TPP Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

TPP Reviews

Updated 8 February 2019
154 reviews

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3.7
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TPP CEO Frank Hester
Frank Hester
102 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Be able to make a difference from day one - the best idea is always the one taken forward, not the idea from the person who has worked here longest" (in 9 reviews)

  • "The flat hierarchy means you have a say in what you work on" (in 15 reviews)

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

  • "It is also worth pointing out that coders get time spent working late back, as no one can be expected to work too many hours" (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "TPP has given me the perfect balance between a career I'm proud of and a healthy family life."

    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 5 years)

    Pros

    I've seen a few reviews on here claiming that TPP targets naive graduates that don't understand what a normal workplace should be like, but I can't stress just how misguided I feel those reviews are.
    I worked for a fair few companies before joining TPP, so I'm no stranger to the workplace, but I have never been treated with so much respect as here at TPP - I was trusted with opportunities within my first few months at TPP that I was never given even after years with other employers.
    As long as you put 100% into the work your given, you will very quickly gain further responsibilities and recognition and this will even translate into your annual pay reviews which are the most generous I have ever known - I'm now earning more money for my family than I ever dreamt I would.
    With family in mind, the working hours mean I'm never away from them more than I should be. In other places of work, I experienced a culture of 'the first person in and the last person out is the hardest working'. That doesn't happen at TPP, your hard work is recognised within the hours of 8:30 - 5:15, times outside of this are for you and your family (apart from the very rare emergency occurances, we are in the healthcare business and lives can be at stake if we aren't on the ball).
    All staff at TPP are great, directors are approachable, HR are friendly and available whenever you need them for whatever reason, it's a great approach to an open and trusting working environment and makes a huge difference to moral.
    TPP has also given me a confidence in myself that I never had before. I vividly remember my interview with the TPP directors (I'd had a bit of a mind block on one of the questions and thought I'd blown my chances) where they told me 'don't worry about your confidence, it's something that you will build very quickly here'. They were right- thanks to the aforementioned responsibilities and recognition that's part of everyday life at TPP, I have faith in my own abilities to get a job done and to do it well.

    Cons

    We have a lot of work and not enough staff, this can make some days very busy and sometimes stressful - just know that your not alone and you have an entire team behind you that won't let you struggle alone.

    You may end up spending a portion of your time doing work that isn't part of your core duties (such as recruitment) - some people will see this as a con, but in reality it is us all chipping in to help the company grow, which benefits us all.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes a bit more structure can be a good thing, especially when it comes to helping new starters. A more structured training programme might give new graduates the headstart they need to settle quicker and take the edge of the first few days (which is always a little scary no matter where you're working)

    ADVICE TO POTENTIAL APPLICANTS:
    If you're still not sure if TPP is right for you, please come speak to us at our recruitment events to get a better picture of the company. Staff at the events will be a mixture of new starters and experienced members so you will get a balanced view from them.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Best career decision I ever made"

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

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I honestly have so much to thank TPP for. They have given me given me a rewarding career, a fantastic salary and they are the only company I have worked for that have a genuine interest in progressing your career.

    Socially - This company is amazing - absolutely amazing. Tell me any other company that rewards employees with yearly sailing trips to the Caribbean, treats you to £200 on you birthday, pays for a tab in the bar every Friday. If i'm stressed out - I'll leave and go for a massage. I have used the private medical/dental insurance more times than I care to remember. The holiday entitlement is unbelievable too.

    At work - You work hard, you have to be switched on all the time, you can be juggling different tasks at the same time - you can't really have a lazy day (maybe its not really for every one) but I personally don't want to work somewhere where I am bored or checking the clock for the end of the day. I work somewhere that is making a difference to the lives of millions of people everyday.

    I can list the many other positive points that other people have listed - or I can dismiss all of the negative points that other people have listed but my advice is to check it out for yourself.

    Cons

    We can do so much more at home and internationally if we had more staff.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Rewarding work with great people"

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

    I have been working at TPP full-time

    Pros

    The work matters - improving healthcare. The job is always stimulating and challenging. The people are super-bright and fun to work with.

    Cons

    Sometimes the work can be stressful but this is minimised by sharing problems with everyone. For the most part there’s a healthy level of pressure, which is largely self imposed.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good career choice"

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

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    For me, working at TPP was the best career choice I could have made. I have learnt so much working here, I've gained skills I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn in previous jobs and I genuinely enjoy the work. I'm always busy, my weeks go so fast and there is always something interesting to get stuck into. The experience I've had allows me to help newer members of the team and support them, whilst still learning things everyday myself! As well as the work the pay is great, good holidays including Xmas, sailing trips and travel to places I never thought I would.

    Cons

    It's busy and I find it hard to manage my time sometimes. There can be too much work and not enough people at times in some teams.

    Advice to Management

    We need to recruit quicker and keep people happy and interested in the work.


  5. Helpful (45)

    "Know what you're getting into"

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

    I worked at TPP full-time (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!

