Cartera Commerce Reviews

Updated May 19, 2015
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3.3
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Tom Beecher
25 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Great culture; fantastic team; strong, clear vision for growth

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - Great culture of respect and accountability that also encourages work/life balance
    - Strong leadership team that clearly articulates company vision and goals at the company, department and individual levels; has a high degree of integrity; is very transparent with everyone.
    - Fantastic team of people that are smart, dedicated, hard-working and really fun to work with!
    - Many team building and social activities that allow employees to really get to know each other and work better together.
    - Great benefits, particularly for a mid-sized company – solid medical (HMO Blue), generous PTO plan (5 weeks), and more.
    - Bonuses have been paid out every year that I have been here – at 100% for 4 years and 70% one year (2012 was a particularly challenging year for the company but it has turned a corner and is now on a growth trajectory and a path to profitably).
    - Free snacks and fruit in the kitchens (and they are actually good!)

    Cons

    - Lexington is a bit of a drag. Limited choices for lunch (the cafeteria is mediocre at best, although reasonably priced).

    - The office layout is a bit odd (2 floors) and the furniture dated, although management has said there are plans to update and change the layout in the summer of 2015.

    - The tech platform needs some improvement, which is a clear, current focus, but would be great if it could happen sooner.


  2. Good For Experience, Not For Career

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cartera Commerce

    Pros

    Interesting technology exposure and varied coworker skill sets.

    Cons

    Lack of Platform Vision and Company Culture


  3. Helpful (2)

    Senior Software Engineer

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Most of the new reviews seems accurate. I will add this, it was fun and painful to work there. My team at the time were real people, not people pretending to be professionals or good people.

    Social activities were great but be careful with "lets go to the bar and have some beers", it will be many beers. Some of the workers from Atlanta were simply super fun.

    The culture was diverse but chaotic.

    Cons

    Code was PHP from top to bottom. Horrible, sorry no better words. Every day was a "disaster to be fixed". I liked my team but the stress of not knowing exactly how I could help was horrifying. How would you feel if everyday you see disasters and the code is a blob of PHP that has tons of bugs???

    Advice to Management

    I don't even know what to say to you, if you should cry or get a new job.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    Smart and fun co-workers, solid vision, interesting and varied work

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Strong, transparent leadership at all levels from executive level down. Open door policy. Focused on engaging and empowering all employees, monthly all hands meetings shares the vision, progress to date, challenges, etc. Employees are smart, hard-working, collaborative, and knowledgeable - fun to work with and interesting and nice people too. Lots of opportunity to share ideas and be real part of the growth curve. No focus on face time - just get your work done. Lots of team building activities, focus on training and career development. Strong benefits, esp. for a company this size. Good company activities, both community service and fun too. Lots of opportunity to grow and take on new and different responsibilities. Morale is high.

    Cons

    Working to incorporate new technology - current point of emphasis, making steady progress. Employees on two floors - heard is being addressed in 2015. Can require long hours to get a release out or for busy season, but typically appreciated and acknowledged.

    Advice to Management

    Continue path of open and honest communication, more and more cross-functional engagement, and vision for new initiatives and growth. More and more automation to free up resources for the more interesting work. Continue improving technology mix.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Motivated at work every single day, love working here, lots of respect, collaboration, hard team work

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, managers are open and honest. Whole company is transparent, positive, fun!

    Cons

    No 401K match from company, wish my group was closer to the other groups in proximity of how office is set up

    Advice to Management

    Keep working on our core values! Executive team is doing a great job! All very approachable and easy to talk to.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Glad I made the move....

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I joined Cartera this past spring and am so glad I made the move! From a career perspective, I feel like I really have an opportunity to be part of a growth business where I am empowered to contribute to that growth. Since I have been here, I have also seen some internal promotions that make me feel confident that there is internal growth opportunities. For people who really want to have a measurable impact on a business, Cartera is a great place. And by the way, the Cartera business is profitable.

