Cerner Reviews

Updated August 31, 2015
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  1. Helpful (1)

    Senior Level Architect

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technology Architect in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Technology Architect in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people. On-site Doctors. Prestigious company in the KC area.

    Cons

    Unless you are right out of college, salaries are low. Management is not very good. Forget about moving up unless you work there a LONG time and hob-knob with the Executives. CEO is arrogant and somewhat mean-spirited.

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice if Cerner didn't rely on college kids for everything, but that's the model they are going with.


  2. Needs some work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Lenexa, KS
    Current Employee - Teacher in Lenexa, KS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cerner (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great Company, Good Insurance, Friendly coworkers

    Cons

    Doesnt recognize the little guy

    Advice to Management

    more positivity


  3. Frustrating Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Discount stock purchase, opportunity to learn new industry.

    Cons

    Forced move from client to vendor. Young, inexperienced manager. Would not listen to input of seasoned employees. Had no trust or respect for team. Very demanding, constant hounding to work 50+ hours per week, with no more work from home (client had allowed).

    Advice to Management

    Train/mentor new and young managers.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Cerner is going faster yet hauling weight

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, good pay fresh out of college, hiring lots of new people, and a good place to get your career started. Continual focus on employee physical health. Work in an ever-changing and expanding field solving difficult problems. Upper management has good vision of where the future will take the company.

    Cons

    Said difficult problems are often of our own making, either directly or indirectly. Poor understanding of work-life balance, long hours, tied to a programming language and version-management tools developed internally,design architecture being continually added on to with little regard for maintainability, teams are in their own silos of information and it's difficult to determine how to get information about a new system I touch. I constantly run into systems that feel like they were cobbled together by someone fresh out of college. This makes sense, because I'm right out of college, but I wasn't expecting most of the software systems to feel like that.

    Advice to Management

    CCL is getting in the way of code quality, velocity, and programmer quality. Replace it with a language with better testability and better programmers will be interested in working on your backend stack. I know it's expensive, I know the company has put a lot of time and money into it, but it's no longer an asset -- it's a liability.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Depends on your team

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

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

    Pros

    Good salary right out of college. Average benefits.

    Cons

    Crappy training programs. If you want a certification, it will depend on your team needs (not company needs). You will always spend a lot more than 40 hours at work per week. Cerner also has limited career opportunities if you wanna to change careers.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees, focus on training, and stop playing games.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Little Appreciation and Little Opportuntity

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Knowledge Architect in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Knowledge Architect in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you get in the right organization with the right leadership you can see your career advance quickly. Good aggressive nature of the company allows company to continue to edge the market. Investment in future allows company to sustain. Executive cabinet is great. Its unfortunate town halls have stopped. Listening to these leaders is reassurance the company is still lead by the right people.

    Cons

    Some orgs (IP) are very tough to climb through. This is due to highly skilled employees (a good thing!) but also due to the adage of its more who you know. You are better off leaving and coming back or switching to other orgs within Cerner to advance your career. Company strategy at VP/Director level is poorly aligned. Senior Management seems to get it, but the next level down struggles to find the right alignment and strategy. Every 6 months there is realignment at this level that generally just results in more poor decisions. This poor strategic alignment is accommodated for by the aggressive nature of the company....allowing them to continue to meet goals. I question whether the company should have bought Siemens. Since this purchase every request for existing associates outside the Siemens acquisition is declined. This includes resources needed for projects (people or tech) and funds to acknowledge existing associates. (Your existing associates got you to where you are...). The last round of compensation adjustments were a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Have a little appreciation for those that have stuck with your company. The company used to regularly promote from within. I've worked for executives of half my skill set that have been hired externally. (This isn't a one off scenario...this has become a regular occurrence) Be HONEST with your associates. Require reasoning as to why promotions aren't being considered. Create some accountability at Junior executive level for strategy. Perhaps this is there? Maybe this is why there is realignment every 6 months.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Systems Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cerner full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, good pay, and access to awesome technology

    Cons

    Unrealistic deadlines, long hours, high pressure work environment, and management who will not defend their own people.

    Advice to Management

    People have a life, so respect the work/life balance. Defend your employees when needed and don't just rollover for any request.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Great for young go-getters (and yuppies)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Super energetic work atmosphere. Top pay for career fields.

    Cons

    Mandatory 50+ hour work weeks. Top pay averages out to pretty much average pay based on hourly requirement. Yuppies.

    Advice to Management

    There is nothing that can be done. They done drank the kool aid.


