Mission Solutions Engineering

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Mission Solutions Engineering Reviews

Updated June 5, 2015
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Ronald Mason
7 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. OK but could be improved

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Moorestown, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    (4 stars) Lower level management. The section managers do an excellent job of protecting us from the politics of the customer (Lockheed). I have been in situations where the management acts as the messenger boy for the customer, buttering up the customer by agreeing instantly with all suggestions/orders/schedules, achievable or not, passing them on to the developers, and then throwing the developers under the bus in an attempt to save their own hides when these undertakings fail. Our section managers represent US to the CUSTOMER, negotiating what is possible and then seeing that things get done as well as can be AFTER the negotiations. They are reasonably strict about preventing impromptu Lockheed directives from reaching the developers. They also are willing to nursemaid us through the exasperating paperwork that goes with our work - the constant retraining, the paperwork associated with our development, the evaluations, etc. They generally have an eye on who is doing what among the developers (see the next topic). (3 stars) Co-workers. The worker bees here are friendly and usually helpful. Personal relationships do not, as a rule, get in the way of cooperative endeavors. Everybody seems to be earnest about carrying his/her share of the load. On the negative side, some of the developers slap software together, generating immense amounts of code, but not heeding functionality that is already in place, tested, and working. As a result, I have received frantic calls from the customer to the effect that long-established functionality no longer works. I find that somebody has trashed my source. Pointing this out to the offender arouses no interest whatsoever in him/her. I can't understand this mindset myself; if I have smashed somebody else's function, my FIRST priority is to clean up MY mess ASAP! Fortunately, the section managers seem able to find out eventually who these people are, and to move them to places where they are less dangerous. (3 stars) Payment and advancement opportunities. I think these are adequate for our field - probably superior to most computer houses if one considers our stability relative to commercial places. I have heard complaints about this topic, and there are indeed limitations on how fast most of us rise. But I have never believed in upward mobility as a reward for passive longevity. New titles and large pay raises should hinge on the taking of new responsibilities, more visibility, leadership roles, etc. At least a significant improvement in code quality/quantity is necessary for such advancement. Slinging the same code in the same way year after year deserves inflation adjustments, but NO MORE! Those who want more pay should actively seek out more challenging and responsible roles. (5 stars) Work/life balance. Hours are completely flexible. As long as we get our work done on time, on budget, and on spec, nobody gets antsy if we are not at work every day from 0800 to 1700. Extended paid work hours are available when money and work are both plentiful. (3 stars) Benefits. Vacation time is good enough for the US. Medical coverage is affordable and reasonably high in quality. But it is a pity that it ends upon the instant of termination. Those on employer benefits when they are laid off must switch to expensive CORBA bridge coverage.

    Cons

    (0 stars!) Upper management. This is a group of "old Aegis hands" whose careers have consisted in decades of schmoozing Lockheed/Martin Marietta/GE/RCA upper management and negotiating a share of the AEGIS pie from one year to the next. They haven't a clue as to how to make themselves known and liked around the world with a view to getting new business and new TYPES of work. This is an old complaint, and the old cry is that this approach leads to instability in work environment and opportunities, since we depend solely on one contract and its vicissitudes. But this single source of work has an effect on the development community which I haven't seen pointed out in other reviews. As a result of the incestuous monastery that this Aegis-only model has generated, we have an element of hyper-specialized individuals who are highly paid to know all about a tiny portion of Aegis, having done very little software development except in that tiny area. They are very proficient at fixing and modifying software in that one little place, and they will prosper mightily as long as Aegis is here. But I have serious doubts about many of them if, heaven forfend, we were to lose Aegis but gain a contract for software in, say, a space telescope, or an MRI scanner. It might very well be too much for them to be told to forget all they know about their little specialty and start over again as a freshman in an entirely new environment, requirement set, and general philosophy. I blame upper management primarily for this, of course, but I believe that these developers I have in mind should be aware of their own situations. (2 stars) Work environment. One can hear everything that goes on in the ballroom which we inhabit. Our "economical" cubicles afford neither peace nor privacy. At least we could have had the usual 5'9" walls that most places have! Our test equipment is not first-rate as to working condition and availability for testers, but it could be worse! Believe me, I have seen it worse!

