TPP Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

TPP Reviews

Updated 18 Sep 2019

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Found 158 reviews

3.7
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
63%
Recommend to a Friend
62%
Approve of CEO
TPP CEO Frank Hester
Frank Hester
102 Ratings
Pros
  • "As well as the work the pay is great, good holidays including Xmas, sailing trips and travel to places I never thought I would(in 15 reviews)

  • "There is a genuinely flat hierarchy, although more experienced people's opinions tend to be more respected than others(in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • "flat hierarchy’ they preach about is a joke(in 16 reviews)

  • "No one really has a good grasp on projects as a whole, everything is rushed short-term jerk reactions to individual issues(in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Genuinely interesting and rewarding work"

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

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

    Pros

    - Every day is different and brings up new, interesting problems to get stuck into. - You can get help with what you're working on at any time, there's a culture of working together to solve problems. - Great perks including plenty of holiday, great pay, a tab at the pub, plenty of social events and free fruit and snacks. - You're contributing to something that genuinely improves healthcare both in the UK and... abroad. - You're encouraged to give your opinion and make your voice heard.

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    Cons

    - When problems arise it can feel quite pressured, but this doesn't happen all the time and the pressure is on the team rather than an individual.

    TPP2019-09-18
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    As a Product Specialist I’ve lived a dream in travelling all over the world. The pay is great - work hard and you get rewarded. My job is different every day, the work is varied and very fulfilling! Our team is hardworking and dedicated which makes for a great team.

    Cons

    Working away can be hard at times but the job and rewards make it all worthwhile.

    TPP2019-09-16
  3. "Great and rewarding place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Deployment Specialist 
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The thing I enjoy most about my job is how varied it is. No matter how long you have been at the company for, there is always something new to learn. You are given responsibility really early on, you don't have to have been here for a certain amount of years to be given the opportunity to work on bigger projects like a mental health units migration or an international project. I've always got something to do and... you would never find yourself clock watching as your days/weeks just go so quickly!

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    Cons

    The job can be stressful at times but we are rewarded for all our hard work and the team will always pull together to help each other.

    TPP2019-09-17
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Nice people. Mentally challenging. Rewarding."

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

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

    Pros

    In some ways easier than uni (no homework, no revising for exams, my weekends and evenings are free), in other ways it's harder - intellectually the problems we solve here are often much harder than uni. Whilst there are loads of really bright people around to help, that can feel hard at first because some people can find it embarrassing to ask for help, rather than struggle on alone. Wasn't my first priority in... looking for a job, but the fact that our software is helping improving people's lives is an extra reason to give TPP five stars. Makes me proud when I tell people what we do here. Sounds awful but we are really strict on who works here . That means that you work with lovely, bright people which is great but it also means that you get some quite bitter ex employees who, for whatever reason couldn't work here (often not bright enough), get a bit obsessed with trolling us. The opportunity to travel is fantastic. Coders don't travel as much as the other teams like the analysts and product specialists. This means that if you are keen on travelling, it's worth mentioning as we can bear that in mind for upcoming trips. The other way it is similar to uni is that it's so easy to make friends. Because most people live within a few miles of the office, there are lots of social things going on. The CEO gets mentioned a lot in the negative reviews - take those with a massive pinch of salt. He is a plain speaking northern computer programmer who hasn't got a racist or sexist bone in his body. He works so hard to make sure that all of his staff are happy and fulfilled in their careers as well as making sure they are doing their jobs properly. You'll often see him walking round at 5pm making sure everyone is ready to go home on time.

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    Cons

    It can be stressful. Given what we do - you can often mentally take your work home with you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the small company feel as you grow

    TPP2019-09-17
  5. Helpful (2)

    "Love my job!"

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

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

    Pros

    - I’m always motivated as I work with intelligent, determined and like-minded people on worthwhile projects that really do make a positive difference to healthcare here and around the world. - I’m never bored as there are lots of tasks I can get involved with such as shadowing healthcare professionals, collaborating with governmental bodies on national projects, designing and testing software, supporting our... customers with their workflows and even event planning! - I’m regularly encouraged by my colleagues and management to voice my opinions, encourage change and share ideas. It's a place where you can really make an impact. - I’m continually learning and growing as an employee as I am given new and exciting responsibilities and projects on a frequent basis, which adds to my job satisfaction!

