FU Associates Reviews

Updated March 7, 2015
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3.0
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Edward Y Fu
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. The sanest, most supportive, and collaborative work environment that I have experienced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Current Employee - Software Developer

    I have been working at FU Associates full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I very much enjoy working as part of a truly collaborative team at Fu Associates, especially after coming from a highly political work culture that had become toxic for me at my previous job. I had tried for three years to get a comparable new job without any luck, and so finally I decided to change tack and go back to software development, if I could get back in at middle age. I learned about Fu Associates through a friend, and fortunately Ed Fu offered me a position even though my coding skills had lain fallow for more than a decade, and at much less of a pay cut than I had feared. But I am learning and growing again, in a 40-hour-a-week job, and in a very supportive environment in which I am not blamed for everything for a change. This is the happiest I've been in a long time. It is just so nice to just work with competent, positive colleagues and get things done, and not have to worry about how to navigate around incompetent and/or difficult people whose egos must be stroked (or else they will retaliate, because they are insecure about more competent people showing them up).

    It is a testament to the positive environment that a significant fraction of the company has been working at Fu Associates for 20 years, and the Federal client also continues its ongoing contract with the company for such a long time, too. This contrasts with my previous company where people (particularly the ones I liked) were seeking escape routes right and left.

    Other aspects I like: free food is provided at work (real food, like roasted turkey and spaghetti carbonara). Though the salaries are lower at the front end, the end-of-year bonus and automatic 10% 401K match make up for this quite a bit. The health insurance is also more generous than at my previous company: at Fu, there is no monthly fee, and there is a $1000 deductible before copays and coinsurance kick in. At my previous job, I had to pay $100/month just to have insurance - so that was $1200 out of my pocket before I even saw a doctor - and though there were copays for office visits, my deductible was also $1500 for in-network (and higher for out-of-network). My eye exam and contact lenses cost me zero last year, as opposed to what I had to pay even with vision coverage at my previous job. Good benefits have real value!

    Also, though the work is what it is - Fu Associates is a contractor that is paid to do work in support of a Federal agency, after all - and therefore the projects can work on all fall within a certain scope, there still is room to learn new skill sets as projects get done. And we are not expected to work any more than 40 hours per week while doing so, so there is time for a rich personal life, too.

    The management is very approachable and supportive. And I am learning from highly qualified people who are happy staying at Fu Associates because they value this support (believe me, it is all too easy to end up working for psychopaths in the DC contractor world).

    Cons

    Yes, the office is pretty shabby-looking in a lot of ways, as other reviews have indicated. You don't really notice it after the first couple of weeks, though. I will take a shabby office over toxic work culture any day.

    This isn't the place to be doing cutting-edge software development. Let's face it, though, the Federal government has to go with proven technologies for software that serves a national clientele. It is what it is, and it pays the bills. But you only have to work 40 hours a week, so you have the free time to learn the newer technologies if that is what you want to move towards in your next job.

    The company isn't the perfect place for everyone, and some roles and/or managers may be more difficult than others. This happens everywhere. An employee should figure out how to resolve a conflict or else move on.

    Advice to Management

    Keep Fu Associates weird! The loyalty of your long-time employees says so much. You have achieved the dream: a workplace where it really is just about people getting the work done, not about parasitic political types trying to advance themselves by throwing other people under the bus. Please keep it this way, as it gives me hope that more workplaces can operate like this.

  2. High performing in a family friendly environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Systems Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at FU Associates full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The first thing you should know about Fu Associates is that it is filled with great people. Everyone is very kind and friendly. Many friends are made at Fu and many weddings happen at Fu too!!

    Fu is also a very family friendly work environment and offers flexible scheduling. Working at home regularly is also an option if you stay with the company for awhile. I work at home once a week, sometimes more and sometimes less.

    An important thing to understand about Fu is it's a "no non-sense", results-oriented environment. That's one reason dress is casual. Who cares how you look if you do great work? Someone else complained about the cheap furniture. Having nice furniture has no bearing on producing good results so who needs it? The money to buy nice furniture has to come from somewhere. Ever wonder why many companies don't offer great benefits? It's probably because the money is being spent on frivolous overhead like nice furniture!!

