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Helpful (9)

Hardware Engineers Run

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Hardware Engineer in Wilsonville, OR
Former Employee - Hardware Engineer in Wilsonville, OR

I worked at Apcon full-time (Less than a year)

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

Great 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.

Cons

For 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 Management

The 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.

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Why Apcon cant keep good sales people

    Current Employee - Regional Sales
    Current Employee - Regional Sales

    I have been working at Apcon full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Product can sell itself if you can get it in front of decision makers

    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 what they are saying about you behind your back. I invested months in a sale, created the opportunity managed the sales process keeping my local manager entirely informed . Back in headquarters I heard about a large sale that my manager worked, and it turned out to be my account sale.

    Advice to Management

    Mark should dump the "old guard" local sales managers so he can learn what is really going on here. I want to sell. I have no time for hdq politics. If Mark doesn't fix things then Mr. Rauch should fire Mark.


  2. Helpful (6)

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

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

    I worked at Apcon full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 little good to say about APCON. I believe they used to have at one point a great competitive advantage and great products, but lack of management, structure, roadmap and innovation and clarity in direction and leadership is leading to a lot of issues.

    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 environment to work in. The company is not growing as they are loosing as many people as they hire (most of them live by themselves or get fired)
    The company culture is non existent. If i had to describe it it would be one of fear and blame.

    Advice to Management

    retirement


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