Open Roads Consulting

www.openroadsconsulting.com
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Open Roads Consulting Reviews

Updated July 2, 2015
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2.8
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Barbara B Skiffington
1 Rating

4 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good place to learn

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Newport News, VA
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Newport News, VA

    I worked at Open Roads Consulting (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The overall work environment is nice. Since it's a smaller shop, it's more laid back. The owners and upper management will know you by name and everyone is generally friendly and welcoming. Most problems can get resolved by just knocking on someone's door. My department was very friendly and easy to get along with. If I had questions, I could ask them without trouble. The hours were flexible and being able to work remote sometimes made things far easier, especially if you have to a long commute to work like some folks. With the acquisition by Qfree, it appears that there are (even) more opportunities business-wise as well. There is definitely some increased optimism across the board. There was (almost) always free coffee and snacks in the kitchen, breakfast on Friday, and monthly luncheons. The Christmas party was always a lot of fun, too. If I needed something technology wise, it usually wasn't hard to get it...though my understanding is this was not the case in other departments. In general, I really like working there and felt like it's a good place to start a career. You'll meet lots of people and if you prove your worth, you'll get opportunities that you may not be able to get at a larger company.

    Cons

    It's family owned and this does play a role in things. There are about 5 or 6 key people that can make or break your time there. It takes time to build a rapport with them, but once you do, you are kind of invincible. Until then, however, you can quickly find yourself SOL. It can sometimes be hard to who is actually calling the shots sometimes. Person A may be the project manager, but in reality Person B is the one making the decisions. You have to learn how to play office politics to be productive, sometimes. Communication can be inconsistent. There were times where we had no idea what was happening, especially when it came to performance reviews. What was supposed to be a quick process lasting less than a month, got dragged out over almost 3 months. They keep revising the NDA and Non-compete agreements. Every time, there is weird language that we'd ask to have clarified. I think in the time I was there, we went through 3 or 4 iterations before they finally landed on one we all agreed to. Getting chucked under the bus wasn't an uncommon tactic for some of the upper management when it came to working with clients. Sometimes, it was over things we never even knew about, or actively tried to prevent. Tasking can be unclear from certain directors. They ask you for X, you deliver it, and it turns out they really wanted Y. When you redo it, they apparently needed Z. Part of the learning curve there is learning what questions to ask. If you are new to software development, this can be very difficult. Salary and benefits are below market. Health, Dental, and Retirement are pretty good, but vacation and pay are definitely lacking. My understanding is that they've improved the vacation/sick leave setup, but it's still below what you can get elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Be more open and honest with employees. If they're messing up, let them know. If they're doing good, let them know. If something is coming up that they should be aware of, don't be cryptic.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Could be better, could be worse. Still much to learn after QFree buy out.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Open Roads Consulting full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flex time, excellent co-workers, work environment, free food. Plenty of challenging work. Upper management is extremely technical and hands on which is rare.

    Cons

    Salaries are well below market value. Benefits below market standard (if you have a family), especially vacation time (vacation time is very poor). Poor communication from upper management. Most of the development staff is unaware of project happenings outside of the project they are working on. Mentoring from seasoned employees seems lacking. Delegation and trust appears to be lacking. Much of the Sr. staff is overworked while other staff have little to no work. Appears that only a couple people in the company have decision power while others are ignored, including those is "high" positions.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate more. People are lost and frustrated, really. Follow through on promises, especially promised bonuses to those agreeing to lower salaries in lieu of bonus. Focus on employee retention. Sensing lots of frustration in the environment.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Average tech company going through some growing pains

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

    I worked at Open Roads Consulting full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Fairly low stress workplace with some nice perks such as free coffee and snacks along with a free employee meal every month during work hours. The building and location is nice with many nearby restaurants and a view of the water. Reasonable hours and for the most part, friendly staff. Recently increased salaries to be more competitive with the local market. Company is growing and has some fairly large contracts. It appears to be in healthy financial shape. A large number of new employees is helping change the culture problems mentioned in the Cons section. Hardware given to each employee has improved significantly. A modern laptop with admin access along with dual monitors are provided to developers. If you are a more experienced engineer and looking for an average pay, low stress, 40 hour a week job where you can take ownership in a specific product and technology for the company, then this is a good place for you.

    Cons

    Upper management and senior members are out of touch with today's technology and rely on 7+ year old tech. I would not recommend a job at Open Roads for a relatively new engineer as you will not learn the skills and technologies that are used by more modern tech companies. There is a clear lack of understanding in how to run a technology company and what keeps engineers happy - expect to use the same (unusual) technology stack for every product and not be given any opportunities for additional learning such as conferences or workshops. Bonus structure is confusing and many employees feel misled about compensation. Also, compensation is not structured enough. You will find large disparities in pay in relation to skill level among co-workers. You will be expected to sign an agreement stating you won't work in a similar field for up to 2 years after working here - essentially punishing you for working any length of time in the transportation field and preventing you from working for competitors. Company is family owned and favoritism is given to the family members and friends working in the company. As a new employee, you may feel like an outsider for some time. As mentioned in the Pros section, the large amount of new hires is helping slowly change this problem.

    Advice to Management

    If the company is going to enter the into the web development technology stack with no prior experience, it needs to hire a senior member who has extensive knowledge in web development. It is a considerably different beast than application development and an application developer should not be calling the shots. Give employees one free (paid) conference or workshop a year to give them a chance to network and learn about new technologies. Be upfront about expectations and the waiting period for any additional compensations such as bonuses. If an employee accepts a salary less than they were willing due to being promised a high bonus and then doesn't receive it, that breaks the employer/employee trust.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Small company going through growing pains and struggling to find a way to maintain growth.

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

    I worked at Open Roads Consulting

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Small town mentality - Work/Life Balance - Good team players at lower and mid levels - Free food on Fridays (if you work in the Chesapeake office)

    Cons

    - Executive micromanagement, they fail to hand out the necessary authority to get things done. - Weak severance packages offered to dislocated employees. - Development team hampered by lack of accountability at the top. Lead architect seemingly operates in a self-contained vacuum. Continued over-reliance on open source tools has backed them in a corner.

    Advice to Management

    Relying on your Blackberry as your primary source of information is not an effective communication method. Emotional over-reaction to a snippet of information you've gleaned seldom provides you the opportunity to rationally look at the bigger picture. Give the people you hired the ability and authority to perform the tasks you hired them to do.



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