Thoughtbot Reviews | Glassdoor

Thoughtbot Reviews

Updated November 28, 2018
12 reviews

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4.3
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Chad Pytel
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Fantastic people and a great place to grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Thoughtbot full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I had a wonderful time with the many talented designers and developers at thoughtbot. It's a great, friendly, balanced environment that helped me grow as a designer, developer, salesperson, and consultant.

    Management is incredibly kind and understanding, and will work in earnest with you to get through whatever issue you may be facing.

    Cons

    The lack of opportunity to work majority remote was frustrating, considering a number of projects were already from other offices or parts of the world.


  2. "A Great Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    I've worked in a number of startups in New York, and this is the first company where I've felt valued and listened to, and had a genuine work-life balance.

    thoughtbot is a well-respected consultancy, and their clients hire them because they are a breath of fresh air. The thoughtbot office is a calm, comfortable place where people come to get work done, and then go home at a reasonable time.

    The sales team work to make sure that projects and clients are a fit for the company's values. Employees are encouraged to honestly communicate with clients throughout engagements as well.

    They have a process for product development which brings structure and order to any project, which they have developed over years. They care about continually improving this, and offer opportunities (both written and in meetings) where anyone at the company can share their concerns.

    Some of the engineers have been here for more than 10 years, and I understand why. It is a really calm, pleasant place to work, the pay and benefits are fair and there is plenty of vacation time, even for new employees. I respect my colleagues and I learn something from them every day.

    Cons

    The company could be more diverse and the leadership have recognized this. They are actively finding ways to encourage more diverse candidates to apply. It is an extremely supportive environment, and very friendly to parents.

    The flat structure may feel like a lack of progression, but new clients also bring new challenges. You have the ability to rotate off of a project if you feel like you want to do something else. It's a great place to grow because you will work with 2-8 different organizations every year. The wisdom that you gain from this will help you for the rest of your career.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to issues from employees and address problems as promptly as you can. My experience here has been really positive.

  3. "Good consultancy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Culture is all about learning and collaboration. They really try to protect the engineers from client BS; more so than your typical consultancy. They value transparency, you'll see all the numbers in monthly all-hands meetings. They definitely care about the right things are

    Cons

    They use so many different SaaS products that onboarding can take a while. Since they are distributed across multiple cities, a lot of communication happens over slack which can be rough #slackDebt.

    Advice to Management

    The culture of "fix it when it is broken" is awesome, but sometimes when something is broken at a cross-office scope, saying "oh that is a problem, you should fix it!" can come across as "this is YOUR problem" which can be demotivating


  4. "thoughtbot proves you can run a values and people-first business that is profitable"

    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 Thoughtbot full-time

    Pros

    I am confident that in my long, varied career thoughtbot will stand out as the most special and fulfilling work experience. Besides working on interesting and challenging projects with incredibly smart and kind people, the thoughtbot values run deep, they are cherished, they are lived out, and they drive the business. thoughtbot has proven to me that you can run a successful business and still work at a sustainable pace and place importance on meaningful work over revenue.

    Cons

    This seems like a cop-out but I don't feel like there are any major cons to working at thoughtbot. Leadership is diligent about surfacing problems from every individual in the company, assessing them, and working as a group to rectify them. If I had to pick one not glowing thing to point out, I'd say you won't strike it rich at thoughtbot. You'll make more than a fair wage and you'll have a fulfilling experience in the process, but you won't be buying that lambo.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing but add some diversity at the exec level!


  5. "Wonderful culture"

    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 Thoughtbot full-time

    Pros

    Great team, benefits and work life balance. Team really values quality without sacrificing home life.

    Cons

    Since it’s a consultancy, we can sometimes have clients that don’t really want our opinion. This is a bit demoralizing but there’s not much that can be done about it. Most clients are really wonderful and value our feedback.

    Advice to Management

    I think thoughtbot is wonderful and I wouldn’t change much. In fact, I can’t think of anything right now at all


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Great coworkers; no growth opportunities; room for improvement in leadership"

    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

    I worked at Thoughtbot full-time

    Pros

    I'd happily work with most of my coworkers here again. thoughtbot has built a great team of people.

    Compared to other agencies, the work/life balance and perks are great.

    Yearly company retreats in interesting cities (Denver, NYC...)

    A chance to work on a wide variety of projects in a wide variety of industries.

    Cons

    1. You will not grow here.

    The work gets repetitive for both developers and designers. You will always be spinning up the same Rails app, designing the same dashboards, using the same technology and tools in every project.

