CNI

  www.chickasaw.com
  www.chickasaw.com
There are newer employer reviews for CNI

 

In an endless sea of thousands of IT companies, CNI is a hidden gem.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Software Engineer in Sierra Vista, AZ
Former Employee - Software Engineer in Sierra Vista, AZ

I worked at CNI

Pros

- Team of software engineers have diverse background and talent, and as a result, your career is better enriched working here versus other similar companies.
- There's always a chance to engage in technical conversations, even with non-programmer managers, that can help enrich your current tasks and your long-run career.
- Coworkers and management treat everyone with respect. Management criticism of subordinates is constructive, and doesn't sound like they're "talking down to you".
- Management keeps most of the bureaucracy and paperwork separate from the subordinates, allowing them to focus more on doing their job, resulting in a more enjoyable work experience.
- Upper management visits from time to time to personally thank the teams for their hard work AND they sound like they truly mean it!
- The ability to use your engineering skills to keep America safe!
- The ability to personally meet with the U. S. military (including some veterans who themselves are part of CNI management), and thank them for their hard work.
- Although most jobs involve a "yearly contract" with the U. S. Government, the job itself is a Regular Full-Time job, not a Contract job, and as a result, employees get health benefits, medical/dental, 401k, and other perks you'd never see in most Contract jobs.
- Most projects let you work 40 hours in a week, except for crunch time, which is rare.
- All the coffee & snacks you'd ever want, with an "honor system" to encourage people contribute to this from time to time, enriching your coffee and snack experience to new heights!

Cons

- Upper Management needs to push harder to get contracts from the government. They lost some good contracts (and good talented software engineers) to other not-so-nice companies because of this.
- Projects are often at the mercy of the customer, meaning they can impose certain unreasonable requirements from programmers and company management can do little to fight back.
- Software Engineers are sometimes exposed to the customer "too much". There are some meetings where the customer wasted the engineers' time.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

As mentioned earlier, management needs to fight harder to get government contracts so that they are not forced to lay off talented engineers. They also need to act as a better filter between the customer & engineers in some cases. Except for this, management should continue being friendly to the engineers, thanking them for their work, providing constructive respectful criticism, keeping most of the bureaucracy separate from the work, and recruiting diverse talented engineers. And most importantly, thank you for continuing to help keep America safe!

Recommends

38 Other Employee Reviews for CNI (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Weird mix of competence being held down to the lowest common denominator.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at CNI

    Pros

    CNI managed to implement and centralize a number of security policies and processes at FDA that had been disorganized in the past. Many of the people are technically competent and the average IQ levels are high. If you are technically competent, have an attitude and are opinionated at the right time using the right language, you might get recognized.

    Cons

    Politics and The Good Old Boys Network are in full swing here. There is a strong sense of hierarchy, control games and a "don't waste my time, I'm a big boss" feeling from middle and upper managers. This is not a warm and fuzzy place. We are here because of the compensation.

    uch of the cause is the attitude of the customer, FDA IT, where contractors are considered second class temporary help. Contractor advise, guide and do the work but are not trusted with any overt decision making. The "I'm a big boss" attitude stems largely from the customer. Contractors are not allowed to have window offices and get left over furniture making for an ergonomically poor work area. Telecommuting is supported by CNI management but seems to be a negative to FDA management. People have been fired for being opinionated and less than politically correct when trying to push policy with certain high level FDA managers.

    It seems that the company exists for the benefit of the Chickasaw Nation and that you have limited potential and benefits in your career path if you are not Chickasaw. The benefits are good but it feels like a temporary job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Local management - Separate your approach and attitude from FDA FTE's attitude towards your people. Spend more time planning company team building events.

    Chickasaw Nation management - Offer to adopt CNI employees with 5+ years of excellent service and willing to undergo a "ceremony" into the Chickasaw Nation. Right now I am simply a mercenary as far as your cause is concerned.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    CNI Security contractor at the FDA

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

    I worked at CNI

    Pros

    This location is a unique place to work with a casual, friendly atmosphere. All of FDA IT security is handled by the same contractor and if well placed can have visibility to many aspects of IT security. There are many great people that work here. Security has evolved significantly from when they came in. IR has a great capability.

    Cons

    - CNI is relatively small and lacks many processes, HR is completely unresponsive. In general the company seems more concerned about filling seats. The continue to create small LLC's to qualify as 8A status.

    - People that run this contract were selected by the customer CISO. The customer CISO has a great relationship with a few individuals and those individuals are typically the only few that can speak to him directly. Unfortunately the federal layer of management under the CISO does not have the best working relationship with CNI. Some of these "friends" to the CISO are in "technical advisory" roles with no apparent value-add.

    - This location is unique as most everyone there has been brought on because of a relationship with someone else. This leads to a clique for success.

    - The federal staff rely too much on the contractors for setting direction and the contractors are only interested in meeting status quo.

    - CNI management is generally clueless to whats going on as they manage up, not down and enjoy the leisure of "working" from home or offsite. Management is typically drive-by and usually unapproachable and unavailable.

    - There are a number of groups (i.e. SOC and Certifiers) that will hire people with no experience. While training people with no security experience, is acceptable, hiring security people that have no IT background is not, especially in critical functions.

    - While there are many people here that understand security tools, there are only a few people that understand security.

    - Funding comes from using "hackers" performing demo's to scare more funding.

    - Security advancements are reactive and compliance based vs. having a plan where purchases and advancements fit into.

    - Problems are generally solved by adding more people vs. fixing processes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    FDA management: Understand the inner-workings of the functions and push for detailed processes that you can understand. Question everything. Create a published document with roles and responsibilities and general direction so that everyone can follow see the end-goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
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