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Interactive Intelligence Chairman, President, and CEO Donald E. Brown
Donald E. Brown
465 Ratings
  • Helpful (19)

    Great Company, Uncertain Direction

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Columbia, SC
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Columbia, SC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Extremely intelligent, hardworking colleagues - Everyone willing to help a colleague, be it by answering questions, deep-dives into unfamiliar code or technologies, assisting with troubleshooting roadblocks...no matter whether or not you have an existing relationship, or what they may have on their plate at the moment. - Relaxed, laid-back culture and work environment - Acknowledgment of family coming first; flexible work hours - Working hard to move company toward unfamiliar, but more competitive, product platform and technology stack

    Cons

    Before a year ago, this would have been a five-star-ish review, but things have changed...and not all for the better. - People jumping ship right and left. Some are old-guard, longtime employees who are unwilling to step outside their comfort zones, embrace new technology stacks and product directions, and move with the company...but many are exceptional, hardworking employees who see the problems in management (assignment of mid-level management roles to longtime employees who are not good fits for these newly-created roles, and who bring their we've-done-it-this-way-and-we-crushed-it mentality to product lines they do not understand), implementation of company direction, preferential treatment of those who have been moved to the "pet projects", etc. - People " left behind" on older products - not because of being sub-par or their unwillingness to adapt, but for being great at what they do and SMEs - are being overworked and neglected. So many colleagues have been moved to pet projects that staffing is not matched to workloads, and they are burning out. (Objective observation - I am not one of these.) - There is very much a brogrammer mentality in circles staffed mostly from Indy. Guys have worked together forever, tend to ignore the advice of more highly-skilled resources who are more familiar with technology stacks, but not part of the club. - People staffed on pet projects given state of the art Macs that are much better suited to developing for Cloud. Requests for the same from resources not officially staffed on the same project(s), but targeting the same, are routinely rejected...whether or not they are now using the same dev stack as the "favored ones". - Politics are taking over a company that was virtually devoid of such a few short years ago. - Adoption of Agile-like practices is having the usual impact. Speed-to-market is being increased, siloed projects of little value have been mostly eliminated...but all at the cost of R&D. New and innovative approaches require investment of time by the best and brightest engineers, but is NEVER accounted for in Chartering. Focus on rapid development with insufficient project resources will always result in the tried-and-true approach being taken as opposed to the best one for the scenario. - Projects people have put blood, sweat, and tears into can suddenly be aborted, or choice made not to implement user-facing interfaces for back-end systems that have been months-to-years in the making happens right and left, destroys morale. I could go on and on. Doesn't mean I love the company any less, but issues are making work much more tedious, stifling creativity, and running off some of our best employees.

    Advice to Management

    The longer these problems are allowed to fester, and senior/mid management are not checked in their approaches, the more it will destroy this organization. Development direction being changed at a whim might be good for the company, but destroys development morale; and just because it does, does NOT mean such employees are not dedicated to the company/in-step with company direction! Don: Whether or not you are aware, just because people are not staffed to PureCloud does not mean they are any less capable of being so. We do have a lot of irons in the fire (perhaps too many), and the abilities and accomplishments of non-PC employees are being ignored on some level. Management is being given rein to inadvertently prevent such team members' work from seeing the light of day, making them feel very insecure about the value they add to the company, and fear for their jobs. People are jumping ship right and left, yet it appears you are making the fatal mistake of assuming this is because they can't cut it, or are no longer a good fit for the company and its current direction...and their replacements (if any) pale in comparison. Address this quickly or your RTP teams will be the only solid ones left. Do not assume that long-timers are fit managers, or that smooth-talking execs/management are managing the way they make it sound. Don: Either solicit feedback from the boots on the ground about how their groups are being run, and listen to what they say regardless of how management makes it appear; or send "spies" to infiltrate such siloed/non-preferred groups to see what is happening, looking for ways to improve. If you don't, morale will go so far south you'll lose all these people.


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