great customers.

    Cons

    These are hard problems to solve, come prepared to work hard.

    Advice to Management

    Create project teams that can solve the next problem for customers and not wait for the customers to pay for the solution.


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