ThoughtWorks Reviews | Glassdoor

ThoughtWorks Reviews

Updated April 20, 2017
602 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.8
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ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao
Guo Xiao
208 Ratings

602 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "Most Diverse 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 Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People from all walks of live, every corner of the world
    Your opinions are heard and acted upon
    Everyone listens
    Great work-life balance
    Awesome Benefits
    Travel all across North America
    Flat Organizational Structure
    Rewarded for your hard work

    Cons

    Not enough Social Justice projects
    Sometimes takes time for decisions to be made

    Advice to Management

    Keep staying open even as we grow larger. Support internal operations roles - like training and development, not just for leadership development. We need a team that is solely focused on and responsible for training and development. Also, we need more people leads to they are able to spend time with each person and we can have opportunities for health/pulse checks on morale well before people end of leaving us. Will help with attrition.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great for starting out, downward sliding scale for experienced engineers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    It is the best in all the things you read on job descriptions, on culture, the nice office, the people - for the most part all of that is true
    Smartest people I have worked with
    Highest percentage of smart and passionate people on teams vs people coasting and just doing a job
    Lowest percentage of political people who take credit off of other people's work
    Visit global offices worldwide, to do client work and other co-workers
    Opportunities to work abroad on long term assignments, especially when there is demand
    Steep learning curve, if you can do it you will go far
    Yes client projects are hard but you need that to be challenged, and it's the same in consulting firms everywhere
    Flat hierarchy appearance means you can reach all the way to executives in an email and they will respond to you personally

    Cons

    Work/life balance
    It is there if you make it so, by doing the minimum 40-45 hours and turn a blind eye to everything else: fly Sunday night, be home by Thursday evening; it's fine because no-one dings you in reviews for min work anyway
    If you want to do more than consulting at client, say for local community or feel like you are part of TW, you have to work in the evenings, come into the office on Fridays, take calls with your local DevOps/Security/Social/Office Events, and yes all that's outside of your client hours thank you very much for your free donations, but good luck using that for a promotion because it's not guaranteed
    Performance reviews are largely behind closed doors: despite the work, long hours, good reviews from projects and your co-workers, management still didn't really take those into account and give you a raise or a promotion. You might tolerate it if you are fresh outta college and think you'll do better next time, but this is very insulting and a real tough pill to swallow professionally, when you're there for 7/8 years
    Local work efforts have more or less been failing - more people are leaving to join local companies, the work in the office now is no longer interesting

    Learning/talent management
    No real learning and development if you are not a programmer/tech role, biggest hypocrite aspect in the company
    Ad hoc learning is no way to learn or a long term investment for smart people
    Rivalry between new roles and groups have made attrition really high, no real career paths
    The new global leadership programs are a joke distraction to real learning; just more shiny toys to go travel and meet with each other wasting revenue generated by billable dollars that's already hard to come by
    To attract more techies, there are lots of efforts to do technical things like events and initiatives, BUT if you are not a programmer, none of this is really open to you
    Not all technologists are considered technologists: they have a nice campaign but it's another shiny toy to get into the junior/associate consultant program; it's not for experienced people, if you are attracted by the culture and the identity then you better be prepared to learn by yourself and find your own career path because you will not get the serious support by your sponsor/mentor/office/management

    Vibe
    Many senior people leaving, which drops overall experience level by a bunch
    Many many data scientist, business, retail, vertical domain experienced folks have left because they don't know what to do to progress or how to staff specialist
    No one is telling these 15+ to 20+ year experience principal specialist hires they should learn to work with the rest of TW consultants in an integrated way; they get frustrated by isolated expertise and yet new ideas get rejected by the population, then leave the company which is a waste of $$ and ton of industry experience and waste of time for everyone
    Travel is not the hardest thing, but travel will drag all other things down, just remember that
    If you're a long-timer, pay will not be comparable to new hires: they will be hired at higher rates than you with similar or less than your TW experience, swallow your pride
    Been talking to a lot of long-timers and the same kinds of frustration is reaching boiling point
    New people with almost no experience and track record are being favorited as the new faces; market and leadership positions, when they are still finding their way; promote everyone to Lead when they've only got 3-5 years' experience, what a slap in the face for the rest of us, we could not even get to Senior when we had 5 years' exp
    You see the revolving door of resume hoarders who will stay for 2 years, then they leave and join other companies with a huge salary hike; you question why you are staying here on below market salaries and same kinds of work
    Some people clearly should not be in the company because of work or performance issues, do very little work, cause mayhem to teams on client projects; management does not like to pull the trigger sooner and do the right thing
    It's not what you know, it's who you know. Diversity is not applied to everyone unfortunately, gender diversity in entry-level is kinda there (easiest to fix), but when you see senior levels or higher positions it's mostly same circles, people who have been here for 20 years and they basically have all the say and are friends with each other so if you're not in those circles you are pretty much an outsider. Mostly men; women leadership are in management or ops, and not engineering side.

