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Ultramain Systems Reviews

6 Reviews
2.7
6 Reviews
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Mark McCausland
1 Rating
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Behind the times company that has core problems at the higher levels that prevent it from greatness.

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

    I worked at Ultramain Systems full-time

    Pros

    - Mid level managers generally care and try their best.
    - Team leads are often excellent and also try their best.
    - A lot of the Software Engineers are younger with strong spirits. They are a lot of fun and really care.
    - While the companies SDLC has some problems, you will learn a lot about software development and processes involved in making a product and delivering it.
    - You will learn what it is like to work on teams to develop and deliver software.
    - Fellow developers care, and work hard. Probably the best part of this company are the other developers, and certain key people who continue to try to foster good working relationships.
    - Salary can be low to start with, but if you work hard and stand above your peers you can get some very nice raises relative to Abq area. Promotions are available, but are mainly due to attrition and people leaving.

    Cons

    - Don't believe a word the President says. Promised when opening the India office that we would never shift jobs from Abq HQ to the India office. One year later, hiring in ABQ was frozen, but continued hiring in India. Several years later, Abq developers laid off and more hiring for the India team. Now India development team is 3x the size of Abq team which continues to dwindle.
    - President is not an engineer and so the company is missing the engineering centric / driven culture. As a result, some very poor decision making from the top level streams downward. As an example, he wants to use the product (built for asset management) to manage the SDLC (which is was not designed to do and is not streamlined for) instead of using a product designed / streamlined for managing SDLC (like most other legitimate dev companies). This results in massive inefficiencies / time wasted. Just one of the many inhibitors to your success coming from the top level that affect the overall environment. As an engineer, you will see many things that inhibit you from proceeding efficiently, but can't do anything about it due to higher ups not being engineering minded and being stuck in their old ways.
    - Poor overall hierarchy at the top level. Upper management roles are not clearly defined. This results in a lot of infighting among upper management for control of resources and a lack of focus for effectively using developers. For example, different directors (or equiv role) are over different customers and fight with each other to get resources for their project(s). Most decisions go through one person - which results in mid to upper management playing politics against other mid-upper managers to vie for their interest and favorability with the blocker.
    - Ancient technology. Main product is a desktop application built using Swing. Swing hasn't seen an update to it in almost 10 years now.
    - Very poor planning. Constantly shifting developers around to different "teams" / projects. Lots of overtime due to terrible planning.
    - At times, constant panic mode due to impossible promises to customer, poor planning, and poor / inefficient processes. If you meet your objectives, then new ones are given to continue to force overtime from you.
    - The company values delivering bug ridden, shoddy, poor products NOW over quality products LATER. As a result you will be pressured to write hacky code to get it done. "Don't care how it's done as long as it's done." Maintenance continues to be a nightmare.
    - India development team carries the same mantra - quality is not important. Up to ABQ team to fix problems (unofficially), often without recognition or thanks.
    - Behind the times considerably. Does not believe in CI (Continuous Integration) despite many developers asking for it. Does not believe in unit testing. They will say "ah yes we do!" But is there a CI server? Nope. How much of the code is unit tested? Less than 1%.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Leave the past (technology wise)
    - Ditch India. Cost savings has a price -> Quality. Poor quality software costs time and more money than doing it right. Poor quality software costs customers and leads to failed businesses.
    - Learn that developing quality products will make your customers a lot happier than giving them garbage. Even if it takes a little longer. 20-30% extra effort and planning can result in a 100% better product and massive time saved down the road when maintaining.
    - Create a clear company hierarchy and stop everything from going through one person. Empower your directors and managers to take the actions they feel are best for success. (Hint: The Engineering Director should have a lot more say than he does now).
    - Scrap the GWT web client that India has been working on which has been in the works for years and years which is still no where near ready. It's a giant failure. Hire quality developers (yes it will cost you more $$) and create a new web client using modern web application technology. You should probably hire some outside folks with proven experience to lead this effort.
    - Significantly reduce or eliminate altogether mandatory overtime. Studies have shown that happy developers get more done with higher quality than slaved / unhappy developers who put in a lot of overtime.
    - Realize that certain people working 12 hour days is actually not an indicator of how good of an employee they are. It's an indicator of a systematic failed approach to running the business.
    - Hold accountable certain mid-higher level managers / directors for their screw ups (poor planning / impossible promises). A nice cleaning up of some of these folks needs to be done. They have caused too many problems for too long.
    - Value your talented employees who give their all despite unreasonable expectations and yet still somehow manage to pull through. Too many have either been laid off or allowed to slip through your fingers.

    Doesn't Recommend
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    Disapproves of CEO

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