SPARTA Reviews | Glassdoor

SPARTA Reviews

Updated May 14, 2019

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Found 30 reviews

3.3
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
49%
Recommend to a Friend
75%
Approve of CEO
Tim Heely
5 Ratings
  1. "Great technical work and work-life balance, but advancement opportunities are limited."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Huntsville, AL
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    SPARTA works on many unique, high-value technical projects for the government. Working on these projects with peers of amazing technical ability is wonderful. SPARTA also has a wonderful work-life balance and is flexible. The 15% contribution to 401(k) as a retirement plan is great benefit to have.

    Cons

    SPARTA does not actively develop or train its employees. With a very flat management structure (15-30 employees per manager) and little distinction between coworkers, there is very little opportunity for advancement. Management is not well-versed in things you would expect from management, such as project management, business development, likely due to the fact that all come from technical backgrounds with out management...

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    Advice to Management

    Management needs to actively develop employees and management skills and take annual reviews seriously. There is no mechanism to provide feedback to management. Management also needs more focus on a larger team strategy and business development is going to be necessary to grow as a business bidding larger programs.

    SPARTA2011-06-16
  2. "More opportunity for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Centreville, VA
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    Sparta is very selective with its employees so you are surrounded by a wealth of knowledge. There are opportunities for certain employees to earn big time bonuses during review season. Some of the managers are in tune w/ what makes employees happy and productive, others above them could care less.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for growth and since they are very selective in their hiring process there isn't a lot of training available.They just expect their employees to know everything. Even with the little time off they give new employees, they expect you to work all the time, even during holidays and inclement weather. Also they are very good at rewarding the top performers but will not reward those just below them.

    Advice to Management

    Push more training for employees. More time off (3 weeks including holidays and sick days is tiny). Allow for more upward mobility and cross training.

    SPARTA2010-10-27
  3. "A technology company that is not that interested in new technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Centreville, VA
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    There are some interesting projects and some of the things we build actually get used. Most of the people working there are dedicated and reasonably competent. Their business is very secure -- there aren't that many companies that have the clearances required to work in their area.

    Cons

    Much of the work is the same thing over and over. Not much new sometimes, just rehashing the same problems. They need to be better about embracing new technologies rather than just living on what has worked in the past. There is not much emphasis on growing the skills of the employees -- the first reaction when a new technology is needed is "who can we subcontract this to?"

    Advice to Management

    Review the compensation for technical staff. It's on the low side for people with these skills and clearances.

    SPARTA2008-06-18
  4. "Terrible management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SPARTA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There were many great coworkers and the work was often interesting and engaging.

    Cons

    Teams are very distinct and you can run into huge differences in management style. Although the best teams may have frequent scrums to keep everyone working in the right direction, at no point did I feel management cared about the work I was doing enough to give feedback. In the worst case, management will give a vague impression of what you're supposed to do and then only see it when you're actually demoing it for...

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    Advice to Management

    Try to at least act like you care about the work and product and not just scoring another huge contract.

    SPARTA2013-09-04
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Once VERY good but things are changing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Huntsville, AL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA full-time

    Pros

    There are still a lot of good, talented people working for SPARTA. Some of the "small business" and "high-end technical support" still exists in pockets.

    Cons

    Parsons, Inc, the large company that just bought SPARTA, really has no background in the type of work SPARTA does (did?). With increased belt tightening to presumably increase Parsons profit from its purchase (obviously well within the rights of Parsons), the good talent is starting to move to companies that have fairer compensation plans.

    Advice to Management

    I think it may be too late to give advice. The Kool-Aid has been consumed and the large Corporation has too much momentum to change course.

    SPARTA2013-08-25
  6. "Suffering growing pains . . ."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    Very flexible with work/life issues. Telecommuting is available. Each employee is allocated a laptop for use on the job and at home. Management is supportive of home/work balancing.

    Cons

    There is no contracts backlog in Orlando. There are no available openings to transition to, and several contracts are ending. There are no positions available for these employees to assume.

    Advice to Management

    Broaden the group to which you listen. R&D efforts have some amount of innovation, but only offer minor improvements upon technology that has been in place for over twenty years. This is evident in the reluctance of any agency to fund further research in those areas.

    SPARTA2008-08-04
  7. "Work Good, Company Bleh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Columbia, MD
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    The work can be varied and fun - linux/FreeBSD kernel hacking, wireless network research, playing with viruses and vulnerabiilties, threat analysis, deep space network design (so you want to browse the web on Mars?) etc. If you bring in contracts, you are compensated nicely. Not sure what is going to happen to this with the purchase by Cobham. The compensation comes in the form of stock options, which, while the company...

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    Cons

    Poor communications - lots of good-ol-boy network types of communications unbecoming of a professional organization such that the regular staff doesn't always know the state of the company or even what other groups in the same building are doing. Lack of corporate support for IT infrastructure. SPARTA spends about 1/4 to 1/3 what the typical company spends on IT. 6-7 year old desktop machines are common. Marginally...

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    Advice to Management

    Eat lunch with the staff _every_ day. Screw the bonus system which only wastes time and hurts moral. Use the few thousand dollars saved to throw some good parties. Bring in bagels once or twice a week. Make a nice lunch room, nicer than the offices, so people would want to eat there and talk to each other.

    SPARTA2008-06-12
  8. "Stay far, far away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Centreville, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Too early to tell if Parsons will add any pros, early signs point to more turn over.

    Cons

    Turn over central. Don't come knocking.

    SPARTA2012-12-18
  9. "Management needs work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    SPARTA pays very well. At least they did before the buy out. The work is very interesting. People are generally friendly.

    Cons

    Management seems to be clueless on how to talk to their employees. They are far more technical then they are managers. They are suckers for whatever new software paradigm that comes along.

    Advice to Management

    Train your managers how to manage people. Clearly they already know how to manage software. Please, for the love of god stay away from the fad software trends. You guys are better than that.

    SPARTA2010-11-08
  10. "Unless you are unemployed and any job will do, stay away from SPARTA!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Huntsville, AL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPARTA

    Pros

    Lots of free ice cream and nice offices. Admins seemed very nice if a little undereducated. Plenty of parking and a nice area to walk.

    Cons

    Management was pig-headed and difficult. Weekly reamings were part of the job I guess as my boss found it necessary to scream, curse and degrade me at every opportunity. Never in front of the customer mind you, who adored me, but behind closes doors???....whew! It would make a sailor blush. Security was EXTREMELY lax. Kids were there nearly every afternoon and on weekends. Running up and down the halls and generaly...

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    Advice to Management

    Try listening to your employees instead of screaming at them or berating them for things that are beyond their control. Remember, the customer really does hold the purse strings and you should attend to what they want. If you are going to put all the money into hiring someone, you should try to keep them. Letting new employees come in and a year later walk out and take their OTJ trainging to LM or NG, which happens...

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    SPARTA2009-06-03
Found 30 reviews