Follett Software Company

  www.follettsoftware.com
  www.follettsoftware.com

Follett Software Company Reviews

Updated November 8, 2014
Updated November 8, 2014
33 Reviews
2.8
33 Reviews
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Simona Rollinson
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    The Architect drives technology that was new in 2001, misleading dev bonus, lacking creative freedom.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Software Developer in McHenry, IL
    Current Employee - Principal Software Developer in McHenry, IL

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    The people - development team (below mgt grade level) are all great to work with.
    The commute - no where else to work in northern Mchenry County for technology.
    Flexible work hours - if you need to leave for dr or kids in school, no questions asked.
    Ping Pong - there is a table in one of the development rooms. It is not frowned upon to play during work hours.
    Expanding product line - finally getting out of the dying library market.

    Cons

    Golden Ticket - some people have a free ride, protected by the architect shield. Most are not protected or taken care of.
    Lack of direction for products.
    Development technology is all from 2001 - Architect allows you to work with technology that only he knows.
    Lack of space. Developers work all in one open room, which is good. But management has continued to cram everyone into rooms that become unsanitary, unsafe, and generally uncomfortable. Imagine a room that is 20x20 with 20 people in the room. We have no space for whiteboards or collaboration areas, producing a product is more important how we feel.
    VP of development is too far removed and has too much trust in the Director of Development.
    Development bonus is pitched as a certain percentage, but the reality is you are limited to only 75% of that bonus, with a potential (rare) of 100%.
    Lack of budget for development. We are a SOFTWARE COMPANY, start budgeting some serious money for tools, training, etc. Or just rename the company to Follett Sales Company, its like people in development are 2nd class citizens.
    Teams are agile/xp, but management/product owners/VP does not adopt this. They say they are agile and xp, but in reality they are not.
    Promise of large vacation was taken away, along with paid break over xmas and new years.
    Insurance rates have continued to go up for the past 8 years and we have switched providers 6 times.
    Low turnover might seem good, but in a technology company the staff is set in their old ways.
    Bad compensation - raises for good/great work is between 1 and 2.5%
    Management does not care about the people. Its about producing and not about taking care of the staff. We are a number in the eyes of management, we can be picked up and moved to another team on a whim and expected to produce at the velocity calculated by the Director. Management preaches its all about the team, but they constantly shift direction and resources, mid-stream, and reference " we are agile" and think its ok.
    Leadership team (group of development managers) does not appear to have a common vision or appear to be on the same page. Review process changes every year, which lends to everyone feeling we are not cared for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating your developers like warehouse employees. Realize that most of us are highly technical developers that need creativity and flexibility to design and create solutions. We are not just there to code the next wiz-bang feature that was over documented/analyzed in a story. If you want that, why not hire a consultant who is just collecting a paycheck and wants to be told what to do. The assembly line approach to software development burns people out!

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    An OK place to work.

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

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    Relaxed environment. The team as a whole is committed to a good job. You get the sense that people really care about what they are doing. At times you get to work with cutting edge technology.

    Cons

    Lack of direction and focus from management team. Some locations and projects are hindered by overblown software process (full XP shop). This will probably be the norm across all locations and projects in the coming months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need a unified message and plan of action. Too many people with influence directing the course of software development.

    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    "The Gilded Days are in FSC's rearview mirror"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in McHenry, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in McHenry, IL

    I worked at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    +friendly, hometown people
    +competitive base salaries, generous uncapped commissions
    +many employees have a long tenure at FSC

    Cons

    -Unclear direction for the future of FSC
    -Poor M&A decisions have led to products that don't represent FSC's reputation for quality
    -Unfocused corporate direction has led to development of products that don't represent the need of the marketplace
    -Challenges in recruiting the best problem solvers and innovative thinkers due to location and culture of the company. Corporate culture does not reward out-of-the-box change agents, and so they leave or are fired after a short tenure

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    FSC does not have the "brand name" outside of the library that you believe it does. Moving too far away from the core business will dilute the established brand/customer satisfaction you do have.
    FSC needs to hire real change agents and innovators to figure out the "next big thing." Maintaining an insular boys' club is a certain way to ultimately fail.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stable employment in an industry that we can be proud of, with a low-turnover environment.

