The company tries to create a fun culture but it always seems contrived.
Support from management
Very little useful feedback. My supervisor didn't have a clue what I was working on and in many cases within my direct group we set our own priorities.
The teamwork for interacting with direct co-workers was excellent. Between departments it became pained as everyone had completely different goals and priorities.
Freedom to work independently
Depending on the project you were working on this was possible. The company was also fairly flexible on people working from home on days when they had other issues to deal with (doctor, dentist, car servicing, etc).
There were monthly company stand-ups but they never really addressed issues my department was interested in.
It appeared to my to be equitable. There were several cases of inappropriate behavior that occurred and were dealt with quickly and the offenders were typically fired. This was not wide spread as far as I could see.
Attitude towards older colleagues
Many of the people I worked with were in the 40-63 age range. There was not the typical very young skewed work group prevalent in other Seattle companies.
It was available but you had to pursue it completely on your own time.
Overall compensation for your work
My salary was fair. However there were no other perks other than days off. Health care was almost the bare minimum, no bonuses. Company events always felt kind of cheap. The company had a 401K but the match was virtually non-existant. It was discretionary and over my time there amounted to less than 1000 dollars.
Office / Work Environment
Open seating. Good and bad. Nice adjustable height desks. Easy to communicate within the group. However, when you are trying to focus there was a high level of chatter on the floor in general. Required putting on headphones and listening to music to really focus. Not ideal when I was trying to be deep in though, such as debugging a complicated issue.
Everyone was very nice and respectful with each other.
Very predictable work hours and a lot of flexibility in setting your own hours. You get 2 weeks of vacation + 5 personal days + 5 holidays. Don't work in retail if you want the Friday after thanksgiving off. :). You did get an additional week of vacation after 3 years.
I don't have a good feel for this. I guess it was ok. Most people probably viewed the wireless kiosks as being part of Costco.
Considering I was laid off I am marking it low. This was a fairly rare event though.
As far as I could see the company tried very hard to accomodate needs.
There's not a ton of safety issues in an IT department. However, there were all of the required Medicine cabinets, defribulators, etc.
No. Pretty boring actually. I worked on a couple of projects that were fun. Most were maintenance or debugging issues.
Inclusive / Diverse
It was a typically diverse Seattle group (which tends to be very diverse).
Suggestions for improvement
- The company feels top-heavy. Worse than that, those top-heavy executives, managers, supervisors have frequent turnover and become technically void project managers. It just feels like there was no real vision coming from the top.
What I like about the company
I liked that I was not over-managed. I didn't have anyone telling me exactly what and how to do everything. This can take away your ownership of a project. On the other hand I would have liked someone who I could periodically explain issues and status to that would understand what I was saying.
What I dislike about the company
Speaking from the point of view of IT I felt we were viewed by senior management as overhead and a necessary evil. We were typically given a deadline and then asked to make a schedule so in some cases unrealistic goals were not met. Programmers were split between doing ongoing maintenance and addressing unexpected fixes or features and still being able to focus on and achieve larger project schedules.