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    Cons

    - Unable to work from home but this means that overtime is rare! - Due to the responsibilities you are given you can feel some pressure to succeed but the company will support you whenever you need it – just ask for help!

    Advice to Management

    - Continue providing us with advice and support whenever we need it - Continue to trust us to suggest ideas, express our opinions and deliver great products and services!

    TPP2019-09-13
  6. Helpful (12)

    "Probably best to avoid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Software Developer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time

    Pros

    - Entry point into the industry As there are no technical requirements for getting a job the company, it's a way of entering the software industry from a non-technical degree background. - Great colleagues Most of the people I worked with at TPP were really great. As most new employees at the company are graduates, the likelihood is that if you join as a grad, you will have a lot in common with your colleagues.... Combined with weekly work pub trips, it's easy to develop a good social life through work.

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    Cons

    - Unpleasant atmosphere The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the deeply unpleasant atmosphere at the company, and there are a few things that contribute to that. One example is this: as a developer, it's fairly normal to make the occasional mistake and write a bug into the code. There was a rule at TPP saying that if you wrote a bug, you'd have to send an email to every coder in the company, as well as the CEO's... personal email account, outlining what the bug was, why you wrote it, and what you'll do to never repeat the same mistake. - High turnover rate The rate at which people leave really shocked me. I left after 18 months, and at that time, 15 out of the 22 coders and analysts in my intake had left the company, a mixture of leaving off their own accord and being fired. It really took me off guard, and seeing people you've grown close to leave so regularly can really get you down. - CEO The CEO and owner of the company was not a nice person to work with. In company wide meetings, he would regularly make inappropriate “jokes”, particularly about women. He'd also call out individuals in front of everyone for mistakes they'd made on the job. This fostered a blame culture, which for me made the workplace even more unpleasant. - Limited training My first couple of months at a new company has made me realise how much technical knowledge I was missing out on learning. As you do not have access to the internet at TPP, it's very difficult to pick things up. You're reliant on learning from those around you, but with such a young employee base, there are a limited number of people who can really help you to understand what you're working on, or the industry on a broader level. Not to mention they're are under pressure to finish their own work as well, making it even harder to get some of their time.

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    TPP2019-06-20
  7. "Hard work but teaches you a lot"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Commercial Manager 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - It is difficult to ignore the high salary that comes with any role at TPP, however due to this salary expect to be work very hard! - Very challenging work but very rewarding at the time, there is a steep learning curve at TPP but if you are able to manage this you will enjoy the work that you do very much. - High levels of responsibility from day one. - Additional benefits that come along with the role, i.e.... free drinks on Fridays, company sailing trip abroad, in-office massages are all nice bonuses but shouldn't be the main reason to wanting to work here.

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    Cons

    - Highly pressurised environment to work in, so if you are not able to handle pressure very well then I would suggest that this might not be the job for you. - Office politics can come in to play sometimes but this is the case in most offices regardless of the company. Some conventions in the company can be seen as fairly strange to begin with but eventually you get used to them.

    TPP2019-06-18
  8. Helpful (27)

    "Bad management, high turnover rate"

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

    I worked at TPP full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Lot's of great perks, free tap every Friday, international travel, high salary, etc. A lot of people working there are very nice, especially coders, they are very friendly, and there are a lot of activities outside of work, such as board game night and hiking, I still miss them.

    Cons

    They don't have an appropriate training system, they like to "train on the job". People can be very mean to you if you make mistakes on things that you had never been told how to do. Management swears a lot. I don't want to say too much, but almost every week, we would receive an email about someone leaving the company. An amazing company wouldn't have such a high turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of trying so hard to recruit new people and wasting all the time and resources on that, why don't you take a minute and think about what's wrong with you? Why are you keep losing the top graduates you hire from all around the UK? Work harder to keep talent, keep them happy, keep them feeling valued and respected.

