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TPP Reviews

Updated 12 October 2017
119 reviews

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4.0
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TPP CEO Frank Hester
Frank Hester
71 Ratings

119 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The flat hierarchy means you have a say in what you work on (in 16 reviews)

  • If you are not afraid of hard work and would like a rewarding career where you can make a difference, you need to give TPP a go (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • s important to get a good work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • Flat hierarchy was constantly touted, but in reality was not really an accurate description of how the company ran (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Software Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Horsforth, England
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Horsforth, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have been working at TPP for one a half years, and I"m having a really good time. I'll list the benefits properly below, but the main one for me is the people. It's inspiring to work in a company full of such kind and caring people who genuinely care about what they do. The people who I work with are not just my colleagues - they are my friends, and that's a really great position to be in.
    With my sentimental musings out of the way, here are some other things to consider:
    - Flat hierarchy: You're opinion is taken seriously as soon as you start. I feel able to challenge the most experienced and "senior" employees if I disagree. We're much more concerned with getting to the right answer as a group then being right individually.
    - Great learning environment: I knew nothing about programming when I started but I'm amazed at how far I've come in this short time. The reason new recruits learn so quickly is because help is so readily available when you're struggling.
    - No bureaucracy: TPP's working style has become refined over the years so that you're never having to battle corporate structure. I barely have to use email. I never struggle with 'middle management issues'. I always know why I'm doing the work I'm doing.
    - Perks: Annual sailing trip, BUPA health insurance, incredible starting salary, pub fridays, board games night, parties, yoga, free music lessons, free sandwiches on Fridays, barely any dress code.
    - Work/life balance: We're as strict as we can be about hours. We all make sure to leave at 5:15pm on the dot at the end of the day. Very occasionally we can't because things, but then lots of people stay to get the problem solved quickly. In my previous job people would stay in the office until 9-10pm at night just because they felt they had to! We have a much more reasonable and pragmatic approach.
    - You get to make a difference: We're improving healthcare around the world. Finding a job as enjoyable as this one where you also get to be proud of the work you do is a rare thing indeed, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Cons

    Sometimes you have to come in out of hours. It's rare, but when it does happen it can be quite unpleasant.

    In frantic or stressful situations tempers can run high. We can get understandably stressed when things go wrong with a live technological solution that supports thousands of GP practices and hospitals around the world.

    Advice to Management

    None


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Pros and cons of company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Coder in Horsforth, England
    Current Employee - Coder in Horsforth, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Everybody is clearly very intelligent and has a real understanding of the work they are doing, but not at all in an arrogant way
    - There is real variety to what you choose to work on regrading where to improve the system
    - The company makes sure not to hire anybody who might have a difficult personality, and for that reason there is no sense of contempt or jealousy in the office. In terms of how employees interact with each other it really is a flat hierarchy.
    - As someone who came straight out of university, it is nice to have quite so many young people at the company who understand your position and help you through what you do.
    - It is in a great location and has a marvellous office.
    - There are obvious company perks which make a real difference to both your work and private life. 200 pounds for your birthday, free bar tab on friday, various societies and a great salary to name a few.

    Cons

    - Unless you learn things incredibly fast, the first few weeks can be a bit difficult in how much there is to learn. There's no official training program so your head can become quite muddled. That said, the company understands and expects this, and everybody has to go through the same difficult process of learning how to do the job required.
    - It is usually the younger people who help you out and guide you at the start, and so it can be harder to develop work relationships with some of the more senior members of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Clearly a great job and glad to be here, but first few weeks can be quite hard.


  3. "Wouldn't work anywhere else"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I’ve worked here for many years. I know we aren’t perfect but I think you’d really struggle to find a better company to work for. All I ever wanted out of a job was somewhere I would get to use my brain and never be bored, to earn a reasonable amount of money and to work with nice people. My first job after uni didn’t tick those boxes – the work itself should have been interesting but the layers of pointless management and bureaucracy meant everything happened at a snail’s pace. There were lots of disillusioned staff which led to moaning about management. Management weren’t technical so the coders didn’t feel listened to and this led to even more moaning. There were endless meetings where everyone talked management speak and nothing ever seemed to get decided.

    When I started at this place, I found the exact opposite. If people disagreed with stuff, they said so and we talked about it until we all agreed the best solution. You couldn’t moan about management because everyone was involved in decisions so people felt listened to and they knew that we were all responsible for making it better. Decisions were made quickly so it felt like more work got done so you got a sense of achievement.

