Pivotal Labs Reviews

Updated Apr 29, 2021

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4.4
91%
Recommend to a Friend
95%
Approve of CEO
Pivotal Labs President & Founder Rob Mee (no image)
Rob Mee
58 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good work/life balance, little to no overtime required for the most part(in 17 reviews)

  • "If pair programming is for you, the learning opportunities are immense(in 15 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "no private computers during work time due to pair programming, but there are email station computers around the office(in 13 reviews)

  • "Sustainable" work hours at 9 hour work days pairing for 8 hours a day is a joke(in 9 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Best job I've ever had

      Apr 29, 2021 - Staff Engineer in Denver, CO
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Very kind and knowledgeable coworkers. An agile process that actually works. Never work more than 40 hours a week.

      Cons

      Sold to VMware, which caused a large exodus

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    2. 3.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Extroverts Welcome!

      Mar 23, 2021 - Software Engineer in Denver, CO
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - No overtime This is great. 40 hours a week and you’re done. - Focus on quality code The culture here is definitely to try to produce quality code. That may not always happen but at least they encourage the right practices to make it happen. Also it can’t hurt that writing quality code takes longer and allows them to bill more. - Free breakfast - Many motivated smart people to work with

      Cons

      - Paired Programming The cult-like culture around TDD and paired programming does yield better quality code which is what they're selling to clients. However if you're an introvert, paired programming for 8 hours a day will drain your soul after a month - especially if you are pairing with client devs that do not care about your silly TDD or testing at all and would rather quit than be in another red green refactor feedback loop with you. If you know yourself to be an introvert, be prepared to be miserable after a month and looking for a new job in less than a year. - “Unlimited” Vacation But, you have unlimited vacation to ease that troubled paired out mind right? Sure, as long as you schedule whole days off long in advance and get them approved by multiple layers of bureaucracy and don’t take too many days off. If you need an hour off randomly, you are expected to make up the time for the week. You must bill 40 hours - Always Be Billing - Or Else. Or else what? Shade will be thrown in your face in a passive aggressive manner related to how you aren't upholding company values of making it $RAIN$ for shareholders and execs. Worse still you may not be considered for that promotion, might not get that raise, and in the worst cases I have heard about, you might be encouraged to leave. The unspoken understanding was "You have unlimited vacation....((((as long as you're billing 40 hours a week))))" - that and "Always Be billing - Or Else". It's still a consulting gig no matter how many free breakfasts or “unlimited” vacation there was. - Management The layers of management are staffed by your standard practices of nepotistic, backstabbing, dog eat dog corporate bloodlust. Each office location may seem small, but I was so surprised how much climbing the corporate ladder felt like other much larger companies I had worked for in the past. When you ask your manager why you can’t get a promotion and you receive a non-answer every time, you’ll begin to investigate. The popular kids get the promotions. Introverts subsequently will have a hard time getting promoted here. This is not a meritocracy. Plan ahead to join the right clique and play the popularity game. - Salary The salary is woefully below average. Expect a 20%-40% raise when you’ve had enough here. Do not expect raises. See my Management section for how promotions work and raises are very similar. They’d rather you quit and replace you with another bright eyed bushy tailed youngin to put through the meat grinder until the new employee figures out that ping pong and breakfast do not make up for 20%-40% more money you could get almost anywhere else. Luckily at this dev farm working over 40 hours a week is culturally frowned upon so you might actually be coming out ahead compared to some other sweat shops with >20 hours of overtime. - Full stack You may be expected to work in a technical domain you weren’t hired for where you don’t know the language or the technology stack. Generally they try to pair you up with someone more senior that might actually know what they’re doing in that domain, however the client will still be billed as if you’re a senior engineer even though your output might be that of a prenatal engineer. This is nothing new for the consulting industry, but just be prepared to potentially work outside of your technical domain so Pivotal can rake in that sweet hourly rate for your subpar work. - Summary The focus on producing quality code is generally worth a stint here. This is a consulting firm and all the standard consulting firm tropes apply. Once you get tired of throwing yourself in the grinder for below average pay, get another salary position somewhere that isn't a gloried consulting firm.

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    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      It's fun, it's fine

      Feb 15, 2021 - Software Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Extreme Programming, Focused on Self Improvement

      Cons

      Consultant Life, Recently Acquired by VMWare

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    4. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Best company culture!

