Cognex Reviews

Updated July 9, 2015
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3.2
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Cognex President, CEO and Director Robert Willett
Robert Willett
12 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. It sucks, management changes too fast and has no long term thinking.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Natick, MA
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cognex full-time

    Pros

    Fun culture OK pay Good place for engineers New CEO Frisbee at lunch

    Cons

    Poorly defined role for product marketing managers Senior leadership is very short-term focused Do not treat employees with respect Niche area, you will be stuck in this industry Poor bonus


  2. Finance and Accounting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Natick, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cognex full-time

    Pros

    Great perks outside of actual job.

    Cons

    Outdated processes make working here hard. Managers are arrogant, rude and most have worked at cognex for a very long time. Human resources is a joke, so if you have an actual problem, prepare to deal with it on your own.

    Advice to Management

    Update processes and embrace new ideas.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Work Hard, Work Harder!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Natick, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Cognex full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Enticing culture which attempts to strike a healthy balance between Work Hard and Play Hard.

    Cons

    Play Hard cultural events are a nice feature, but not worth substandard pay levels, severely limited resources and unrealistic work performance expectations. HR function is a complete joke at this company (unprofessional and incompetent with no independent thinking or influence).

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that the contribution of rank and file employees is substantially greater than occasional cultural events.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    If you need a job, you can get one here.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cognoid in Natick, MA
    Former Employee - Cognoid in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cognex full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun coworkers. Parties and socials. Halloween celebration. Listening to Doctor Bob pontificate, if only for the laughs of disbelief.

    Cons

    Little chance for advancement. Raises are tiny to non-existant. Bonuses are microscopic. Stock options are a nice perk but not lucrative unless you've been there for 15+ years. Employees are seen as interchangeable and easily replaceable spare parts. HR is a hopeless mess and defers to management without fail. Company considers parties, movie nights and other perks as part of employee "total compensation."

    Advice to Management

    As the economy improves, Cognoids are voting with their feet. You say you don't care, but there's been a revolving door in certain areas of the company recently. It will be hard to hang on to good people--even good engineers--unless you start paying better wages and giving cost-of-living raises as a start.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Looks can be deceiving

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cognex full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Product could provide real benefit to most end users if used properly. Customization of product routinely presented new challenges. Reasonably nice office space and location.

    Cons

    Upper level management out of touch with employees. Draconian work environment. Older employees blocked any real change. Not invented here mentality prevented use of new technologies. Mid-level management took credit for subordinates ideas. Offered many perks but discouraged employees from actually taking advantage of them. Group of older employees played favorites. Dollars over people at all times. Inadequate sales process and management of customers resulted in massive losses due to incorrect orders and over specification.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid of change. Listen to the employees who deal with the issues on a first hand basis. Manage by consensus not by decree.


  7. The Microsoft of Machine Vision

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Cognex full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    financially strong company (wrt market cap and cash), compelling products with good Ease of Use (VisionPro, Insight, Checker, DataMan, SmartView), company culture (Work Hard Play Hard), strong IP position (PatMax)

    Cons

    not at all a high-tech company, simple products (SmartCams, ID Readers), obscene margins (product sales, service outsourced to ASPs), weird financial reports (mad CEO self presentations), internal communication (ignorance, arrogance, stupidity)

    Advice to Management

    improve internal communication, increase headcount to take market opportunities, use of a global ERP system, promote real excellence and innovation


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work if you don't stay too long-was better 5 years ago

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cognex full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart, fun co-workers, casual environment. Promotes a "work hard, play hard" corporate culture. Tends to have low employee turnover.

    Cons

    Employee contribute health care plans, management doesn't believe in pay raises, the longer you work here the less they value you, not a lot of development/promotion options. Once you top out start looking.

    Advice to Management

    Most of us work for money not only for fun. Share some of that cash you have with your employees. Management could communicate more with the rank and file. Stop trying to do everything with minimal headcount.


  9. Cutthroat corporate culture with arrogant middle management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Natick, MA
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The technology is very cool. The algorithms developed by Cognex are world class. Some very smart engineering talent works in Natick. Also, the sales force is extremely motivated, so it is a great place to learn how to effectively sell a technology product. Company is global, so there are many opportunities to work/travel internationally.

    Cons

    The Cognex culture in Natick is far more corporate (back-stabbing) than you are initially led to believe. The turnover rate, especially in the sales force, is higher than at any other company I've worked for in the past 5 years. In two years, I have seen over 5 people in HR come and go, including an HR Director. The game room, the cultural events, etc. are all tools used to help people forget how underpaid they are relative to the market. Also, the cost of living in MA is such that the below-average pay makes it very difficult to work at Cognex and maintain a comfortable quality of life.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that you need to compensate your developing talent, or else they will take their skills elsewhere. People who have the ability to gain employment elsewhere will eventually leave if they don't feel respected by management. You can gain more through positive motivation rather than threatening people's jobs.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Fine until I find something better

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

    Pros

    There is lots to be done and you can own as many things as you want if you ask for them.

    Cons

    Culture is stifling, people are so over-loaded that no real work with meaningful progress can get done, work life balance is a joke.


  11. Their motto is "Work hard, play hard...minus the play hard"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Engineer in Natick, MA
    Former Employee - Sales Engineer in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cognex full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pays well - $135-250K depending on bonuses. Some great people to work with.

    Cons

    Very hostile work environment. Most of the company is quite arrogant.



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