    So why all the negative reviews on Glassdoor? Some of the negative reviews are more like ‘it’s not for everyone’ whereas others make out it’s truly hideous and we trap you with enormous salaries and bully/brainwash you until you are assimilated into our cult. So who do you believe? My advice is simply to find out for yourself. Come along and speak to us at a careers event or simply send us your cv – you get your expenses paid for interviews so you might as well come along for some interview practice if nothing else. Look us in the eye and decide for yourself if we are the evil cult that some people say. Ask us about some of the points that people raise on here and see if you believe our answers. If you get the job, we invite you to a day where you’ll get to meet loads of the team and show you round the company. I wish I had had that chance at my last company, rather than just speaking to them at the interview where I was too scared to ask the questions you really want to ask. Ask us those questions – ‘why do you like your job?’, ‘what’s the worst thing about your job?’, ‘what was your worst day at work like?’

    Why do I like my job? I know it’s cheesy but I love the people I work with…and I’m pretty sure I mean all of them! We are a crazy mixture of backgrounds, personalities, hobbies. We have painfully shy people, outgoing people, crazy sport people, sit-on-your-bum-and-watch-tv-box-set people, people who get a buzz out of public speaking, people who throw up at the thought of public speaking…we’ve got all of them. Some of them started with a real desire to work in healthcare, some of them just wanted to ‘do good’, some of them were super-geeks and really wanted to work on our enormous database, some of them didn’t have a clue about IT but got tempted by our ‘no experience required’ statement. Most of them assumed this was just a first job and they’d move on in a year or so (I only intended to stay six months!)

    Cons

    What’s the worst thing about my job? It’s tiring! We don’t often work long hours - we are really good at getting out the door on time and having full lunchbreaks…but you get through a lot in a typical day. I wouldn’t want it any other way but my brain is tired after so much thinking! That’s why it’s important to get a good work/life balance.

    Like I said we aren’t perfect:
    - Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and we talk about it and fix it.
    - Sometimes we have to let people go because either they aren’t bright enough or they simply can’t cope with an open culture of mistakes and try to cover them up. We need bright people and we need honest people. I always feel like we’ve somehow failed when we have to let someone go and we try very hard to firstly get the right people in the door and secondly to support people if they struggle.
    - Occasionally we come across a member of staff who struggles with the flat hierarchy and prefers to have the ‘badge’ of leader. A few years ago, we discovered that a few members of staff had been bullying some people. That was awful because I felt like we had let people down. Gladly once we had discovered it, those bullies didn’t work for us any longer.
    - We are constantly trying to improve – we change all sorts of things – whether it’s something small, e.g. in the last year people asked for a table tennis table and started a board games club, or something more significant such as our customer support team recently asked for a higher starting salary.

    What was my worst day at work like? My answer is a little bit of a cheat. I hated team work at university – I think because I was always the lazy one that left everything to the last minute and also because there never seemed a good reason to have a group project so it felt a little false. At this place, I love working in a team – it means everyone’s strengths and weaknesses sort of merge and you get this really efficient and effective machine. When we’ve had a problem at work – something really tricky and urgent, watching our staff pull together and solve the problem is really inspiring. That’s when you really see what we mean by ‘flat hierachy’ and ‘open culture of mistakes.’ No one cares whether you’ve been here five minutes or five years. No one cares if you say something that’s wrong and there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I was always proud of my qualifications and thought I was reasonably intelligent but working with this bunch of bright sparks is just amazing.

    Advice to Management

    It's a flat hierarchy so this applies to all staff. Ignore the trolls, keep talking to each other, keep improving.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "5* for some people 1* for others, read and decide if it's for you."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Leeds, England
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Leeds, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    TPP is weird , and it's weird in a way that's perfect for some people but terrible for others. I think that's why all the reviews are 1* or 5*.
    - The culture is incredibly direct, everything is up for immediate debate, criticism or interruption with no beating around the bush.
    - There is a genuinely flat hierarchy, although more experienced people's opinions tend to be more respected than others.
    - The work is interesting and you get involved in important projects from day one, but you can shout (literally) for help any time you get stuck.
    - Everyone treats teaching new people as a top priority, as almost no one starts with any software experience. You work on a wide range of projects so you learn lots of different skills.
    - Everyone is young, bright, committed and on the ball, there's nobody useless and everyone works together.
    - You can change any process you find difficult or annoying, and it's too small a company to have any bureaucracy. It's amazing how much you can get done when you don't have to call meetings for every decision and wait weeks for managers to sign off on everything.
    - It's a small enough company that you can know everyone and there's a fantastic team spirit, which is helped by all the work social events, pub trips and sailing.
    - The benefits, pay and working conditions are great.
    - The product is really good and it feels good every time you help improve healthcare in the UK or China.

