Naval Surface Warfare Center

www.navsea.navy.mil
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Naval Surface Warfare Center Reviews

Updated 12 April 2015
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3.3
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Engineer

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

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to work. Lots of advancement opportunities. Vast array of projects to support.

    Cons

    Located in small city with no major metropolitan areas within 5 hours. Somewhat of good old boys club mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Keep providing opportunities to young engineers. Show them they have a career path. Dont burn out the new guys and drive them away.

  2. Computer Scientist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Dahlgren, VA (US)

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing pay and great benefits (health care - including vision and dental). Coworkers are all generally pleasant people with their technical capability and quality ranging from amazing to bad. Work atmosphere is laid back and only as stressful as you make it.

    Cons

    NSWC Dahlgren is a great place to work at as long as you do not care about 2 things. 1) Maintaining or improving your technical sharpness/capability. 2) Actually producing a good quality, working product. You should not expect any satisfaction from what you are working on. Bureaucracy, red tape, and "government process" remove most (if not all) innovation, efficiency, and quality. You should expect to use 10-20 year old software development practices and 7+ year old tools and technologies. Project management is unbelievably poor and there is very little responsibility and accountability. High grade promotions are equally part seniority, part who you know, and part qualifications/resume based.

    Advice to Management

    The current work situation is very inviting to employees who just want to show up to work for 8 hours a day and not actually do/produce anything. As a result both the quality of the workforce and moral is degrading at a very rapid rate. Set expectations and deadlines and hold employees accountable. Get project managers with better technical leadership that can make good decisions to promote quality products.

  3. Great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Colleagues and boss were so helpful. They provided me a training. Even gave me some feedbacks on my resume.

    Cons

    Naval Surface Warfare site is in the isolated location, unfortunately.

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  5. Stagnant bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Student Trainee in West Bethesda, MD (US)
    Former Intern - Student Trainee in West Bethesda, MD (US)

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center as an intern (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -Solid pay
    -Generous leave and benefits
    -Good people (generally)
    -Flexible hours

    Cons

    -Virtually no accountability
    -Most of "work" day consists of complaining about how other people aren't doing their job
    -Outdated office technology and proceidures
    -Nothing gets done in a timely manner
    -Little recognition for hard work

    Advice to Management

    Give supervisors the ability to fire employees for under-performance, cut red tape, and push for a culture of excellence rather than one of mediocrity.

  6. Lab Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Equal opportunity employer in professional environment. Good benefits, TSP.

    Cons

    Requires some late evening and weekend shifts

  7. Great benefits but mediocre salary with TONS of red tape.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center

    Pros

    education benefits, most coworkers are dedicated to the mission, a LOT of time off.

    Cons

    salary, management, dead weight, all of the usual red tape you run into with big government

  8. Great Job, Crushing Bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -Coworkers are great (we're all in this together)
    -Flexible work schedule is great
    -Federal health benefits are tough to beat
    -Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) defined benefit plan
    -Opportunities for paid overtime abound
    -Most branch heads (bosses) are very easy-going and focused on maintaining work/life balance for all employees
    -Management is very accommodating to keep hard working performers happy by moving them to projects and assignments they are more interested in
    -Merit based pay system allows hard work to be rewarded with raises (continuing points) or incentive pay (bonus points)
    -Coming wave of retirement eligible baby-boomers will likely create many openings all around the organization

    Cons

    -Impossible to know how to advance in organization
    -Limited number of high grade positions limits possibility of advancing
    -On-the-spot awards have dried up with government budget issues
    -Pay freezes have stopped cost of living adjustments for last 5 years
    -New requirements, processes and paperwork have made purchasing ANYTHING an unholy nightmare
    -Whenever a deficiency is discovered in a process, the solution is ANOTHER process
    -Announcements for high grade positions are written with a specific person in mind
    -At times the day to day activities focus more on compliance with procedures and processes than with accomplishing the Mission of the Navy
    -Federal workers seem to be in the crosshairs for budget cuts

  9. Great Experience at NSWC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in West Bethesda, MD (US)
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in West Bethesda, MD (US)

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great, friendly, smart people. Fun and nice atmosphere/campus. Lots of meaningful collaboration on projects, working toward important goals.

    Cons

    Huge facility, part of a system of many, many other labs. Being part of a big, bureaucratic government organization can have its pitfalls when trying to get new software approved, communicate with another lab across the country about something, get internet access for an intern, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Update and modernize software. As a computer science intern, it could be very frustrating to have to code in outdated languages and versions of things.

  10. Wonderful Intern Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Bethesda, MD (US)
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Bethesda, MD (US)

    I worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Very friendly, very helpful and I learned a lot in the 22 weeks I spent there.

    Cons

    If you do not have a car, the bus works. But you are stuck to a bus schedule for your work schedule.

  11. Good but it could be better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Dahlgren, VA (US)

    I have been working at Naval Surface Warfare Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great benefits, work/life balance. The commute is easy.

    Cons

    Underpaid for amount of work/responsibilities. Too much bureaucracy. Limited promotional potential. Big old boy culture/mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Start promoting energetic employees with the experience/desire to fulfill high value positions.

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