People are friendly. Company offers decent challenges and has some decent stability it's built. Company is offers good work/life balance attitudes, and overall is appreciative of it's employees. My manager does not micro-manage, is very easy to talk to and staff is generally supportive of helping each other.
The technology being used is not innovative and progresses very slowly. Pay could be better too. Career progress is small.
Advice to Management
Spend some more money on talent, get in some better developers and focus on building up expertise. Spend money on it's core product to enhance and fix bugs would free up talent to do other projects.
I worked at True Automation full-time (More than 5 years)
The camaraderie of the co-workers
Not being able to change quickly enough with cutting edge technology
Small company with opportunities to take on many different roles.
Somewhat flat company with not often a lot of opportunity for upward mobility.
-Working hours were generally not bad
-People were friendly for the most part
-Very low pay, some of the more skilled, disciplined, and worked employees were paid less than people taking phone calls
-Zero opportunity for growth unless you were already in management or in the select few employees that were favorites...would frequently bring new hires on and have them leapfrog other employees despite zero knowledge of the product. This in effect would be a net loss for the company that the management just did not see as other employees had to tutor the new hires with less ability and skill as well as do their job, while not getting any compensation increase, which leads to the next point...
-Incompetent Management, make extreme promises to client without knowledge or ability to deliver, then expect miracles to happen with development team while they sit around and collect a check. No real empathy shown from leadership. Clients for the most part are not happy. Hiring process is a joke, they don't look to keep the talent they have in earnest. Talent milking is a great definition of this place. Expect to be hired into your role and stay there, no matter what you show capable of. Leapfrogging by new hires is common over seasoned veterans that know the product which is most important in this type of unstructured software development.
-Bad Product with College-Level Framework, don't even have a layout of the database. Pretty much do whatever you want, add whatever you want, and hope it works. Because of this, frequently if one developer makes a change, another piece of functionality will break causing ill-will from customers, then management expects miracles to fix it.
-Talent retention...This probably falls into a couple of the categories above, but this place is horrible at keeping valuable employees and great at keeping those that really don't contribute much. It is probably one of the main reasons they are currently failing. They underpay and overwork their core talent, then bring in new employees that are not qualified to take on extremely critical projects and new modules, which of course will either be over-schedule due to the number of defects from not being familiar with the framework/or just being unqualified. They neglect their core talent and expect new experienced individuals to be able to come in and not only develop, but spearhead critical issues in a jumbled framework over their core workforce that has "been there and seen that".
Advice to Management
-As long as the same group of 5-6 individuals with the exception of one or two intelligent and knowledgeable upper managers are just shuffled around with different job titles instead of having a complete clean out and utterly new development culture shift, this problem will not be solved.
-Focus less on popularity and more on who does the actual work. Employee awards in most places are for achievement, here it is who can shake the most hands. This goes along with the culture change, there needs to be a fundamental change, and ability to keep talent, and a focus on strict software development standards in order for this place to succeed.
- Most of the other worker bees were friendly, intelligent people and I was proud to call them my colleagues.
- I don't remember ever being forced to work overtime.
- Working environment was good; no flaring tempers, no yelling, things were kept clean...
- If a process could be improved, management was usually willing to give a new idea a chance rather than shooting it down outright.
- A round of layoffs eliminated 20 (out of 120) employees, but a few months later, replacements were hired as if nothing had happened. A few months after that, the company was acquired by a corporation. This left many employees understandably shaken and unable to trust in the stability of the organization.
- This probably differs by department, but the technology I worked with on a daily basis was ancient by today's standards and thus damaging to my future marketability as a software developer. It felt like I was rotting away by the day: who's going to want to hire me after this?
- The subject matter (the point of the company and of my job) was not very exciting stuff. To be fair, this is often the case in software anyway.
- The salary, at least for software developers, was comparatively lower than that of similar positions with other companies in the area (to the tune of $15k-$25k per year).
- There was very little opportunity for professional/career growth: one could not expect to be recognized, promoted, or rewarded for going the extra mile.
- There was a constant feeling of impending doom and crunch time due to management's extremely poor planning. Much of this appeared to be the result of attempts to placate the highly dissatisfied customer base.
- When I started with the company in 2010, almost nothing was documented, so it was a very rough beginning with a lot of trial by fire. There were efforts later to create a company-wide wiki, but I don't know if that really solved the underlying company culture issues.
- Some workers lived out-of-state and thus worked remotely 100% of the time. This was highly unfair to workers who lived locally and were expected to drive in every day. Why the double standard?
- I noted in the "Pros" section that most of the employees were friendly. There is a reason that statement is qualified with "most"... There were a select few very bad apples who should have been given sensitivity training or shown the door. Management even admitted they were aware of the problem and that they were content to ignore it.
Advice to Management
- Avoid being so obvious about treating team members like machine parts.
- Individual team members are motivated by different things. Find out what those things are and act on them. This will most likely mean more than a pat on the head in a team meeting.
- Share more with your team so they're not left in the dark. They're big kids and they can handle it.
- Raise salaries to remain competitive.
- Encourage, or perhaps enforce, the sharing and spreading of information.
- Eliminate the "Chicken Little" frenzy routine that pops up every couple of months because it's distracting, manufactured, and unnecessary.
- Some managers would venture out of their offices to come hang out in the team's work area from time to time to see and hear what's really going on. A little fraternizing goes a long way. All should do this!
- Very friendly coworkers
- Awesome learning opportunities with tons of knowledge sharing in an open environment
- Work is challenging
- Depending on the team you're on, employees are allowed to be proactive about work that is done.
- The work itself involves many different components that each involve different kind of work, keeping a variety in day to day activities
- Company is poorly run and I was constantly concerned about job security
- High employee turnover rate (due to unsatisfied employees)
- Tasks are mundane and work is scheduled and worked on inefficiently
- For the enterprise software industry, salaries are extremely poor.
- Veteran employees are constantly being switched to different unrelated roles, which is inefficient and counter intuitive.
- Lots of crunch time due to the way the company inefficiently plans releases with customers.
Advice to Management
- Focus on stabilizing the company structure
- Put people in positions they are qualified for so they can be the most productive
- Encourage agile process to employees and especially customers so the software release cycle improves and there are less crunch times.
I worked at True Automation full-time
--Fun Coworkers - I worked in the Client Services and found this was one of the better areas to work in. The work is challenging, but it is mixed with a lot of interaction with the team. A nice balance of work and fun.
--Good Growth - The company is growing. They continued to have new clients come on. You can work on alot of different areas and there is always something to do.
--Managements - the managers I dealt with seemed to actually care about my growth and how I was doing. Your opinion matters and if you have a suggestion, they seem to listen and respect what I had to say.
--Pay - the payscale could be better and really the only reason I left.
--Acquistion - There was a recent acquisition that seemed to leave the employees a bit 'shaken up'.
Advice to Management
Communicate more about major changes; there were times I didn't feel like I knew what was going on as a company. Create a program to get new people up to speed faster.
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