    Cons

    A lot of the criticism on here is overblown, but there are some drawbacks.
     - When you're having a bad day (or doubting yourself) being told you've done something wrong hurts. Some people take directness to the level of being rude, not least Frank the CEO.
    - People who don't learn seem to be making progress get fired with very little warning, especially int the first six months. Combined with the fact that no one works their notice this seems like people suddenly disappear for no reason, which is horrible.
    - There aren't really enough people to do a lot of the basic jobs you'd like to do like fixing minor yet annoying bugs.
    - A couple of times a month there's an emergency which results in a conference call in the middle of the night and some people going to the office.
    - As a new person you'll end up doing a shift on the helpdesk over Christmas or during things like office parties.
    - You get interrupted a lot, and work on lots of different tasks, which some people find very difficult.
    - There is no progression of job titles. There are generous pay rises and more responsibility comes naturally but you won't directly manage people.
    - None of the training is externally recognised, which makes it less transferable.
    - Lots of the rules (e.g. on phones not on silent) are overly strict

    Advice to Management

    - Keep the unique culture, but try and make it more inclusive.
    - Make sure criticism is always constructive and make it a bit gentler on peoples feelings. Remember nobody's perfect!


  6. "Software Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Leeds, England
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Leeds, England

    I worked at TPP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company, really relaxed working atmosphere.

    Cons

    Just was not for me


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Sinking ship?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Analyst in Leeds, England
    Former Employee - Graduate Analyst in Leeds, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time

    Pros

    * Above market rate salaries - think this is the case for all teams.
    * Generally speaking people are friendly and competent.
    * Fantastic purpose built new offices in a nice suburb of Leeds.
    * Free on site parking.
    * Good perks such as generous holiday allowance and a free birthday meal.
    * I learnt a fair bit in my time there.
    * You will earn an awful lot of airmiles!

    Cons

     * Incredibly disorganised management which leads to a lot of unnecessary stress and general confusion.
    * Worrying lack of focus on their UK customers (the only market that pays the bills). They will only do the bare minimum development to their UK products (fix dangerous bugs for example) and seem to have completely given up on innovation. This is difficult for people in customer facing roles as you will inevitably spend much of your time delivering bad news to increasingly unhappy people. Scandalous really when you consider it is UK tax payer money that makes up the bulk of their turnover and you would of expected at least some of that to be invested back into their NHS systems.
    * The only focus of the company is chasing more lucrative markets overseas. Great if you want to travel an awful lot at minimal notice, not so great if you have any other responsibilities outside of work such as young children. Definitely does not provide a good work/life balance.
    * They don't seem to be experiencing a great deal of success overseas (at least when I left). Although I guess such things are never going to happen overnight, they have now been plugging away at this for about 5 years at I'm sure great financial cost to the company.
    * Staff forced to write overly positive reviews on sites like this one. Ask yourselves why TPP placed highly for years in the Sunday Times top 100 companies to work for list and now are no longer even in the running? It was actually the recent string of heavily positive reviews posted here earlier this year (wonder what happened there) that prompted me to post about my previous experiences.
    * Very high staff turnover - both new and old people. This made for quite an unsettling environment as you never quite knew who would be off next.
    * Contrary to equal oppertunity employment legislation, the company only ever hire recent graduates for most of their teams. This is great for graduates but not so good when many of your experienced staff are disappearing and you desperately need people with practiced skills/techniques.
    * Flat hierarchy was constantly touted, but in reality was not really an accurate description of how the company ran. Although you would have plenty of discussions and opportunities  to raise your opinions, if they were not the correct opinions you would be quickly rubbished. Basically only a few people held any real power/influence and if you were not in favour with them you weren't going to have a great time. Definitely a culture of favouritism existed that always made it quite a dog eat dog environment, so unless you're very ruthless and loud you'll probably struggle to stand out/get on.

    Advice to Management

    If you can afford to do it it makes perfect sense to chase international business, however this should not be at the expense of your UK customers - they deserve better. Otherwise you might find one day you don't have any business anymore.

    Grow up and accept there are some pretty serious problems at the company that need to be addressed. The powers that be never wanted to hear anything negative about the place, making it difficult for staff to say what needed to be said and still have a job at the end of it. My impression was that many of the long standing employees were fairly unhappy there, and felt powerless to do anything about it. They either went along with the company line or eventually got fed up and left or were fired. TPP should properly listen to their staff rather than just paying lip service to this. There was some very talented people there who were clearly heavily constrained by your approach to running a business.

