I have been working at iRobot full-time (More than a year)
Tons of free food
Can be stressful with lots of priority changes
I worked at iRobot full-time (More than a year)
Good benefits, some interesting people, and projects, mostly a good environment. no funding shortages if you needed anything.
Some people were hard to be around and they made you feel like you were walking on eggshells. Workloads can be unevenly distributed as many people work much harder than others and some people mingle and don't seem to produce much of anything besides co2.
In my situation, I was overloaded and was in need of some adjustments to my environment. I approached my so called manager to address some of these issues, I discussed things in a cogent manner. He pretended to care and faked some assistance to eat up the period until my next review when he torpedoed my performance review, where previously I was very well regarded. Shortly thereafter I resigned.
This manager has since been lowered an engineering functionary.
Advice to Management
Vette your manager more appropriately.
I worked at iRobot full-time (More than 3 years)
Great culture and team. The iRobot team is great to work in. Very collaborative and fun. There is always tons of work, but luckily the work is interesting and challenging! The people are grade A professionals!
Sometimes work can stack up and everything is a priority. Even though management works on this, it is still a challenge.
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Decent benefits and perks, flexible scheduling and work atmosphere.
Interesting and engaging engineering work
A lot of the employees live out in the suburbs so it's convenient for them, but tough for Boston city-dwellers. They also don't seem to be very competitive with companies closer or in the city to make the commute worthwhile.
Projects get killed unexpectedly, or worse, become a zombie project that slowly, and inevitably, dies.
Advice to Management
Hold onto your good talent.
Good people, great culture. Open door policy. Top management team takes surveys / feedback from employees seriously. Fun place to work.
Communication loss on director level. Looks like the core values that have been set by the company are misinterpreted by some director level employees.
I worked at iRobot full-time (More than 5 years)
The work is outstanding- very rewarding, very enthralling mechanical work. As a mechanical engineer, you sit on top of the engineering food chain. And there is no short supply of things to do.
Having worked at several other companies, their pay is stingy- and this is a strategy of the company as a whole: hire young guns and hire them at the upper end of the salary spectrum. Your pay will be frozen until you're frustrated enough to leave, and they then will give you a counter that is massive, to catch you up to the status quo of the level of your work. I was offered a 20k salary bump and a promotion when I put in my notice. It made me upset as their strategy, and practice became evident.
Advice to Management
Colin Angle (the CEO) is a great guy- has great intentions and a great vision when he doesn't listen to the brotherhood of nut-swingers that he likes to surround himself with. He values his employees- the contributors - and will get you help when you need it. Being that approachable as a leader of a company is valuable. And it's a rare quality in today's age. But he needs to stop listening to the men who have no vision, and no direction, and only want to please him so their jobs are safe. He needs to follow his own vision, and listen to healthy counterpoints to it to help evolve it. The senior executive team below him is unreliable for good directive.
Middle management / executive team: pay your talent or get ready for them to leave and help beat down your company's bottom line.
I worked at iRobot (More than 5 years)
Strong cross-functional relationships and interaction for quality product and after sales support.
Tough market to track to meet corporate targets.
I have been working at iRobot full-time (More than 3 years)
- A great time to be in robotics, the products you work on are very tangible and you get to know it very well from the design, user interface, down to the packaging and wording in the manuals. It's also nice to be able to take home and use the products you worked on.
- Very friendly and low stress work environment, although iRobot has been in business over 20 years there are some projects that run like a start-up and when there is a deadline most people will do what it takes to deliver but for the most part realistic goals and deadlines are agreed upon and if properly planned ahead it doesn't get too stressful or chaotic.
- Good collaboration within various departments as it's not just engineering talent to get to a successful product launch but there is marketing, finance, legal/compliance, manufacturing, customer support, etc and it's very insightful to get a full view of what it takes to launch a product.
- Little employee perks from team building activities, team lunches, beer carts, half day Fridays in the Summer months, also a casual environment and some people bring their dogs to work on Fridays
- Overall great benefits package; salaries are on par with other tech companies in the area but again a great work life balance is sometimes more valuable than an extra $10~15k going to "greener" pastures. iRobot seems to be good pickings for talent as other companies and start-ups recruit from here.
A lot of effort in various sku releases and variants of the roomba for different markets and price points. Instead of expending head count and resources to differentiate various flavors of a robotic vacuum cleaner a better strategy is to deploy resources to expand into new product categories. If there is an economic downturn people will cut-back on unnecessary purchases like a robotic vacuum cleaner regardless if it's a cheaper 600 series or the latest 900 series. The Roomba is our flagship product and I think expanding into other product development would help drive growth and keep employees engaged through any downturn to start launching out new products. There are a few new projects but could get into other product lines like smart home devices, IoT, etc. There are also some other less known products that we could continue to improve and leverage the iRobot brand name to grow market share for the pool cleaning robot to the gutter cleaning robot. After all we want to be known as the robot company and not just a Roomba company.
Advice to Management
There are usually changes made late into a development cycle and requires engineers/PMs/marketing/manufacturing to scramble to appease Sr. management's request to change something. These decisions were usually made earlier in the program but somehow the Sr. management is just now hearing about it later into the development and changes later into the game are costly, inefficient and wasteful. Flexibility with change is one thing but management can be better about being knowledgeable about some of the decisions made in weekly meetings and committing to decisions and only making changes if it's critical.
I have been working at iRobot (More than a year)
Growing company that treats emplyees
as a start up.
Large growth spurt has caused difficulties because the infrastructure to support suck growth has never been sufficiently implemented.
Very interesting robotics platforms. They are using current technology and have very interesting design challenges. They are cutting edge in the robotics field.
Projects sometimes get behind due to changing requirements. Requirements are sometimes very fluid well into the project design cycle. This often results in the contributors having to work extensively to keep the project deliverables on track.
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