Cerner

  www.cerner.com
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Cerner Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 617 reviews

70% Approve of the CEO

Cerner Chairman, CEO & President Neal L. Patterson

Neal L. Patterson

(385 ratings)

66% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cerner takes a genuine interest in their employees and their families (work/life balance is important)(in 17 reviews)

  • Great place to start a carrier and build your resume(in 32 reviews)


Cons
  • Indian employees are treated like slaves, and never think of work life balance at all(in 63 reviews)

  • In hand is less than expected, some times high workload you have to work for long hours,(in 58 reviews)

617 Employee Reviews
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    Great Company Coming out of College

    Systems Engineer (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsCompany hires a ton of college graduates at a good starting salary. They provide a lot of training and flexible working hours. Cerner has great campus that include on site gym, clinical, pharmacy, and cafeteria.

    ConsOnce you have some Cerner knowledge expect to work at between 45-50 hours a week. Don't be surprise if you work 60 hours a week depending on what client you have. The pay raises you get barely go over the rate of inflation. After two years of working here you can usually find a job that pays 10k-20k more.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to hire more System Engineers in kansas city to balance the work load. Instead of giving the pay increase to the incoming System Engineers they should give it to existing System Engineers so they will stay.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Love this company!

    Learning Consultant (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsAdvancement opportunity, career movement, training, benefits, fitness centers, onsite clinic and pharmarcy

    ConsProject team communication - I frequently hear of key team members being left/forgotten of project meeting updates.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsider ensuring project teams are pulled together through all phases of a project.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great chance to learn

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsCerner is a dynamic company with many different things going on at once. Great place if you want to learn and are a quick study.

    ConsDepending on the solution they place you with, you could be doing a LOT more travel than they tell you. The job frequently has obligations outside of the work day.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great Opportunity for a Student and Intern

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Columbia, MO

    ProsI worked at Cerner as an Software Engineer Intern while obtaining my Master's Degree in Computer Science. My experience will vary from other interns' that were located in Kansas City. I was located in Columbia, MO working for a collaboration between Cerner and the University of Missouri hospital system called the Tiger Institute. I had a great experience here, bolstered by the small team size (around 10) and great management. The time from development to deployment was fantastic. Because of the collaborative environment, the feedback system from the deployment to the hospital was about as real-time as you can get. As far as marketable experience goes, I learned to use a few different technologies, mostly in web development. I also learned how to thrive in an agile environment, which many software development companies look for. And I can't say enough about the direct management, very helpful and guiding. This also applies to other software developers on the team. I did not feel like an intern after I learned the ropes. Overall, as an intern, I had a very valuable experience.

    One caveat you may read in other reviews is that Cerner works you to the bone and spits you out. In this fast-paced market, this is common. However, in my experience, most of the team worked the usual 8-5, with rare occurrences of overtime, except when a golive was about to happen.

    ConsThere weren't many cons that I can think of. I think not being able to identify pitfalls stems from being an intern. I was very surprised at the amount of movement within the team. Software developers transitioned to project managers. Project managers to software architects. Software developers to software developer leads. Software developers to software architects (not as rare). Given the size of the team, this was very surprising to me. Keep in mind that I was only an intern for less than two years. Therefore, one con I can identify was the difficulty of establishing a team dynamic.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI loved the team. As noted in the "Cons" section of my review, it would have been helpful to establish a more concrete team dynamic and limit the amount of movement from position to position.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    The sky is the limit

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsMassive national and international growth, flexible, young, dynamic, creative culture. Lots of learning opportunities. Strategies aligned with industry and government trends, strong competitive advantages, exciting infrastructure expansion plans.

    ConsLack of diversity at leadership levels, mostly white males from the mid west. Compensation growth not comparable with Sylicon Valley's average justified by lower cost of living in Kansas City.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote more diversity amongst leadership positions to grow the pool of experiences, ideas and points of view.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Exciting company, bad department

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsCerner is absolutely on the forefront of the industry with amazing new ideas and technology. The benefits are also excellent (for young, healthy people, which is the vast majority of the company)

    ConsIn consulting, prepare to work your tail off and travel more than they tell you when they hire you, and prepare to be, well, not prepared for everything they ask of you

    Advice to Senior Managementtrust people more

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    A great place to start your career. This company will open the door for may other opportunities .

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsHonor system for sick days.
    Challenging.
    Young work force.

    ConsMore difficult to move up in AMS than in consulting.
    Work-life balance can be a struggle.
    Training "drink from the fire hose"

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    Experience heavily depends on your team

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Kansas City, MO

    Pros- free gym and cheap buy in for fitness/training programs with a pool at the world headquarters
    - Cerner hosts their own dev con and encourages on-site programming meetups and hack nights
    - Many developers are very talented and very enthusiastic about their work
    - On-site clinic and pharmacy at the innovations and WHQ campuses (don't know about others).
    - Fantastic people to work with if you get the right organization, but some organizations I have heard are terrible
    - excellent focus on education and learning, but if you don't get the hang of things after 6 months, things will turn sour fast. In most cases, this is good, but some systems are so complex that 6 months is not enough time even for very intelligent people (especially when it comes to their legacy applications).
    - cutting edge technologies if you are on the right team - Big Data technologies and newer dynamic web application languages such as Ruby and Python. JVM has a big presence at Cerner, which I like. Some teams are open to newer languages like Clojure and Scala.
    - new teams have decent documentation and put emphasis on on-boarding materials. Older teams, you will probably be asked to help create the documentation, as there is none.
    - Very very relaxed dress code. For all intents and purposes, wear what you want.

