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Great place to work if you are okay with aging technology and occasional upper management headaches

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Software Applications Engineer  in  Austin, TX
Former Employee - Software Applications Engineer in Austin, TX

I worked at First Data as a contractor for less than a year

Pros

- Flexibility. Able to work from home (just not every day) and hours are open.

- People. All the people at the local Austin office are very nice and good at what they do (the corporate overlords are a different story).

- Process. Code is reviewed and the software design process used is pretty solid and easy to work with.

- You're not just given an assignment and told to complete it. You have a lot of power in what you decide to work on (to a degree, of course) and everyone shares the large workload and tackles a part of it.

Cons

- Often takes way too long to get something done if you have to rely on corporate or an off-site team to complete a task.

- Software lacks architecture/API documentation and since most of the code is Perl, it's easy to get lost. New hires take an uncomfortably long time (usually a year) before they are at least semi-proficient. It's really hard to gain momentum and feel productive when 80% of your development time is spent trying to understand what X is, why you would want to use Y, and how Z works.

- Development is done on remote servers and there's no support for modern developer tools. The only tools supported are archaic (CVS, emacs). You can usually manage to find a way to get a semi modern toolset to function, but you'll be missing on all the great features such as auto-complete, etc. that those tools provide.

- Corporate-provided tools/sites/processes are absolutely awful to work with and are fragmented. Half the time I had trouble accessing what I needed and I often didn't know what tool I needed to complete a job (ie filing a support ticket).

I eventually got used to dealing with all the cons and it was a tough decision for me whether to stay or move on. Ultimately it came down to that I am not interested in web development and there was too much of it for me here. Also the continual frustration I experienced when working with this code contributed to my leaving. But I still think it's a great place to work and I don't regret the time I spent there.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Get lean. Your upper management is awful and regularly make decisions that hurt productivity of developers. And fix your abysmal set of tools. With how large the company is, it's inexcusable that it takes so long and is so frustrating to do something that should be quick and simple.

But local management in Austin is doing an outstanding job, and is doing all in their power to make things better. They are still tied down to the whims of upper management though, and that makes it frustrating for everyone.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

488 Other Employee Reviews for First Data (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great, only because it was and internship.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Englewood, CO
    Former Employee - Intern in Englewood, CO

    I worked at First Data full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great Start up Job

    Cons

    Location might be changed

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    It was a decent company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Support Representative  in  Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Technical Support Representative in Omaha, NE

    I worked at First Data full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    When I worked there the company had amazing benefits. If you focus on just doing your job and meeting you goals you will do well. If you do a good job, the people around will notice it.

    Cons

    Pay rates haven't changed since 2005. It really does feel like the higher ups just try to squeeze as much as they can from employees and have no problem letting you go. I know many people who still work their that say the benefits have been drastically cut for 2014. Despite being a very large company, it's very hard to move or be promoted within the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Always try to keep a positive attitude

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
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