Pivotal Labs Reviews | Glassdoor

Pivotal Labs Reviews

Updated July 3, 2018
80 reviews

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Rob Mee
47 Ratings

80 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Good work/life balance, little to no overtime required for the most part" (in 16 reviews)

  • "Pair programming all day every day means that you will be learning and teaching constantly" (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • "no private computers during work time due to pair programming, but there are email station computers around the office" (in 12 reviews)

  • "not really a con but set work hours from 9-6, lunch break from 12:30 - 1:30 - everyone takes lunch at the same time to maximize pairing time" (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Absolutely amazing company and culture."

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

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pivotal Labs was my first professional software job and I absolutely loved it. I did not truly appreciate the company's greatness until I started working at other companies. The benefits include:

    - Culture of kindness
    - New projects keeps things exciting
    - Unmatched work life balance
    - Free breakfast everyday, snacks, lunch provided once a week
    - Environment is very conducive for learning
    - Travel opportunities (but not requirements)

    It was such an amazing experience and I miss every day of it!

    Cons

    - No clear path for career progression
    - TDD and pair programming is not for everyone


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Good place to work, could have been great"

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

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It depends on the office but overall...

    - Smart and kind people. The least mean place I've worked at in tech.
    - Never have to work past 6pm or weekends.
    - Free breakfast and occasionally lunches/ dinners.
    - Lots of events.
    - Unlimited ping pong if you like that.
    - So many snacks and drinks.
    - Any tech equipment you need.
    - If you hate a client or project, you'll most likely be off of it in 2-3 months.
    - Potential for travel.
    - You learn a lot about how to deal with different people and being flexible in creating products. You get to see a lot of industries and team dynamics.
    - Having weekly team retros... didn't know how much it mattered until I stopped having it.
    - Never feel like anyone is micromanaging you. You are incharge of your own accountability to your team.
    - My relationship with my managers was more about how I was doing and feeling about my projects. I generally felt that my managers cared about my wellbeing. I thought that was great instead of some person cornering you telling you what you're doing right or wrong.
    - I never dealt with office politics. What an awesome feeling!

    Cons

    - A lot of difficult clients. Unfortunately, office directors and associate directors will always side with the client... unless your office is doing really well and you can afford to lose clients. This model also creates so much tension and pressure between yourself and the client. You want to do things right because that's what you've been taught, but then you're told to turn around and do the exact opposite because the office needs the money.
    - You often forget you're living in a bubble. Most clients don't care about process or being agile. They were sold on some tech dream, didn't realize there would be actual changes, and nobody is kissing their butts.
    - Have to be at the office at 9am for standup.
    - No flexibility in schedule especially if you're a developer. Eat breakfast before 9, standup at 9, eat lunch at 12:30, go home at 6.
    - I didn't have to pair as a designer unless I had a client designer I had to babysit, but honestly I hated "pairing"... Pair culture for design doesn't work. I need head's down time for creativity.
    - Each office is different. Some are better than others. A lot of offices care more about devs than they do about design or user research.
    - Awesome place to work at if you're a white male developer. From what I've seen, not so much if you're a woman and a developer.
    - Heavy on devs with a lot of offices not caring much about user research.
    - If you're looking for career development, after a certain point there's no growth. Goes from Product Designer, Design Manager, and then Associate Director. I heard they started to add seniority titles so not sure how that factors in.

    - FINALLY, the vacation policy. WTF? When I first joined, they said it was unlimited. Then they stopped that and wouldn't tell you how much vacation you get. I found out that every office varies but if you try to request more than 2 weeks they freak out. Worst vacation policy I've seen in tech. The free snacks don't make up for it.

    Advice to Management

    I wish my directors would have backed me up when faced with terrible clients. I wish my office had more exciting projects instead of legacy enterprise redesigns. I left because I didn't see this changing.

    Also, vacation policy!! If you can only fix one thing, fix that.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Strong culture, limited opportunities for advancement"

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

    I have been working at Pivotal Labs full-time

    Pros

    - smart, kind and empathetic co-workers
    - wide range or clients
    - lots of learning opportunities
    - great breakfast and snacks!

    Cons

    - strict schedule 9-6
    - very limited opportunities to move up in the company, it's a fairly flat structure


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Software Consultant"

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

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time

    Pros

    You'll work with really smart people, get put on some really interesting projects, AND they'll serve you a hot breakfast every morning so that you get to standup on time.

    Cons

    Some of the projects go downhill quickly and it's hard to get transferred off. Developer staff and management leans heavily male and white.

