Pivotal Labs Reviews

Updated May 24, 2020

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4.2
90%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
Pivotal Labs President & Founder Rob Mee (no image)
Rob Mee
55 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good work/life balance, little to no overtime required for the most part(in 16 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
  1. "You're not just a Code Monkey"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pivotal Labs full-time for less than a year

    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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  2. Helpful (2)

    "Sometimes the not really free breakfast wasn't cold."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time for more than a year

    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.

  3. "Great Company"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Designer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time for less than a year

    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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  4. "Great place to learn process"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Product Manager 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pivotal Labs full-time

    Pros

    Work with smart people, learn strong process.

    Cons

    Inflexible hours, challenging to work with opposing client views

  5. Helpful (2)

    "Not that great"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer 
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time for more than a year

    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.

  6. Helpful (6)

    "withholding"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time for more than a year

    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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    Pivotal Labs Response

    January 25, 2019Associate 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.

  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great values and supportive environment"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Design in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time

    Pros

    - Great mentorship and career support - Highly value design thinking and user research methods - Supportive forward-thinking people - Strong and supportive culture - Good work life balance - Hire for high emotional intelligence

    Cons

    - Strict and not very flexible schedule - Working extremely closely with clients all day long via pairing can be exhausting for some - Not supportive of working remotely

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  8. Helpful (25)

    "Good place to work, could have been great"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Designer 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time for 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.

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Absolutely amazing company and culture."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pivotal Labs full-time for 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

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Strong culture, limited opportunities for advancement"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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

Found 93 reviews