Small No. 2: Wavestrike serves the nation with good benefits for its employees

When the Department of Defense or the U.S. intelligence community needs software to help complete their missions, WaveStrike is one of the firms they count on to help develop those tools.

“We want to make sure everybody in America is safe,” said Mike Wagner, Wavestrike’s chief technology officer. “We come to work every day and know that is our goal.”

Those who go to work for the Annapolis Junction-based company choose WaveStrike from among the many other cybersecurity firms because of the variety of opportunities available despite its small size, and because of the benefits that come with the job.

Every employee gets 25 paid days off (including sick leave) per year as one lump sum, plus four floating holidays, six paid scheduled holidays, and their birthday off. WaveStrike contributes 10 percent to their 401(k)s. There’s profit sharing, bonuses based on goals and performance, and referral bonuses for recruiting new hires. Social events, like making beer at a local brewery, provide entertaining ways to bring staff in from their contractors’ sites.

“That level of benefits is needed to attract the level of talent we want,” Wagner said. “It’s a competitive landscape in our industry. People with the necessary security-clearance levels are in strong demand.”

Steve Pipe came to WaveStrike in 2016 after 11 years in the industry working at large and small companies. He didn’t interview elsewhere; he knew Wagner already, had spoken to other employees, and was sold. Among the highlights: the company’s commitment to enhancing his skills.

“They encourage us to take a week of training each year to further our technical ability,” said Pipe, a senior software developer. “Other companies might say everybody gets a week, but sometimes it’s hard to get approval and funding.”

Pipe has also been allowed to set up an internship program, a pet project he’d enjoyed doing previously and wanted to continue at WaveStrike.

“That’s a big thing,” he said. “Smaller companies might not necessarily have much room for growth if you’re just a developer on a contract. Being able to create a program, bring in college talent, manage them and help them and the company grow is very motivating to me.”

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