    Advice to Management

    Please diversify the management staff also create more inclusive policies around working hours. 9-6 really isn't doable for parents without a partner who stays home.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Do the right thing, even when it's inconvenient"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Designer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Product Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pivotal Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've never felt more confident in a company's values than at Pivotal. Project teams as well as leadership are constantly reflecting on process and ensuring we're doing the right thing for our clients. If you're used to working solo or 'being the hero', expect to come out of your shell and collaborate on all things.

    Cons

    As a consultant, you'll work on a project full-time. While the focus of a single project is a tremendous things (cherish it!), finding time to hone skills outside the realm of client-engagement can be hard.

    Advice to Management

    Once Pivots get stir-crazy after a couple years of working on projects, find ways to keep them engaged and growing their skills.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "software engineer - amazing company with amazing people"

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

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - open, & collaborative environment, everyone's opinion is valued equally
    - a lot of very smart people who are always more than happy to help
    - management was supportive of my interests in product & design, and got me involved when opportunities came up
    - I felt like the company as a whole, as well as individuals, cared about my happiness and growth
    - great work life balance, daily breakfast, occasional free lunches, fully stocked kitchen of any kind of snacks or drinks you could want, they got it all

    Cons

    - no private computers during work time due to pair programming, but there are email station computers around the office
    - not really a con but set work hours from 9-6, lunch break from 12:30 - 1:30 - everyone takes lunch at the same time to maximize pairing time


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Yes, Pivotal!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Junior Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pivotal Labs (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The culture is unbeatable. Every pivot is knowledgable and passionate about what they're building, and a person new in their career stands to learn a lot from all the projects being built around them. The everyday perks like daily breakfast don't hurt either.

    Cons

    Projects and allocations rotate frequently, so there is sometimes uncertainty about what you'll be working on and when. This is a pro and a con.

    Advice to Management

    I can't imagine I would change anything. From day one I've been in the loop and growing as a developer.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "By far the best programming job I've held in 10 years on the market"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pivotal Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - You will be treated like a HUMAN BEING, not just a tool. You will be trusted to know how to do your job, since you were hired under that assumption. This seriously opened my eyes and put all other programming jobs I've had to shame.
    - They take agile and XP practices seriously, so you can expect to reap the full benefits of it
    - Emotional maturity: We're all adults here, so let's talk freely about what's working and what's not. Who would have expected this to work so well?
    - Frequent breaks! You are not a machine, and Pivotal knows this. If you ever need a break, take a break. See my first point!
    - Constant access to an embarrassment of refreshments (including free breakfast) with zero shaming for taking full advantage of it (you know what I'm talking about)
    - Full benefits, which include the aforementioned refreshments and other fun stuff along with the expected medical, dental, 401k, etc. usually implied by that
    - Lots of opportunity to learn and flex your talents, such as lunch talks (with free lunch) and the freedom to use technology you are interested in (but maybe don't have any experience in yet) for projects you are on
    - Great camaraderie! Everyone feels like one big team. Frequent hangouts after work together, including game nights and happy hours.

    Cons

    - Monetary compensation is maybe a bit low for the field (offset by all of the benefits, but it is a consulting firm, so they have to charge their clients more than they are paying you if they want to make any profit -- think about that for a second!)
    - You will gain 15 pounds working here; I'm serious about all the free food

    Advice to Management

    Just keep being true to your values, and I'm sure the company will keep shining from all the individual lights of its wonderful employees.


  9. Helpful (24)

    "Raised gender/disability issue and was told to quit. So I did."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Renton, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Wonderful philosophy
    - Highly invested in engineers
    - Great benefits, both in office and out
    - Ping Pong culture

    Cons

    - More interested in "getting dollars in" than "doing it once, doing it right".
    - Deliberately leads on "big" clients rather than stick to their proclaimed philosophy of "do it right".
    - Regional management supports inappropriate behaviors rather than insisting they stop immediately.
    - Little to no HR support - HR bows to all management and problems are swept under the closest rug.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting engineers into office directorships when your product managers and designers are a MUCH better liaison to your potential market. Also, be more concerned when the next female employee brings you issues; not all of them are going to decide it isn't worth the time/money/effort to sue you for it.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great hands-on learning experience, but not meaningful work"

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

    Pros

    Being treated completely like a full-time employee, working full-stack, working on all parts of the project to which you're assigned, pair programming, agile, lots of testing (they don't teach enough of this in school), pay, the employees, company events, breakfast (always) and lunch (3+ days a week) provided, completely casual dress code

    Cons

    It's enterprise software so it's slow and boring, the work isn't incredibly meaningful, the technologies aren't cutting edge, some aren't very widely used outside of Pivotal, implementation is almost purely architectural rather than academically and intellectually engaging, non-flexible work hours


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