I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 10 years)
Having been here a very long time it would be easy to say things have become humdrum - but they haven't! Quite the contrary, we're now entering probably the most exciting time I've ever seen at the company. We've set our minds to and opened up some fantastic opportunities in the past 12-18 months that'll not only propel the company further, but promise to be very challenging and inspirational.
Of course, the salary and perks are fab, but I'm somewhat used to that by now. What I find really unique is the quality of the people I work with, everyone from the newest to my oldest colleagues is super bright and dedicated to the work we're doing, which just makes the work day a breeze, even though we have to work on some really hard and stressful stuff. In fact, the newest starters are the ones that constantly amaze me - they're definitely quicker and brighter than me! Luckily there's enough new stuff for me to learn and try so I'm not quite obsolete.
I like that we've managed to hold on to the startup vibe but also have a great work-life balance.
In summary, the pros are: assorted (many!) perks excellent, working on something that is really going to make a massive positive difference for the world, working with people who share the same mindset, and still being able to develop into new roles.
Scraping the barrel here really, but...
The flat hierarchy means there's a lot of responsibility on everyone, so you can spend a lot of time worrying about things that you're not directly working on, or end up knackered from thinking about 10 different things in a day.
Being away from home and some of the longer journeys can be draining, but we do stay in comfortable places and get time off in return so I can't really complain too much.
I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 8 years)
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.
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.
I have been working at TPP full-time
It’s great working somewhere you can have an impact from day one, and it’s even better when that impact is improving the NHS and other healthcare systems around the world. It’s meaningful, and it’s significant, and it adds a vocational element coming to work that you don’t get in a lot of similar jobs.
We collectively decide on our strategy and what projects we want to work on, and the teams get behind those decisions because they’ve been involved in them and believe in them. So you can come up with an idea, back up its merits with some solid rationale, and all of a sudden there’s five, ten, twenty people working to make that idea a reality. And then all of a sudden thousands of healthcare professionals are benefiting from your idea. I’m over-simplifying but you get the gist. The gist is good.
I think that’s what it boils down to for me. Yes, the pay is good, and yes, the perks are good, but I could be an investment banker and eat bacon sandwiches on a catamaran whenever I wanted. If you want to make a positive impact, this is the place to be.
Not a lot to be honest
I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 5 years)
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.
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.
I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 8 years)
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.
We can do so much more at home and internationally if we had more staff.
I have been working at TPP full-time
The work matters - improving healthcare. The job is always stimulating and challenging. The people are super-bright and fun to work with.
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
I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 5 years)
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.
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.
I worked at TPP full-time (More than 5 years)
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!
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.
I worked at TPP full-time
Very intensive work, always busy
Horrible management team - they always try to belittle the staff
I have been working at TPP full-time (More than 3 years)
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.
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.
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