    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.

    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.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Company is having success but poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Deployment Specialist in Leeds, England
    Former Employee - Deployment Specialist in Leeds, England
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    They offer good little perks such as early finish on a Friday and birthday meal allowance and free lunches every so often.

    Cons

    The benefits they offer to not outweigh the company culture and poor management.

    Advice to Management

    Do not publicly ridicule staff, if you have feedback at least have the decency to provide it in a meeting room.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "I enjoy my job - it’s very challenging and rewarding."

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

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Firstly, have I been forced to write this? Absolutely not. I’m writing this because I enjoy my job, and feel that my experience should be shared to counterbalance the somewhat negative reviews on here. Those reviews don’t reflect the company that I enjoy working for.

    You work with very bright people, all working on projects that genuinely make a positive impact to the world we live in. It sounds cheesy, but it’s so true.

    You are challenged. This can sound like a negative, but it’s not. It makes the work so much more worthwhile - you get so much more satisfaction out of solving a difficult problem than an easy one.

    You get to travel. That’s a massive plus for me, I enjoy visiting new countries and embracing different cultures. And when we are abroad we are very well looked after - we are actively encouraged to go to new cities, or do something cultural, on spare weekends. The company will pay for this, which is amazing. I appreciate, however, that travelling is not for everyone.

    I work very, very, very little overtime. We are all but thrown out of the office at 5:15 - there is no long hours culture. Work stays at work, and I get to enjoy my evenings and weekends.

    Cons

    The nature of the sector we are in means that there is some pressure - it’s healthcare and people’s lives we’re dealing with. But everyone is pulling in the same direction, and any problem is never just ‘your’ problem - it’s everyone’s. And everyone will help you.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Why would you want to work anywhere else?"

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

    I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Working for TPP is exciting. From the very start of my career I was given lots of responsibility and felt part of a community. My colleagues are like a second family to me. We have shared so many great experiences in the UK and across the globe. We are always contacting each other for advice and we want each other to succeed in any situation.
    I enjoy the opportunity to travelling and meet new people. The product SystmOne has over 20 modules in a range of healthcare settings. This could mean working in prisons, mental health units, emergency departments and hospitals just to name a few. The variation in work delivering training courses, demonstrations, representing the company at events in the UK and overseas means I’m never bored. I often login to the test environments to make sure I’m knowledgeable and confident in the product.
    I feel like I have everything and more in my career at TPP and I am very grateful for all the opportunities the company has offered me. The company has grown and changed so much in the last 10 years. I am excited about the future and can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will be like.
    The parties, sailing trips and Christmas holidays are also something special at TPP.

    Cons

    You can spend a lot of time revising and prepping for upcoming work. This might not be for everyone but I personally enjoy the challenge and get a buzz after completing a difficult presentation and knowing that I was knowledgeable in the subject.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Interesting and challenging"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TPP full-time

    Pros

    The work is interesting and challenging which prevents the job from ever being boring! There is always something to do and you’re never watching the clock.

    The staff are friendly and helpful. I’ve always found that Personnel and the Directors are there to talk / listen if you have a problem and need some help / advice.

    I’ve learnt a lot of things from the people around me at TPP and continue to learn every day.

    Cons

    It can get busy and stressful at times but I wouldn’t necessarily call that a con. I would rather be busy than bored.


  10. Helpful (21)

    "No longer for me"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TPP full-time

    Pros

    - Your co-workers are really intelligent.
    - The pay and benefits are great.
    - It's a good way into software development if you're really clever but have no experience.

    Cons

    I left out of choice, rather than being fired. Some of my reasons for leaving are:

    - The conduct of the CEO is at times fundamentally unacceptable, and made employees uncomfortable.
    - The technology is majorly outdated (Java 6, CVS). I started to worry about how employable I would be elsewhere.
    - No automated testing. Manual testing is tedious, time consuming and error prone. No interest in addressing this.
    - Key areas of the code base are a disaster waiting to happen. Fixing these areas was never prioritised.
    - Projects were disorganised and deadlines were decided before we even knew what was supposed to be delivered.
    - Micromanagement. Had to record time tasks would take on a whiteboard, inform senior management of individual tasks growing etc.
    - No flexitime or home working. No interest in introducing these things.
    - Potential for international travel didn't fit with my personal life.
    - I stopped learning new technical skills. Spent all my time fighting fires.
    - No experienced hires, only fresh graduates, resulting in no new ideas for how things should be done.
    - Senior coders spend little time writing code as they end up performing project manager/architect/tech lead type roles.
    - Training allowance replaced with an annual sailing trip, which while fun meant that no formal training was offered.

    Advice to Management

    I felt compelled to write this review to redress the balance after the recent influx of 5 star reviews. A large number of experienced developers left in the last 12 months I was there, and more besides are unhappy. Money isn't everything - people are prepared to be paid less if they feel valued, respected and properly supported.