Vulcan Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Vulcan Reviews

Updated 26 Aug 2019

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Found 100 reviews

3.3
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
60%
Recommend to a Friend
79%
Approve of CEO
Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf
Bill Hilf
22 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good benefits and small turnover rate(in 11 reviews)

  • "Health benefits are comparable to other tech companies (but slowly getting scaled down), 401K matching is 50% to your max(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Some areas seem to have better work/life balance than others - but such is the risk with such a diverse organization working on such different projects(in 11 reviews)

  • "Upper management plays favorites(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Interesting Projects"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vulcan full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The philanthropic technology devision had the most interesting projects that I have ever worked on. It was a great opportunity to be creative and solve problems that made a difference in the world.

    Cons

    Not too many but there were some managers who were more receptive to ideas from the engineers than others. Trust the engineers who are working on the products to incorporate some of the ideas that were discovered while working with customers.

    Vulcan2019-08-26
  2. "Lead Deckhand"

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

    I worked at Vulcan full-time

    Pros

    Everything was brilliant, happy memories

    Cons

    Nothing negative to say about the company

    Vulcan2019-07-06
  3. "Fun and Inventive Workspace"

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

    I have been working at Vulcan full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great people, the work is different every day, the management team is supportive, the benefits are good, the work schedule is good, communication is great, easy to commute, lots of great perks, fun events, they take good care of their employees and really care about work/life balance

    Cons

    I'm happy with everything so far!

    Vulcan2019-07-03
  4. Helpful (27)

    "You And Me Could Write a Bad Bromance"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. When people were interested in coming to work at Vulcan I told them, “It’s cool because you work on crazy stuff. It’s awful because you get to work on crazy stuff.” I worked on some crazy stuff. Drones and VR and machine learning. It’s a tech playground. It was great for my career to dabble in cutting edge technology. It makes people notice my resume. It forced... me to think outside the box. I am grateful for my time at Vulcan.

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    Cons

    I’m also very happy to have left. Vulcan lacks paying customers. Without that simple but powerful force, it is hard to keep a company pointed toward true north. In my five years in the tech department, it had about three name changes and 4-6 leadership changes. With each regime change I would feel a new sense of hope. “This guy (note: always a guy) seems like he understands business. He’s not just interested in... creating a wacky invention, but he wants to make products for actual human beings.” Inevitably, users would fall to the wayside and we would ultimately build something for a white guy sitting in an ivory tower. While Mr. Allen had good intentions and creative ideas, he often wanted a cutting edge engineering solution to a big humanitarian problem. The non-engineering solutions were too dull. But the engineering solutions were often out of touch. One thing was consistent: the worker bees were passionate about making something amazing and functional. Similar to Mr. Allen, they wanted to make a big impact in people’s’ lives. They researched ways to make science fiction come to life. They are smart, kind, creative, sharing people. However, the people who get promoted spout empty promises. They strut in like Donald Trump, fabricating business models and customer needs. In some ways, it's hard to fault these leaders. When there is no business, then lying with flourish is the best way to personally survive. If they can’t be successful by making a sale, then success has to come from a bloated sense of self worth. In the last regime change, things have gone slightly differently. The customer we designed for was no longer Paul Allen but instead a nonexistent customer who wants futuristic products at a reasonable price. In trying to productize Paul’s ideas, they are taking something developed in a lab and trying to make it a commodity, underfunding any R&D that would maintain differentiation. Leadership isn’t taking a strong stance in any direction: - If it truly wanted to build products, it would expand the team size to function comparably to a competitor. Right now, teams of 2-10 people are trying to create a full scale business. - If it wanted to operate as a tech transfer office, it would partner with major companies. Instead, it keeps its tech development under wraps. - If it wanted to be a Google X, it would focus on R&D and build truly futuristic product prototypes and not worry about making a sale. Vulcan doesn’t know what it is. It never has. It always sat in a technological purgatory, partially because I don’t think Mr. Allen cared enough to commercialize. Without Paul Allen, it loses a leader that had a sci-fi imagination. That might be a good thing since his ideas never touched the ground. It might be a bad thing because there are no longer any ideas. Right now, it is trying to commoditize futuristic ideas for an imaginary customer. Best of luck.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    You have a bias against women and non-egotistical men. Get some training to figure out why you favor the opinions of loud mouth men. Find someone to point out your biases. The company is bleeding women in particular.