    TPP2019-04-13
  9. Helpful (6)

    "I am currently working at TPP full-time."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Specialist in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    TPP care about people. I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin and experienced so much love and appreciation for just being me. Staff at TPP want you to succeed. You are able to interrupt any meeting or pull someone out of a room at any time to get the advice or support you need. This way of working is a little strange at first but once you get used to it, it makes perfect sense. Why hover outside a room... when you can just walk in and get the person or answers you need. It makes work extremely efficient. You get the opportunity to say what you would really like to be working on. If you are passionate about a particular development or would like to improve certain products that are not currently on projects, you can raise this in a team meetings. We all have a say in how the company and products evolve. If you are unhappy about something at TPP, all you have to do is tell the right person and they will make a change to improve this for everyone in the company. I have personally requested some improvements to expenses and internal processes that now benefit the entire company. The working hours and social activities are fantastic at TPP. Throughout the year we have different events such as sailing around the British Virgin Islands, pub quizzes, walks, darts competitions and festival type parties just to name a few. TPP go big at these events and spare no expense to make sure we are spoilt rotten. The pay and benefits are far beyond what I thought I could achieve. I get 30 days of holiday a year plus 2 weeks off at Christmas and an annual (all expenses paid) sailing trip for a week. I don't work weekends or bank holidays. This amount of holiday and personal time is just amazing. Directors are inspirational.

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    Cons

    Due to the nature of the job, sickness, holidays etc. You can sometimes be put on projects with a short deadline that you may not know a lot about. You have a little panic moment and go into full TPP mode which is, ask everyone around you for help. You then start to feel a lot better. Once you complete the task you get that senses of achievement which I personally find addictive. It's just how we work and you get... used to it.

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    TPP2019-03-07
  10. Helpful (85)

    "Know what you're getting into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I was a Software Developer at TPP for over 5 years and, whilst there were many positives for me during that time, it is ultimately not a place I would recommend unless you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. That’s not the same as saying that I regret my time there (I don’t) it just means that in order to stay long-term you will increasingly have to compromise on things that you will likely not be... comfortable with. I don't regret leaving, either. I wondered whether to bother leaving a review at all, especially given that it will probably be discredited as “just another bitter ex-employee”, but I think it’s important to share my perspective – especially given how often Glassdoor was mentioned during my time at TPP. For the record, I don’t agree with everything that's said in other negative reviews - I think there are plenty that are overly harsh and one-sided. The same is true of many of the 5-star ones too, however, which massage some of the facts and deliberately leave out the negatives (except for the stock phrase "sometimes it can be stressful" - is that seriously your best attempt at balance?) I hope that by leaving a well-balanced account of my experiences, I can help to explain why the reviews on here are so polarised and seemingly contradictory. So, here are the pros and reasons why I stayed: • Learning to code. I started with 0 experience and so, outdated as the technologies are, it was still all new to me. I would say that for at least the first couple of years I was actively learning and engaged by what I was working on. After this it became more hit-and-miss, but there were still highlights amongst the more tedious tasks. The learning (at a high level) did come to a rather abrupt halt, though. • The people. It's true that most people you work with are just wonderful. Intelligent, committed to helping you out and a pleasure to hang out with both within and outside of the workplace. I will remain firm friends with lots of them, including a handful still working there. • The perks. At times where I was feeling my enthusiasm for the company wain, things like upcoming sailing trips, office parties and pay reviews were the sorts of things that made you think "ah, I'll stick it out a bit longer". The pay is obscene and will only continue to rise, and the sailing trips really were the envy of all my friends for a few years! Those who have been there 10+ years will be on obscene salaries that they couldn't help to match elsewhere. Ultimately, though, towards the end the main thing that kept me was: • Inertia. Leaving a job is a big decision, and I think people are surprisingly good at compartmentalising and justifying away their concerns. It's just easier to let the weeks go by rather than drawing your line in the sand and saying, finally, "enough is enough". I became very good at cognitive dissonance in the last few years of my time there, and I think those who stay longer must have it completely mastered!

