I have been working at Pulsar Informatics full-time (Less than a year)
Pulsar has perfected the ideal office dynamic. Hire smart, nice, hardworking people and give them enormous respect and latitude. The atmosphere is one of excitement, building something meaningful and doing it while having fun and appreciating one another. Less rules and more support tend to make people work harder be more responsible and be more accountable. Great product that is being improved daily. Pulsar has a ton of big name clients and are adding more weekly. Also, how many small companies can say their technology is being used on NASA Space Stations? Very bright future for this wonderful company.
Small company that is accustomed to research, grants, field studies etc. Moving into the commercial market required some learning along the way but, the foundation is so solid that I am supremely confident Pulsar will perfect their business processes.
Advice to Management
Keep up the Great work. I feel enormously fortunate to be a part of something so positive with so a bright future.
I have been working at Pulsar Informatics (More than 5 years)
Very collaborative and collegial environment where high-caliber and creative technology development is done. Relaxed and laid-back personalities feel at home, even though projects are often deadline driven (like any business). The management team is still the original founders of the company, and they are all Canadian. Consequently, they have a much better and healthier understanding of work-life balance and employee relations than most US employers. I've certainly appreciated their understanding and quite reasonable attitudes over the years.
As a small company, resources are often quite constrained. Don't expect extravagant expenses or big bonuses. You just won't get them here. (High quality of work and a very good work-life balance are your rewards.) Also, the technology developed here is still very much a tiny niche in an emerging field. Although it is really cool seeing what is coming out of some of the best university research labs in the country and working for some of the coolest government agencies (NASA, the Navy, the FAA), working on the same topic year after year can get routine. Most who make it past the honeymoon stay only a few years before moving on for new challenges. Until this company grows extensively, it's not yet a long-term destination job for developers. (But it is a great place to work for several years.)
Advice to Management
Keep up the good work. Stay focused on the pivot into private industry so that you can bring in more resources and grow the company. Also, try to keep a Philly presence in spite of the momentum to the West Coast.
I have been working at Pulsar Informatics full-time (More than 3 years)
Small in terms of number of people, but amazingly big in number of products and technologies covered.
Interesting and extremely diverse projects - hardware (designed from scratch wearable watch-like device with ARM processor and embedded software); software - servers in the cloud, databases, Web sites and web services, communications, mobile apps (iOs, Android), animations, educational software. All this with quite small team of focused developers - each is responsible for its own area. If you like environment like this, when you own the whole area and responsible for everything there - it's a company for you. No boring meetings, no bureaucracy, just work.
Agile - with minimum overhead, efficient, focused.
Flexible on work hours. Decent benefits. Life-work balance near perfect. Most people have families and kids and are very understanding about need to balance time between many things. Wonderful people.
Note: i'm not in management position, just one of the programmers (senior), responsible for a whole area, and a king in my domain - all is asked from me - it MUST work.
Can't think of any in particular, it depends on your own idea of a perfect environment. Location - downtown Seattle, with its upsides (lot of food and coffee shops) and downsides (transportation)
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