SPARC Reviews | Glassdoor

SPARC Reviews

Updated January 21, 2017
41 reviews

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4.1
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Elizabeth Buske
5 Ratings

41 Employee Reviews

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  1. "project manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Moncks Corner, SC
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Moncks Corner, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SPARC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    agile start up company with high energy and innovation. a lot of personal perks such as unlimited vacation, cell phone and new Macbook pro, natural lighting really help with the environment...go green

    Cons

    in twenty words or minimum we have looked really hard for the true Cons and were unsuccessful to find the hard concrete solid Cons.

    Advice to Management

    get more managers to listen to the little guys or big guys, we appreciate the dog friday and the balanced work life schedule.


  2. "Great Place to work...but it's still just a job."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great communication. Leadership genuinely tries to make changes based on employee feedback. Very nice people.

    Cons

    Clique-ish. One big project that can get to be very boring. Slowly being absorbed into Booz Allen's corporate brain. Senior engineers who are very busy can act as a bottleneck to change. Some micro-management. Some in leadership believe their own press too much.

    Advice to Management

    Keep trying creating new opportunities.


  3. "It's good stuff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SPARC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    SPARC is an inspiring place to work, having an excellent culture and an inspiring team whose members are both hungry for knowledge and eager to share/teach. It was a great entry point to the industry -- I started as an intern, e.g. -- and they've continued to hold my attention and interest well into my career, now working in the senior developer capacity.

    Cons

    Occasionally, the environment can be distracting, albeit fun. It's great to have the freedom to engage neighboring teams in a knockdown dragout nerf war after builds succeed and software ships. Only then is it fun; otherwise, it can break concentration and kill an afternoon's productivity in critical times.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage area experts to share hard-won lessons through workshops, perhaps over lunch. This would increase cross-disciplinary/project interest and know-how. With a well-rounded team, inter-project mobility could reduce developer burnout and stagnation, further inspiring the culture of excellence we're known for.


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  5. "A great company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SPARC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    SPARC allows working from home, bringing your dog to work, keeps beer on tap, one free uber per day etc. There is an obvious effort to keep employees happy as well as a beautiful new building that's almost ready to move into.

    Cons

    It has become a bit more corporate since the Booz Allen Hamilton acquisition. Also, the government contracts (what keeps the lights on) is the majority of what employees work on and it can be incredibly boring and mindless.


  6. "The remains of the best place to work in Charleston"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Laid back smart people.
    - flexible schedule
    - team dynamics

    Cons

    Slowly losing culture due to big company acquisition.

    Advice to Management

    - make use of the bonuses to recognize work


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Truly was fun"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It really is a fun work environment as portrayed in social media. Management cares about doing things well for customers, not just doing a "good enough" job, and technical competence is valued. Collaboration is high. Schedule is flexible. Unrestrained awesomeness is understood (where else can you ride a bike to your desk (don't hit the dog), and wear board shorts and a neon tank top and drink craft beer on tap while you write excellent code?)

    Cons

    Past all the fun and games, and all the great people, and the truly enjoyable work environment, some of the technical work is simply not engaging or interesting. There are stale projects where it's hard to tell what kind of impact you are really making.

    The acquisition by Booz Allen means uncertainty about the future of core values and culture, although things are OK so far.

    The Booz Allen performance rewards system (raises) leaves much to be desired. If you get hired for $75,000, don't expect to make $100,000 in 18 months just because you do a great job and prove you're worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to convince clients to use modern technology stacks. Clunky enterprise middleware built on fifteen-year-old tech is out. Lightweight services are in.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Growth and Change but Still the Same"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Number one reason to work at SPARC? The people. Without a doubt the people SPARC hires are the coolest, most down to earth, friendly, smart, and multi-talented people you'll ever meet. I'm still excited to get up and go to work every day and hang out with my co-workers and get things done.

    SPARC was recently acquired by Booz Allen Hamilton and just about everyone freaked out, but so far nothing has changed except the beer light has been green rather than yellow a lot more. All of the senior BAH people in our systems delivery division have been excited to bring SPARC culture to the rest of the division and have already started implementing some of the fringe things like bring your dog to work day. The buyout has brought SPARC actual career paths, training budgets, job security, world wide name recognition, and trimmed the cruft that has been leeching profit.

    The people. Scrum masters, requirements analysts, developers, human resources, the receptionist, the IT guys, the database people, the facilities guys, everyone LOVES their job and their role and it shows.

    Management actively seeks out, listens to, and acts upon feedback.

    Management, team leads, and employees all live the core values and put people first, have fun, communicate, hold each other accountable, encourage participation, remain agile, and always seek to leave people higher than when first approached.

    Have I mentioned the people, yet?

    Cons

    There are a handful bad apples that seem to be actively fighting to change SPARC's culture for the worse and that thankfully have not spoiled the bunch. SPARC had been working with Booz prior to the buyout on a large government project and Booz's hiring standards are not quite up to SPARC standards, but they have also been letting go of the worst of them.

    SPARC has been experiencing exponential growth over the last year and a half and with it has come a lot of growing pains like space (breaking ground on a new building and more parking early 2016), figuring out how to spread the experience around to all the new teams, figuring out how teams fit into the project, and keeping the kegerators full.

    It remains to be seen if Booz fulfills all of their promises.

    Advice to Management

    Keep making time to get to know your employees on a personal level (I know its hard with ~300), but if you do not know us, it makes it hard to continue to care for us. Same for you, too, Booz management!

    Keep fighting to bring SPARC to the rest of Booz Allen.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Enjoyable work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SPARC full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good culture, high growth, smart engineers. People seem to enjoy coming in every day and working together.

    Cons

    Below market salaries, primarily government contracts, required to use inferior technologies per the government contract.


  10. "You're part of a family at SPARC"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SPARC (Less than a year)

    Pros

    SPARC is a wonderful place to be! You really feel like you are part of a family here. You can see why they have been voted one of the best places in SC to work so many times! It's a growing company but has maintained that "put your people first" mentality through and through! I absolutely love it here.

    Cons

    It's a smaller company so that may be a con for some people but it's got a ton of great opportunities to grow and develop!


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Best place I have ever worked"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at SPARC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I started at Sparc 4 years ago after working in IT for 6 years with a managed services company. Sparc was a refreshing change and continues to be an inspiring place to work. The environment is very open and collaborative which if you can handle the occasional disruption can lead to some great innovation. Personally I came from a heads down office environment with a very micro managed work load. At Sparc it's more of I know what I need to get done and I have the freedom to complete tasking the way I think it should be done. Leadership is in place to remove blockers, not tell you how to do every aspect of your job. I've had several opportunities to pivot my job description and grow into new areas. This has allowed me to grow my responsibilities and take ownership of areas that I feel can impact the company. Overall I think Sparc is a great place to work and though they do work on govt contracts they feel more like a software development shop than a contract shop. They don't put butts in seats just to have work on a contract, they understand that the environment within Sparc is what makes them successful.

    Cons

    I've been working in various jobs for the past 20 years and Sparc today is light years ahead of anywhere else I've worked. They are an agile company so as they have grown from 100, when I started, to 300 today, there have been changes that I would say have been for the better. Unfortunately sometimes it seems like there are people who haven't worked at other places or may have come here straight out of college that preach agile but then complain about any change leadership makes. If you are accountable and can take ownership in your work you will do great at Sparc.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on helping team members find value in increased accountability and taking ownership in Sparc, not just their individual tasks. Help them see the value in finding solutions not problems...


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