      Aug 7, 2020 - Director of Happiness in Santa Monica, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Transparent, diverse, collaborative, family community

      Cons

      No cons! Best place I have ever had the pleasure of working. I miss it terribly.

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    5. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Sometimes the not really free breakfast wasn't cold.

      Apr 28, 2020 - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      "Free" snacks & ping pong.

      Cons

      "Unlimited PTO" that required 2 weeks notice and was capped at 10 days. Company culture that resembles a college dormitory with immature, toxic, hostile, implicit, & unaccountable power structures. Emphasis on being overly pedantic about trivial, superficial technical matters rather than actually shipping quality working software. Weekly tech talks that often take the form of passive aggressive attacks on a person and/or point of view. If and when you do get feedback there is a strong likelihood that it will just be a picture of your face with crude genitalia drawn all over it and posted on the office slack. Your manager, HR, & your colleagues all think it's hilarious. Senior management practice of grossly inappropriate sexual relationships with direct reports. Compensation well below market value.

      5 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      You're not just a Code Monkey

      Sep 11, 2019 - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Paired Programming means you have a teammate who can take over when you're stumped - Business and Design sit right next to you so you can understand WHY features are important - Very flat hierarchy (the person who interviewed me was a Principal Engineer and I didn't realize this for two months) - As a contracted programmer, you can dip your toe into several other industries Pivotal encouraged me not just to speak up, but also share my ideas. There is no boss to bark orders and set unrealistic expectations. Instead you're encouraged to think and express yourself. An extremely open culture that encourages you to learn from teammates, other disciplines and learn a lot of skills.

      Cons

      - Paired Programming means you must be able to communicate clearly - Other teams are next to you, so it may get very loud and hard to listen - Flat hierarchy means you have to speak to many teammates to get a decision - As a contractor, you may be assigned to work on companies/industries you don't like Extreme Programming isn't for everyone. Paired Programming isn't for everyone. You may find it too invasive, or you may involve too much communication and you just want to code. Hours are 9am-6pm, salary is around industry average (I turned down a job I could have gotten $15K more for this because I liked the culture.) And Pivotal Labs really believes in Extreme Programming, so your next job may not practice that, putting you at a disadvantage.

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    7. 4.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Great Company

      Oct 2, 2019 - Product Designer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      • You will learn so much - it's like being at school every day. • They hire great individuals • Travel Opportunities

      Cons

      • Travel Opportunities: you may feel you don't have a choice • You're always 'ON'. If you are on the introverted side, this style of working can leave no room for battery recharging.

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    8. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great place to learn process

      Apr 8, 2019 - Staff Product Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Work with smart people, learn strong process.

      Cons

      Inflexible hours, challenging to work with opposing client views

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    9. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Not that great

      Feb 28, 2019 - Designer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Different locations, lots of learning experience if you get to travel. Lare company so the benefits are better than small tech companies.

      Cons

      If you have a bad manager or if you are stuck on a bad team, your experience here would be hell. The experience is night and day between each of the locations. Promotion is also based on cronyism.

      2 people found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      withholding

      Dec 7, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      some great coworkers. that is it.

      Cons

      The most backstabbing ILLEGALLY discriminating company you can imagine. Do not DARE to get sick or seek medical leave as they will turn you out cold with no excuses. It is only a mater of time before they get sued for discrimination.

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      6 people found this review helpful

      Pivotal Labs Response

      Associate People Solutions Specialist

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Feedback is a critical part of our culture and we are committed to responding to feedback through our actions. We care a lot about the wellbeing of our workforce and don’t want employees to ever feel like they cannot take time off if they are unwell. We believe that time away from the office is important to all employees’ overall quality of life. Our Time-off/Vacation/ Sick Policy covers Vacation/Personal time, Sick time, Holidays, and Bereavement and is intended to provide more flexibility to employees. We found many tech companies follow a policy which does not set limits on the amount of time off as this can help better meet employees’ needs as they fluctuate from one year to the next. On top of vacation days, we offer 10 paid days off for Sick Time. We value and consider all feedback and continue to find ways to improve in making sure our employees feel supported. If you would like to talk further about any of these topics, please feel free to reach out to askhr@pivotal.io. Thank you again for your feedback.

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