Pros: fast paced, exciting
I won't lie, working at SpaceX isn't for everyone. It requires both capability as well as a stern willingness. There is a great deal of responsibility placed on everyone. We're still too small a company with too much work for poor performers to hide in the numbers. Greater still, is the rule to always get the job done. Every company I've worked for had this 'rule', but SpaceX has actually provided the management/environment to allow for this statement to be possible.
They have removed almost all of the stops which get in the way of every motivated engineer. There will always be 'hoops' to jump through, but they all serve legitimate roles, it isn't chaos in here.
Since I arrived here 6 months ago, I have, without exaggeration, accomplished more legitimate work and made a larger impact on the tasks at hand, than I had in the previous 3 years at jobs with other '5S' and 'streamlined' companies. While the pace is ferocious, everyone's willingness to make changes rapidly allow us to correct problems and move on. Other jobs would ponder and debate the merit of fixing a known issue.
Most importantly, I have enjoyed working here. I rarely work fewer than 12 hours a day simply because the job can always be stimulating. The typical employee here is not average. They are the greatest collection of legitimate, hardworking, brilliant, well-rounded engineers I've ever known. I have yet to meet an employee here whom didn't simply impress me or lack in capability. There are no weak links, and that feeling has instilled confidence in every task I do or hand-off to someone. They are all thinkers, – more... all willing to ask questions, will figure it out on their own, is capable of making a decision, won't take suggestions personally (most of the time), and no one hides or plays the blame game when something goes wrong. Everyone jumps on the grenade and fixes the problem together. Simply amazing.
I gave a low rating to the Work/Life balance because it is VERY easy to get sucked into and do nothing but work and the rest of your life will suffer. These are sacrifices which you must honestly be willing to make from time-to-time. It isn't constant though.
Technology like this won't manifest itself, it takes honest hard work; but, working here you know, feel, witness, and experience that work make an immediate difference. – less