Cerner

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Cerner Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 619 reviews

70% Approve of the CEO

Cerner Chairman, CEO & President Neal L. Patterson

Neal L. Patterson

(386 ratings)

66% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cerner takes a genuine interest in their employees and their families (work/life balance is important)(in 17 reviews)

  • Great place to start a carrier and build your resume(in 32 reviews)


Cons
  • Indian employees are treated like slaves, and never think of work life balance at all(in 63 reviews)

  • In hand is less than expected, some times high workload you have to work for long hours,(in 58 reviews)

619 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    The sky is the limit

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO (US)

    ProsMassive national and international growth, flexible, young, dynamic, creative culture. Lots of learning opportunities. Strategies aligned with industry and government trends, strong competitive advantages, exciting infrastructure expansion plans.

    ConsLack of diversity at leadership levels, mostly white males from the mid west. Compensation growth not comparable with Sylicon Valley's average justified by lower cost of living in Kansas City.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote more diversity amongst leadership positions to grow the pool of experiences, ideas and points of view.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Exciting company, bad department

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsCerner is absolutely on the forefront of the industry with amazing new ideas and technology. The benefits are also excellent (for young, healthy people, which is the vast majority of the company)

    ConsIn consulting, prepare to work your tail off and travel more than they tell you when they hire you, and prepare to be, well, not prepared for everything they ask of you

    Advice to Senior Managementtrust people more

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    A great place to start your career. This company will open the door for may other opportunities .

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsHonor system for sick days.
    Challenging.
    Young work force.

    ConsMore difficult to move up in AMS than in consulting.
    Work-life balance can be a struggle.
    Training "drink from the fire hose"

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    • Culture & Values
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    Experience heavily depends on your team

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO (US)

    Pros- free gym and cheap buy in for fitness/training programs with a pool at the world headquarters
    - Cerner hosts their own dev con and encourages on-site programming meetups and hack nights
    - Many developers are very talented and very enthusiastic about their work
    - On-site clinic and pharmacy at the innovations and WHQ campuses (don't know about others).
    - Fantastic people to work with if you get the right organization, but some organizations I have heard are terrible
    - excellent focus on education and learning, but if you don't get the hang of things after 6 months, things will turn sour fast. In most cases, this is good, but some systems are so complex that 6 months is not enough time even for very intelligent people (especially when it comes to their legacy applications).
    - cutting edge technologies if you are on the right team - Big Data technologies and newer dynamic web application languages such as Ruby and Python. JVM has a big presence at Cerner, which I like. Some teams are open to newer languages like Clojure and Scala.
    - new teams have decent documentation and put emphasis on on-boarding materials. Older teams, you will probably be asked to help create the documentation, as there is none.
    - Very very relaxed dress code. For all intents and purposes, wear what you want.

    Cerner is headed in the right direction on the Development side by trying to introduce Agile and SCRUM methodologies. There is high visibility to project progress to management, and this seems to be working well. Agile team environments are very social and friendly, and most people seem to be out of the workplace by 6 on most days.

    ConsI have been both on the IT side of software engineering here and the development side. The IT side has better hours but the stress is so high that it doesn't matter. Too many metrics to track, and the turnover rate was very, very high. People do not last long in IT support.

    Cerner forces all new employees to do on-site support at a client site within their first few months of employment without sufficient training in the software or with regard to job expertise. This makes the experience unpleasant both for the client and for the Cerner associate and is possibly one of the worst executed ideas I've seen anywhere at any company.

    As a developer, the work can be one of two things. Either you are working on cutting edge technologies and developing interesting informatics cloud based software, or you are in the ancient legacy applications that are full of incomprehensible spaghetti code containing methods that are hundreds of lines long and dependent upon the Cerner proprietary query language that the use in place of SQL. Some applications are not even capable of having a debugger hooked into them (or else that process has been forgotten), so troubleshooting must be done the old-school way of tracing the code manually.

    Across the board, advancement seems to be hard to come by. Some people get moved around too frequently to be a candidate for advancement. I'm not sure what logic Cerner follows to advance people. They claim that they follow some sort of performance analysis, but I have noticed that some architects are incompetent while others are incredibly knowledgeable. In some cases, I've seen devs fresh out of college catch gaping holes in the requirements that caused deadlines to be missed or forced the team to work over the weekend.

    Good engineers are generally under-appreciated or under-compensated by the company (which is reflected well in the pay range for software engineers listed on this site at the time of writing.), although individual managers seem to care a great deal about their employees.

    Time off is minimal. In support, expect to have to cover at least one major holiday a year, and expect that you will get a call. A sabbatical is offered if you stay long enough.

    Cerner claims that they value technical people, but technical architects are few and under-valued. People seem to be pushed towards more of a managerial-style architect, which they claim spends some time in the code, but realistically, you will not have time to write code in such a position. If you want to gear towards manager, that is great, but if you want to me a tech guru and mentor to other techies, you will have to fight hard for that title.

    management appears overworked.

    Some places claim to do agile, and try very hard and get very, very close, but in the end, Sr. management is often not flexible enough with requirements and timelines to be truly agile. Requirements are most often finalized near the end of the iteration rather than in the beginning because of aggressive timelines. This can mean that you would start on a story only to have it abandoned or delayed if you are working on a new project because people haven't determined yet what the system actually needs to do.

