ThoughtWorks Reviews | Glassdoor

ThoughtWorks Reviews

Updated December 13, 2018
128 reviews

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ThoughtWorks President and CEO Guo Xiao
Guo Xiao
50 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Wonderful workplace, great work culture, great work life balance" (in 57 reviews)

  • "Working wth extremely smart people" (in 78 reviews)

Cons
  • "Travel can be taxing to work life balance over time" (in 43 reviews)

  • "A lot of travel, need to proactively manage career" (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Unique community of thoughtful, bright, empathetic humans"

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

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

    Pros

    I love the people! From the first day I interviewed, I felt like these “ThoughtWorkers” could literally all be friends, not just colleagues. Everyone is very sharp, opinionated, and cares about making the world a better place (through technology, activism, and/or solidarity with worthy causes). Lunchtime conversations are always interesting and engaging.

    I also really appreciate that the company considers very carefully who they will take in as a client; if it’s not in line with our values we may not take the work even if it’s lucrative. We also do a lot of pro- and low-bono work for nonprofits and cool social organizations; it’s fun and energizing to work on those projects but even when I’m not working on one of them, I know my billable work with corporate clients is going to help us do more work to make a difference in society.

    I love how global the ThoughtWorks community is — we have offices in something like 18 countries. And it is relatively easy to request a long term assignment in another company if you like.

    If you enjoy the lifestyle of being a show-by-doing consultant (your time is split between doing your craft and advising/upskilling client teams in that craft), you get into some really meaty consulting scenarios; I personally thrive on that balance of doing and teaching.

    What’s different with ThoughtWorks as a consultancy is that we partner with the clients on everything from concept creation and validation through developing the final solution, so you aren’t pigeonholed into just creating a concept or just executing on someone else’s vision.

    Client projects can be anywhere from a few weeks to a year-ish, so you get to try out a lot of different domains and challenges — it’s rarely boring because your assignments are always changing.

    Finally, it’s a very flat organization that gives you a lot of flexibility in creating your own career path. That can be difficult for some people to navigate, but if you’re a self-starter and enjoy driving your career into different directions, it’s fabulous for that.

    Cons

    Everyone is very opinionated. This is both a pro and a con because it brings up many engaging conversations and also can be challenging to navigate.

    The flatness of the organization can be difficult for people that don’t enjoy making their own path.

    There tends to be a lot of travel involved, depending on your home office and your specific projects. Some think of this as a pro, and some people get tired of traveling frequently and get burned out.

    Advice to Management

    The beauty of ThoughtWorks is in the people — make sure you keep the magic of our hiring processes that bring such awesome people together to form such a unique organization.

    ThoughtWorks Response

    Dec 10, 2018 – Director, Content

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and detailed review. I'm so glad that you recognize our greatest strength is our people. Your observations are spot on - we do tend to be an... More


  2. "Great place to work and grow as a software engineer."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - opportunity to travel
    - smart and talented coworkers
    - real leaders and innovators of different software practices are born here.
    - constantly pushes for better norms in the software industry

    Cons

    - not as competitive pay

  3. "Senior Consultant"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing culture, great exposure to techniques like Agile, CI/CD and lots of very smart people who test you and keep you innovative

    Cons

    The sense of being the smartest and toughest company to get into can bringing a bit of an imposter syndrome in people, especially the older folks.


  4. "Great people deserve great projects"

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

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

    Pros

    The quality of people that work here is unparalleled. I stayed longer than anticipated because it was such a joy to work on these teams. Great camaraderie, extremely intelligent, open, and kind. Culture of feedback is great and allows you to really work on yourself in a professional setting. Rotating teams means you are always learning new things from your peers.
    Good overall benefit package, and great if you really like to travel since you can fly other places on weekends when you are on a traveling project.

    Cons

    Many of the projects we take on are not very exciting. As much as well sell ourselves internally that we bring a culture of change, often times it feels as if we are just put in staff augmentation roles.
    Also, it seems that over the last few years the "social impact" pillar has been disregarded. We take on many clients in industries that the typical TWer is against, and it feels as though this pillar is just a recruiting tool to get like minded people together, but is not something that is ever taken into much consideration in day to day dealings.
    Always seemed like low compensation compared to what we were billing and what the market was offering.
    Travel every week can get really tiring, but it comes with the territory.

