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There are newer employer reviews for Blackboard

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It's only going to get better... new leadership, new vision, a new Blackboard.

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Product Manager in Washington, DC
Current Employee - Product Manager in Washington, DC

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

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

Pros

Good opportunity to contribute, advancement opportunities are there, lots of smart people, lots of energy.

Cons

Work/life balance is 'okay,' but could be better, Retirement benefits are sub-par, Need clearer insight into decision making process

Advice to Management

Transparency has been great, please keep that up... some decisions have been surprising.

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  1. Helpful (5)

    An excellent learning experience, an up and down ride

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Washington, DC

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

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

    Pros

    Incredible talent (recognized or not), a righteous cause (rare in the tech industry)

    Cons

    Managers who are managers only because they've been around the longest, lack of focus/direction. If you're in the right place at the right time then you can succeed and advance. If you're not, you will stagnate. No one is the decider and everyone can veto.

    Advice to Management

    As a former Blackboard employee (full disclosure: I left of my own accord to peruse career advancement) I too have been saddened by news of the most recent round of layoffs. As many in the industry know, but perhaps not to the full scope, this is a continuation of a direction that has been followed since the Providence Equity buy out. There have been "shadow" rounds in other divisions and the company as a whole is certainly considerably leaner then it was several years ago. I came to Bb shortly after the WebCT acquisition which in retrospect was really the end of the end of the startup era. Blackboard grew explosively during my tenure and while from the outside that may have appeared to be only a result of M&A activity but it was really driven by people deeply committed to education. Many of us could have had more highly compensated careers in other tech verticals but we were there because we believed we were working on something important. To be sure; Bb made quite a few missteps when bringing on other product lines. The lack of operational and centralized cohesion between the various divisions halted what I always felt was the rise of a truly great company (as opposed to just a good company). During my time under the Jay Bhatt regime it was clear that the times they were a changin. As a technical rather than business person I can only hope that the pain of the change will be offset by the benefits of consolidation. The soul of Bb, the culture has certinaly changed... and unfortunately for the negative but I hope out of the ashes comes a stronger education partner. Here's hoping... And I'd like to say a huge thank you to the Fontaine's, the Day's, the Chasen's, the Gage's and all of the other "institutions" who made Bb the company it was.

    I'd love to recommend Blackboard to friends but some cleaning up and shoring up is required before I would do that.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Watch out for Outsourcing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Analyst in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Technical Analyst in Indianapolis, IN

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my time at Blackboard and still would be working there today if it was not for outsourcing the development work from the back office systems. The business people were great to work with and we were very successful in building solid back-office systems.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, upper management felt that outsourcing / off-shoring the development work was the best use of development funds. As a developer, I was adversely affected by this decision and left with a great deal of "tribal knowledge" which was not passed along to the rotating staff of off shore resources. With this model, the internal customers suffer from lack of personal attention and turn over is high.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your staff instead of outsourcing.


There are newer employer reviews for Blackboard
There are newer employer reviews for Blackboard

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