    Finally, seriously consider selling up. The company has so much potential and a decent core product which is pretty successful (for now at least). Perhaps a new management team/fresh approach could take the company on to the next level, rather than it continuing to tread water/get left behind.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Would not recommend to graduates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most people are genuinely lovely and it is easy to make friends (although as more and more people leave this is becoming less true).

    It’s great at making you an efficient employee and really helps you learn how to make quick decisions in high stress situations You get lots of responsibility early on (some people do find it too much and there isn’t always the right amount of support hence the amount of graduates that will only last days/weeks).

    The travel is good (although it is quite intense and can be last minute which lots of people complain about). The pay is good (although you will see people who have worked at TPP for 5+ years who hate it but cannot leave because they get too accustomed to the money)

    There are some quite nice perks, like Free Pub Friday, 2 weeks off at Christmas, a week’s holiday sailing and little things such as ice creams in the summer, random early finishes to go to the pub.

    Cons

    Some people do not believe in the flat hierarchy and will still treat you as if they are your team leader, which is annoying.

     A handful of people are not very nice (these always seem to be people who have worked at TPP for 10 years+) and take things like ‘Mistakes Made’ (which is supposed to be and can be helpful) too far and make it humiliating – especially for new graduates. However, I should stress this is ONLY a handful, most people are lovely.

    Senior management isn’t great. They do not seem to have management skills- they just do what they think is best and this is often wasting time shouting at employees/threatening to fire them, rather than helping them out of a tough situation. I found it was rare that they would listen to you. I have sat in many a meeting where someone has had an opposing opinion to senior management, and you get manipulated into agreeing with them (these meetings also waste precious company time and are very awkward to sit through).

    The inappropriate ‘jokes’ are also awful. Management genuinely do not believe what they are saying is wrong, and fail to see everyone around them getting offended or cringing, which makes it even worse.

    No official training – everyone is trained in-house. This means depending on which team you get put in, the quality of training varies massively. This leaves you with a lack of transferrable skills for other positions elsewhere (and TPP is not a ‘forever job’ so you will need to be employable to other companies).

    The company really does not seem to care about the UK market, which is the vast majority of its customer base. All money and resource is thrown on to international projects, which leaves the account team and analysts having to constantly deliver disappointing messages to long term customers, and getting the brunt of their frustration.

    Constantly pressured to write positive things online about the company and fill out questionnaires positively so they win awards. TPP has a lifetime ban from the Times Top 100 Companies for this. This is also why positive reviews on sites like these all happen around the same time.

    While I do not regret my time at TPP, I would recommend graduates to only take this job as a last resort, and spend your time saving as much of your salary as possible and train yourself up in your free time. This is not a forever job so you need to be prepared to leave at anytime. Also, prepare yourself to be fired at any point in your probation (with little warning). Once you survive the first 6 months, you are normally fine. Stay no longer than 2 years if you want to forge a successful career. Since leaving, I have definitely become wiser to how a successful tech company should run and TPP is not it.

    Advice to Management

    Stop thinking you are not the reason for the unbelievable high turnover.
    Stop pressuring staff to write positive reviews online for you
    Seriously consider selling up


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Unorganised and stressful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time

    Pros

    Every social event includes free booze, which you'll need after a day in their office.

    Cons

    There is a hierarchy, and they speak to you how they want. Understaffed because newbies are quick to realise it's a horrible work environment or they're pushed out of the door.

    Advice to Management

    Don't tell your employees to write positive reviews on GlassDoor.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Worst place to work ever!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Systems Analyst in Horsforth, England
    Former Employee - Clinical Systems Analyst in Horsforth, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They take you on trips abroad

    Cons

    They belittle you, bully you, and are petty, catty cliches. If you apply there you'll get a telephone interview guaranteed because everyone leaves, just like me.

    Advice to Management

    Stop making your employees right good glass door reviews, it's manipulative and it can ruin peoples' careers!


  11. Helpful (10)

    "Have a think why there might have been a sudden surge in positive reviews..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time

    Pros

    High pay straight out of uni
    Free drinks on a Friday night
    Free sailing trip once a year
    Some people love it
    Always stuff to do

    Cons

    Flat-hierarchy in name only
    Swearing in meetings is OK
    Use almost no modern software
    Never heard of user centred design
    Oppressive culture
    Can be fired without notice or reason
    Tribal culture (distinctly different to working in Agile tribes!)
    ALL software developers are on call ALL of the time - makes no sense
    Hate change in the workplace - protect their culture above all else
    Have a superiority complex

    Advice to Management

    Be open
    Be honest
    Stop being draconian
    Workload should be based on the people you have, no forcing your people to deal with the workload


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