Teradyne – San Jose, CA
Eight hours, lift up to fifty lbs. forklift certified. Position Subject to ITAR controls No Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt Relocation Available… Glassdoor
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at Teradyne full-time (more than 10 years)Pros
Collaborative, supportive environment. Many talented, nice people. At the heart of a very relevant, highly technical industry (semiconductors). Many challenging assignments. Facilities are nice and kept clean, computer equipment decent. Review process is fair and transparent and career advancement and transfer quite possible. Management has figured out how to run the company profitably in any business climate, so layoffs are a thing of the past. One of the company values is "Honesty and Integrity in Everything We Do". I believe the company lives up to this to a very high degree, and this makes me comfortable and proud of working here.
Work-life balance is quite good. Of course, you can always work many hours at any company, and your manager will be happy and won't force you to go home and spend time with your family and hobbies. But if you assert your need to have an outside life, Teradyne will generally be very supportive of this need. Hours are flexible and working from home is common, either during snow storms or more often once you have a track record of success and productivity. Many projects do have crunch times where longer hours are expected, but weekends are seldom directly requested by management, and even when they are, there's some flexibility. The development process is a document-heavy, phase-gate waterfall model, for the most part. Many people consider this a negative, but I count it as a "pro" because it makes life predictable, and schedules longer and less chaotic.
Pay can be good, though I think it's uneven. In addition to salary, everyone gets profit sharing, which can equal one or two extra monthly paychecks per year in good years. Everyone can also divert up to 10% of salary to an ESPP for a guaranteed 15% gain in six months. Top performers get yearly bonuses of restricted stock that vests over five years. If you get these every year and build up a pipeline of them, it can be quite a nice bonus. The restricted nature of the stock means it costs dearly to walk away, the "golden handcuffs".
All of the above, plus generous vacation policies for long-timers make this a place where many people stay a long time, or leave and come back. Many people spend their entire career here. Not because it's flawless, but because it's pretty good and you're generally treated with human dignity.Cons
The consistent profitability of the company has come at a price. It's not run by the engineers anymore, and so it's not as much fun to work here. Schedule slippage is highly discouraged, and this can lead to pressure and a culture of fear. People are afraid to report bad news up the chain. However, quality is the bedrock of our business model, so it always wins in the end, so features will be cut or in some cases the schedule will be moved out if needed.
This is not a place where cutting edge software technologies are used. Most of the products are very large, monolithic, decades-old systems. Therefore, they're very hard to change. The company and its customers are also risk-averse. We do advance in technology, but slowly.
There are many nice and talented people here, but the workforce is uneven. Some incompetent people get in and can stay around for years. Teradyne also continues to outsource a lot of software and QA work to India and other places. The quality of these engineers is generally lower, compounding the difficulty of working with people who are far away in a different time zone and don't speak great English. Management thinks they are saving money by outsourcing, but the drag on the local workforce erases these gains and hurts morale.
Schedules are getting more and more important, and righter and tighter. It's hard to know if this will get worse, or if the pendulum will swing back and work-life balance will remain good.
Resource allocation sometimes changes suddenly due to re prioritization. This, coupled with long planning cycles and offshore teams results in a lot of inefficiencies from context switching and delivering software to QA before it's ready. The heavy top-down command and control structure means there's little an individual contributor or low-level manager can do about this.
Training and career advancement is not as structured as it used to be. You need to design your own career advancement and assert your right to do training and side tasks.
Our product hardware is in short supply, so when you need to work on the system, this can demand working odd hours.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Stop using offshore resources. All of the savings are completely illusory. Everything they do needs to be reviewed or redone. We could do it a lot better and more efficiently if we had all local teams.
Stop the culture of fear by encouraging honest reporting and finding some way to reconcile the inherent unpredictability of engineering with the need to meet customer commitments. Focusing on maintainability of software (rather than rewarding high line counts) might help.RecommendsNeutral OutlookApproves of CEO