Blackhawk Network

  www.blackhawknetwork.com
  www.blackhawknetwork.com
There are newer employer reviews for Blackhawk Network

4 people found this helpful  

Limited

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Analyst in Pleasanton, CA
Current Employee - Analyst in Pleasanton, CA

I have been working at Blackhawk Network

Pros

Commute, people, oh and commute

Cons

When I first started working at BHN, I was very excited and eager to new learn new things. By my 6 month, I was highly dissapointed. There is so much favortism in this company, it should be illegal. Management is a joke. BHN promotes people right out of college into management roles. These "kids" have no idea how to manage anything but how to order drinks at a bar. BHN DOES NOT have any training in place for management at any level, and they all manage differently. There is no consistency of any kind. The same people get promoted for doing average work. If your tall, skinny and blond, then this is the spot for you. You will get promoted for doing nothing more than taking information someone else provided and passing it on.
There is a phrase often used, its "The Blackhawk Way" If you hear that phrase....RUN. This means that there is NO documentation, NO process, NO training, NO advice, NO recognition (Unless you work on the 5th floor) Real Ethics problems!

The 4th floor contractors are treated like modern day slaves. The IT management should be ashamed of themselves.

Oh and HR....doesn't do anything but coordinate events, picnics and they are exceptionally good and NOTHING! They don't even recruit! They are definitely not there to protect the employees, if they were BHN might be halfway of a decent place to work for.

BHN is not going to go public anytime soon...they will get bought out very soon.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

STOP promoting people less that 30 years old in to management roles...you're setting them and their employees up for failure. YOU need to take responsibility for your groups and not just pass the buck. Stop whining when you dont get your way. Remember, what goes around comes around...

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

108 Other Employee Reviews for Blackhawk Network (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Not even enemies let enemies work at Blackhawk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network

    Pros

    If you live near Pleasanton, the commute is very good. The $ is somewhat competitive. There are many great people at Blackhawk, and if you are looking to further your domain knowledge about the Payment Card Industry, Blackhawk has much knowledge about it.

    The top level management seems quite articulate and has a great command of the market and product development, so it's a real shame this doesn't translate to the lower levels. The business model is solid, and the market is expanding - but the devil is in the details...

    Cons

    I wish I could list more pros than cons... but I can't even come close

    Mark my review down as the same as the previous "I've been doing software development for 15 years and I've never seen anything remotely close to Blackhawk". Politics exist in all organizations where humans are involved, but Blackhawk seems to be an extreme outlier.

    At least in Blackhawks's IT department, the culture seems to be based on "consultant culture" where everything is viewed in isolation with a "slash and burn" approach. All nighters and weekends are not uncommon.

    Organizational: Blackhawk is an *incredibly* politicized environment, at all levels, from top level management all the way down to the engineer level. To survive, it is necessary to determine the political ramifications of almost every decision. Yelling is often the way arguments are won. As a former colleague mentioned in another review "under the bus" culture is so prevalent, it seems unusual when someone *is not* thrown under the bus for making a mistake. To survive, your "under the bus instinct" needs to be razor sharp. Blackhawk is a "work hard" and not a "work smart" environment, in which innovation is stifled in favor of toil.

    Leadership (oops, I mean "management"): Chaos reigns. There is vision delivered from the top, but it never seems to materialize at the implementation level. Threats are often used as a motivational tool.

    Technical: Blackhawk's Issuance platform is entirely proprietary and will not help your resume outside of the Blackhawk building. If you interview to work on java for a job on this team, you will not work on java. The proprietary tools that are used do not support any modern development methodologies, so forget about that too. Because of the aforementioned politics, there seems to be fear about changing any of this. If you want to work in non-testable, procedural (and non OOP) environment, then this is the tool for you ;)

    If you are a non citizen or non green card holder (i.e. if you hold an H1-B that you will need sponsored either by Blackhawk or a contracting agency that will contract you to Blackhawk): Be especially wary - STAY AWAY, FAR AWAY: In many cases, these poor folks seem to be exploited as the "peasant caste", who work the most crazy, thankless hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that you are a software development company, and that your value is delivered via software. Stop treating your technical people like mercenaries. Stop giving lip service to team building, and start doing it. If you are scoped above IT (CFO, CEO), start looking hard at IT management. Realize that your competitive edge comes from your people. Realize that the market for developers is incredibly tight, and you are currently not even close to being competitive.

    Stop managing and start leading.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Stay Away If You're an IT Professional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network

    Pros

    Expertise - payment and gift card industry.
    Location - for people who don't want to commute to silicon valley or SF.

    Cons

    There are many problems in BHN's IT department and they stem all the way from the top. It's OK to bring in buddies to hold important positons if they're competent but it's definitely bad to promote inexperience people to be the front line lieutenants. Because of these questionable promotions, people with minimal IT experience prior to BHN are now in key management positions. The lack of their experience not only shows in technical incompetency but management as well.

    The culture is very negative and ignorant, again, is because everything flows from the top. One's disrespectful attitude towards other senior executives and employees behind their backs gives his lieutenants the wrong idea that such conduct is acceptable and they follow the same to treat their employees.

    Don't get me wrong, these are not dumb people. However, they seem to be too smart to listen, too smart to see and too smart to learn. Some of them will probably have to go work for an established silicon valley company to get a few ideas how to run an IT department well before they even try to recruit A+ players from these companies.

    Bottom line is, if you're an IT professional who wants to be treated as such BHN is probably not for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good look at your top tier management in IT. Everyone knows IT is a cost center and you will run into more costs when you have inexperienced managers who create intangibles that drag the entire department down to a halt.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Blackhawk Network

Work at Blackhawk Network? Share Your Experiences

Blackhawk Network

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.