    Cerner is headed in the right direction on the Development side by trying to introduce Agile and SCRUM methodologies. There is high visibility to project progress to management, and this seems to be working well. Agile team environments are very social and friendly, and most people seem to be out of the workplace by 6 on most days.

    ConsI have been both on the IT side of software engineering here and the development side. The IT side has better hours but the stress is so high that it doesn't matter. Too many metrics to track, and the turnover rate was very, very high. People do not last long in IT support.

    Cerner forces all new employees to do on-site support at a client site within their first few months of employment without sufficient training in the software or with regard to job expertise. This makes the experience unpleasant both for the client and for the Cerner associate and is possibly one of the worst executed ideas I've seen anywhere at any company.

    As a developer, the work can be one of two things. Either you are working on cutting edge technologies and developing interesting informatics cloud based software, or you are in the ancient legacy applications that are full of incomprehensible spaghetti code containing methods that are hundreds of lines long and dependent upon the Cerner proprietary query language that the use in place of SQL. Some applications are not even capable of having a debugger hooked into them (or else that process has been forgotten), so troubleshooting must be done the old-school way of tracing the code manually.

    Across the board, advancement seems to be hard to come by. Some people get moved around too frequently to be a candidate for advancement. I'm not sure what logic Cerner follows to advance people. They claim that they follow some sort of performance analysis, but I have noticed that some architects are incompetent while others are incredibly knowledgeable. In some cases, I've seen devs fresh out of college catch gaping holes in the requirements that caused deadlines to be missed or forced the team to work over the weekend.

    Good engineers are generally under-appreciated or under-compensated by the company (which is reflected well in the pay range for software engineers listed on this site at the time of writing.), although individual managers seem to care a great deal about their employees.

    Time off is minimal. In support, expect to have to cover at least one major holiday a year, and expect that you will get a call. A sabbatical is offered if you stay long enough.

    Cerner claims that they value technical people, but technical architects are few and under-valued. People seem to be pushed towards more of a managerial-style architect, which they claim spends some time in the code, but realistically, you will not have time to write code in such a position. If you want to gear towards manager, that is great, but if you want to me a tech guru and mentor to other techies, you will have to fight hard for that title.

    management appears overworked.

    Some places claim to do agile, and try very hard and get very, very close, but in the end, Sr. management is often not flexible enough with requirements and timelines to be truly agile. Requirements are most often finalized near the end of the iteration rather than in the beginning because of aggressive timelines. This can mean that you would start on a story only to have it abandoned or delayed if you are working on a new project because people haven't determined yet what the system actually needs to do.

    --(Positive aside) On that same note, particular orgs are clearly working very hard to become fully Agile and the transition seems to be actually happening (slowly, sometimes).

    No compensation for overtime, and if your project falls behind, expect to put in a lot (again, not really Agile).

    Parking is a bit of a problem, and management refuses to build a parking garage, so even parking on campus lends itself to a long walk.

    Although mobility may be restricted, there is excellent job security if you stay there. This is good and bad, there is little to worry about in terms of your job, but that also incompetent developers are allowed to stay and can drag the team down.

    performance is made very public. If you are not doing well at the company, everyone will likely know and it could be fairly embarrassing. This is inherent in Agile via SCRUM, but also manageable because the entire team accepts responsibility for failures and tries to fill knowledge gaps for weaker developers (this often works well as some people learn better socially rather than by reading a wiki). However, in IT support, your metrics are publicly accessible by anyone on your team, and there is no need for them to be. This has lead to rumors and singling out of certain coworkers, which could easily ruin team moral.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou are losing a lot of your best talent because they are not being recognized and are not being given incentive to stay. Your IT Support jobs are possibly among the hardest and most stressful at the company, and yet you do not choose to meet those employees halfway to keep them around. You are stuck with mediocre - incompetent software development architects because you do not recognize your talented developers, so they leave where they can gain better mobility or experience. Wise-up and treat your talent with respect so that respect can be returned. I think Cerner is creating fantastic new products, I want you to be the leader in the industry with these new technologies you are creating.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Overall great experience

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood learning experience
    Great work culture

    Conswe should not have expectations on salary range

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    Great Place to Start a Career

    Technology Architect (Former Employee) Kansas City, MO

    ProsThe people around you are fairly young which can be a bad thing, but they are all "go getters" For those looking to launch their career with a bang and to learn this is the place for you.

    ConsGrowth in the company can be tough, they will work you hard.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more into the associates and compensate them accordingly. Take money off the table and you will be able to retain them for years to come.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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