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    Cons

    I think a lot of these cons will become easier to understand if they are framed in the right way, so I'm just going to be blunt and say it: TPP is Frank's personal playground. He is the sole CEO and has full autonomy. On top of this, he is aware that the company needs very few employees to function - he's even bragged as much in whole company meetings. Just a handful of helpdesk staff and a few developers to keep... the UK system ticking over is all that's required to keep the money flooding in. Hence no one is indispensable, and anyone can go from his number 1 employee to fired with one "wrong" move. With that said, onto some specifics: • The turnover rate is just not normal, and I have numbers to bear this out. I kept track of the comings and goings of developers, at first just to prove to myself that 'everything was ok', and later out of morbid curiosity when it became clear that they really weren't. I'm not allowed to share these in great detail (against the community guidelines), but I can say that I saw more than 90 developers leave or get fired during my time there. I calculated that the overall retention for software developers over the course of my employment was a mere 32.9%. Anecdotally speaking, it's even worse for other teams - I can only think of about 5 analysts who are still there from when I started - but I don't have precise numbers. I can also say that many developers who left within the last few years were very experienced - many over 5 years, in some cases over 10. This definitely doesn’t add up to a “growing company” (quite the opposite - the coding team was substantially smaller when I left than it was when I started), nor does it fit with the defence of “occasionally we get it wrong, but the majority don’t leave”. Something more is going on here! Why is there no outcry from those still there, then? Well, like all companies, sometimes people *are* fired from TPP legitimately, and the clever thing they do is to get others involved in this process as early in their career as possible. It contributes to an ‘inner circle’ feeling that they propagate in those they want to keep, as well as helping to justify away the horrific leaver rate in that person’s mind. Once you’ve been a part of the decision to fire someone due to legitimate performance concerns, it becomes very easy to assume the same process is being followed in all other cases (it isn’t). Cognitive. Dissonance. • Sexism and racism from the CEO. It does go on, and it does get ignored on a regular basis. People say “oh, that’s just Frank” and shrug it off like he’s making harmless comments, but in doing so they are just covering their backs and becoming part of the problem. It’s particularly bad at office parties once alcohol gets involved, but even outside of these settings inappropriate comments get made and nobody calls him out on it. He made a joke about Harvey Weinstein at a Christmas party – apparently completely missing the point that trivialising abuse towards women is precisely the reason people like that can get away with it for so long. And it’s not just sweeping statements in speeches – I’ve heard vulgar remarks made towards individuals about their appearance, or what he would like to do with/to them, and so on. He will proudly boast about being sexually attracted to many of his employees. The company will retort by asking where are the lawsuits? But as more and more of these stories come to light (Phillip Green, most recently), it’s clear that it isn’t that simple – in most cases, people will simply lack evidence to make it any more than a he-said, she-said scenario. Not to mention the huge social stigma attached with filing a case in the first place – it’s easy to see why it might not happen even under really awful circumstances. • Micromanagement. It is said that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and yet this is exactly what TPP do. There are regular long meetings on such exciting topics as: o Why aren't the coders getting through enough work? o Why are new coders leaving - are they getting enough help/support? The discussions, and ultimate 'solutions', that are put forth in these meetings are always the same and never work. If we want the coders to work faster, they need to be more selfish and less distracted. They just need to "try harder". But, someone might say, I spent my whole morning helping new people on my team - that's ok, right? No, that's not what we discussed - we need to get through more work - that's the most important thing! So now new starters are getting fired or leaving, and we're in the meeting about that. Who has a guilty conscience about not helping new people well enough? About not taking enough time to make sure they understood and were picking things up? Hands are raised. This is unacceptable! New coders must be looked after - that's the most important thing! No one ever clocks the contradiction, or if they do they ignore it, and so the cycle repeats. This is just one example of many. I was talking to some ex-colleagues the other day who mentioned that the "coder work rate" discussions were back in full force and I had to suppress a smile - I really won't miss them! • Outdated coding practises, and a resistance to changing this that comes from the very top. Other reviews would seem to contradict this - they talk a lot about their ethos of “if you don’t like something, change it” - but this at best a lie of omission. It’s something that’s easily believed, because it really does go on (at a small scale) all the time. I would often move to new teams and observe something that I thought should be changed about the way we were working, and it was easy enough to make a change and give it a go. But – and it’s a big but – this stops very suddenly (and quite unpredictably) if you try to do something that Frank disagrees with. This includes most attempts to modernise their coding practices – trying to introduce industry standard approaches such as code reviews or unit testing are simply a no-go, regardless of overwhelming evidence for them being good ideas. Frank cannot stomach them, I think largely because they’re not his own ideas and because he can’t see past his belief that TPP are at the “bleeding edge”. They’re not, for what it’s worth – if you have a computer science background or have done coding before, you will find working at TPP very strange. People who put these ideas forward either back down and admit that they were “mistaken” (bowing down to a mixed bag of logical fallacies and woolly thinking), or they stick to their guns and get fired.

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    Advice to Management

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing meaningful I can write here. You know exactly what you’re doing and I suspect, unfortunately, it will continue to work. With a fresh management team this place has the potential to be a fantastic job for life, but until then it only succeeds in creating the temporary illusion of one. Short of a cosmic shift in attitude, nothing significant will change and employees will continue to be... a disposable resource at the whim of the CEO. A real shame.

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    TPP2018-12-10
Found 158 reviews
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