InnovaSystems International

  www.innovasi.com
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InnovaSystems International Reviews

Updated Jun 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 21 reviews

90% Approve of the CEO

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Chris Wollerman

(10 ratings)

71% of employees recommend this company to a friend
21 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
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    Great personal experience here

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Norfolk, VA

    ProsThe company is smaller, but works with big opportunities. Great work life balance and great culture.

    ConsThe company does not supply you with a laptop to work from home.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    Smart and dedicated team of fun people doing impactful work

    Software Developer II (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsInnovaSystems employs technical, sharp, funny/witty, relaxed though self-motivated folks that I consider my friends. The work that I do is meaningful and I enjoy the fact that my work goes to support a greater cause. Additionally, the company supports many charities that I have had the pleasure of working with. InnovaSystems is focused on having productive, happy employees through providing an unheard of work-life balance and a performance management app for employees. The inspire app! has helped me grow both professionally and personally. We have a killer office space, including gym, foosball, and a margarita machine - all of which overlooks Charger stadium in the heart of San Diego.

    ConsDue to the proximity to the customer in some cases, the offices are not all equal in desirability. That said, each office has a unique set of perks that make them great places to work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI love the direction that we are going and am excited that we have chosen a three-year strategy plan. I am excited for the years to come and am inspired by what our teams will accomplish in such a short duration.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good company trying hard to get better

    Project Manager (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsLeadership cares a great deal about employees and tries very hard to cultivate a spirit of continuous improvment. There are a lot of very dedicated and talented people that really care about the work they do.

    ConsThough the leadership puts out a message that they care and hold regular townhalls and company meetings to communicate to employees, the message is largely lost because the executive leadership has a somewhat detached view of what is really happening with employees and their work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere needs to be more accountability at the highest levels of the company and more delegation of authority to those who can make things happen. Simply stating goals and hoping we are doing better is not the way to engage employees. Give them a direction, let them have the authority to make a decision and let them prosper.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Executive Management disconnected from Project Staffs.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThere are some extremely talented, dedicated professionals that work here. They go the extra mile as a matter of course and deliver added value on nearly every contract the company holds. The Training and Readiness niche the company serves primarily to the US Government is very rewarding work as you can see the results throughout our customer base and they are truly meaningful. Fantastic project teams that make every work day enjoyable makes senior leaderships lack of support that much more tragic.

    ConsThe company's leadership means well but they have lost focus on their core competency. The vast majority of revenue is from DOD contracts but the executives have become enamored with IOS development and potential commercial work. The existing Project staffs are left to basically fend for themselves as leadership focuses their efforts elsewhere. The mantra "employer of choice" is espoused by management but every opportunity to live up to that standard is missed. There is also a boys club mentality throughout the company, meaning if you are not a developer you are a second rate employee at best.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRather than talking about being an employer of choice, step up when opportunities to actually act like one present themselves. Refocus on your Project Teams, they are the heart and soul of the company but have been left to fend for themselves far too long.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Flexibility for work/life balance is a great benefit!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros-I really value the InnovaSystems culture of life/work balance. The flexibility provides a great benefit, allowing me to tailor my work schedule when needed to attend the needs of my child.
    -Learning new things -- able to take classes related specifically to position.
    -Knowing that the product you work on provides military customers the means to do their jobs successfully. Real world purpose.
    -Company get togethers - holidays, PRTs, baseball and football, chili cookoff and salsa contest -- are a few.
    -Additionally, support to places like Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)/military members, families at Christmas time, etc.

    Cons-If you worry about the US government handling the budget, here the Fiscal end of year 9/30 aligns with US Gov, and this can be worrisome if your contract is hinging on the US gov budgets.
    -Limits to career path with long standing employees holding management positions and younger personnel may get trained up but are not able to move on their career path and may leave the company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A great culture limited by the government contracts it supports

    Software Developer III (Former Employee) Norfolk, VA

    Pros- The environment is great. They do events pretty often (Christmas parties are always fun).
    - The CEO and other top level management fly in from San Diego pretty frequently and host "town hall" meetings where you get updated on what's going on with the company. They're all really personable and fun to talk to.
    - The company is flexible when it comes to your schedule and VERY understanding of things that happen in your personal life.
    - There was a time here where there were quite a few senior and very intelligent software developers here. They were actively communicating with each other and fostering a really great learning environment. We would have lunches where 10+ developers from all different projects would sit around a conference table and have really great discussions/debates/arguments about all things programming. The company's overall culture allows for this to occur if the right people are working there.