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

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    Working for a company whose aim is to help the K-12 education market make better use of its money and resources is a huge source of pride. The service departments strive to understand the needs of the education industry to assure that our products and consultation are on target.
    The company appears to genuinely encourage the ongoing education of its employees, and continues to improve its communication to all associates.
    The low turnover rate provides a foundation for improvements company-wide. With most of its employees highly-skilled at their jobs, historical information is readily available for research and process improvement is the focus, rather than beginner-level training.

    Cons

    The low turnover rate keeps career advancement to a minimum.
    In response to the economic downturn, most departments are at their minimum number of employees to get the business done - many departments are chronically overworked as a result and work/life balance is no longer a priority.
    FSC does not yet make use of the most recent technology to optimize its ability to provide seamless customer support between departments providing customer contact services.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With customer contact (as opposed to our software products) being viewed as a critical component to acquiring and keeping customers these days, I would recommend supplementing the staff in service departments (so we don't burn out) and investing in current customer-tracking technology for interdepartmental communication.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work...if you NEVER want to advance.

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

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, casual work environment...lots of Paid Time Off.

    Cons

    NO career path whatsoever. There is NO opportunity for advancent, although there are plenty of empty promises.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start respecting the employees that work their fingers to the bone for you.They know what they are doing and deserve opportunity for advancement. They will not stick around if you don't.

    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Follett Software can be a really fun place to work, if you are a developer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in McHenry, IL
    Current Employee - Software Developer in McHenry, IL

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    Open environment, no cubicles for development
    Casual dress
    No overtime
    A lot of knowledge sharing due to Xtreme programming (pair programming)

    Cons

    Promotions are hard to come by.
    Lower salaries than average

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be helpful to ensure that all positions are compensated fairly for their jobs.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Follett Software -- a Great Place to Work!

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

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    I work with a great group of people and I feel like the work I do is meaningful. Teaming is strong and the sense of motion is positive. The industry -- working to improve education -- also lends a feel-good factor. We have great relationships with our customers -- they are passionate about what they do and that passion is contagious. It's a bright, creative, and agile group of people working in a family-oriented, friendly work environment. Benefits are good -- and work policies are reasonable.

    Cons

    Follett can be a little too conservative at times. There is often great reluctancy to 'kill the sacred cows' if it means challenging an executive-level belief even when change would clearly offer improvement. For example, no support for telecommuting, even though it could greatly improve productivity. Management decisions, particularly those that involve change, can take too long to be made and could arguably be more informed with more balanced input from employee stakeholders who are most affected by the change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Challenge yourself to think differently. There are many paths to 'right' and 'best' and the road that got us here is not necessarily the same road that takes us to the future. Consider that more transparancy and participation in directional decisions can spark more engagement and passion. Decide more quickly and be willing to experiment and take limited risks to test out new products and processes. Don't expect eveyrthing you try to be perfect -- don't wait until conditions are perfect -- experiment, test and embrace the learning that comes with limited failures in addition to success.

    Recommends
  9.  

    Nowhere job; cut-throat company that is down-sizing

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

    I have been working at Follett Software Company full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    flex time, work from home,

    Cons

    incompetent managers -- zillions of them, in zillions of layers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get somebody new who can manage people, not just projects

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    changes keep coming that never result in any thing getting better

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

    I have been working at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    some good people but some of the best have been leaving lately. we do not have to work much over time.

    Cons

    "do more with less" is the company motto
    over heard today 2 people talking about PTO changes. they noticed people listening and clamed up. more cuts. joy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop the penny wise pound foolish. get a plan we can rally to and be happy about. dont cut benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Follett Review

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

    I worked at Follett Software Company

    Pros

    The Follett products are stable, afordable and making a difference in the education of children all over the world, that is very satisfying. They have an open door policy and all managers are there because they believe in what they're doing, not just taking up an office and getting their salary. Employee culture is pretty positive most of the time.

    Cons

    For being a software company, their own systems and technology are out of date. There is no effective employee orientation or training other than what each department can come up with. There is not much room for advancement unless you are willing to wait years. Many of the departments have been run by the same people for a long time and things can get stagnate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shake things up and move people around, cross train and reduce middle management.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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