Cerner

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Cerner Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 626 reviews

70% Approve of the CEO

Cerner Chairman, CEO & President Neal L. Patterson

Neal L. Patterson

(394 ratings)

67% 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 if you want to learn and are a quick study (in 33 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)

More Highlights
84 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Exciting start, weird culture

    Delivery Consultant (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    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
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    False Advertising, both to prospective employees as well as clients

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsGreat health insurance, onsite clinics are very convenient
    casual dress

    Conswork life balance is almost non-existent
    pay not as comparable to other similar companies
    lack of integrity when dealing with clients. It's all oversell and under deliver, leaving clients unsatisfied and damaging trusted relationships
    Highly stressful environment
    unwritten rules and hierarchy that you learn the hard way
    disorganized
    very high turnover... hire out of college work you to death for two years and then bring in the next batch
    Maybe the top 5% of associates rise to the top, and when they do they rise quickly. Everyone else slaves away hoping for recognition and promotion but it's rarely attained no matter how many years put in.
    Every team is understaffed, each person handling way more than one person can manage effectively and not getting paid to reflect the workload. This causes disorganization and sloppy half-complete outputs. I feel like Cerner is always scrambling to clean up the messes they are always making instead of setting realistic client and project expectations and then delivering quality results.

    Advice to Senior Managementslow down, the company is growing too fast and there is widespread lack of control, consistency, discontent and organization. Lower your turnover.

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

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Okay place to start, terrible place to finish...

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)

    ProsIf you don't want to work hard, they don't seem to care (people constantly missing deadlines for 18+ months and no corrective actions taken)
    You can get some decent experience
    Flexible work hours outside of "crunch time"

    ConsIf you do work hard, they don't seem to care
    It's a revolving door, more people have left the company than are currently working there
    Health insurance costs a ridiculous amount when you include the enormous deductible
    Management in some orgs will lie directly to your face to "motivate" you to work hard and meet deadlines
    They'll hire a bunch of nearly useless contractors for 3x the normal salary of a developer, the contractors will then drag the entire team down with their terrible code, and then when it comes time for a raise the developers that actually contributed to success will be left high and dry
    Compensation is a complete joke once you have 5+ years of experience
    They would rather replace talented and experienced engineers with someone that costs less money and takes 3 times as long to implement anything

    Advice to Senior ManagementEmployees are not robots. If you want to keep talented and hard working people, you should probably consider paying them more than peanuts to work those 70 hour "crunch time" weeks. If someone can walk out the door and immediately get a 35% or higher raise at another company in an area with comparable cost of living then you're doing something wrong.

    The only reason I can find that any developer stays at Cerner longer than 5 years is because they're either too lazy to look anywhere else, or no one else will hire them. The architects and future leaders of Cerner are just lazy and/or incompetent engineers (in most cases, there are rare exceptions).

    Get rid of dead weight. If everything a developer does causes the rest of the team to lose time fixing it, he/she needs to go elsewhere.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Mandatory unpaid overtime.

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsSome flexibility on start of workday (7-9am), depending on what position you are in. Co-workers are friendly and helpful. Occasional social events lighten the atmosphere. Pay is a bit on the lower end of competitive but their entry requirements are not so steep as other places.

    ConsExtremely rigid hourly requirements, and over 40 hours/week an unwritten prerequisite to any promotion. Mandatory unpaid overtime whenever numbers are due so that higher-ups can look good (you get a bagel, though...), about 12 days/year at +2 hours/day.

    Insufficient training for very technical positions. Specifically, no training on software architecture of enormous code base before being required to find bugs in said software.

    They play the bait-and-switch game with job positions via overly-broad job titles (I applied for a software development position and got a customer support position, both of which have the title Software Engineer).

    Advice to Senior ManagementMandatory unpaid overtime should be for emergency situations only. If there is a chronic need for more work than ordinary hours can provide, that is a reason to hire more people, not wring more work out of the existing people.

    Either don't ask for placement preferences from newly-hired employees, or actually take those preferences into serious consideration.

    Don't use the same job title for drastically different positions.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Decent place to start, not a place to stick around

    Systems Engineer (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    Pros- They will hire you with no experience
    - There are some good people who work there
    - You will learn a fair amount, mostly about Cerner products

    Cons- Underpaid
    - Overworked
    - Undervalued

    Basically, you are sacrificed for the good of the company. They invest relatively little in their knowledge infrastructure, training, or general business policies and procedures. The result is an unpleasant work experience that leads to their extremely poor employee retention.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagers are also victims of larger policies within the company, so I would tell managers to hold out for something better. Now, if I were talking to executives or those who can actually make decisions, I would tell them to adopt a longer view. Employees are assets, but more to the point, they are a liability. Devaluing and hemorrhaging your employees will erode your company more than losing that extra few million saved by not investing in training, better knowledge repositories, maybe a couple more employees to balance workload. You have a self-identified retention problem. Do something about it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    The change of jobs every 18 months means often leadership lack experience in the space they lead.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSome great high energy co-workers. If you are a young professional good opportunities, just be prepared to work very long hours and often being treated less than respectfully.

