Synthetic Genomics Reviews | Glassdoor

Synthetic Genomics Reviews

Updated April 26, 2018
28 reviews

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3.0
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Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D
9 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Fantastic place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The work is cutting edge, my co-workers are smart and friendly, and my manager gives me opportunities to grow.
    Work-life balance is very attainable and benefits are decent too (recently increase PTO).

    Cons

    Early to tell, but unsure of what career advancement opportunities there will be.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Very stressful for programmers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The pay is good and the benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    The job is very stressful for computer programmers. There is no one in management who can properly manage programmers, and programmers are treated poorly in the company.

    It is impossible to get a stable list of requirements. Too many requirements were given to the programmers to implement in a timely fashion, and requirements would change almost every day, forcing programmers to quickly implement code; the resulting code was extremely messy and difficult to maintain.

    Management was very negative, constantly criticizing programmers for not doing a good job (after not giving the programmers enough time to do a good job) in a very sanctimonious and demoralizing manner.

    Because of the poor management, the company has high turnover with developers and a very difficult time keeping employees.

    Do not work for this company unless you can find no other job.

    Advice to Management

    Treat programmers with respect. Let them have enough time to do things right; do not change requirements on them every other day. Do not be negative and sanctimonious.

    Synthetic Genomics Response

    Feb 12, 2018 – Senior Director, Corporate Communications

    Thank you for taking the time to share your review. We’re sorry to hear your experience was not as great as you would have hoped. Your feedback is important, especially to Oliver and the rest of the... More

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Scientist II"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Synthetic Genomics full-time

    Pros

    Most of the staff are great

    Cons

    Management is awful, they don’t no how to run a business. Egos of the scientists hinder trying to make a profit.


  4. "Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Scientist in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great stuff, cool company - keep going!

    Cons

    No downsides, keep going everyone!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!

    Synthetic Genomics Response

    Feb 12, 2018 – Senior Director, Corporate Communications

    Thanks for your support!


  5. "Positive experience, but management afraid to share problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Former Employee - Research Associate
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, very collaborative, cutting edge technology

    Cons

    Middle management didn't share realistic view of projects with upper management. They promised things that weren't close to being ready

    Advice to Management

    Be more realistic with outlook of projects and promises


  6. "Cutting Edge Company"

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

    I have been working at Synthetic Genomics (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great employees, very friendly, lots of benefits like weekly massages and occasional happy hours. Making progress toward helping the world. Well stocked break rooms. Even though there is a clear hierarchy, you quickly feel like part of a family.

    Cons

    Not a lot of food options nearby, aside from a couple small cafeterias


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Research Associate"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time

    Pros

    The benefits, and potential mentorships.

    Cons

    HR is heartless, they fire people without due cause or reason, and ultimately a place with no job security unless you CYA which you should do if working there.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of standing there quietly and letting people walk on you try to stand up for your employees, because in the long run you will develop a loyalty that will create a phenomenal working environment for everyone.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "How to not run a company"

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

    I have been working at Synthetic Genomics full-time

    Pros

    Not sure many "pros" left. This company used to be a gem. Scientists and science was awe-inspiring. Even though some amazing scientists are still here, the inspiring atmosphere is gone. Science has great potential, but SGI is not the only one in this game.

    Cons

    This place will drain you. People are asked to do the impossible while management suffers from entitlement. Management is horrible, from the top dow and in between. There is no direction, no common vision, in-fighting, and bad business decisions on a revolving basis with no accountability. Working people are treated miserably. Craig's vision and passion has left the building.

    Advice to Management

    The board should get rid of most of the executive team and HR. The perception is that you are there for the cash out, collecting a fat paycheck in the meantime, that you don't care what happens long term, that you don't care about the science or the company. Take some basic leadership classes.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Small Company, Tremendous Potential"

    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 Synthetic Genomics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A company founded by someone with a great vision who brought some of the world's best talent in to run it when it was originally conceived. It is located in a beautiful location and by and large is quite a flexible place to work with opportunities to learn about a wide variety of science, business, management and operations skills if one is so inclined. Fortunately, some of the original talent has stayed on board and they serve as scientific leaders in a field with a potentially enormous upside.

    Cons

    There is a very steep hierarchy and most of the new senior management is relatively detached from the operational aspects of the company. This causes a disconnect between the vision/strategy and real work (boots on the ground) which can often manifest as ineffective communication, poor motivation and low morale. The steep hierarchy also leads to a highly political climate where employee recognition and feedback is often overlooked until something breaks.

    Advice to Management

    Empower your current employees! Fortunately, there are still some enthusiastic employees left. Give them opportunities to become middle (working) management instead of having them constantly overextend themselves and burn out. Become more objective and open with the ideas that lurk in the more junior levels of the company. Often, these people know more than what you might think.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Stay far away"

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

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

    Pros

    Great scientists with fantastic brains and wonderful ideas make this a wonderful place to learn and grow. Excellent location with easy access to walking trails at lunch. Gym access. Showers. Physically fit culture.

    Cons

    The executives and HR have absolutely no clue what is going on in the trenches nor do they make any effort to step out of their fancy executive offices to come into the labs and see for themselves what is really going on. It's like a game of telephone. You simply can't trust what you hear. There are many people that started w/ the company under Craig that worked for MANY, LONG, HARD YEARS and devoted their entire lives to the company...only to be laid off. It felt like a spit in the face. You had great people who were extremely flexible, bending this way and that, as you frequently switched gears. These people were honestly capable of handling anything you threw at them. They could have easily transformed into what you needed in order to be successful...but you chose to get rid of them. This was a huge mistake. When you treat good, hardworking, loyal, dedicated, smart people like that...there is absolutely NO WAY you will end up successful.

    Advice to Management

    Get off your behind and go into the lab and talk to your people. There are many mid-level managers that are doing absolutely NOTHING and claiming the work of the people in the trenches as their own. And you're believing them simply because they have a title. That's SAD.


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