    Advice to Management

    Lower level. Good job. Keep up the good work. I know you are between a rock and a hard spot. Upper level. For crying in the night, GET SOME NEW BLOOD!! There should be some unemployed good salesmen out there who can make our brand known and respected. If we had been getting new contracts all along, this recent catastrophic set of layoffs and demotions might not have been necessary. Senior developers could have been moved to other projects instead of having their livelihoods eliminated or shrunken. I say that, of course, with the caveat about over-specialization that I mentioned above. Moreover, more junior developers could have been hired to fill up the vast empty spaces currently in our building.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Pretty Decent Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    So here is the deal. This place is definitely not the greatest place to work by any stretch of the imagination but it definitely is better than most other places. As a former employee of a number of different companies, I recognize the grass isn't always greener. Pros: - Co-workers for the most part are great people and very friendly. People are helpful and polite. - Pay is typically pretty good for the work/life balance given to most employees. - Company work schedule is very flexible but there are definitely times when you will need to support late night or early morning testing if you are a software engineer. - When there is a large amount of work, typically there is ability to get overtime pay as well. - Management tends to get bashed on here but the lower level management teams seem very dedicated to helping their employees as much as they can. Seems like their hands are tied on alot of things but they definitely go out of their way to help. This can't be said for the senior management team most of the time. - Typically your work week ends at 40 hrs without the need for overtime unless you really want to work it. Again, this goes towards the work/life balance. - Current workload for company and outlook for work is positive. This is actually driving a need for employees to work paid overtime to get all the work done. However, many times the workload for the company is continuously changing due to government funding issues.

    Cons

    Cons: - Only one customer (Lockheed Martin) which forces little negotiating room with them since they know we have to accept whatever they say since if they took the work away we would be out of business. - Progression through company is not very clear. There is little upward movement in both software engineer and management roles simply because our parent company has continuously forced cuts and demotions to senior leadership and technical staff. With that said, unlike a prior review, all management and senior technical staff were hit by these cuts and not just senior technical staff. - Sometimes work timelines given are not realistic. Again, this goes back to having only one customer and not really having a choice. It is whatever LM wants us to do. We are basically yes people. - Benefits keep getting worse year after year although dental plan is very good. Medical is all high-deductible plans. Could be worse but definitely could be better like in years passed. - Senior management not very transparent. Always a large amount of rumors going around the company which could easily be distinguished if they were more forthcoming with information. Very few all hands meetings held to discuss these types of topics. - If you are hired at a more junior level, very tough to ever catch up in salary as promotions are hard to come by and parent company has been cracking down on raises and promotions. You may be doing double the work of the person next to you but making 60K less. Since raises are based on percentages only, even if you get that 5% raise, that senior person getting 1% is still getting the same amount as you. This forces talented junior staff members to leave the company for better paying jobs which leaves the company with an only senior staff making too much money and not completing enough work for the salary being paid.

    Advice to Management

    - Be more transparent on things going on with the company and its future. - Take care of your skilled junior staff that will lead this company into the next 20 years. Company can't exist with all senior employees.


  3. You won't like it if you are here long.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Moorestown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Not much other than they have not laid me off yet.

    Cons

    Facilities are horrible; pay is substandard. All senior staff except for the chosen few have had significant pay cuts. Only one customer and no prospects for more. They cannot figure out how to make a competent proposal. Management is unwilling or incapable of having your back. Anyone who rates this place higher than one star just hasn't been around long enough.

    Advice to Management

    Why bother? They already know all the answers.


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  5. Sometimes confusing/toxic but overall pretty good to work for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Senior in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Senior in Moorestown, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Pay is decent if you've been there for a while. People are easy to work with and most are willing to freely share knowledge. Work/Life balance is very good.

    Cons

    Recent scale down of higher level paid employees and most management. Due to sequestration, salaries may be frozen.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in some additional work by getting some smaller revenue streams to help ease transitions between larger scale projects and their respective revenue streams. This would also help to create an environment where people want to keep learning and room to expand their education and to use it.


  6. Helpful (6)

    Total Dead End Career!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Principal Lead in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Principal Lead in Moorestown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    There's nothing left that's good to say about this company. Company will embrace new grads/low wage earners, but don't be fooled it won't last and could be very career damaging in the long run.

