2.5 of 5 20 reviews
www.apcon.com Wilsonville, OR 50 to 149 Employees

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Hardware Engineers Run

Hardware Engineer (Former Employee)
Wilsonville, OR

I worked at Apcon full-time for less than a year

ProsGreat group of current engineers. My engineering co-workers were the best part of this short experience. I can't really speak of any other departments or the product itself.

ConsFor full disclosure, I’m a recently terminated Apcon, Inc. hardware engineer with a background in test. I was an employee for less than 60 days. No reason was provided for the termination other than it was felt I wasn’t working out. My primary interaction was with the hardware and software engineers for whom I have nothing but praise.

My review pertains more to the senior management decision making process from the perspective of a hardware test engineer. Since 2007, this company has had about 6 different people compete with the (CEO/Owner) for the responsibility of engineering manager/director. In my short time at Apcon, the current engineering manager wasn’t even certain he could get the authorization to purchase a $130 2x attenuation probe or an $1800 1MΩ probe adapter to properly perform requested measurements. Don’t even consider getting an additional high speed probe. There’s no software license to perform design simulations, optimization, pre or post analysis; you might as well have a chisel and stone tablet.

It was amusing when the owner sent an e-mail indicating he wanted to spearhead getting to the bottom of some engineering issue (in my opinion) his reactive, emotion based decision making process led to. Decisions seem to be top down, made on a whim and not necessarily with supporting data. The owner also likes to frequently verbally assert his knowledge and experience.

After collecting data (scope screenshots) as directed in the previously mentioned meeting, I was going to prepare a report when Richard requested to see all the measurements performed again so he could see them on the scope instead of just seeing the screen shots in the report. He made some snarky comment about me being the new kid and his vast experience.

Some might see my comments as the quibble of a disgruntled person, however I’m writing this as a cautionary tale reflecting my personal opinions, observations & experience. I made the decision to leave a contract position I enjoyed for the potential opportunity Apcon seemed to represent based upon comments in the interview. I was cautiously optimistic right up until the day I started and learned the cheapest, least capable tools possible had been purchased to upgrade from a 7 year old legacy tool (i.e. Altium PCAD). I don’t mind saying it was PCAD because Apcon states in a public job description PCAD is used. I’ve been very careful in writing this review so as not to make any comments that may be viewed as proprietary and make me the subject of litigation.

I was just starting a report when called to my termination meeting. Data I was going to use (scope screen shots) was on a personal thumb drive because a company thumb drive was not provided or readily available. In addition to the few Apcon files being used for reports, there was over 9GB of personal files in the form of various useful python scripts I’d written or collected, application notes and presentations (not everything was backed up).

After my termination, I was walked from the building without the opportunity to personally gather my belongings (I didn’t make any threating remarks or outbursts to warrant such treatment). When being walked from the building, I informed the Engineering Director my thumb drive was in the front of the computer, but had to ask them to go back for it when it wasn’t originally brought out with my other belongings (this is after waiting around on the loading dock for 15 minutes). Instead of asking me to remove any Apcon data from the thumb drive, the engineering director, formatted my flash drive without forewarning me or informing me after the fact when my flash drive was finally brought out to the loading dock.

You decide if this is where you want to work. Best of luck.

Finally, to reiterate, the other engineers I worked with are a fine group of individuals. Best of luck to you too since you must continue dealing with Richard.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe owner is a condescending, micromanager. You hired a engineering director for a reason, give him a budget, get some decent test equipment and a full blown EDA package with analysis capabilities. Tell your engineers they're doing good work and then leave them alone. You're supposed to be the person strategically leading your company not micromanaging engineering and being the person people least want to see walking toward them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Why Apcon cant keep good sales people

Regional Sales (Current Employee)

I have been working at Apcon full-time for more than a year

Pros: Product can sell itself if you can get it in… Cons: Local "old guard" sales managers play way too much politics. Always trying to take credit for your sales when speaking to management. You never know… Advice to Senior Management: Mark should dump the "old guard" local sales managers so he can learn what is really going on here. I… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

  • Culture & Values
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Career Opportunities
  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

"Yes Sir" people will do well there... and that only for a while

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Apcon full-time

Pros: There are some very good and professional people there. Unfortunately 1/2 of them had already left before i did. To be honest there is very… Cons: The CEO has everyone on a tight leach. New ideas and initiatives are not welcome. Everyone fears for its job. It is a very oppressive… Advice to Senior Management: retirement No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company… More

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