Aquilent Reviews

Updated September 4, 2014
Updated September 4, 2014
36 Reviews
3.1
36 Reviews
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David Fout
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect  in  Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Laurel, MD

    I have been working at Aquilent full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people to work with and good opportunity to learn a lot of new things if that is something that you are interested in. Really great people and the company cares about you.

    Cons

    The company wants to grow, but the people at the top don't really understand how to make that happen

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Developers Beware!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Consultant  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Consultant in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Aquilent full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    competitive salary, decent benefits, profit sharing, fun activities, telecommuting, flexible schedules

    Cons

    Job security, high turnover, inconsistent management styles and effectiveness, location (Laurel), management has no idea what development teams are up to, HR has no clue about how to retain or place people; they just rubber stamp the management power clique

    I was laid off due to lack of ANY Java (or any other) software development. The company is throwing a lot of effort into its cloud support, so it should be a good place for cloud system admins. It's also a good place for CMS and UX folks. But developers beware because it's slim (to no) pickings.

    Working at Aquilent is exciting in that it's a crap shoot – if you land a project that is interesting and lasts longer than six months, things are great. I learned a lot on the few good projects. More often, I was stuck with some lackluster project employing obsolete technology or put on the bench where you wait wondering if the company will find something for you to work on.

    My first project was a disaster; our prime basically “fired” Aquilent, although in all fairness, the prime was a joke, but you would think Aquilent would have vetted them a little better. It lasted a couple of months and then I was on the bench. Welcome to Aquilent! Then some decent and not so decent projects came along, culminating in a two year project that was great. (Two years is an extraordinarily long project for this company.) After busting my butt for two years, it ended and according to HR and upper management, all development work had dried up and I was back on the bench. I was told the bench was “strong” and not to worry. Then one day out of the blue, I was told to pack. First time I have been laid off in a long career.

    They have fairly aggressive schedules, which management likes to cloak as “agile”. All of Aquilent's contracts are with the government and we all know how agile the government is.

    Aquilent does not invest in its people. If they have a project for you, you are safe and everyone is happy. Otherwise, they let you go and with little notice. Doesn't seem to matter how long you have been with the company.

    Managers above line management need to be much more in touch with the people doing the actual work. Their only connection with the workers is through the almighty schedules.

    Company tries to be hip with hip parties and hip pool tables and hip “refresh” zones, but under the hip facade is another federal contractor that struggles finding it's niches and goes with what it thinks is the latest big wave (cloud) instead of sticking with tried and true development work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your heads out of the Cloud. Get some BD people who know how to get work. The company was started on development work and needs to figure out how to get it again. Pad your bench and make it more comfortable because too many of your folks spend time on it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Unlike most contracting agencies for the federal government Aquilent hires contractors as employees with benefits!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Editor/Writer  in  Laurel, MD
    Current Employee - Web Editor/Writer in Laurel, MD

    I have been working at Aquilent full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Benefits--health, vision, dental, LTD, retirement, opportunities for advancement, tools for training, and an overall desire to create a community

    Cons

    It is a contracting agency and employees often have to work onsite at the federal agency making it hard to connect with others at Aquilent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your ADs and PMs to act like they do in the private sector with their employees. Despite the great benefits and attempts to get everyone pumped up by the internal marketing team I still feel like I am nothing but a body on the job. And having to be onsite in a sweatshop environment. What I'm saying is go to bat for your employees. They provide great service and product so don't insult them by having them work onsite for the clients in sub-par environments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Mediocre - hit the ground running or you're out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Aquilent full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good technologies and focused management team with a strong belief in what they are doing and how they run the business.

    Cons

    Not open to new ideas or different ways of running the business and solving problems.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work

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

    I have been working at Aquilent full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good Work-life balance, flexible hours. Good benefits

    Cons

    Management is not in sync with the development teams. Management does not understand the ground realities yet.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Your team and manager make all the difference

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - User Experience Track  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - User Experience Track in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Aquilent for more than a year

    Pros

    Work is diverse and interesting, compensation is pretty good for the industry. Company has traditionally had a family feel where it is easy to have congenial relationships with HR, IT, other groups, etc. Champions cutting edge technology when possible, always looking forward. Very flexible schedules are possible as well as telecommuting.

