DEKA Research

  www.dekaresearch.com
  www.dekaresearch.com

DEKA Research Reviews

Updated November 24, 2014
Updated November 24, 2014
32 Reviews
2.8
32 Reviews
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Dean Kamen
27 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Wonderfully innovative environment, great perks and impressive co-workers

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

    I have been working at DEKA Research full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The work environment is extremely flexible, great if you have a family, can basically make your own hours as long as you are there for the core hours (ex. 9-2)
    No formal dress code.
    Creativity and progressive thinking is highly encouraged. You get to work with some of the smartest people you will ever meet. Extremely innovative environment.
    Management is very accessible. If you have any questions/concerns they are easy to track down and find.
    Flight club, initial flight DEMO free and very inexpensive lessons after that.
    Cafeteria on-site, not free but much cheaper than going any where else in the area for lunch. Great food!
    Fitness center on-site.
    You get what you put in, for some people this is a great Pro, you are recognized for your hard work. For those who like to just get by, not so much.

    Cons

    The pay may be low at times but that is due to the company culture DEKA is trying to create. DEKA wants people who care more about the impact their work has then the money they can make.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More open communication, sometimes its good to know more than the "need" to know.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Put your 2 years in, then move on.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Junior Mechanical Engineer in Manchester, NH
    Current Employee - Junior Mechanical Engineer in Manchester, NH

    I have been working at DEKA Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -About 80% of the time, the environment is very easy-going. Very little pressure to preform. People on Reddit all day, leaving work early etc. (This can be a con, depending on how you look at it)
    -You get what you put into it. You can either slough off the whole time and not learn anything, or you can get some real value out of the guys who've been here 20+ years.

    Cons

    -20% of the time, you're working full-throttle 60+ hours a week with no overtime- just to meet some deadline a client has given us.
    -Poor salary in comparison to other opportunities.
    -Management doesn't seem to care who the performers are.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More consistent management and pressure to preform. We shouldn't be going crazy just because we have a deadline, and we shouldn't be slacking off all other times. This isn't IT. It doesn't have to work like this.

    If you want less turnover rate, reward those who do the work and reprimand those who don't. Simple.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A good stepping stone, nothing more and maybe a little less

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Test Engineer in Manchester, NH
    Current Employee - QA Test Engineer in Manchester, NH

    I have been working at DEKA Research as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Very relaxed environment. You're getting paid (minimally) to get the work done and not how you present yourself.
    - Exciting and meaningful projects going on everywhere, primarily in the medical device industry.
    - Lots of awesome technology to work with

    Cons

    - Just like other have said, pay is terrible. You know it's bad when engineers hardly make more than contracted new-grads.
    - Very unrealistic deadlines forces employees to regularly work overtime without additional compensation. Sure there are bonuses, but that hardly makes up for employees working 70+ hour weeks for 2 months.
    - Extremely unorganized. Not just in management but in DEKA as a whole. Different projects are isolated from one another which makes it difficult to move laterally within the corporation.
    - Unorganized management. It seems to me they have no idea how to utilize man hours on projects or properly motivate a team. Yelling doesn't always do the trick.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a step back, look at the big picture. There are things that could be done much faster with a happier team and result in a more rewarding environment. You need to learn how to motivate and encourage your team. We aren't slaves, we're people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Positive, relaxed atmosphere. Extremely intelligent colleagues. No Bureaucracy.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contract Engineer in Manchester, NH
    Former Employee - Contract Engineer in Manchester, NH

    I worked at DEKA Research as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very informal atmosphere. Generally attractive offices on the river. Minimal hierarchy, approachable & accessible management. Flexibility in assigning roles. Exciting and complex projects constituting industry firsts. Broad variety of work. They recognize talent and confer responsibility very quickly if you warrant it. Very honest communication style.

    Cons

    Compensation is somewhat below average. Manchester is an isolated location, opportunity-wise. Relatively flat organization doesn't provide much opportunity for advancement. Since the projects are typically first of their kind, it can feel a bit disorganized until the teams find their footing and organizational rhythm, but that is often part of innovation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue with the excellent communication and improve upon it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great environment, but low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Manchester, NH
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Manchester, NH

    I have been working at DEKA Research full-time

    Pros

    Smart and creative co-workers, interesting projects, cutting edge processes and technologies are at your disposal if warranted. I have always felt secure in my job, this is a great benefit.

    Cons

    Low pay, poor communication from management. Work life balance can get crazy at busy times - but that is common in many jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set realistic goals. Communicate goals with employees beyond a "need to know" basis.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Intern in Manchester, NH
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Intern in Manchester, NH

    I worked at DEKA Research as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Laid back atmosphere, exciting projects, worked closely with supervisor and other interns. I learned a lot working here and received feedback about my performance from my supervisor at the end of the summer.

    Cons

    Pay is on the lower side

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Lots of work not a lot of money

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

    I have been working at DEKA Research full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Tons of smart and friendly people, many employees are from prestigious east coast universities

    Employes are given all the tools to succeed in terms of hardware/software. If have a good reason why you want something and can prove it's worth you will 99% of the time get approval.

    Start-up like atmosphere, small groups working on big and complex projects. This type of atmosphere is not for everybody! Working at DEKA is working at a start-up company. Each project is treated as it's own start-up company from managements perspective. There is a team of people dedicated to that project and that is all they work on.

