Synapse Product Development Reviews | Glassdoor

Synapse Product Development Reviews

Updated March 3, 2017
44 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.3
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Synapse Product Development President Redwood Stephens
Redwood Stephens
2 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Synapse is full of wonderful people, and can be a great place to work if you consider the location, work-life balance, and the company community (in 5 reviews)

  • Opportunity to learn something new everyday (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Middle/senior management is not particularly inspiring (in 2 reviews)

  • There isn't a clear path for career growth (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "The clearly stated goal is 'best job ever'"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Synapse Product Development (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is -the- best job I've ever had, hands down.
    - My colleagues are smarter and more experienced than me and I am always absorbing as much as possible, yet no one ever acts superior or smug. It is a super supportive group that builds each other up.
    - Management is responsive to issues raised, actually listening to and acting on what I have to say.
    - Engineers have a voice in what projects they work on.
    - The variety of projects is wide, leaving great options for what sort of designs to dive into.
    - It's in SF, near CalTrain, AT&T park, walkable to transit, etc.
    - We do fun stuff together as an organized office event at least once a month.
    - I enjoy coming to work.
    - My contributions are valued, and I get feedback.
    - I feel fairly compensated.
    - We work with Fortune 100 companies and startups, making things that are sure bets to come to market as well as pie in the sky hopefuls.

    Cons

    - No dogs allowed in office.
    - For some engineers, the amount of client interaction might be difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Try to minimize the changes surrounding the acquisition by Cambridge Consultants!


  2. "Great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Synapse Product Development full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very nice people, management that listens and acts. Cool tech, reaching for more, cautiously.

    Cons

    Some clients cause less than ideal projects

    Advice to Management

    Increase funding and support for technical growth.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Company is not always honest with itself"

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

    I worked at Synapse Product Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Synapse is full of wonderful people, and can be a great place to work if you consider the location, work-life balance, and the company community. As some bullet points:

    If it's something you haven't already done in your career, you will get useful experiences interacting with clients and vendors.
    There will be smart people in your discipline you can learn something from if you happen to be on the same projects.
    Most everyone is very friendly and willing to help you if you run into problems.

    Cons

    There isn't a clear path for career growth.
    Synapse treats its employees like family, including the ones that under-perform or contribute negatively on projects.
    The work (particularly in software) can be repetitive.
    The Software team has an identity problem. They have experience and are good at rapid prototyping and integrating components, but claim to want to ditch that to work on higher level algorithms.

    Overall, Synapse has a few significant problems, and their refusal to acknowledge any of them can make it hard to fully buy in, especially when they run counter to the moral speeches.

    Advice to Management

    Be constantly self-evaluating. It can be great to treat your employees like family, but let it be a family with a ruthless streak.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Synapse Product Development (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Constant supply of new and unique projects. One month you may be designing small electronics and the next you may be designing much larger mechanisms.

    Cons

    It can be challenging to work with new customers on a regular basis, but it also keeps things new and interesting.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place to Work and Learn"

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

    I have been working at Synapse Product Development (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people and the family-like community at Synapse keep me coming back day after day. We attract quite a range of interesting clients and projects, and if I don't learn something here on any given day it's my own fault. People are always willing to share their knowledge and expertise, whether conversationally or in the form of documented design guides and best practices to help in future projects. Leadership is committed to hearing the good, bad, and ugly feedback about how things are going, and mostly address those elements head-on.

    Cons

    - The culture needs a shift so that people provide one another with constructive feedback in real-time. It's a very conflict-averse culture, to its own detriment at times, particularly where people have to perform well in front of clients and partners.
    - It's great to have a stable sales pipeline and business coming in, so I can't knock that. However, the business development strategy is unclear when it comes to attracting and securing a diversity of projects - industries, capabilities, etc. This is a large team of generalists, with specialists in particular areas of common need. Generalists tend to like to see variety, so this lack of business development strategy is generating a feedback loop into employee satisfaction.

    Advice to Management

    - Give your people the tools they need to provide one another with real-time feedback, and help shepherd that cultural transition - it will take some time, but it needs a boost.
    - Develop, present, and execute a cohesive business development strategy that shows you're looking for the kind of work your people are interested in, and not the same kinds of projects over and over again.
    - Find a way to make your administrative folks a real part of the family. They are sometimes second-class citizens within the organization, yet they keep the business running in a very tangible and important way. All those who have a part in Synapse's success should be valued members of the family.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Best Place to Work!"

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

    I have been working at Synapse Product Development full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Community of smart, competent, and fun people
    Variety of challenging and interesting projects
    Opportunity to learn something new everyday
    Now acquired by Cambridge Consulting which opens the opportunities for even more projects and collaboration with a larger community

    Cons

    Sometimes the project schedules are tight and require additional hours of hectic work to catch up

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Every day is different"

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

    I have been working at Synapse Product Development full-time

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers. Tough but cool projects with a wide variety of clients. Strong focus on a family atmosphere. Lots of opportunity to learn.

    Cons

    A few people have stayed for several years and their bad habits have infiltrated the system. That's not easy to undo.

    Advice to Management

    Great momentum these days. Feels like we're on the right track. Looking forward to what's to come!


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Mechanical Engineering Internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Intern in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Synapse Product Development (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Excellent support and mentorship from manager and senior engineers
    - Opportunities to work 1 on 1 with clients
    - Good mix of desk work and shop work

    Cons

    - By nature of consulting, interns may not have substantial projects throughout internship
    - Doesn't necessarily lead to full time position


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Nice place but boring work with little challenge or growth"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Synapse Product Development full-time

    Pros

    Nice work environment, the company cares about employees. Great location. Cross discipline work since they have EE, ME, and software in house.

    Cons

    The company isn't run like a real business, there's so much emphasis on making it "the best job you ever had" that they miss the part about growing a successful company, being competitive, and getting rid of underperforming people. In fact it's nearly impossible to be fired, even if you're awful at your job. The clients and projects they get are very run of the mill and unless you're new to the industry or otherwise inexperienced, this stuff is just not that challenging or engaging. As a consultancy, they're not very price competitive so they lose a lot of projects that might amount to something. Overall, be prepared to work with some mediocre people who will never be fired or dealt with and don't be surprised if the work you wind up with is downright boring.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to be so nice. Build stronger teams, including the leadership, and let the bottom 20% go periodically. You're running a company that has competitors and is supposed to make money, not a social club for emgineers.


  11. "Operations Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Operations & Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Sales Operations & Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Synapse Product Development full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Sense of community and cross-departmental teamwork, flexible schedules, continually challenged, open-door policy, great benefits.

    Cons

    Rare opportunities for training or growth, or organizational recognition for operations, marketing and finance teams (non-engineering groups).


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