    Cons- I started with an appropriate Salary.com salary for a Software Engineer I in Norfolk and didn't get the Salary.com raises I expected based on additional education and title promotions over the 5+ years I was with this company. This is partly limited by the nature of working on a government contract--but the market was too good for software developers to try and "wait it out".
    - Even though there was a great learning environment for developers, the actual work got stale and boring. There wasn't any room to do anything different (at least within the Norfolk office). Supporting Internet Explorer 7 and developing for SQL 2000 sucks. Again, some of this is limited by working for the government--but other industries don't have those limitations.
    - The contracts here were all military related for the entire time that I was at the company. They did not seem interested in actively trying to diversify their portfolio to include other industries. This meant that the works was all done at a government pace, with the technical limitations of the government, and all funded by the government--which leads me to the next point...
    - It seemed like every year there were "scares" with the stability of the contracts being funded. There were even a couple rounds of layoffs. I don't know whether there is more or less risk of losing your job than private sector here.
    - There were a whole lot of senior developers, very few projects, and no real room for upward or even lateral mobility.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaintain the awesome environment you have created. Try really hard to find new and exciting work for your developers. You have a lot of talent working there that can do military B2B, I think it makes sense to find an additional person with serious private sector B2B experience that can create growth in other markets.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Challenging and fast-paced environment with an emphasis on leadership development.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsFlexible hours, great facilities with a gym, mostly stable with many long-tenured (longer than 5-years) employees and great company parties. 401k program. Leadership development programs for junior and senior, "high potential" employees.

    ConsLower than average compensation when compared to other San Diego based companies. Have seen a significant increases in the cost of benefits that employees are responsible for paying (especially with families) over the last 2 years.

    Due to the ongoing government budget fiasco, pay raises have been minimized and the company is attempting to focus on more "junior" hires to offset costs. Additionally, indirect positions are not being backfilled leading to an increased burden on existing employees.

    Not a lot of room for advancement because most long-tenured employees are in management positions.

    I feel that a lot of these issues are temporary and we have a lot of potential for growth. I love the company and its owners, but due to the current financial climate surrounding DOD Contractors and the effect it is having on us, I can't currently recommend our company to friends/family. I hope for that to change back to the "I would absolutely recommend" that it used to be at some point in the near future.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Shared passion for quality work and continual growth.

    Mobile Applications Developer (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsIt's a privilege to work with people who share my passion for quality work and continual growth. I feel empowered to make a difference, and to communicate with any level of management and be heard with consideration and respect. Competitive salary and benefits, great people. Flexible schedules and telecommuting within reason are helpful for work/life balance.

    ConsSome locations less desirable to work than others. Knowledge sharing across company can be improved.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    There is nothing more gratifying than knowing the software solutions we provide are helping those who protect our nation

    Lead Developer (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    Pros- Meaningful, challenging, and ultimately gratifying work we get to do
    - Company culture and values clearly communicated and acted upon. It's not just on paper, its built into our day to day lives and has made this company grow and become even better.
    - Exposure to the newest technology, with great talent and support all the way up to the CEO on staying cutting edge
    - Competitive salaries and benefits, work-life balance/flexible schedules, social events, health and fitness activities, and charity opportunities

    Cons- Not immune to the ups and downs of contracting work and how that might affect job security, though we have weathered the storms very well compared to other companies.
    - Some facilities not as new as others (military base vs corporate hq), but you are also closer to the customer, so you could say "the grass is always greener..."

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue what you are doing; continue innovating, growing the business, and improving on our process. This is a great place to work, which is why there are so many longtime employees devoted to this company. We believe in you, this company, and our mission.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great culture with great people

    Manager (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsThe people are top notch
    The company really cares about employee satisfaction
    We have an important mission that most employees are very passionate about
    Great parties and events

    I've been with Innova for over 10 years and really enjoy my job here. We have an important mission to prepare them (our military) to protect us (our country). Although the company has grown from a small family-owned business to a medium size with over 300 employees, there are still many people passionate about the mission and developing great software applications. I find this to be the best culture based on working at several local competitors like SAIC, and others. I've worked in most of the Innova locations in San Diego and each one has it's pro's and con's. I've seen a few reviews here on GlassDoor about 252 and must say that it's really not that bad of an environment. It's on Coronado Island which is a great location in a great city and we work side-by-side with our customers there. Most other competing contractors don't get to enjoy the close proximity to the users and customers so we really have an advantage. We also get to use the fitness facilities which is nice and the company promotes health with group events all the time. Most employees are not too proud to work in the same environment as our customers but it's not for everyone., especially if you are used to a high-rise office space. Most of the buildings are pretty old and with recent DoD budget cuts, the cleaning services are not as frequent but most of the employees in the office pitch-in to keep it clean. The company has invested in painting, replacing carpets and fixing it up over the years and says they plan to do another upgrade soon.

    The people at Innova are top notch and represent a wide variety of roles from developers to project managers to subject matter experts from the military. The company holds several big parties per year and many employees attend with their families. The owners even have a pretty good band that plays at many of the parties and always provide the food and drinks, while also hosting tail-gate parties at local sports events and fun pot-lucks like Chili cook-offs and salsa contests.

    Innova spends a lot of time and energy trying to help employees with training, leadership development and productivity and provides employees with an iPad with apps they've developed to help people improve for those who want it. I've personally benefitted from their recent Inspire! iPad app by focusing more time on family, health and fitness and have also used it to get better at work goals and communication with managers. The company is very flexible with scheduling which is a big plus. Since they mostly support DoD, the technologies aren't always bleeding edge but many developers do spend time researching and developing modern POCs that eventually make it into production. The company recently won an award for Best Places to Work in San Diego and I couldn't agree more.

    ConsThe technology is usually a few years behind the bleeding edge

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the focus on employee satisfaction

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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