    --(Positive aside) On that same note, particular orgs are clearly working very hard to become fully Agile and the transition seems to be actually happening (slowly, sometimes).

    No compensation for overtime, and if your project falls behind, expect to put in a lot (again, not really Agile).

    Parking is a bit of a problem, and management refuses to build a parking garage, so even parking on campus lends itself to a long walk.

    Although mobility may be restricted, there is excellent job security if you stay there. This is good and bad, there is little to worry about in terms of your job, but that also incompetent developers are allowed to stay and can drag the team down.

    performance is made very public. If you are not doing well at the company, everyone will likely know and it could be fairly embarrassing. This is inherent in Agile via SCRUM, but also manageable because the entire team accepts responsibility for failures and tries to fill knowledge gaps for weaker developers (this often works well as some people learn better socially rather than by reading a wiki). However, in IT support, your metrics are publicly accessible by anyone on your team, and there is no need for them to be. This has lead to rumors and singling out of certain coworkers, which could easily ruin team moral.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou are losing a lot of your best talent because they are not being recognized and are not being given incentive to stay. Your IT Support jobs are possibly among the hardest and most stressful at the company, and yet you do not choose to meet those employees halfway to keep them around. You are stuck with mediocre - incompetent software development architects because you do not recognize your talented developers, so they leave where they can gain better mobility or experience. Wise-up and treat your talent with respect so that respect can be returned. I think Cerner is creating fantastic new products, I want you to be the leader in the industry with these new technologies you are creating.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Overall great experience

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood learning experience
    Great work culture

    Conswe should not have expectations on salary range

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    Great Place to Start a Career

    Technology Architect (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO (US)

    ProsThe people around you are fairly young which can be a bad thing, but they are all "go getters" For those looking to launch their career with a bang and to learn this is the place for you.

    ConsGrowth in the company can be tough, they will work you hard.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more into the associates and compensate them accordingly. Take money off the table and you will be able to retain them for years to come.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good company to start as fresher

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Bangalore (India)

    Prosgood pay
    very helpful team
    good domain

    Consas its a product based company we have very less onsite opportunities

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    Exciting start, weird culture

    Delivery Consultant (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO (US)

    ProsThe Gym at the WHQ is great!
    The benefits are very decent.
    Management/HR was very understanding and worked with me when I had to take short-term leave due to an emergency surgery.
    Plenty of travel opportunities.
    It is absolutely awesome to work with providers/hospitals/hospital staff!

    ConsFirst and foremost: the culture. It is almost like a culture of fear. One of the things I remember most about my first day during their Onboarding training was "don't mess up for x reason, or you will always be remembered for x..."

    Very much a cult of personality culture as well. Many young people which was nice , but very strange in that it seemed "cult-like" with some people (very hard to describe, and I do not mean to say that this carries to all employees, just a general sense and my opinion).

    It is a literal TON of information to digest during the first few months, and it is not easily understood the first time through. I would estimate that 70 percent of what I learned in the first couple of months at Cerner were not used in my day-to-day job after the fact.

    You are expected to always be billable (for good reason-you are being paid to ensure that Cerner meets its quarterly goals), however I found that the ways in which managers would try and promote this were fairly unethical at best, and downright lying to clients in terms of work accomplished at worst.

    I felt that I could not perform my job adequately with the information I was trained with within a few months of learning the material. It is very difficult to try and learn when you are trained for things which you will never use, and are then expected to immediately know how to build code for a completely different solution.

    Most of the day consisted of answering emails and building out different solutions for clients, and becoming increasingly frustrated at the Wiki pages that you are expected to utilize for literally almost everything pertaining to your job build-wise. Very frustrating as I feel that I learn better in a social environment and this wasn't used enough in my opinion.

    Compensation was initially average, however the annual raises are awful. It is completely up to your manager who you may or may not see in the office (I saw mine about once or twice a month). Therefore, depends on your personal relationship with your manager.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI believe your long-term goals are great (especially with population health!), however I believe that the culture is not conducive to an atmosphere where you feel valued. The annual raise/review was very poor.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    It was good until some manager doesn't like you or you grow past the "desired age range"

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsYou gain a great insight into Healtcare and if you work "client facing" you get to see more of what Healthcare is for the nurses and doctors that work each day for their patients. You can gain a technical background if you are clinical and a clinical perspective if you are technical.

    ConsIt seems that most of the people that survive the longest are the non boat rockers. The conformist to the work culture. If you are a pro company person you will do well. But that may be at the expense of your clients. Timelines to implement their systems are strenuous to say the least.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would suggest that from the beginning when clients are designing their systems that you spend more time in helping them design a system and before they are ready to Go Live plan on optimization of the original design and adjusting the system to better facilitate the clinical resources that will be using it.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Decent place to start.

    Seasonal Intern (Former Employee) Bangalore (India)

    ProsGreat work environment. Not too stressful. Good work life balance. Friendly people.

    ConsGrowth rate is slow and most of the work includes assisting your associates in other countries as the bangalore division is relatively young.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe growth rate should be more steep.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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