Cerner Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
712 Reviews
3.5
712 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Cerner Chairman, CEO & President Neal L. Patterson
Neal L. Patterson
447 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They will make you work at least 65 hours a week, no work life balance at all (in 20 reviews)

  • Cerner is a great place to learn something about anything you maybe interested in (in 40 reviews)


Cons
  • In many positions there is no such thing as work-life balance (in 72 reviews)

  • In hand is less than expected, some times high workload you have to work for long hours, (in 65 reviews)

More Highlights

92 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer

    I worked at Cerner full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If 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"

    Cons

    If 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 ManagementAdvice

    Employees 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mandatory unpaid overtime.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Some 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.

    Cons

    Extremely 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 ManagementAdvice

    Mandatory 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent place to start, not a place to stick around

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (more than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Managers 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cerner full-time

    Pros

    Some 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.

    Cons

    My 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 ManagementAdvice

    The 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.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could be Worse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Convenient 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    It's time for some accountability

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Easy to get hired but not worth sticking around.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Withheld in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Withheld in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    High 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.

    Cons

    Ironically 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 ManagementAdvice

    None 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Strong company, unhealthy work culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Kansas City, KS
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Kansas City, KS

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Complete 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 ManagementAdvice

    Hold managers accountable for poor management practices. Work toward a better balance between hard work and positive work culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    stifling corporate culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cerner part-time

    Pros

    nice gym, cafeteria, flex time, and fair compensation

    Cons

    The mostly male execs and board members create a "boys club" environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    strive for more diversity, listen to your employees, and practice what you preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Got changed from one role to another with false dreams

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cerner

    Pros

    The pay, the people and the food.

    Cons

    The training was so bad and didn't really help much when they just throw you into work.

  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Blinded by all of the perks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Delivery Consultant in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Delivery Consultant in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great insurance, starting salary is good

    Cons

    No input as to where you'll be placed. I was asked if I wanted to travel or not. I said no because I was a newlywed and new to the area. I didn't want to be gone all of the time and leave him home alone. That was the only input I got. I graduated with a Bachelors in Management Information Systems. They put me on a patient accounting team. I thought initially that I could learn the software and be successful. What they didn't tell me is that our team would be responsible for balancing hospitals books. I took my 2 required accounting courses in college. This wasn't enough to know how to keep a hospitals books in balance. I spoke to my mentor and manager repeatedly about my struggles. Everyone on my team had the attitude that they had it harder than I did and that it was almost a right of passage to be completely overwhelmed, lost and 100% confused for the first 18 months or so. I'm a hard worker and I take a lot of pride in doing a job well, so this ended up causing severe depression and even health problems. After a year at Cerner, I decided that my salary wasn't worth risking my health. I quit. I took a job with a pay cut and it's amazing how much happier I am and healthier I am.

    Taking a lunch hour was looked down on. Leaving campus to go to the doctor was also a mess. We had "unlimited sick leave" but that wasn't the truth. I had to make up hours when I left campus to go to the doctor.

    Parking was a disaster. When I started they told us we would have to be shuttled from another site onto campus for the first month. When I left the company a year later, I was still taking the shuttle.

    I read reviews on here when I was going to KC to interview but I just thought the few negative comments were disgruntled employees. I wish now that I would have taken them into consideration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management doesn't need to be based on tenure. Just because someone has been with the company doesn't mean they are good management material. Maybe you should consider going for people with some background in management or just someone that cares about people. My manager was cold. She didn't care about us as people. It was an unfortunate experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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