National Government Services
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I worked at National Government Services as a contractor (more than 3 years)Pros
The pay as a contractor was pretty good. I was able to work extra hours on occasion and they were pretty flexible with time off and allowed some remote work.Cons
Classic example of promoting people for the wrong reasons. Many many examples of people in management and technical roles who are horribly unqualified for their jobs. Don't get fired for 20 years and you can be someone's boss someday regardless of if you know what you are doing or not. As a result they depend on repetition of "the way we have always done it" rather than an understanding of the task at hand. Asking questions is frowned on because no one knows the answers and the old timers don't really understand their responsibilities well enough to discuss them. Lower level managers don't understand what is going on so they avoid making decisions and schedule more meeting. I've never seen management so afraid of committing to anything. Upper level managers also don't understand what is going on, but apparently don't realize it so they call the shots with blinders on. People are forced to laugh so as not to cry about the things that are handed down to them. People at all levels routinely joke about the ridiculousness of the various irrational decisions they are tasks with carrying out.
Their practices of hiring contractors to avoid hiring employees is short sited, unethical and abusive. They usually pay contractors reasonably well, but treat them poorly. They offered me a full time position, but it was only about half of what I was making as a contractor. Talented people are attracted by contractor money, gain knowledge of the organization and accumulate responsibilities until they can't stand the place anymore and leave. The IT leadership from the top down is terrible. People with marketable skills leave at their first chance. They are hemorrhaging knowledgeable staff so what remains is usually, but not always, mediocre or worse.
Priorities are set by complaints to senior leadership and are constantly changing. Decisions are by default made without enough information from the technical staff so they are usually bad. They rarely account for the reality of the technologies involved and the foreseeable hurdles ahead. Arbitrary and uninformed deadlines are the norm. Planning is basically pointless since all projects are at the whim of the biggest whiners and IT upper management. Everything is top priority and must be done now.
In short, if you have other options, I'd avoid this place.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Start developing and keeping talented technical people and decent managers. Inform yourself of situations before making decisions. Anyone who has been there more than 5 years probably needs to be looked at pretty closely to see if they are even remotely qualified to do their job.Doesn't RecommendNegative OutlookDisapproves of CEO