SparkFun Reviews | Glassdoor

SparkFun Reviews

Updated June 26, 2017
14 reviews

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3.2
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Nathan Seidle
8 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great place, but figuring things out"

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

    I worked at SparkFun full-time

    Pros

    The people are great, and the opportunities to learn are many.

    Cons

    The company is going through some serious transition. It feels unstable.


  2. "The magic is gone. Quick, grab as much money as you can before the ship sinks!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Full Stack Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Full Stack Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SparkFun full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Tools!
    - Dogs
    - Beer
    - You get to work in the maker-space

    There were many other pros in this column but management is slowly ironing them out in an effort to become a "real company". You know, the kind that stabs the people who made them who they are in the back.

    Cons

    - A quarterly meeting where the "management" patronizes by letting the employees describe the values that are most important to them and then ignoring them.
    - Management will not care for you, they will lie to you and they will manipulate you
    - HR will not look out for you, nor ensure you are actually receiving all your benefits
    - The building is always too loud, too hot or too cold
    - Inter-fighting between most departments
    - $hady marketing practices

    Advice to Management

    - Stop firing people for non-work based personal disagreements with the new CEO
    - Understand that Sparkfun does nothing special. It's existed so long solely because of the personalities under the roof. It's likely too late now but you need to retain this talent.
    - Fix the catalog
    - Take care of your employees (don't fire them 2 days after a glowing yearly review and 2 months after they moved 1200 miles for you)

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SparkFun full-time

    Pros

    Great culture and fun place to work!

    Cons

    Need to get a strategy.


  4. "A beautiful mess with lots of great stuff. Love this place."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I've never worked with a more genuine company. Leadership could be stronger with a clearer vision, but its special place where you get to be yourself. It has a lot of feathers in its cap.

    Cons

    Life was easy for the first 10 years. Money poured in. Its still profitable but the challenges are more /bigger. This causes stress.

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to attract and pay for talent. Take chances. Don't apologize. You are awesome. Clarify the vision and communicate it to staff. Stay transparent.


  5. "Entertaining Chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assembly Technician in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Assembly Technician in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SparkFun full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    good people, good benefits, general relaxed environment.

    Cons

    You can be treated like unskilled labor. the work of sparkfun and sparkfuns goals out weigh you always.

    Advice to Management

    There are a lot of managers, who dont need to be working at sparkfun.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good Luck, New CEO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    - Company culture makes it really easy to get to know your coworkers. Easy to be yourself and make friends.
    - Bringing your dog to work is nice

    Cons

    - Management in every department needs work. As a startup, SparkFun employed a lot of friends-of-friends, and these people seem to be immune to being replaced, fired, or corrected. Newer employees are fired without corrective action or warnings.
    - Bad pay. Company will, however, spend money to take the entire staff to a BBQ or baseball game to promote engagement
    - No direction of company going forward. Marketing efforts especially seem all over the place with no clear vision
    - Not a place for anyone who relies on metrics or goal achievement to measure success

    Advice to Management

    Pay employees a living wage to retain your excellent talent. Excellent employees leave because of poor management and unprofessionalism from people who think they are unfireable.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "There are better companies in Boulder to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of the people are really great, having dogs around is nice.

    Cons

    - Poor management on every level
    - Lack of direction within the company
    - Upper management has no idea how to set goals or talk to employees; there is absolutely NO professionalism
    - Terrible pay, justified by "Sparkfun Tax" i.e. dogs, beer
    - Unfriendly environment for women, POC
    - Feels like a fraternity
    - People who have been at the company keep getting a pass even though they are not good at their jobs
    - Does not value employees
    - Tries to make up for subpar pay by having companie outings and bbqs
    - Lets people go with no warning or corrective measures
    - Does not pay a living wage for Boulder

    Advice to Management

    Hire directors and managers that actually know what they are doing, and get rid of those who do not. Original CEO is a nice person but an awful CEO with no business sense. If you say that you want people for their ideas and want to make sure that current employees' talents are put to use, DO SO. Words are worthless without action.

    Set clear goals and metrics for your employees, pay them properly, have a career path for people, otherwise SparkFun will forever be a stepping stone to Google, Microsoft, and AdaFruit.

  8. "Wonderful Growing Company"

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

    I worked at SparkFun full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic, Innovative, Forward thinking, Passionate, - ALL who work there

    Cons

    Lack of prudent employee management systems in place. Lack of employee respect for the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Do not allow employees with bad behaviors to remain after years of attempting to correct the behavior without change.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Assembly Tech"

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

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

    Pros

    Dogs, Beer, Nerd Culture, Great People

    Cons

    Low pay with high work expectations. The people that have been at the company the longest hold the positions of Directors and Management. The majority of these "leaders" are not fit to perform in their positions.

    Advice to Management

    Management spends too much time hovering and micro managing. Employees will not respect you if you do not put in the work and time that you demand from your people. Rules and restrictions are not enforced consistently from person to person. In the work place it is not appropriate to have favorites and give friends special privileges. Communication is very weak company wide.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "The best place I have ever worked, ever."

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

    I have been working at SparkFun full-time

    Pros

    - Company culture and benefits are amazing. People enjoy being unconventional and having fun at work. Dogs. Fitness center. Incentives to learn and improve your craft. CEO is a down-to-earth, funny guy who cares a ton about his employees and rewards people of every job level individually for a job well done.
    - The mission of SparkFun is great and it's always awesome to hear what people are doing/innovating with our products

    Cons

    - Pay is average. Is that a con?
    - Some growing pains as management changes. Occasionally the "relaxed" environment leads to people not doing their jobs and meeting goals due to constant tardiness, absence etc. People take advantage of it sometimes.


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