The 5 Worst Things About Working at Pythian

Mar 13, 2014 / By Fahd Mirza

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Have you ever seen an employee post negatively about their company using his or her real name? If not, then you are about to for the first time — you can count that as number 1 out of the 5 worst things about working at Pythian. There are several great reasons to work at Pythian, but if I write about those things, many would brush it aside as unctuous. I think people want to know the dirt, and I’m here to tell you about it. Let’s look at the remaining 4 worst things about working at Pythian:

2. Like many other companies, Pythian encourages and pays for its employees to attend and present at technical conferences. But how many companies spoil their employees by allowing them to enjoy them at the same time?  For instance, during conferences Pythian provides quality opportunities to socialize and network.

3. If you work at Pythian, then you are very good at what you do, which means you are in big trouble. Why? Pythian will make sure you remain with them even if you switch continents. Here I am—still with Pythian— even after moving from Asia to Australia.

4. When was the last time your boss told you to take a vacation? Not only do my bosses at Pythian insist I take time off, they help me plan my holiday. In a previous job, I worked five straight years without a break — not even statuatory holidays let alone a vacation, and nobody noticed. I admit, I’m a terrible workaholic and I brought that habit with me to Pythian. Now I have my boss and my family chalking out the days I should take off.

5. This last one is the worst… I call it Pythian’s zero-gravity culture. There is nothing at Pythian that pulls you down, and nothing that holds you back. Nothing prevents you from being innovative, making changes, and suggesting improvements. You are free to let your inner force propel you.

Some may argue that none of these points are actually negative. Rather, to some they are a dream come true. However, I consider them problematic because now there is no way I could work anywhere else. I could look for something better, or at least similar, but the truth is that there is no place like Pythian.

7 Responses to “The 5 Worst Things About Working at Pythian”

  • Michael Dinh says:

    No vacation time? I did not see you at my last company. I cashed out 5+ weeks of vacation when I left and it was a nice lump sum. Used the proceed to purchase 50% of the stock options grant now waiting for an IPO.

  • Fahd,

    What position do you hold at Pythian? I believe that your company has consultants who travel and remote DBAs that work from home or an office and I’m curious which one you are doing or if you are doing something else.

    – Bobby

    • Fahd is on a team of remote DBA consultants and working from home. When you are in services and interact with clients all the time — you’ve gotta be a consultant, at least a little bit. There is no separation on “behind the scene” vs client-facing DBAs at Pythian.

  • Marco says:

    Hello Fahd,
    Thanks for an informative blog post.
    I am considering applying to Pythian in Sys admin (SRE) team.

    I have a few questions:

    How large are the teams?

    What kind of shift work is required if any?

    If there is on-call then how does it work?

    How long does an average support issue take?

    I read in another post that the time logging really stresses people out, how bad is this? In a given day, if 8 hours of time is not logged then what happens (someone gets in trouble?)?

    What’s the general process of working a support ticket?
    I assume something like 1. start the timer 2. start working 3. finish work 4. stop timer 5. take a break ? Is point 5 (take a break) even allowed or you immediately go back into the queue.

    Other than this report timer and ticket documentation, what else are people working on throughout the day? Work on some sort of daily activity report which is sent to team lead? If so how detailed is this report? What else does a Sysadmis/OP work on which has more to do with reporting time and work rather than work itself?

    I hope you understand I am trying to gauge whether this is the right fit for me or not.

    Thanks for your help!
    Marco

  • Shane says:

    Oh man, how ever do they keep employees which such harsh requirements. I know i could never, not be intrusted in such awful conditions. Vacations and family time are so over rated.

    I hope they keep being so tough on their staff…

    Good people do good work regardless of the conditions, good people turn in to great people when they get energized by what they do and respond to positive energy from those around them. Sounds like these guys figured it out.

    • Alex Geerts says:

      “Good people do good work regardless of the conditions, good people turn in to great people when they get energized by what they do and respond to positive energy from those around them.” Wow, well put!

      • shane says:

        I doubt my diversified cv is focused enough as either a dba or sys admin to have to worry about such a stifling Employer as pythian. Still lots of great info in the blog posts. Back to reading and hoping for some more enlightening posts

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