Fortigent, LLC

  www.fortigent.com
  www.fortigent.com

Fortigent, LLC Reviews

Updated October 6, 2014
Updated October 6, 2014
20 Reviews
3.1
20 Reviews
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Jamie McIntyre
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A company in transition, in an industry in transition to online service

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

    I worked at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Smart people, personable, merging with larger parent corporation. Opportunity to influence a larger more staid development team. Incredible growth opportunity if they expand their software service offerings to institutional investment providers (banks) and their base of accounts explodes.

    Great automated continuous build process. Centralized code sharing and compilation-test makes it easy to share with other developers. Automated user interface test is not up to speed yet.

    Dot Net shop, with a C#, VB, MS-Server, Knockout.js, AutoFac stack. Uses SVN/Tortoise and GIT/Tortoise repositories as required for different storage. Parent company wants to go to Agile.js

    Cons

    Merging into new parent company. Converting into silos of development as the team expands and the projects increase. Despite the paen to Agile development, the process is fairly loose, and the higher levels of Agile organization are slight. This may be changing, but there is going to be a large learning process before the different silos operate together with capable leaders for each team. All this may become futile if the organization is subsumed in the much larger parent company (LPL Financial), that acquired them two years ago and is now merging development processes across the extended company.

    The financial reporting software that Fortigent has been existing on is at once complex and at the same time limited to reporting. Hence there is an effort to grow it by extending it to support institutional accounts and limited trading. This expansion of the scope of their business to trading, brings in another level of complexity. I was surprised that the reporting software Fortigent provides is at the same time exalted and considered novel in the outside world. Doesn't everyone offer this level of reporting? But that is their market niche.

    The Fortigent subsidiary is not, to my knowledge, making money. This leaves them less leeway with the parent company, and makes it more likely that some or all of the parts will be co-opted into the LPL organization if they stumble, or fail to expand profitably.

    There are about 25 personnel in the development team. The core team is small. Perhaps 10 key experienced personnel, including the CEO and managers. Several senior developers have left over the last year, making it hard to pick up the pieces and offer a smooth continuation path. Due to the team size, there tends to be one or two talented individuals in any particular category.

    Some of the tools are dated. Two small monitors per developer. Please. There is some small amount of Test-Driven-Design (TDD). The unit testing is good but not total. Committing source code can 'break the build' which will end up hung up for everyone until the source code is fixed. But that's because the source code is so large that it can't be tested locally in time for a quick turn. This is being addressed by spawning test blocks onto local computers to reduce the unit test cycle time. But a better test-before-merge function might help here. Or break the project into smaller pieces.

    It is up to the individual to keenly track what is going on and to stay on top of things.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are bringing in a lot of people. You will need to make a better effort at integrating them into the team, and bringing them up to speed on the S/W stack and business model. Its not clear that the new silo-ed teams have enough

    Because of the small team and fast process there may be little feedback to employees. I could see this going on with other people around me as I left, and hope management pays attention to it if they want everyone to succeed.

    The parent company's practice of off-shoring low level business processes is ultimately destructive to maintaining a technical capability nearby, in the US, and they will loose potential customers if they send formerly internal jobs overseas. As Jaron Lanier puts it 'the siren server tries to accumulate all the money, but it can't without destroying the environment itself'.

    The other half of Fortigent's business is selling investing advice. If the market is random and unbiased, then every model will return the same expected result. If it is biased with insider trading then someone is benefiting when they should not be. I don't believe much in the 'favored investment manager' idea, but others may want to buy in to that idea.

    Oh, and keep away from the Dark Pools, when you decide to trade, I hear they are gamed ('Flash Boys').

    And the unspoken threat is, as Jamie said, the online no frills investment house with the generic ETF and cut rate mutual funds - because the advisors can't beat the market in the long term.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Fun company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Wealth Consultant in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Associate Wealth Consultant in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Learned a bunch and had a lot of fun, enjoyed getting direct access to senior execs. Lot of hours at times but worth it for the experience.

