Cobalt

  www.cobalt.com
  www.cobalt.com
There are newer employer reviews for Cobalt

 

Cobalt's been there, done that, and got the pint glasses to prove it

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Human Resources Community Manager in Seattle, WA
Current Employee - Human Resources Community Manager in Seattle, WA

I have been working at Cobalt

Pros

There's a reason I've worked at Cobalt for a long time - lots of them actually.

The biggest one is that I feel like I belong here. There's a strong sense of community at Cobalt, and that's been true since day one (over ten years ago for me). There have been some hard times and some great times, and I've always felt like my work matters, like I make a difference, and like I can use my experience and knowledge to help others. That feeling comes from John Holt - he does his best to make sure that everyone feels a part of Cobalt, and he's a big part of why I've stuck with my work here.

There's a lot of room for growth and change at Cobalt. I've had a number of different jobs here, ranging from technical to creative and back again. Each time, with only a couple exceptions, the moves have been something I sought and was encouraged to seek by my managers. In the cases where I had to move to a different position, because of layoffs or similar changes, my new team always found a way to make the best of it. My most recent position was sort of a "forced" move, but honestly I feel that I'm in the best place I could be right now, in a position uniquely suited to my talents and abilities.

When the chips were down, Cobalt found a place for me - at least twice for certain, and probably more than that. I can't help but appreciate that, and I don't think I would find it in most other companies this size.

What else? The benefits at Cobalt are excellent and most managers are understanding and flexible with scheduling. There's a very open environment here, where you can ask anything and not be made to feel like an idiot for it. Any ideas are welcome, which is a great feeling. Most jobs here are challenging, and if you are the type of person to seek more challenge, you'll find it!

And have I mentioned my growing collection of Cobalt pint glasses? Each employee gets a new one every year, on the company's anniversary. My cabinet's getting full. I love them!

The company itself is in a good place, part of a strong and necessary industry and positioned well to succeed. Simply put, I feel like I'm in the right place because I'm a part of that success.

And just to be clear, I'm a real person with a real career and real experiences. There's plenty of real people to go round at Cobalt.

Cons

Cobalt is part of the automotive industry, which can be hard in itself - as the auto industry business rises and falls, so (to some degree) does Cobalt. Our customers can be demanding and sometimes hard to work with, and that can make for a stressful day, no matter what your position is.

Within the organization, there are frequent process changes and interdepartmental shifts, so you have to be willing to roll with the changes, even when you don't like them. Documentation and communication across departments can be difficult sometimes - it's a weakness that many are aware of and finally, with some new tools coming, one that we are making traction on doing something about. It's been a long, hard road to get there, and we're not all the way there yet.

Cobalt's such a big company that sometimes it's easy to get lost in your own world. I remember when it was small enough that you could almost know everyone's name, and somebody (anybody!) leaving was a pretty big deal. As much as I love our growth, I sometimes miss the smaller company feel of it, and sometimes I don't find out someone has left the company for a long time. It's too easy, now, to be insulated from the company as a whole in favor of your team or your department.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Keep the open atmosphere and the sense of community alive at Cobalt, and bolster it with improved avenues of communication across departments. Give us the tools to do great things and you know we will. Encourage team-building, not just within teams and departments, but across them too. What still makes Cobalt best is the same as it ever was - the feeling of being a part of something big. Please don't forget that. Keep inspiring us.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

283 Other Employee Reviews for Cobalt (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great benefits, but very stressful

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

    I have been working at Cobalt

    Pros

    The culture isn't bad, most of the people who work here are decent, and the benefits are actually really good.

    Cons

    The company focuses way too much on new products without making sure their old ones work properly. It ends up being a very hectic place to work, since there's usually some emergency or other that could have been avoided.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start budgeting some maintenance time for your products and start asking your customers what they want to see for the new stuff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Quality? Who needs that?

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

    I have been working at Cobalt

    Pros

    Relaxed dress code, great salary, decentish benefits, support for a healthy work-life balance, and they really know how to throw a party. Chances to learn things outside your paygrade if you're curious.

    Cons

    The software is shoddy -- supporting it sucks, because it's ancient and decrepit and no one knows how it's supposed to work anymore, but the Dev guys aren't allowed to actually do maintenance for most products except when there's an OEM endorsement in danger or in other extreme cases. Instead, upper management keeps insisting on painting another layer of shellac over the broken system and hoping that this new shiny layer of paint will magically make the underlying layers better.

    Security is also shoddy -- a number of things that could bring certain services and functions to a screeching halt are "protected" only by having people not know where to look for them. And no one seems to care.

    The culture is ill -- lazy, incompetent sycophants are allowed to do whatever they want (you want to take six smoke breaks before lunch? Go ahead!) and get promoted, people who work hard and well but fail to kowtow to management get fired or laid off. On my (large!) team, I do not trust over half of them to be competent unsupervised, and I trust my team a lot more than any of the other teams in my org!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start investing in maintaining the products we have, not just coming out with new ones. It's absurd and embarrassing that some of our primary customer-facing tools date back to 2003 or earlier and have no real development effort being put into them. Yes, making and selling new products is sexier, but improving the ones we have already would increase employee satisfaction AND customer retention as well as customer satisfaction!

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

Work at Cobalt? Share Your Experiences

Cobalt

 
Click to Rate
or

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