    Advice to Management

    The bar is now lower and a lot of people see this, there is a fiefdom thing going on where the best people are hoarded to do non-billable things in order to keep them in the company, which again detracts from the main goals, which is to find meaningful work and listen to your most senior people on the ground what they want. Not senior people who are in management and Ops roles who have no real connection to what it is really like working week to week at clients in this current environment. Things are very different now than 5 years ago.
    Got to fix the cultural poison where the best sales people / client principals have a much bigger say than really should. Sales do not drive the culture of the company. This is not why people stay here.
    How do you cope with selling the idea of TW which is nice and new and disruptive, compared to what happens on local offices as the reality is very far from the 'marketing'.


  3. "Delivering for Clients, Opportunities for Growth"

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

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

    Pros

    Terrific co-workers, transparent leadership, lightweight business structure

    Cons

    Travel to client sites, figuring out how to navigate the advancement path can be challenging. Because it's almost fully customizable, it takes effort to learn how to connect and leverage the system.

    Advice to Management

    Work on adding more people support.


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  5. "Operations"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing People who are always thinking forward
    Great benefits
    Work/Life balance cannot be matched
    Bleeding edge experiments, ideas, projects

    Cons

    Shifting Management
    Very Fast pace technology
    You have to be independent and self-motivated

    Advice to Management

    Transparency has been key over the years I've been here. It is hard to see many faces in such a fast pace environment. Some office visits or ways to connect would be great.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "business analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    lots of awesome opportunities for self-development

    Cons

    a bit unbalance between work and personal life

    Advice to Management

    need to keep in mind ThoughtWorks is no longer a small company now.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great & Meaningful work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Developer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Allows for autonomy and inovation

    Cons

    Pay is lower than competitors

    Advice to Management

    pay your employees better


  8. Helpful (2)

    "the little global company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Travel the world and work with fantastic people on cutting edge technology.
    I can't stress enough how fantastic the people are and how they are at the core of everything we do. This has been stated in many a review here, but there's an 'essence' about TW employees which transcends geography, race, gender, background - no matter who you meet you get a consistent experience. I've heard this from new hires. Colleagues are very smart, respectful, and passionate about solving client and humanitarian problems through technology. Cool temperament, good listeners, and empathetic. Hobbyists across a huge number of areas both within the tech domain and beyond.
    Expect in an office to find hardware labs experimenting with the latest IoT theme; groups of people booking outdoor weekend activities (multi-day hikes/camping, ski trips, local community work), VR/AR experiments, continuous learning sessions for our inquisitive graduate recruits, internal projects, meetup groups...
    Despite being a medium/large global organization with over 3000 employees, TW maintains a local feel by keeping each office under 150 people. This creates an environment easy to navigate - people can keep their network local having little interaction with other offices, or chose to branch out to other offices, even countries, to expand understanding of different markets. Taking assignments in other countries (e.g. 1 year) is supported in most cases, acknowledging the importance of understanding cultural and market differences, and how travel can enrich character and build soft skills.
    Agile, DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Lean startup techniques are all at the core of how we work. These aren't areas or disciplines TW has decided to adopt or practise - they have been developed and/or evolved by our folks.
    The organization is 'flat' - very few levels - which introduces many different career paths. Employees are encouraged to think hard about how to develop own skills and self-improvement plan.
    ThoughtWorks has a long history of writing books and speaking at conferences - huge support available for this.

    Cons

    Likely a bi-product of a flat hierarchy (we have 4 progressions from grad to Principle) a lot of self motivation and perseverance is required to instantiate and maintain new initiatives, communities, get idea traction.
    Some people despise 70% travel expectation - and it can be more (and less!). Exceptions occur all the time and each case is considered independently - there are no hard/fast rules. However its one of the most common reasons for people leaving. Other reason for attrition: engineers want to own a codebase and be responsible for maintaining it - seeing all projects through to completion.

    Advice to Management

    Continue putting people first and maintain a strong emphasis on growing the people you already have. Continue pushing for more remote working options with clients i.e. from home and not on client site - this will ensure the best people stay.
    Pick some key areas in software where we remain experts - there are too many to conquer them all.


  9. "Great Company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Lead Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I have been working at ThoughtWorks full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some of the best people I have worked with. Most people I work with have challenged me in a great way, and I feel I always have something to learn

    Cons

    Travel can be a bit much sometimes, but on the other side, I have visited the most amazing offices all over the world.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Quality projects are hit or miss. Your colleagues will more than make up for it ;)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant Quality Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Consultant Quality Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Inspired and humble colleagues. Some of the smartest people I've ever met were at ThoughtWorks. Folks deeply care about mastering their craft. A vibrant culture of learning and sharing together.

    Cons

    The vision of the company means different things to different people. There's a huge disconnect between the Social Impact effort and the actual day-day work that employees are doing. Some projects felt like staff augmentation gigs as opposed to transformation gigs that has a longer lasting effect.

    Advice to Management

    Especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, there should be no reason why tons of quality tech projects are not available.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Great place for ambitious and curious people!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Business Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    The biggest asset that ThoughtWorks has is its people! Somehow the company manages to attract and select a great group of people that is ambitious, smart, curious and engaged!

    Cons

    Since ThoughtWorks is mostly doing consulting on the client side the job usually involves a lot of traveling, which is not great for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Growing further in the strategic consulting area. Develop working models that are attractive for people that love traveling, as well as for people who want to spend more time at home because of family.



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