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General Atomics Engineer Reviews

Updated Aug 4, 2020

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3.7
79%
Recommend to a Friend
89%
Approve of CEO
General Atomics Chairman and CEO Neal Blue
Neal Blue
89 Ratings
  1. "Great place to work!"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineering Intern in Centennial, CO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    Nice people, a lot of opportunity, supportive environment

    Cons

    No cons for this company

  2. "Generally good place to work."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Close knit and a bit smaller than than the big aerospace companies. Fair compensation.

    Cons

    Work ebbs and flows based on whims of upper management. Spread out between the high desert and north San Diego area.


  3. "Great Place To Work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Challenging work environment with opportunities to advance.

    Cons

    Lower pay than other competitors in the area.

  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great Culture, Frustrating Promotional Structure"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    Great company atmosphere, good work-life balance.

    Cons

    Often times the promotions and raises are only loosely tied to actual performance.

  5. "Stability with Pension"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Poway, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Stability, benefits, work life balance, challenging work and a chance to work on best UAV in the field.

    Cons

    Pay could be better, and not much room for growth if you're coming in new. Notice a lot of buddy system, and a lot of ego. Some senior personnel will have zero problem making you feel stupid, rather than help you.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place for First Job Out of College, but You Hit Walls"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer III in Poway, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Atomics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you are hard-working, you do get promoted here. You need to be ambitious and willing to take on more work than expected if you want to get opportunities to work on different projects. Work life balance is great (if you do the bare minimum, see cons below). The pay was decent (low considering the cost of living in CA), and the benefits are okay. There are a few senior-level software developers there that have a passion for what they do, and you can learn a lot from them, but the ones with talent, you need to seek them out. I got lucky and was able to get on several different projects that allowed me to gain more experience and become more marketable for searching for other software engineering jobs. For a while, it kept things interesting. The 9/80 schedule is nice and there is some flexibility in your start time as well, which you cannot argue that.

    Cons

    There are far more terrible senior software developers there than there are good. You cannot look at the current code base to see how things should be done. You will see plenty of examples of how poorly something can be implemented, which helps absolutely nobody. "But it works!" ... yeah ... about 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time it falls apart, and the 95% of the time it is up, it uses astronomically more CPU and RAM than should be necessary to accomplish the same task. The excuse is that the logic is a small piece of functionality, or it does not get used often enough, but the problem is, this mentality exists in almost virtually all code and it compounds into a mess. You need to spend a lot of time researching and reading material on your own time in order to actually learn how to do things the correct way; otherwise, you will wind up hurting your chances to move on to another software company. A lot of the times you are thrown into a project and not given the proper training nor the time to do the job properly (going back to research and reading on your own time). The company and senior management loves people that get the job done the fastest, even when the job is done poorly and inevitably requires a complete redesign and code refactoring. There are too few good, passionate senior-level software developers, and you will likely have to seek them out if you want to see how something should be done. It is highly probable you will only work with them on one or two projects, then go your separate ways and be apart for a long time. It took a few years before I got to start working on a project with one of them. This means that, inevitably, you will hit a wall where you are no longer learning anything new, but are stuck fixing other developer's terrible, terrible code to get things working efficiently and properly. Every great senior software developer there spends most of their time fixing garbage. The only exception is when you are starting a project on your own time or from scratch. The first part of my career I had plenty of opportunities to work on my own projects or start new projects (and some of those are terrible because I was forced to use a design that was inherently flawed, even when I brought up what issues it would cause). The last few months there, I was doing nothing but fixing other developer's poorly written code. If you hit that point, it is time to bail. You will not learn anything valuable, and all you will accomplish is falling further behind in your career, which would make looking for a job outside of defense more difficult.

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  7. "Secure Career"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Poway, CA

    I have been working at General Atomics full-time

    Pros

    Job security and exciting technology

    Cons

    Military/contract work, slow to adapt

  8. "Great experience when it was a startup company"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Poway, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Atomics full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great hands on experience and bonus structure when the company was starting up.

    Cons

    Obsolete tools and technology, Compensation is not currently competitive, Human Resources is mismanaged contributing to problems with company culture.

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  9. "Quality Engineer"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Engineer in Poway, CA
    Recommends

    I worked at General Atomics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Complex and amazing technology. Engaging work. Good benefits

    Cons

    Work shifted away from what I wanted to do and more what the company need. Decided to pursue other opportunities.

  10. "Solid first job"

    4.0
    Current Contractor - Software Engineer 

    I have been working at General Atomics

    Pros

    Good starting pay, difficulty isnt too substantial

    Cons

    Culture can be a bit negative about the company

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