    Cons

    Hours, old leadership recently left the firm. Not a lot of comp upside which has driven many talented mid-career employees out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good job with the culture and figure out what the future looks like.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Some Positives, some negatives

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

    I worked at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people that work here are as nice as can be, not one person I didn't like in the office. Never got bothered or micro managed and had a flexible schedule. Having snacks in the kitchen was definitely a nice benefit too.

    Cons

    Very weak pay. Consistently paid 15-20% less than industry averages. Upward mobility is also limited.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plenty of people coast through their days, plenty work very hard. Spend a greater amount of time figuring out who deserves higher pay and reward them, plenty of talent has left the last couple years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Abrasive and arrogant environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous, Operations in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous, Operations in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    A good entry-level place to start, but definitely not a place to stay beyond a year or so...

    Company has the spirit of a tech startup.

    Cons

    Most decisions are made behind closed doors, and most job/advancement openings are filled silently because someone pitched it directly to a decision-maker.

    There's no infrastructure for advancement on merit if you do not play the office politics; each unit and team within the department has been crafted to elongate the promotion process. This explains the lack of transparency even among the teams within a unit of the department.

    Company culture exhibits temperament and dynamics of a tech startup, but when it comes down to it, the business is really boring. Department culture reinforces "these are your superficial goals, now go work like a drone." Senior employees mismanage teams and take advantage of the bureaucracy that has been set up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You market agility to customers, apply it to your own organization. The pay structure definitely needs to be realigned with the Washington metropolitan demographics.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Agile company undergoing big changes

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

    I have been working at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Agile software process
    Hard working people that care
    Friendly environment and approachable people
    Commitment to new technology and thinking

    Cons

    Out of date infrastructure (Network speed, Workstation hardware)
    Minor bureaucratic annoyances.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I love the idea of remaining scrappy, but try not to do EVERYTHING at once.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place for growth!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Development team is very strong. You are surrounded by very smart people and learn a lot. Strong growth potential in the future.

    Free snacks in the kitchen are great, too.

    Great work-life balance.

    Independently operated but with the security of being owned by a much larger firm.

    Cons

    A little isolated from surrounding Rockville. Benefits and perks are slightly lacking compared to West Coast startups (but that is somewhat expected in DC).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good, but there's plenty of room for improvement

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

    I have been working at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Friendly and approachable executive team
    Flexible hours to accommodate work/life balance
    Provides opportunities to learn and grow outside role

    Cons

    Poor communication throughout some departments
    Managers can be unapproachable
    Goals are often poorly defined, miscommunicated or disorganized
    Frequently utilizes the "band-aid" approach to resolve issues versus fixing the underlying cause
    Too many supervisors, associate directors or managers within one unit

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen and learn from employees concerns
    Provide clear instructions for assignments and show support
    Practice "work with" mentality instead of "work for" method to increase team morale

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Progression... I think not

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

    I have been working at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will get breakfast and the occasional catered left overs
    You can work from home
    Dress code policy
    Diverse staff

    Cons

    Where do I begin? Company meetings are times for executives to beg for better reviews on Glassdoor.

    Turn around rate is ridiculous
    More work without training (Learn as you mess up kind of company)
    Separation between all departments (certain departments have different benefits)

    Bonuses... Don't even bother

    You are lucky to make over 40k a year

    The finger will always point away from management. Owning up to mistakes, is not THE Fortigent way.

    Not the brightest people. You could work at Fortigent for ten years and still not understand the difference between key internal language.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employees before they all leave. So much money coming in yet individuals are still making less than 40k? Something doesn't add up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Alright

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Specialist in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Specialist in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at Fortigent, LLC as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Leisure environment, good kitchen amenities

    Cons

    slow paced, not enough room to grow

  11.  

    Should've seen the red flags

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous, Operations in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous, Operations in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Fortigent, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Executive - impassioned, brilliant padrones
    Consulting - the face of the company, best dressed
    Research - they "do the dew" on portfolio manager recommendations
    Platform Ops - the golden child, #teammoneymaker
    Technology - the bread and butter, some of the brightest in the enterprise software industry
    Operations - unwanted stepchild

    Cons

    Lifers who continue to strive to further secure their position by delegating senseless tasks and downplaying roles in the department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a problem when high turnover occurs within a department and it is mainly your first and second-year employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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