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9 people found this helpful  

Good science & tech people---but kept in a constrained box.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Lead Scientist  in  San Diego, CA
Current Employee - Lead Scientist in San Diego, CA

I have been working at FICO

Pros

In the technical/scientific side, the intelligence and friendliness of most of the co-workers. Hiring for good personality (lack of aggressive arrogance) and high ability. Willingness to help and share.

Few egotistical mainpulators I've come in contact with on my side.

Science + tech types who get their job done well.

Cons

Internal computer support for scientific needs is woefully underdeveloped (hardware and software) far worse than even basic academic labs, much less a Yahoo or Google. Essentially they have no clue and no distinction between some random app-server and hard-core scientific cluster simulation. Continuous downscaling about what IT will support or offer or install, enforced centralization, and of course totally forbidding science or devel to administer their own systems & software installation (i.e. be root).

See "advice to senior management".

Advice to ManagementAdvice

CEO talks about how analytics are 'core' of company (indeed without modeling nobody would buy the mediocre software, except maybe Blaze---and that was acquired externally), but it still seems to be viewed --- or at least acted upon --- from the very top as just another random software company, which it isn't.

Major new product upgrades/releases get designed and decisions made with hardly any of the scientific staff knowing what is going in or having any input, and as a result, most decision end up being made by software engineering, with all change driven around their needs. Modeling is often just a

Where is the Chief Analytics Officer? Somebody with fundamental machine learning/modeling knowledge and the clout to drive long-term fundamental progress both from top-down ideas, and sponsoring individual scientist ideas (the "entry level" science is pretty good) to go from idea to product.

Fundamentally, scientists seem to be ignored by the rest of FIC management / business except when there's a bug (either FIC's fault or client's fault) and clients are whining. They just plug models into the small, obsolete, box set up for them by the software development design.

There is no communication from the FIC business side---most of the client partners seem to be inept in interaction and absent otherwise. Scientists don't even know whom to talk to about any specific client, and don't even know whom to ask. Many data problems come from client misunderstanding, but there is no push from FIC business to convince them to fix problems (as it would help the models they get).

There is no communication whatsover about what features competitors have and that we might think about working/improving on---indeed no communication about what the names of the the competitors even are, except through informal grapevine and employee departures.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

229 Other Employee Reviews for FICO (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fair Isaac - great potential, sadly under-realized

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Director in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at FICO

    Pros

    There are some really amazing people at Fair Isaac, and the company has a strong value proposition to offer the world.

    Cons

    Someone once joked that Fair Isaac feels like the "Fisher Price My First Corporation" - and I couldn't agree more. In their struggle to be the 'everything to everybody" company, the leadership team seems to go from one initiative to the next while seemingly hoping that the latest furniture rearrangement will somehow solve the bigger problems. If only the leadership would make the hard and tough decisions around restructuring the business and focusing on only the core opportunities, it could be a really great place to work!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus. Focus. Focus. Either replace the COO or consider seriously limiting his sphere of influence - he's more in the way of change than a champion for it.

    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Blah

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at FICO

    Pros

    Life/Work Balance is solid and reasonable. The team that I work on is kept small and manageable in that everyone knows well what everyone else is doing.

    Cons

    Salary and upward mobility can be lacking. There is no rhyme or reason to salary increases or promotions. Truly incompetent employees are kept around for seemingly no reason. The company is currently in cost saving mode and some of the personal decisions have been down right baffling. Clearly competent employees have been let go while terrible ones with MUCH higher salaries keep there jobs. The value added ratio does not compute. It is quite an amazing thing to watch. Also, benefits are being slashed and were just so/so to begin with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to salaries and who is doing good work.

    No opinion of CEO
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