    DEKA is NOT a software company nor is it run like one. You don't work for the Software/EE/ME/etc division and get loaned out to projects. In line with my above point you work for a project. Thus there is minimal sharing of code between projects and unless you make the personal effort you don't really know what is happening on other projects.

    Teams are designed to be small and "agile" and there is always more work than people available. Again DEKA projects are run like a Start-up company, everything needs to be done yesterda. So if this is not the atmosphere you thrive in DEKA is not for you.

    Work-life balance is what you make of it. While DEKA would love for you to work overtime every week for no extra money it is not expected as the normal. Many people like what they are working on and stay late anyways. DEKA and management will challenge you to get things done faster and stay longer you just have to stand up and say that their demands are unreasonable. Management doesn't like the work "NO" so you have to play the game, i.e. I can get "X" done in this time frame but what you want is not reasonable and will need to wait for the next release.

    No micro-management, you are expected to get stuff done and to ask questions when you need. In some reviews people feel they are not trained properly or want more guidance. Those issues are directly related to this point as DEKA takes No micro-management to the extreme. This is a pro for me, but I can see it being a con for others. You make of the work day what you want. If you don't want to talk to anybody all day you can get away with it in general. Sure there are meetings at times and your boss will come by for status updates, but outside of that you can sit on your island and nobody will disturb you if you don't want them to, i.e. other employees socializing for a bit.

    Company hierarchy is very flat, approximately 4 people between a standard engineer and the CEO. This leads to minimal promotion opportunities if that is something you are looking for. Basic Software path is: Software Engineer in Test (Junior level) > Software Engineer ( Mid/Senior level) > Project Software Lead. So if you don't want to be a lead then the best you can do is a Senior Software Engineer. After Project Software Lead you are in the realm of Project Systems Engineer (must have ME/EE knowledge, good with physics and thermodynamics along problem solving skills in all those areas. This is not something a pure Software person can do ) or Project Manager.

    No set amount of sick days, so if you are sick do not come in and infect everybody else.

    DEKAs monetary stream stems from royalties. DEKA creates IP, gets patents and then sells the product to a customer and on top of that gets royalties on per product sold. DEKA does not do marketing, sales or anything of that nature. DEKA does R&D all the way up to and including manufacturing. By manufacturing I mean the hand off to a manufacturing house to create the product. DEKA will make sure the product is created correctly by a manufacturer, but marking and sales is all up to the customer. The genius part is outside of Dean's pet projects that he wants to do the customer is paying for the R&D as well. There is minimal risk assumed by DEKA and it's all assumed by the customer, but the customer does not get to dictate design, features, etc.... They have a say in in these matters, but ultimately it is DEKAs project and DEKA will do things correctly and not cut corners. DEKA is not afraid to tell the customer that their ideas are stupid and this is how its being done.

    If you contribute to IP matters you will get the recognition, but nothing more comes out of it outside of your name on the patent as an inventor.

    Cons

    Pay is at least 20% below market value. Bonuses are basically a given every year, but it does not significantly close the gap. At this point fixing the issue would be expensive as you can't just start entry level people at more money as then your employees there for a couple years are now behind in pay to the new scale. A large portion of the employees would need a significant bump to make it all work nicely which I think is unlikely to occur.

    CEO mindset is you should be honored to work at such a prestigious company and if you do not like the way we do things then leave.

    401K plan poorly setup for people who want to manage their own money. Should be like a schwab account where transactions a $9 bucks and not a percentage of price paid on each transaction.

    no free soda(50 cents per can), coffee (25 cents per k-cup) or food (on site cafe for employees, every few years the place leaves and a new place comes in. It's standard sandwiches and stuff you won't eat here everyday but the current place is decent food). DEKA is not setup like a west coast style Start-up. This is not necessary a con, but just a clarifying statement.

    Employees leaving for greener pastures all the time, but the hiring rate is a bit faster. So at the end of the year there be more employees than the previous. You'll hear numbers like 90 new hires in the past year, but comparing total numbers to the previous year there are only 30 more people. Minimal mid-teir workers at DEKA, it's mostly junior level people and Senior level people along with the lifers.

    People say the DEKA name is good on your resume, but I don't see it in all cases. DEKA is a company that either somebody know who DEKA is and want to bring you in for an interview on that name or they have no idea why they should care about DEKA. In most cases it's the latter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not question why people are leaving and when you hear it is because of money claim that is not enough of a reason

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Excellent Innovative company led by a brilliant inventor where talent is shared across all projects.

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

    I have been working at DEKA Research full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work environment is very flexible and relaxed with no formal dress code. Creativity and progressive thinking is highly encouraged. Free flying lessons,company provided workout/fitness center and in house catered food (not free) company organized outings.

    Cons

    Compensation tends to be lower than average for similar roles on the market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More competitive salaries would keep the brightest talent in house rather than at competitors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Insulting salary and arrogant management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Manchester, NH
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Manchester, NH

    I have been working at DEKA Research full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    free parking? ( this is NH )

    well, co-workers are mostly friendly and

    Cons

    pay is low low low. No pay for overtime while projects are understaffed.

    arrogant management style. Yes, some managers treat employees like they are 5 years old.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Laidback, humanitarian company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Test Engineer in Manchester, NH
    Former Employee - Test Engineer in Manchester, NH

    I worked at DEKA Research as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Laid-back atmosphere, no strict dress code for test engineers

    Cons

    Not enough communication from higher-ups

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please work on communicating with your new employees, I felt lost working there

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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