    The culture is really fun if you are the kind of person who likes to work hard and laugh hard. We had the best Halloween and Holiday parties this year.. and we have weekly Brew 30s which bring the company together in a casual way over beer and snacks. It is always a great way to end a Thursday!

    Management is transparent with monthly company meetings. They share the financial performance of the business, celebrate success and discuss challenges in an open forum. Having been in another start-up prior to Cartera, I know that this level of transparency is unique.

    Cons

    The technology infrastructure needs some updating, but the teams are aggressively working on it. And given the progress that I have seen over the past 6 months, I am optimistic that we will be in a much better place within the next 6 months.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on accelerating technical infrastructure improvements.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Interesting work with smart and nice coworkers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Lexington, MA
    Current Employee - Director in Lexington, MA

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Reading through some of the reviews here, I feel like there must be another company out there with the same name because they definitely don't reflect the company that I work for. Cartera is full of smart and nice people who work hard and genuinely care about each other and the community. The benefits are great, bonuses get paid, and executives know everyone's name. We celebrate success openly and every so often have waffles cooked to order.

    Cons

    Sometimes there are long hours, but managers notice it and don't take it for granted.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in technology and finding opportunities for automation.


  9. Great people, company now on a very positive trajectory

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Really good group of people -- smart, care about the work, care about each other.

    Focus is on getting the work done, not "face time", which allows real work-life balance.

    After a tough period from mid-2012 to mid-2013, company has really turned around in 2014 -- growing and now profitable, with continued strong prospects for 2015 and beyond

    Cons

    Tech platform still has some legacy issues, but at least they're being addressed.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Cartera Commerce is not a good place to work if you are uncomfortable with frequent involuntary force reductions

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

    I have been working at Cartera Commerce full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent coffee and hot chocolate in the kitchen, although the kitchen area itself is very smelly and unsanitary; the trash can is right next to the water fountain. My girls loved the Cartera Easter Bunny and egg hunt and the children's face painting at the Cartera Commerce Christmas party.

    Cartera Commerce is really short staffed on coders, which can be a good thing if you are an American programmer, however things ran much smoother when Cartera Commerce had actual certified project managers that knew how to code themselves; now they have a bunch of never-weres from a pantheon of failed Boston zombie startups, prancing around with printed sheets telling us engineers how to "Do Scrum". None of them actually have any real world programming or development experience, so it is hard to respect them in the same way I did their predecessors.

    The closing down of the Atlanta office signified the result of the M&A activity; bridge loans really helped to save the company, and although it was a difficult decision to let hundreds go, it was definitely the right choice to save Cartera Commerce and made we want to stay to help save what was left here in Boston. I have made a lot of friends in Engineering while I have been here, and it was tough and very traumatic for all concerned here at Cartera Commerce to see everyone in Atlanta lose their jobs and their families thrown into turmoil, but it is a part of life and business and it is really for the best. In another year or two, I am sure the wisdom of the merger and the closing of the Atlanta office and the Cartera Commerce Atlanta layoffs will be put into perspective as the best management decision Cartera Commerce could possibly have made to save the company.

    Cons

    Very poor technology and a consistent lack of direction from the senior management team. The company has never been profitable, and there are two or three major involuntary force reductions a year. I have never received my full bonus working at Cartera Commerce; the company has missed their numbers every quarter I have worked here. This represents a huge opportunity cost to me and my family.

    I have never worked anywhere where the senior managers and department heads fought among themselves so much. There is always somebody yelling or screaming in this office, and the senior managers hide in their offices with the doors closed. I lost confidence in the company's direction and business model long ago, with the exception of the closing of the Atlanta office and the layoffs there, which I supported as a longtime employee. In Cartera Commerce Engineering, we saw the writing on the wall long ago.

    Confusing system architecture and a humorously complex enterprise email system that looks like it was built on Gilligan's Island: all sticks and coconuts; The foreign guest worker programmers barely speak English and are terrible at writing code. It is tedious to work with them due to the poor communication skills and cultural differences. I have had to learn bits of Hindi just to do my programming work.