    Advice to Management

    Try to find more interesting projects. Too often when people are getting staffed they are looking forward to the friends they will work with but dread the actual project/client.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Take advantage of the travel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Lead Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Endless travel possibilities. Instead of flying home for the weekend, fly somewhere else! ✈️
    * Diverse work opportunities. Every project is wildly different, which gives you tons of valuable experience. A couple of years at ThoughtWorks is like 5+ years in the tech industry bouncing around jobs. 💪
    * Leading the industry in women in technology! 👩‍💻
    * The culture here actively encourages examining really important social and economic issues such as racism, privilege, diversity in technology, the free and open Internet, etc. 🤔
    * Fair compensation, especially when taking into account the travel perks (expense account while on the road) and other benefits. 💵
    * Unlike some other consultancies, being un-staffed (“on the beach”) does not have any negative connotations. No worry of being fired or something. 🏝

    Cons

    * Be ready for 50+ hour weeks. 40 hours of billable time for your project plus travel time (at least 8 hours a week) plus any non-billable you do such as interviews, office events, etc. 😪
    * Typically high stress. Projects are often on a tight deadline with a demanding client. Projects can get cancelled all of a sudden. On top of that, traveling can be stressful too. Flights getting delayed or cancelled, dealing with hotel bookings, all add to the taxing nature of a traveling consultant lifestyle. 😰
    * Lots of projects are in slow-moving, enterprise IT environments. Don’t expect to be working with hip tech companies. Expect huge organizations that move like a tanker ship, locked down laptops, frozen middle management, stuffy offices full of cubicles, and dress codes. 🏢
    * Specializing in anything is hard. While you do have some say in what projects you get staffed on, its mostly luck of the draw for whatever happens to be available when you become available. 🍀

    Advice to Management

    Don’t forget about your people! Do whatever it takes to make people happy while working there and they will stay longer. When it comes down to making the client happy or making your people happy, choose your people for once!


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Work for ThoughtWorks, but not for long"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Quality Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best, brightest, and kindest coworkers I've ever met. Always looking for the best solution even when it isn't their solution which is pretty unique.

    Strong community. Especially in the New York office.

    Actual working hours are very reasonable. Almost never spend more than 45 hours in the office which is unique for consulting.

    Many opportunities to learn from your amazing coworkers. Many of them are leaders in the field, actively involved with communities that are on the cusp of innovative technology practices.

    Extremely diverse teams relatively. Every team I've been on has had women and racial minorities.

    I cannot emphasize the people enough. If you get an opportunity to join ThoughtWorks and you plan on staying in the technology industry, you need to join solely for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing community of technologists.

    Cons

    I feel like ThoughtWorks gives the impression that they care about your professional development, but really they just care about their bottom line. An unavoidable portion of their clients are staff augmentation positions, not consulting.

    If you're in it for P3 (in other words, their social and economic justice arm), that is more of a marketing ploy than anything. With the acquisition, slowly every program not devoted to the bottom line is becoming obsolete.

    They usually don't have the influence to be involved at a higher level and when they do, a lot of politics is involved in getting to be a part of those projects.

    There is very little opportunity for introverted people. Day 1 they tell you that ThoughtWorks is a networking company, so if you are not willing to spend a night or two (at least) networking with ThoughtWorkers, prepare to be placed on the least desirable projects and have no say in where you go.

    Due to general company culture and intensive travel requirements, there is very little work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    You need to pay more (especially your analysts!) AND make location independence a number one priority OR get higher quality projects.

    Also, at least for their first projects try to get people on your best work. When ThoughtWorks shines, they really, really shine. And there is nothing better than being a part of that.

    Now that our social justice arm is being deprioritized, there is only one reason to join ThoughtWorks: to be on the cutting edge of technology and software development methodology. If people don't get to do that, they will leave. As someone else said, no one stays at ThoughtWorks for the money.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Loads of learning, some playing politics"

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

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

    Pros

    - They take diversity serious in some regions
    - The company strives for low-hierarchy and autonomy
    - Working for a consulting company means a lot of learning opportunities

    Cons

    - Growth has been a bit straining
    - As the company struggles with scalability, most projects lose sight of the values and end up being a "do what the clients wants even if you were hired as a consultant and concerns" kind of deal
    - Loads of traveling, though they're trying to be more flexible about this

  8. "The people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Lead Consultant in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'm constantly inspired by all of my brilliant coworkers. The personal support at ThoughtWorks is top-notch. I've had exposure to many innovative ideas, and been able to explore these on a daily basis.

    Cons

    Can be difficult to balance work with personal life.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Lead Software Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Software Developer in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Lead Software Developer in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great colleagues: professional, smart, interesting.

    If you like to travel, this is a place you will definitely do it. That's maybe a double-edged sword.

    Some engagements can be very professionally rewarding.

    Cons

    100% travel is the norm for North America.

    Many assignments are more "staff augmentation" than the higher-value roles that TW ostensibly prefers. I wonder how much TW *actually* avoids staff aug roles.

    Advice to Management

    Strive to differentiate between staff aug and other roles - maybe even via organization. If it's a part of the business, make it explicit.

    Get going on "location independence" or other ways to allow people in North America to not have to travel 100%.


  10. Helpful (17)

    "Not for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good mix of experience, from entry-level to super senior.
    People operations manager in SF is very kind and understanding

    Cons

    constant weekly travel
    super political
    below market value pay
    arrogant people
    promises to be transparent but politics reign supreme