US Naval Research Laboratory Software Engineer Reviews

Updated 22 Jul 2019

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4.0
90%
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US Naval Research Laboratory Commanding Officer Scott D Moran
Scott D Moran
0 Rating
  1. "Cozy job with good benefits"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, pay, and a quiet work environment.

    Cons

    It can stink occasionally and the facilities aren't the best.

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  2. "High skilled place of work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Computer Software Engineer, Applications in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good, steady good with lots of interesting, cutting edge research happened on the base. Comptuers and networks are always kept up to date

    Cons

    With many gov work, pace can be slow and there are pockets of busy and boring months when nothing much happens.

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  3. "Great place to intern through NREIP program, very helpful supervisors (Computer Science)"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer Summer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory for more than a year

    Pros

    - When I was there, schedule was pretty flexible. - Transit access - There were a few events/BBQs over the summer that were pretty good - The summer I went they would let you on base for 4th of July fireworks right along the river, which is a cool view. - The mentor I had was really supportive and helpful - NRL takes a lot of NREIP interns so there will probably be other interns to chill with - You may end up getting hired again for the next summer as well. - Great work/life balance, as well as good worker's rights as it is a government job

    Cons

    - Pay for 1st year interns as of 2017 may not be competitive, especially if you're paying for housing too. Returning intern and graduate student pay is pretty good though. - Some projects are more interesting than others - Some projects require security clearance (and therefore US Citizenship) in order to work on them, most at NRL were unclassified though. - You're a contractor which means you have to pay self-employment tax and you don't get government benefits.

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  4. Helpful (2)

    "Can be terrible or could be great, based on the team you work with."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Flexible hours -Very relaxed atmosphere -A few very talented people -Some teams are excellent to work with -Hard to get fired

    Cons

    Unfortunately a lot of the pros lend themselves to the cons as well. While there are some very talented people who work at the NRL, there are only a few that stay for a long period of time. What you're left with are smart people who become lazy and disinterested with time and a lot of people not qualified for their job. On a side note I worked there for years and only spoke with my supervisor a handful of times. There was little to no direction on any of the projects both my coworkers and I worked on. The lack of communication wasted a lot of time and effort and helped me realize how much money our government is willing to throw away by not laying out a game plan and communicating it. Ultimately my experience was disappointing and helped me decide to stay in the private sector for the rest of my career. Also, may be a big deal depending on your personality, but this place is more clique oriented than most other jobs I've had.

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  5. "Software Engineering Research Intern at NRL"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer Research in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory

    Pros

    The people you work with are very nice and smart. The work hours are flexible. You can come in as late as 11am as long as you put in 8 hours. This is a good place to get research experience outside of your university. You get to work with full time researchers who do nothing but research 8 hours a day 40 hours a week. I didn't get any publications out of it as I only worked for 3 months, but I do know people who interned there longer and were able to get publications from it. This was also helpful experience to get me into a phd program (as I was a master's student). My supervisor gave me a good letter of rec. This also helped me get an NSF Fellowship. The reviewers even mentioned it as impressive in their comments. Another intern I worked with during the same summer also received an NSF Fellowship the same time as me. It is a very good place to work.

    Cons

    No one worked there who knew the code base that I needed to work in, and there was no documentation. They did give me time to learn it before programming new features into it. My supervisor and other researchers there did not do any of their own programming so they couldn't help on programming questions or anything like that. Luckily, I was good enough in Java to not need any help. There was a C++ backend, and luckily they did not ask me to modify that. The NRL campus is not an easy place to get to by public transportation. It's off a highway near Bowlings Air Force Base. And sometimes the air smells terrible as it is up wind from a water treatment plant.

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  6. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory

    Pros

    Great flexibility in what you are allowed to do if you have the initiative. I saw various problems that needed to be fixed / improved in my organization and I did it. No BS. The improvements made has improved the quality of life for my development team. Management is supportive of career development. I've never been denied training etc. due to schedule or budget pressure. We try to get on-site training for new tools and equipment whenever it makes sense.

    Cons

    Well the lab is part of the federal government and with that comes a lot of baggage. The purchasing department is insane. It takes 6 - 8 months for something ordered to come in and that is after you fill out all kinds of paperwork. While NRL is a large organization each team / project is run like an individual business unit. Which means that each team / project has to develop its own support structure. So that means that each individual team has its own software development guidelines, its own servers, its own development tools etc. This is expensive and inefficient.

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  7. "Provided me with an amazing opportunity"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory for less than a year

    Pros

    Great flexibility in hours I was treated as an employee, not an intern.

    Cons

    Working for a government agency has it's inherit challenges

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