    ConsMy experience is that while the organization feels they are the best they over promise to clients. Leadership don't like to address or often admit when there are problems. There are mixed messages to teams regularly leaving them without clarity in direction. I am certain there are exceptions to this.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe best thing the leadership team could do is to provide stable Execs so the teams have mature, experienced leaders to consult with and address problems in leaders promptly.

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Could be Worse

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsConvenient onsite clinic & gym
    Decent starting salary
    There are opportunities to use some bleeding edge technologies
    Lots of really smart people

    For prospective engineers:

    Cerner is a good place to start a career. It's pretty easy to get a job here and you'll learn a lot pretty quickly.

    If you are really into computer science, Cerner might be a good choice for you. There are teams working some bleeding edge technologies.

    If you are really into red tape and processes then Cerner is a good choice for you.

    If you like strict adherence to style guides and love linters and crave pedantic rants about how said style guides supersede said linters then you'll be in for a treat.

    If you are an experienced developer with the skills, knowledge, and drive that could land you a job with the Google's and Amazon's of the world but prefer a good old fashion midwest winter then Cerner is a good choice.

    ConsThe health insurance is pretty bad, if you have a family your gonna have a 3 or 4 thousand dollar deductible so be ready to max out that FSA

    You only get 8 paid holiday days... they don't even give you Mr. Luther King Jr. Day off!

    Parking sucks, if you accept a position then you better try and negotiate a parking spot on campus.

    For engineers:

    If you are even remotely business minded, this is probably not the place for you. Cerner is ripe with waste. During my tenure I don't think I worked on a single product that ever turned a profit and most of them I knew would be complete wastes of time from the get go. I've watched a sizable group of engineers sit idle for months working on busy work as the business was trying to figure out what the product they were assembled to work on was suppose to do.

    If you are really into software engineering then this is probably not the best place for you. I've encountered some pretty atrocious code during my employment. I've seen things like single classes over 5,000 lines with no automated tests, Blocks of code so nested you'd have to scroll horizontally in the IDE to be able to see some of the statements, the use if/then/else statements with instanceOf's instead of polymorphism... I'm partially convinced that Robert Martin must have worked here at one point in time and his experiences were the inspiration for "Clean Code".

    If you are a firm believer in agile development then this is not a good place for you. They claim they are agile, but the only thing they do that is agile is hold the ceremonies. If you've worked at an agile shop and really enjoyed it then you'll be thoroughly disappointed. At Cerner I often heard the expression "there are no agile police", but if there were they'd have no trouble meeting their quotas here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's time for some accountability

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Easy to get hired but not worth sticking around.

    Withheld (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsHigh turnover of employees makes it easy to get a job as they are always hiring. Salaries and compensation can be competitive initially. Many amenities such as a gym, good cafeteria and other services at the Kansas City HQ location.

    ConsIronically the health insurance isn't very good (high deductible) and salaries and raises in recent years have decreased and are less competitive now. Very high workload with little to no encouragement or praise for hard work. Google Cerner and you will find the email from the CEO years ago blasting employees for not working 12-15 hours a day. The culture has not changed, they are just better about hiding it or wording it more carefully now. Very much a company that exists to exploit a young work force and happily turn them out when they get burned out.

    The managers I worked under and encountered were completely clueless about IT and healthcare in general and I can only surmise they got to their position by sucking up and playing politics. It is fairly likely you will end up with a boss who never did your job and doesn't know the first thing about it and only exists to drive and punish you without offering any sort of positive guidance or help. The result is that with no idea about their subordinates skills or job-roles managers have no working knowledge of what constitutes a good or bad performance and only reward those pay them lip service (because that's how they got to where they are).

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone as the do-nothing know-nothing management is the problem. I will however try to leave a small summary:
    If you got through high school and college by finding some "nerd" to do your homework or copy off of then this is the company for you. If you were said "nerd" who was cajoled or bullied into letting others copy off you or put their name on your homework then FYI, this company was founded by and is run by those exact same people.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Strong company, unhealthy work culture

    Senior Systems Engineer (Current Employee) Kansas City, KS

    ProsJob security as long as your mistakes are below customer radar. Some great talented folks to work with. 401k has done well over the years

    ConsComplete disconnect between direct manager and team members. Negative management style goes unchecked. Fear used as a primary motivator and sincere acknowledgement of work contributions are minimal. Toxic work environment. No annual bonus despite high marks on annual reviews.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHold managers accountable for poor management practices. Work toward a better balance between hard work and positive work culture.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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