    Speaking of results, Fu has an excellent reputation for producing high quality work with very fast turnarounds. This is achieved firstly by having great people and secondly by having a very lean and flat corporate structure. If you want to talk to the president, there he is! No need to make any appointments or anything. I suppose the downside to this is that upper management (which is really just two people) knows everything about everyone. If you want to come to the office and hide and do nothing, this is not the place for you.

    Fu has amazing benefits. Whenever our friends hear about our benefits, they're floored. Given a choice between great benefits and great furniture, I'll pick great benefits every time. Employees are treated very generously. Unlike what other reviewers have said, I would say the pay is very competitive. No, it's not the highest in the industry but you have to consider the full complete package.

    When you do consider the complete package, it's no wonder people stay here for many years. Many of the employees have stayed for over 20 years. I don't know what the IT industry average is but many people I know change jobs every few years. You know it must be a great place if people stay on for more than 20 years. The proof is in the pudding, right?

    Cons

    It's a small company so if you aspire to be upper management or vice president of something, that won't happen here.

  3. Not a company that you should give any consideration towards.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Arlington, VA

    I worked at FU Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Family friendly, kids are welcome in the office. Casual environment. Some employees are able to work from home, although its never made clear when this becomes an option.

    Cons

    Compensation is well below average. Old, cheap equipment and furniture. Their development tools and methods are well out of date and they aren't interested in improving. The systems they build are a maintenance nightmare for developers.

    Advice to Management

    Unfortunately I don't believe that the management is interested in advice.

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  5. FU Associates, the company behind the scenes.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Developer in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Developer in Arlington, VA

    I worked at FU Associates

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    FU Associates is a very relaxed environment. The dress code is extremely casual and they tend to hire anyone who wants to work. They are willing to train. The benefits are good and cover more than most companies would. The health benefits are the most impressive this about the company. Next is their 401k match plan. They don't match, but they contribute 10% of your salaries regardless of whether you contribute to your own account. Oh, and there's free beer everyday, which can or can not be a good thing. Management engages in a lot of drinking, which may be the reason for the relaxed working environment.

    Cons

    Oh my, there's so may, it's hard to start. Executive level management is outdated and completely incompetent. There's a lot of yelling and abuse by management, who generally treat employees like they are indebted to the company. There's a lot of verbal abuse and almost on a daily basis. There is an expectation for employees to dedicate their lives to invest in the company. There's also no sense of evaluation and more so things are based on favoritism. But, I'd say the biggest and most obvious downside is the salary you receive. It's about half of what the average salary should be for your position. Advancement is nearly impossible, there's no new knowledge and no room for growth.

    Advice to Management

    I would say any senior manager from a halfway respectable corporate company should run screaming.

  6. A Joke

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst

    I worked at FU Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    No dress code. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Pay is terrible, at most being half of average for the DC area. No possibilities for promotion as senior positions are filled by nepotism hires. Management is indeed as abusive as the other reviews say, fostering a hostile and paranoid work environment. Company recieves its entire revenue from a single contract and its performance is embarassingly bad. Future success is doubtful. Office is filthy and mold is visible on the walls.

  7. unprofessional environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FU Associates full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Casual dress code keeps down dry cleaning bills!

    Cons

    Favoritism and childish behavior (from the "favorites" and management) are tolerated. Company talks much about loyalty but it is one sided.

  8. No respect or great communication skills shown

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FU Associates

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Casual attire, meals provided daily( though it may not be anything you like but it's there)
    Kids can come with their parents to the office(in the northern va area great help with childcare expenses)
    You can work at home

    Cons

    Management does show favoritism amongst the staff especially to some of the ones who have been with the company for 20 years plus.
    There is alot of verbal abuse shown to the employees and even in front of other employees.
    The office equipment is very outdated and the office itself not very clean. There is always a period of time when gnats seem to infest the office because of food being left out overnight etc.
    It does seem as if the company thinks it's employees are indebted to the company and tries to insist to help them to make them feel obligated to stay with the company.
    No room for growth , the employees seem to stay stagnant in the same positions so they just leave when they have had enough.

    Advice to Management

    Luring employees into the company with the thought of not having to dress up and choosing a schedule to work does not make up for the verbal abuse that they will receive.. respect and communication is key and that is definitely missing at this company.

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