    Cons

    Company is growing really fast and culture can't keep up. Although they espouse ethical behavior, it really depends on who the AD is, what the project is, and where the money is at. Senior Management says one things, but clearly champions keeping the money rolling in rather than drinking their own koolaid of only accepting the "right" kind of clients. If you have a good manager and team, things are GREAT! If you are on a crazy project or have ineffectual managers, you are screwed. There is less stability than they say--if your project ends there is no guarantee that you will be moved to another team or if you are that you will be doing what you really want to do. Again, it all comes down to your managers and who advocates for you. Aquilent assumed very little risk during the government shutdown--if your project was shut down you had use your own vacation or go into the hole and then not get paid. This seems unfair for a company that only works with the federal government.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-evaluate whether or not you are actually living the non-negotiable traits and that they are spreading downward. Retool the bonus structure so the worker bees can get more of a share (the metrics are heavily skewed towards upper management, especially Grow Aquilent criteria). Create and advertise a more formal project transfer project, hold managers who have unhappy teams accountable for work environment.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Overall good experience....then got put on the bench and eventually to a project that didn't match my skills at all.

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

    I have been working at Aquilent full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The biggest pro is the flexibility.

    Cons

    Narrow focus on government work only.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go after some commercial work too!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Do your job, save your money, and leave

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Business Consultant
    Former Employee - Lead Business Consultant

    I worked at Aquilent full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some talented and fun individuals, good flexible work schedules,decent health benefits, decent events, some access to new technology depending on your project and permission to access it. Decent bonuses every year. Fairly stable industry.

    Cons

    A reviewer mentioned earlier that it is a "clique," and he or she is right. Only certain people are assigned the best projects and are allowed to move up to management roles. If you disagree with their opinion on a strategy you are done for. Decisions are made regardless of expertise, best practices, or standard operating procedures. The company mentions training, but very few people are approved for training funds. There is an overwhelming "fear of the client," that blocks you from doing anything that may actually be beneficial to the client and organization. It is not uncommon for employees to not have access to critical information or critical clients because of this fear. Expect to be blocked from meeting clients, talking to clients, accessing data information, blocked from critical meetings etc. Unless of course you belong to that clique, or suck up to that clique.
    Pay is lower than regional or industry standards, projects are often dull and based primarily on busy work, and there is a fairly high turnover.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You hire good (some even great) people, but you can't keep them because you always side with the client. Take some time to meet with your employees and understand your clients THROUGH them, not understand your employees through your clients. Management does not work directly with clients, so they can't possibly understand what clients' need. Learn from the people who are in the trenches. By the way, clients often "throw people under the bus," because it's easy to do that when they know a contractor is so eager to fire people as the easiest way to make amends.
    Put more effort in industry training funds and initiatives. If you do not take the effort to educate your employees, they will educate themselves and take that knowledge to better paying employers.
    Hire managers that have the ability to check their egos at the door.
    Read Glassdoor, because people lie in those yearly reviews.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    One of the worst employers I've ever had the unfortunate experience of dealing with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Consultant  in  Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Consultant in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Aquilent full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    They have a gym for employees to use.

    Cons

    Management is absolutely clueless about software development --especially their CTO. Aquilent hires developers and their CTO is so afraid of having them write software that they get stuck doing mindless tasks or fighting with technology that was never meant to be customized. The biggest problem is their CTO and the clique other folks have mentioned. They're so confident in their opinions, yet have a track record of failure. They're the biggest group of narcissists I've ever had the unfortunate experience of working with.

    There are few growth opportunities unless you join the mindless drones that already live in their management team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your head out of your a**, fire your CTO and build something for your clients that doesn't suck the life out of tax payers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Liked the job but not the people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Aquilent full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The work was interesting. I loved what I was doing. My schedule was flexible with telecommuting opportunities. The benefits were really good.

    Cons

    For the most part, I got along with the clients better than some of my team mates. Very cliquish. If you happen to work offsite and not at HQ you were usually on the outside looking in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to off-site employees so that they don't become victims of cliques formed by HQ-based employees. Actually pay attention to the non-negotiable employee traits and those that don't follow them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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