  10. Helpful (11)

    Not bad for a job out of college, but ultimately unsatisfying compared to other tech jobs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cerner full-time

    Pros

    Cerner hires a ton of people fresh out of college and compensates them fairly well for a Midwestern city. Their internship program is great- they pay you a decent hourly wage and provide you free housing in a trendy part of the city. The engineering campus has a casual dress code and I've found the environment to overall be very laid back. Managers and subordinates usually get along well with a decent amount of water-cooler banter and team interaction. From my experience and that of friends at the company, micromanagement is rare and bosses generally give you leeway to complete projects as you see fit. Your experience at Cerner varies greatly based on your team. Unfortunately that is true for many tech companies. On my team, people work 40-45hrs/week, with the exception of the occasional hard deadline. I've heard horror stories about teams that require 60+hrs/week every week (not really legal, but oh well it happens). But Cerner is trying to cut down on that, especially due to the crazy turnover it creates (average employment is <2 years here). The company is growing quickly, so if you stick around for a while (and the growth continues), you should expect to find yourself in a management role at some point. Also, the company has quite a reputation in town. Not sure if it matters to anyone, but saying you work at Cerner will occasionally elicit a positive response or even a corporate discount at certain stores.

    Cons

    In terms of the Midwest and the poor economy college grads face, Cerner compensation is fairly good. But in terms of the market for software engineers and the tech sector, it is really lacking. Salary & bonus appears good when you start, but raises seem to be minuscule and not really correlated to performance (look up Stack Rank for more info). Stock options are virtually nonexistent- there is a stock purchase program which involves giving up part of your salary in exchange for stock on a regular basis... no thanks. 401k match is not that great. Health & dental plans are good, but the company-run free clinics (a much touted corporate perk) are overcrowded and it may take weeks to see a doctor if you go there. As I said before, the average length of employment is <2 years. There is a massive amount of brain drain and important engineers are hardly ever paid what they're worth, so they leave. Many teams still use some really outdated development methods and Agile has not been implemented well. Not to mention really dated legacy code (CCL) that nobody wants to work with. In terms of outdated processes, prepare for design documents and lots of otherwise pointless paperwork that you have to cut through to make the simplest of changes. Prepare for hostility if you have to reach across teams for help with a project. Your team usually has your back, but if you have to start asking random people for help (even if they're the designated point of contact for a piece of code), they might make things difficult for you. This seems common in the corporate world, but it is really awful to deal with. Cerner's CEO is famous for his hostility to employees and crack-the-whip persona (look up Cerner Pizza Email). Now his legacy includes mandatory timesheets and a company-wide unwritten 48hr/week minimum work commitment. I've been told that this rule isn't enforced anymore, but I've also heard that you won't get promotions unless you follow it. Things like this just breed resentment and decrease morale among employees. The software engineer training program is terrible! It's basically a weed-out recruiting process for new employees, even after you've signed an employment contract and expect to be working there at least 2 years. Mentors vary from good to horrible, and getting stuck on a bad project with a bad mentor can mean the difference between early graduation so you can join a real team and being fired. Mentorship when you start out is so-so, but it kind of varies by team. It seems like some team managers are very hands-on, helping out newbies on a one-on-one basis, whereas some teams take a sink-or-swim mentality. You may find yourself figuring a lot of things or your own or hopefully getting a sympathetic engineer to walk you through everything. And finally, a small gripe, but there is a pre-employment drug screen and they threaten random drug tests in the agreement you sign (although I've never heard of that happening). It would be understandable for a medical professional perhaps, but it is a little bit strange for software engineers, considering that marijuana is legal in a neighboring state and this is a software company.

    Advice to Management

    - Boost compensation! Profits are at an all-time high, there's no question that this is a commitment that needs to be made. Product quality suffers with such high turnover. Higher salaries and real stock options would go a long way. - Address culture problems. Sometimes teams are a little too protective of their code and unwilling to work with others when it is required. This friction slows everything down. - Nix the software engineer training program! If you are trying to weed out bad engineers, you should firstly improve your recruiting methods. - Get rid of mandatory minimum time commitments and stop treating your engineers like children. Forcing people to sit at their desk an extra hour or two a day doesn't result in better software.


  11. Helpful (5)

    The belt is tightening every day.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Consultant in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good first job out of school

    Cons

    Terrible compensation compared to industry standards. Stay for 2 years and then go get the money you deserve.

    Advice to Management

    Stop cutting benefits to the lifeblood of your operation.



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