    The build process is broken; Cartera Commerce has always been in need of Release Management and a continuous deployment model. I know, I know, "Lean Startup"..."Scrum"...etc., etc.

    None of the senior managers have ever worked for a profitable successful company, and they seemingly have no idea how to turn a dollar.

    Now, about the term "Carterrorized":

    I have never worked with meaner Engineering Directors at a software company; It has been five years of "Management by crisis" for me. I am constantly either being directly screamed at, stared down at the conference table by my current Development Manager (who is decidedly non-technical) or witnessing some poor project manager just trying to do his job get screamed out of his khakis by managers with no engineering ability or management skill. At one point, Cartera Commerce basically tarred and feathered their entire PMO and ran them out of the building on a rail. I am tired of the effect this has all had on my family as well as me; Working here is a big load of stress and job security worry.

    I never know if we'll have enough money or if I will keep my job at Cartera Commerce each June through August through the Cartera summer layoff season. My wife just wants to send the girls to their summer camp in Maine, so I hope I make it through this year.

    When I first started working here, it was hard to code in PHP on every single layer of the application with no development framework in place. The Smarty templating engine is obsolete and makes the "Malls" (they are just landing pages really) look like they were coded in 1994.

    There is no "Big Data" at Cartera Commerce. The senior architects and senior developers just sit around all day and play with map reduce scripts with no practical application. Most of them don't write any code, certainly not any production code. I have no idea how skilled they may be, as I have worked here for five years in Engineering and have never reviewed a line of their j2ee or PHP code. It must be great work if you can get it; happy for them.

    The UX and UI suffers from a lack of trained user experience professionals and the inexperience of our Eastern European and Indian foreign guest workers, which comprise 75% of the programmers here.

    I don't think there are any certified PMs in the"PMO": that group is always in flux, so there is never any direction on technical software development projects at all. One of the Directors there just cannot make up her/his mind. Famous last words in software development: "Phase two". I always get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I hear her/him talking about a coding project I have been assigned to; I don't think it's funny when she/he jokes about failed software projects. I get nervous around PMO Directors who joke about failed projects. This is my career and my family life at stake here. Write functional specification documents, or hire a professional certified project manager who knows how to manage a software development project, please.

    I really am not really a fan of all of the new people they brought in from Intuit; Despite all the slogans on the walls, and the doublethink Orwellian office plan, there seems to be a complete lack of experience among these transplanted "Resources" with deploying actual working software. I don't think it was a great idea to hire so many people from the same former company. Overall, I would say the new people definitely hurt the ability of the company to develop and deploy interesting software products and lowered the development IQ of Cartera Commerce Engineering irreversibly.

    All the talented programmers left the company this past year; the ones that were not let go that is. I have had three of my development managers let go in my five years here; I am on my fifth boss in as many years. Massive layoffs == engineering brain drain.

    Advice to Management

    Compensation is about 30% below market rates. No health insurance coverage for the first 90 days of employment? Why? The policy of working programmers for 60 hours a week with no bonus or overtime pay is destructive and harmful to the Cartera Commerce employment brand. I already cannot ask my developer friends to apply to work here at Cartera Commerce because of all the layoffs. Stop hiring people from Intuit; we don't need to hire every person who just got let go from Intuit. Programmers work best when they are managed by professionals who can handle their emotions.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Started out well but ended in disaster so I jumped ship before it sank

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

    I worked at Cartera Commerce full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Allowed us to periodically work from home. Work was fast paced and for the most part up to date. The people in the office were good people and fun to work with and we had a foosball table that we used heavily when we were stressed out.

    Cons

    The phrase "Carterrorized" became common around the office due to the way they treated employees. They had no clue where they wanted the business to go and violated their PCI compliance all the time. Policies that once would have gotten me fired were broken on a daily basis by management. Also the pay was far below industry standards. Literally 15%-20% below standards. I used all my vacation time up and immediately quit.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees more. Treat your employees with respect instead of lying to them. Create a clear path that everyone can see and work from.



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