    Vulcan2019-02-06

    Vulcan Response

    February 12, 2019Vulcan

    Thank you for your feedback

  5. Helpful (2)

    "It all depends on what department/team you join"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great compensation package, hires the smartest and most experienced people in the field. Health benefits are comparable to other tech companies (but slowly getting scaled down), 401K matching is 50% to your max. Plenty of snacks located on every floor + a soda fountain. The parties are always over the top and lots of fun-- especially the Halloween and Christmas Party. Commuting to ID is very convenient especially if... you take the Sounder in (Free ORCA Pass). Excellent views of the waterfront, city, and Olympics on a clear day.

    Show More

    Cons

    Rotation of the snacks is infrequent with a heavy concentration of healthy dehydrated fruit/vegetables/mixes. Needs to catch up on childcare benefits in comparison to other tech companies. FSA is not enough.

    Advice to Management

    Bill Hilf is great, looking forward to seeing where he steers Vulcan!

    Vulcan2019-03-05
  6. Helpful (6)

    "Loved it for a time, but it's become a frustrating place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Vulcan full-time

    Pros

    I've had the chance to work on interesting and fulfilling projects

    Cons

    Some disrespectful people in key leadership positions are contributing to employee disengagement Lack of transparency Poor communication

    Vulcan2018-12-01

    Vulcan Response

    December 5, 2018Vulcan

    Thank you for the feedback.

  7. Helpful (13)

    "Diversity is being pushed out"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Occasional tickets to see movies Cinerama.

    Cons

    We lost another great one. I’m not sure how many more people of color and women we can lose before HR wakes up. There was a recent training that talked about unconscious bias, what about the bigger issue, the company doesn’t support diversity. Several have spoken with HR for support or help to no avail and in some cases ended up being forced out. They are going to continue to leave or be forced out until someone... admits there is an issue. Unless you fit the mold from 10 years ago your ideas and opinions are not valued.

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    Advice to Management

    Find a way to keep top talent, the diversity will help grow and innovate.

    Vulcan2018-11-20

    Vulcan Response

    November 20, 2018Vulcan

    Thank you for the feedback.

  8. "Project Manager"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Challenging projects to run to completion

    Cons

    Change is constant so if you struggle with change it can be frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    continue to push boundaries

    Vulcan2018-11-06

    Vulcan Response

    November 20, 2018Vulcan

    Thank you. We will continue to push boundaries.

  9. Helpful (6)

    "Weak sr mgmt but good staff and environment"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vulcan full-time

    Pros

    Excellent group of people and available resources. Work life balance is good. The culture of work hard and play hard is alive and well. Advancement happens but only for the select few who are favorites of senior management or "in the club".

    Cons

    Senior leadership is absent. We don't hear about successes probably because they are not making much progress on the company goals. Just a lot of reorging and cost controls. There are few stellar executives (most have been here for years) but virtually all of the recent hires in the last two years are mediocre at best.

    Vulcan2018-09-06

    Vulcan Response

    September 10, 2018Vulcan

    Thank you for your feedback.

  10. Helpful (6)

    "Free, free, free at last."

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vulcan full-time

    Pros

    Reasonable compensation, good benefits, great co-workers.

    Cons

    Don't expect to have a personal life, nor employment security. You'll be subject to the whims of the Owner and management. Upper level management talks a good game about the value of employees and employee empowerment. Talk is apparently cheap. In actual practice a culture of intimidation and quick termination exists within mid-level management, and HR backs them up.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure mid-level management actually adheres to company policy, allows employees to have a voice and that the practice of "my way or the highway" is prohibited.

    Vulcan2018-09-17
Found 100 reviews