    Cons

    More than words can say! Holding company enforces sweat shop mentality by constantly reducing benefits and wages of the staff ! Management is as incompetent as it can be and will do anything it takes to save it's own behind. This includes multiple layoffs of the technical staff only. Cutting titles and salaries of only the senior technical staff and a few lower level managers by 7.5% or more. Management goodfella's network runs deep, this network was built from years of promoting the incompetents. If your not part of this network you will have no chance of growth or stability in this company. This is a total cut-throat, unrewarding and unappreciated environment unless your a manager. If you're not connected you have no chance of a management role! If you think your technical skills will shield you from all the above and more, think again, management has no clue or appreciation for technical skills. FYI FACT- There's currently 16 and counting federally filed lawsuits against this company for age discrimination!

    Advice to Management

    Sooner or later the company and the management network will collapse! I wish all of you the best (not) finding another job or any job! I'll bet we'll be seeing a lot of managers working behind the counter at McDonalds. Maybe not, this may be beyond your true capabilities and work ethics. I don't know how any managers can look themselves in the mirror given what's been and is still going on at this company. Some managers cannot even look the remaining employees in the eye!


  7. Helpful (2)

    Solid business, poor management direction and guidance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moorestown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Co-Workers are all friendly, and is a fairly flexible work environment. Compensation on par with industry.

    Cons

    Management lacks the ability to steer the company. There is not a clear path among leadership, and no real set areas of responsibilities. Tasking overlaps and there is no true accountability. There also has been a lot of turnover over the past 2-3 years which may have added/resulted to the above issues.

    Advice to Management

    Identify a clear set of goals and areas of responsibility. Hold teams and managers accountable, and empower/reward them to succeed in those area.


  8. Helpful (4)

    One Million in Annual Recurring Revenue

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They have free coffee. They also provide free popcorn. Parking is OK. They have TVs in the break room but you can't turn up the volume.

    Cons

    Well upper management finally did it. Recently one million in recurring annual revenue was added to the bottom line. This will surely excite the Eskimos. How did they accomplish this with low defense spending and sequestration? They finally won a contract? Nope. These guys go out and spend over four million dollars and there is zero new work. The Eskimos want that money back! So they cut 85 people's salaries by 7.5% across the board. Unbelievable. The workers pay the price for the incompetent upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of all the people involved with attempting to win new business. Take their salaries back. It's just one big fraternity.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Great!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good place to start career

    Cons

    Not enough consistent work sometimes


  10. Helpful (3)

    Layoffs, layoffs, layoffs.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Moorestown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good people. Work sometimes challenging. Casual environment. Twenty word minimum exceeds the amount that I can say here. An excellent example of where not to work.

    Cons

    Round after round of layoffs. They talk of getting new work, but keep coming up short. Convinced that lower rates are the solution. Translation: raises are postponed or cancelled; if you are at the top end of their below average salary scale, you are an endangered species there. If they ever do stumble into new work, there will be no experienced staff to lead it.

    Advice to Management

    Axe the good old boy circle running things.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Violinist on the Titanic had a better chance of survival than this company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moorestown, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Moorestown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Mission Solutions Engineering full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    1. Friendly people and nice cafeteria. 2. Cleaning staff does a nice job. 3. Did I mention the nice cafeteria?

    Cons

    1. MSE gets one star because there wasn't an option for zero stars. 2. The race is on to see if the cheaply made building will fall first or the company . . . Vegas is betting the company to go under first, though it is neck and neck right now. 3. New Business! Oh, I forgot there isn't any new business. 4. Everyone is a manager except about 10% of the people, but fear not, no managers will be laid off in the future. 5. Benefits. You would be amazed and wouldn't believe it if I told you. 6. Salaries. Waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy below industry standards. Except for management of course. 7. Management. If you are lucky enough to be friends with these elitists in the glass offices you are doing okay and rest assure you will be promoted soon enough. The rest of you look for the pink slips in the next coming months again. 8. Layoffs. 4th one in 2 years will be coming to an MSE near you in the next month or two.

    Advice to Management

    1. CEO - Stop trying to date every blonde in the company and work on getting new business like you are paid to do. 2. How about laying off some of the management instead of the workers. There seems to be a 4-1 ratio of management to workers. 3. Only path to management is to be buddies with the ones that are there already. If you are friends with them they will create a new job title just to promote you. 4. How about complimenting an employee when they do something positive. It is nice to be appreciated even when it is expected from you. 5. Management in the glass houses. How about coming down off your perch and talking to the people who actually pay your salaries? It would be nice if you said hi and even nicer if you actually knew our names.



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