Rockwell Collins

  www.rockwellcollins.com
  www.rockwellcollins.com

Rockwell Collins Reviews

Updated November 9, 2014
Updated November 9, 2014
654 Reviews
3.2
654 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Kelly Ortberg
122 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • work life balance, upper management focused on improving things for employees (in 53 reviews)

  • At the moment, we have some pretty good benefits (week off at Christmas time) (in 39 reviews)


Cons
  • Cedar Rapids Iowa is not an ideal area to retain talented employees (in 73 reviews)

  • No Work Life balance, HR doesn't have the minimum idea of employees needs (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights

106 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Stressful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Technician in Coralville, IA
    Current Employee - Senior Technician in Coralville, IA

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Money, tech rate was pushing 30 dollars an hour until the new contract was accepted.

    Cons

    Managerial incompetence, and a social structure akin to a highschool drama movie.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just quit while you're ahead.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Stable, but bad for career development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Stable. As long as you put in your 40 hours and do some work, you'll never get fired.
    3 weeks of vacation to start. Lots of days off.

    Good for people in the twilight of their careers.

    Cons

    The TL;DR: You won't learn anything, the pay is bad, and there's no career development.

    The long version:
    Rockwell's motto is "Building Trust Everyday". However, most employees don't trust the upper management. They constantly lie or misrepresent their policies, and exceptions are constantly given to their "buddies" or "mistresses". Whenever something goes wrong, a "fall guy" is created and fired, which makes for a strong "cover your butt" culture.

    Promotions are rare, with the exception of females, who seem to get promoted as soon as they meet the time requirement (about every 4 years). After 8 years of experience, most women are moved from engineering into management. For the men, it's a "who you know" culture, and any excuse will be given to those not in the good 'ol boys club. My favorite excuse was "you don't make enough money to be promoted", followed by "it's someone else's turn for a good review". At a minimum, it takes 14 years to make Principal, but that's pretty rare.

    On the topic of reviews, ratings (1-5) are given on a bell curve. Most everyone gets a 3, with the 5's given to females and those in the good 'ol boys network. If someone on the team is given a 5, then someone else on the team has to receive a 1. If you're a male and promoted the year before, it was an unwritten policy to give that person a 2 because "you can't be good at your job the first year". In most cases, managers know the ratings they want to give at the beginning of the year, and start building a case for it so they have the documentation ready by review time. There is an appeal process, but the employee never wins.

    R&D funding is incredibly hard to get, and usually not utilized in a productive manner. Rockwell is incredibly reactive, and doesn't do anything new. Touchscreens are the big innovation now.

    As for personal career development, forget it. Many of the departments still programs in ADA, which no one uses anymore. Some of the groups do program in C or C++, but their in maintenance mode, and most people do very little coding. The requirements are incredibly detailed, so coding is not very challenging. And most groups are trying to utilize to tools to remove a lot of the coding, such as Simulink of model-based development. All communication standards are ARINC or MIL, which is only used in avionics. In short, you won't learn much at Rockwell that can apply to other industries.

    Pay at Rockwell is sub-par, with most employees at 80-90% of the market rate. Most people work at Rockwell right out of college, and then leave after a few years for a huge pay raise. The attrition rate for employees with less than 5 years of experience was 14%, with the number one reason for leaving being "money". However, most employers in the Cedar Rapids area actually pay less, which means you have to move for more money, and many employees with families are reluctant to leave. Most people leave to work for Garmin or Honeywell.

    To raise their pay, it is a common practice for employees to leave the company for a couple years and then return, because new hires get paid a market rate. It's so common that HR has a term for them: "slingshots". It's well-known and almost encouraged. It's also common for engineers to take a management position for a couple years, because managers get paid a lot more. After a couple years, they move back to engineering and are allowed to keep their salary.

    Last of all, the resources are pathetic. In 2006, I was given a Core2 Duo computer with 2GB of RAM, which was pretty decent at the time. Six years later, I still had the same computer and Rockwell refused to replace it. I also had dual 19" LCD monitors, which were great in 2006...not so much in 2014. I ended up buying my own monitors. Oh, and they just upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 in 2013. Asking for a new computer, monitors, or anything needed to do your job is met with heavy resistance. I was told, by a VP, that "Yes, you need that resource. However, if I give it to you then everyone will want one, and we can't afford that."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. I've actually had conversations with many of the VP's and Senior VP's, and realize that advice and feedback from the minions falls on deaf ears. They only listen to the stockholders, which is great for short-term but not for long-term. In fact, talking with the Senior VP of HR made me realize I should leave the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Good ol boy network will hold you down

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

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Interesting work, technology, products. Decent work life balance. Some very good pockets of high performing teams that are fun to work with.