    There's no career growth, nor do the annual raises make up for lack of promotions. Salaries are not competitive.

    thoughtbot still focuses heavily on Rails, despite developers wanting to use other languages and modernize their skillset. The dev work is starting to feel dated.

    2. The culture is on the decline.

    In the past few years, thoughtbot experienced rapid expansion, followed by offices being shut down, a wave of people quitting, and others getting fired. Company culture is ill-defined after so much turnover and uncertainty.

    Because thoughtbot is a distributed team, each office has a slightly different "culture" and it creates rifts in the company. They have not figured out how to make the company feel more cohesive. As time passes, these rifts become more obvious.

    thoughtbot presents itself as being an inclusive environment, but everyone they've fired has been an under-represented person in tech (women, people of color, etc) while upper management is entirely white men, as is the majority of the company. This pattern has not gone unnoticed and morale is especially low among these groups.

    thoughtbot expects developers and designers to handle sales, rather than hiring experienced salespeople. This has led to more and more bad projects, further frustrating developers and designers. This boredom and resentment only grows.

    3. There's no direction.

    While thoughtbot prides itself on being transparent, it's unclear where the company's heading. How will offices and teams be supported after so much turnover? What steps will management take to improve the company culture? How will they ensure that people do keep growing, rather than stagnating?

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees. Communicate better. Hire experienced salespeople. Help people grow into managerial roles. Remember that your employees are human beings with a desire to learn, grow, and do good work, rather than cogs in a machine. Remember that you are expected to lead and inspire confidence.

    Thoughtbot Response

    Dec 15, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you for your comments. One of the challenges I've learned (and we're still learning) of having a transparent culture is that because you see the internals of lots of things it make it seem like... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good work-life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    - 40 hour work week: 32 hours of working for clients, 8 hours of self-directed work (learning, side projects, anything that will make you better at your job!)
    - Very smart co-workers, the highest quality developers I've ever worked with
    - Good place to learn because of points above (time for learning, people to learn from)
    - Chill office vibe: people are friendly, but it's not fratty

    Cons

    - Morale at the company has been low for the past few years. Company expanded quickly and then had to close some offices. Layoffs are always hard on morale, but especially at a company as tight-knit as thoughtbot.
    - Not all client projects are awesome. Some clients are great and "get it," others seem like they are only clients because they could pay. The company could do a better job of weeding the bad clients out.
    - Not an obvious career trajectory. Good place to be a developer and write code. Only option for advancement is to be a manager.

    Thoughtbot Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – CEO

    Thanks for your thoughts! I strongly feel that a mistake a lot of companies make is taking designers and developers and moving them out of that role into management as part of career progression... More

  8. "Great work-life balance and awesome for engineers"

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

    I worked at Thoughtbot full-time

    Pros

    - Strong engineering culture built on trust and giving back to the community
    - Committed to 40hr work weeks
    - Friendly colleagues
    - Great place to start out your career getting exposed to a lot of products and engineering best practices

    Cons

    - I thought some of the leadership decisions from the CEO were short-sighted
    - They could do a better job at inculcating a strong design culture

    Thoughtbot Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you for your comment. While I don't know what specific decisions from me you thought were short-sighted, I can assure you, that as described in our purpose statement at... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Design Director"

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture that prioritizes sustainability, peer-peer mentoring, personal growth and happiness. All this provides an autonomous environment to work with all types of clients in a positive light, and often has great outcomes.

    Cons

    As a designer, we cover everything from validation, research, design, experimentation, interface and experience design, front-end development, growth, process consulting, visual design and more. Being a designer is a stimulating but challenging job.


  10. "Amazing for devs and designers alike, one of the best consultancies to work at."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Designer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Product Designer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Thoughtbot full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing developers work there. Many of the best in the field - and a real passion for learning. The investment days are rad. I made a few react apps, learned react native, and worked on marketing sites. Some days the designers would just draw! You don't have to worry about anything other than doing your job - the benefits are top notch and the office manager when I was there was incredible. I felt like I always had someone looking out for me because they weren't always striving to improve the office life.

    Cons

    Thoughtbot is still heavily recognized as a dev shop and we were working on changing that image. As a consultancy sometimes you take on projects you don't like. Many times that won't be the case, but usually 1 a year for someone isn't a great project. Usually that concern is voiced and if voiced is addressed.

    Advice to Management

    The transparency, trust, and responsibility is amazing.