Cipher Systems Reviews

Updated March 21, 2015
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Peter Grimm
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9 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Substantive and exciting internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Intern - Research Intern in Annapolis, MD
    Current Intern - Research Intern in Annapolis, MD

    I have been working at Cipher Systems as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Ability to participate and contribute to substantive projects, which I have rarely found at other internships. Even from the very beginning of my internship, I have felt like an integral member of the Cipher team and have been given the opportunity to gain real world experience. I greatly appreciate the collaborative team environment and everyone really encourages the interns to learn and form skills that will be helpful throughout our careers. Great compensation for an internship. It's so great to get paid for work I truly enjoy. I have already learned so much and would be extremely interested in working at Cipher full time, for all of these reasons.

    Cons

    As an intern, I have found very few cons while working at Cipher. The location in Annapolis, MD was an initial con for me, due to the lack of public transportation, however my supervisor and fellow team members are extremely flexible and understanding, allowing work to be completed at home, as well as in the office.


  2. A small business transitioning to maximize in the IT tech industry.

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

    I worked at Cipher Systems as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great team, great mid-level management, interesting work and problem sets.

    Cons

    Prior to 2014: Senior leadership issues, turbulent merger/acquisition, and lack of standardized processes/business lines.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Emerging leader in competitive intelligence industry

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

    I have been working at Cipher Systems

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

    Pros

    During the course of 2014, Cipher’s new management team has taken the company in a positive direction. Over the past 12 months, there has been a significant improvement in terms of both the overall vibe and corporate culture, helped in large measure by a shared sense that the company is expanding its capabilities and offerings in a sustainable, deliberate, and logical fashion, and that all employees are stakeholders in that journey. Employees greatly appreciate the efforts taken by management to convey strategic vision and direction, and to shape a culture where all employees feel like they have a stake in the company's future -- as opposed to simply coming to work to "do their job". A motivated self-starter would thrive at Cipher. Work-life balance is a popular (and appreciated) aspect of the corporate culture, with flexible work hours and the potential (when feasible and appropriate) for working from home/remotely. Dress code is business casual, other than for client meetings. Employees sometimes bring their dog to work. Headquartered on the outskirts of Annapolis, Cipher’s location is ideal for employees in the southern MD-DC-northern VA area who prefer not having to deal with the stress of driving into (and parking in) DC. Parking is ample, and free.

    Cons

    Too many nearby, and excellent, restaurant choices for lunch! (Gained 10+ pounds during the first year at Cipher.)

    Advice to Management

    Keep taking the time to communicate with employees!


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Great opportunities with great people

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

    I have been working at Cipher Systems full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Cipher offers extensive opportunities for professional growth and is truly invested in the development of its people, which is apparent through its incentives for employees to obtain and maintain advanced degrees and certifications. Its management has a great open-door feel, leading to a cohesive work environment, allowing entry-level analysts to work alongside directors and gain experiences untouchable at other firms. Cipher’s employees are high-performing, each possessing unique, diverse backgrounds. They’re willing to teach as much as they are willing to learn, making it an ideal place to collaborate and learn from one another. Compensation and benefits are very competitive to larger DC consulting firms, but the work-life balance is far more satisfying. The people are great, as are the clients and the work.

    Cons

    Cipher has experienced some turn over in staff and organization the past year, but is starting to pick up pace, in a good way. As roles and ways forward are defined, it’s still quite fluid, but the management is working to keep its staff informed and involved in the process.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to remain transparent to employees about changes and short and long terms goals of the company. Increase communications so that everyone remains up to speed with the company’s vision as it continues to grow.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great company, great place to grow

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

    I have been working at Cipher Systems

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

    Pros

    Great team at Cipher, constantly amazed by the quality of my co-workers. Great culture - current leadership seems to understand the importance of this and it makes it fun to come to work everyday. Company is on a good growth track for the future - Willing to make investments in new capabilities and key personnel to keep current and provide value to clients Small company feel with Fortune 100 clients - Cipher has done a great job of keeping the small company culture and feel but gives me the chance to do work for large companies across industries and the globe.

    Cons

    Changes are always tough, but it has been a year under the new leadership now and things are going really well.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the momentum and continue to focus on the people!


  7. Helpful (1)

    Professional group of people

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

    I have been working at Cipher Systems full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Cipher is very open to accommodate employe needs. This includes working some days from home, flexible schedules or even bringing in your dog for the day. Company culture and vision is changing a lot for the better while pay and benefits are very competitive. Knowledgeable and fun group of people. Lots of catered lunches.

    Cons

    You need to be a self-starter and not need a whole lot of guidance in doing your work. There was some turn-over in staff over the past years, but things are now changing for the better.

    Advice to Management

    Company culture and employee loyalty builds slow, but can be ruined fast. The new management seems to understand this and work hard to create a place where people like going in every day.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Great company, great future

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

    I worked at Cipher Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    -Good work life balance -Great work environment -New leadership has company on good path -Good place to grow

    Cons

    -Recent changes over the past few years were stressful but seems worth it as things are on a good path now

    Advice to Management

    Keep working to stay on the good path as Cipher continues to grow. Company seems poised for good growth and leadership has a good path for the future. Sorry to miss out on the growth!


  9. Helpful (1)

    Excellent place to work. If you're a developer, you will grow here.

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

    I have been working at Cipher Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Management treats employees with respect, and never feels like an adversary. Additionally, they actively encourage employees to grow professionally either through technical training or in an academic setting, often making allowances of the sort that few companies would consider. I've been in the IT business for nearly 20 years, but have gained far more from my time at this company than in all previous combined. It hasn't always been easy and indeed at times has been stressful, but I've had the opportunity to build things I wouldn't have thought twice about a few years ago, as well as further my own education, all with the open support of management. Can't beat that.

    Cons

    No company is without its faults, but Cipher's are few. Increased top down communication with respect to company direction and employee roles would be welcome.

    Advice to Management

    Spend a bit more time communicating with employees.


  10. Do not work at Cipher Systems. Beyond repair.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Web Developer in Annapolis, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Web Developer in Annapolis, MD

    I worked at Cipher Systems

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Business casual dress code. Freedom to learn new technologies. Some leaders will let you make the final decision on an approach. Some team members are awesome.

    Cons

    This place is beyond repair. There are so many things wrong with this place it is difficult to determine where to begin. The churn rate is high because they don't have their act together. Dr. Phil asks, "You know what all of your failed relationships have in common? You." If they continue to hire quality candidates and those people get fired or quit or both, is it more likely that have the worst luck in the world or that they run a terrible company? Poor communication. Unreasonable expectations. Poor management. Some (not all) of the developers were snotty about what you do and don't know. They had graduates from UMBC (computer science) start in QA to justify a low starting salary. No in-lieu-of time ( no work life balance ). Box fans ( WallyWorld style) in the "server room". I could go on for pages. I would never ever recommend anyone to work here.

    Advice to Management

    Take the advice of your team the first time. Instead of dismissing ideas and months and years later deciding that those ideas have merit. Give those ideas the proper credit and consideration they deserve. Hire a person to execute those ideas. Basically, get your act together. Fire yourself and let someone who knows how to run a software company take charge.



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