    Cons

    The good ol boy club is alive and well. Friends, family, legacies, golfing buddies get promoted. You can work your tail off here, get excellent reviews and go absolutely nowhere. Some managers are extremely short sighted in decision making.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen and act. This same feedback shows up time and time again.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Frustrating place to work if you are results-driven

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Program Manager in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Principal Program Manager in Cedar Rapids, IA

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Rockwell has some nice benefits - working hours are 7:30-4:30, you get 3 weeks of vacation plus Christmas holiday.

    Cons

    Extremely difficult to move the ball forward - management team is typically "retired in the chair".

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Mediocre now, used to be great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Rockwell Collins is large enough to offer opportunities to move around within the company.
    Cedar Rapids is a great place to raise a family. It is calm and safe, and the people are really nice.
    Cost of living in Iowa is low, so even with a salary lower than the national average, it is better than a higher salary elsewhere.
    There are some really cool projects and programs within the company, with cutting-edge technology.

    Cons

    RC has been declining in multiple aspects. Competitiveness, quality, culture, work-ethic, benefits, you name it.
    Benefits have been getting getting dramatically worse over the past 5 years, worse healthcare, declining 401K matching. Outsourcing has hurt the quality of the products and caused constant rework and frustration amongst engineers. Middle management is unable to make any changes for fix the solutions. Upper management is clueless and out of touch with what is going on. Engineers and employees in general are treated as "bodies" without regard to the specific skillsets. Management promises customers things that they can't meet with current staffing. Corners consistently get cut to meet schedule at the expense of quality.
    Mediocre engineers often get turned into managers, resulting in disasters later.
    Talented engineers usually get frustrated enough and leave the company, or simply give up and stop caring all-together. The general attitude and culture is negative or "dont-care", and can be toxic, frustrating and counter-productive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue. If you want to keep talented engineers to produce better products, especially in a city like Cedar Rapids Iowa, consider making this company worth staying at. In this improving economy, the grass will always be greener outside of Rockwell Collins, and people eventually figure that out and leave.
    Rockwell Collins is a great company to start out at and gain some experience, but for those engineers who want to love their job and work hard because they enjoy that, this is not the place to be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Room to improve

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

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Midwest work ethic is a pro.

    Cons

    Difficulty breaking through organizational silos to work effectively. More focused on short term.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    We're number three! We're number three!

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

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay, Benefits, (Most of) the people, Telecommuting opportunities. Lot of online and live training classes to hone professional skills.

    Cons

    Insufficient staffing in the working ranks, Vascillating Priorities, Ex-military fraternity among management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow a pair and dare to think outside the box.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Small-minded middle management just gets in the way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA

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

    Pros

    It's a large company, so odds are pretty good that there's a project somewhere you'll find interesting. And they've got some really good talent operating there. I came away with some great friends, and a few stories that are fun to tell now that I'm not there.

    Cons

    Mostly, it's suffering from growing too big. I worked with no less than 5 project managers who started meetings by asking what everyone was working on. Not what their status was, literally didn't bother to prepare enough to know what project the meeting was for. I had one manager that was misusing company funds to perform work that wasn't approved, and for some reason the whole team was given a bad perf review for that. And another that actually threatened to hit me with his car if I didn't sign off on a proposal.

    Don't expect to be working with the latest technology, the primary customers are military and aviation and they go for proven reliability over improved performance. I'd say something about office politics, but honestly it wasn't worse here than anywhere else and I never felt like there was much of an old-boy network in place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know we can't get away from kingdom building, but If I have to have 4 project managers at a time, either try to recruit some that have some technical knowledge or create some decent system for employees to report gross ineptitude or abuses up the line.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA

    I worked at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Ok to work here for sometime

    Cons

    You will not develop as a software engineer here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Satellite Factories play politics, uneducated supervisors

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

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits good, interesting work, good resources for doing your job.

    Cons

    Some work centers are pushed too hard, too much volume, time pressure, management acts oblivious, especially in factories outside of Cedar Rapids

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to whats happening on the floor, morale is lower in some areas than you might think. Some supervisors cover themselves as opposed to trying to correct the situation.Consider re-organizing/splitting up some centers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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