Ravi Mohan's Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2007

FAQ (from my mail-box) #2 Should I apply to Thoughtworks and/or can you help me get in?

This is a question that comes up a lot.

My answer to questions of the form "Hi , I am ... my experience is ..... Do you think I should apply to Thoughtworks?" ( i can't imagine writing a letter like this to someone I've never met, but many people seem to think it is ok, so .. ) is

I have no clue! It is up to you to decide what your career should look like. In general, TW is a good company to work for if (a) you want to work on "agile" (b) you like to travel (more so if you are applying to the TW offices outside India) (c) you like working on enterprise systems (d) you are very good at whatever you do (coding, analysis, dba whatever).

TW is very un hierarchical (less so these days than before but still largely true) and if you are the type who measures your status by what your title says or how many people report to you then you should NOT apply. Oh yeah, you'll find the interviews either very tough or very easy. (Folks who are really good at what they do find the interviews easy. Those who are not, find them correspondingly tough or "unfair"). There are way less idiots in TW (India) compared to almost any company in Bangalore I know of (Google excluded), but there ARE a couple and if you face them in an interview that's your bad luck. Just move on.

In a nutshell, I will **not** reccomend people I don't know (It is amazing how many people ask me to do this). Just for context, I have reccomended exactly one person to TW (needless to say he is very very good) in the last 5 years (hi Sheroy!).

I left TW almost 3 years ago and have no inside information (and if I did I wouldn't share it with people I don't know). If you *have* worked with me in any capacity, please feel free to ping me and I can talk to you about whether TW would be a good fit for you (you'll have to buy me dinner/beer).

PS: the Thoughtworks India recruiting page is here.

I would like to point to the recruiting pages for the other offices , but some moron of a web developer has changed the Thoughtworks Home Page so it redirects to a "Select Country" page (wtf!). So I can't be bothered to find all of them and point to them, but in general, go the appropriate country's hiring page and apply online.


Anup said...

LOL Good writing makes you a celebrity, Ravi. And people's behaviour towards celebrity is something I never could understand.

Anonymous said...

There are way less idiots in TW (India) compared to almost any company in Bangalore I know of...

THere are idiots in the other TW offices?

Ravi said...


nice question. Of course there are idiots everywhere, but India, and especially Bangalore, has a special situation where every Tom Dick And Harry is a "software engineer". It doesn't help that Indian software folks are almost by definition hired not because they are good, but because they are cheap. The density of "idiots writing software" in India is way higher than in developed country.

but yes, your interpretation is a grammatically valoid way of interpreting that sentence. I need to write better. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Please recommend me to TW...Pluhleeeze
[on my knees :) ]
i will buy you beer and couple pass to mars !


Ravi said...

Heh heh :-)
OK! bring on the beer :-)

Kaushik said...

I have seen a lot of companies that were small and good places to work for but had some growing up pains and ended up losing some amount of their identity. How is TW coping up with its growth? Seems they have really ramped up quite a bit in the last couple of years.

Ravi said...

I wouldn't know in any great detail. I was in TW when it was in the 'small' stage. You probably need to talk to someone who has been there longer than me.