Seibels Bruce

  www.seibels.com
  www.seibels.com
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Seibels Bruce Reviews

Updated August 1, 2014
Updated August 1, 2014
11 Reviews
2.8
11 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Michael A. Culbertson
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    The truth about Seibels

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

    I have been working at Seibels Bruce full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Seibels has great medical benefits. Fast paced growing company New managers and architect are in fact open to new ideas and looking for innovative solutions. Lots of room for advancement. I have been promoted several times. Hard work is required but it is also recognized and appreciated.

    Cons

    Several people have left taking what they knew with them. This were people who blocked a lot of progress, but things were tough for a while when they left. We are just now getting stuff better under control from that. This past year they have made a few new hires that helped bring some technical expertise and is more open to progress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication is a problem. Don't try to keep secrets thinking that no one will find out. Announce your plans early so you can be the ones making the announcements. By the time you get around to saying anything everyone already knows all about it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    "New" management team has created a dysfunctional IT department

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

    I have been working at Seibels Bruce full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Benefit package is adequate.
    Location is convenient.
    Building has an old-fashioned charm.
    As in all companies, there are some wonderful employees that will take the time to help even while their workload is overwhelming and do it willingly.

    Cons

    Speaking solely of the IT department, promotions are almost non-existent. Many of the 'leads' and 'seniors' are relatively new employees from outside hired at that level; the remainder rose to their position under the previous management. A very limited career path is in place that is only beneficial to those coming in as a trainee.
    There doesn't seem to be any real thought process behind where people are placed when reorganizations occur and no concern if people are unhappy with the result.
    The level of professionalism has decreased. I don't know how some people are deemed to be 'management' material but it doesn't seem the IT management team, for the most part, has had any actual training in managing people. Having professional discussions about issues has been replaced by yelling, swearing, confrontation and threats. It is sometimes a very scary place to work.
    Work loads are very uneven with those that have the knowledge being over-allocated while the un-experienced and incompetent are allowed to coast. What they can't do or don't want to do just gets taken from them and moved to the rest of the overburdened staff. It's not the incompetent that get fired; it's the knowledgeable people that point out the problems with what management is doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The IT management that was supposed to break down the walls of the 'silos' that had developed has made the walls stronger. Actually, the 'silos' have become more like islands with each area working independently on the 'base' system. Each area uses its own expertise or lack of it and goes off in its own direction. There has to be an overall plan for the direction of the development and/or fixes to the system and the direction has to be incorporated into the fiber of each area's daily work
    We will lose in the long run if we continue to make every new customer it's own system. That approach didn't work before and there's no reason to believe it will work going forward. It increases maintenance; it increases errors because people aren't aware of the differences and it can't be sustained if we're serious about growing the number of customers we have. A small number of individualized customers will need more staff to maintain and have a higher error rate than a large number of more standardized customers.
    Respect your employees that have knowledge even if they were brought in by the 'old' management. If you look around you might notice that a high number of the new employees that have been brought in to 'raise the quality' of employees you have are already gone. New employees don't have the same dedication to 'Seibels' that your longer term employees do. It's that dedication to our long term customers that have kept a lot of those employees here. The new employees also realize how expectations at other companies are more realistic than the expectations we're currently working under. The over-stressed environment, extended hours and excessive work levels involved in keeping afloat when faced with unrealistic 'drop everything else' deadlines drive less dedicated employees away and will probably soon chip away at those that really don't want to leave but can't keep up the pace anymore.
    Last, remember that we are all people trying to do our best. Leave the condescending attitudes at home and be thankful for the staff you have that really are trying to succeed and make Seibels succeed. Being in a management position doesn't make you a better person or a smarter one just a higher paid one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't buy that "truth about Seibels" story below.

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

    I worked at Seibels Bruce full-time

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, but you'll have to put up with a lot of crap for it.

    Cons

    The CIO is an arrogant narcissist. He claims to value the opinions of others, but that's only true if those opinions are in line with his own. He forces things to be done his way and then blames others when things go wrong. He is unprofessional, rude, and a poor excuse for a leader.
    Project management at the company is an absolute joke. They have no clue how to plan, prioritize, or monitor projects. There are endless meetings with no tangible benefits, and many of the meetings turn into shouting matches.
    The "truth about Seibels" review below claims that the people who left were blocking progress. No, those people were trying to prevent more stupid things from being done. They were fired or encouraged to leave for their efforts. All of those people are now much happier in new jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave the company. Get out and bring someone in who knows how to run a technology organization.

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

    The Seibels experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Computer Programmer  in  Columbia, SC
    Former Employee - Computer Programmer in Columbia, SC

    I worked at Seibels Bruce full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Free coffee, parking, nice view of downtown from the break room.

    Cons

    Too many politics at play. IT Management haphazardly throws out unreasonable dates to customers. Too much outsourcing to India. IT employees are fearful of the tyrannical new CIO, who has run off most of the talent. Those who stay behind are just biding their time until a better opportunity comes along, or trainees who don't know any better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You cannot run a company like this. Do you really expect folks to stick around in such a hostile work environment? As to the outsourcing, you get what you pay for. Seibels now has one of the worst reputations in town now, and this is coming from recruiters. Do you not see this? If your plan was to take one of the best places to work, and run it into the ground, you have succeeded!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    You can always find plenty of things to do/learn.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Architect  in  Columbia, SC
    Former Employee - Architect in Columbia, SC

    I worked at Seibels Bruce full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Company is in transition and moving towards the right direction as a software company. Benefits and pay are competitive in the area. No crazy working hours, and the new management team seems care more about the results other than the hours you put in.

    Cons

    Dress code for development team is business casual. a lot of office politics going on. Older employees seems do not like most the changes are going on there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less outsourcing and try to bring talents in house.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Nasty

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

    I worked at Seibels Bruce full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Benefits. Free coffee. Downtown. Nearby parking. Clean restrooms. Four microwaves. Nice view from fourth floor. Nicely paneled elevators. Big break room

    Cons

    Management by intimidation, suspicion. Highly politicized. Form over substance. Constant turmoil. Top management won't listen to employees. Hierarchical. Inflexible. Reviews are done carelessly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let somebody else take over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working at Seibels was great until new IT management was brought in.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Programmer  in  Columbia, SC
    Current Employee - Computer Programmer in Columbia, SC

    I have been working at Seibels Bruce full-time

    Pros

    Generally a relaxed work environment.
    Usually development is using the newest Microsoft Technologies.
    Rest of the programming staff is very knowledgeable.
    Competitive salaries
    Good holidays, vacation and sick time.

    Cons

    - We bought a large vb .net application that is poorly written and difficult to maintain.
    - Company is moving in the direction of buying software instead of building it which will mean a need for fewer developers.
    - The new IT management doesn't really care for programmers as people. It's all about the bottom line. The work at Seibels is more important than anything else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Right now you view the company as failing and might be right. Alienating your best people is not helping the situation. Neither will firing them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Turmoil

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

    I have been working at Seibels Bruce full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Atmosphere is laid back. Some of the managers are friendly and competent. BAs and developers are generally competent, and some are quite good at what they do. Benefits are good. Free parking.

    Cons

    Pay is average. It's hard to get a promotion, and you can't get a straight explananation as to why. Reviews are amateurish and generally are done based on the "impressions" of other managers. Their competence or their fecklessness comes to bear here on your career. You are rarely, if ever, asked about your career goals. You get slotted quickly, and that's where you stay. Currently the company's IT department is guided by consultants, and there has been a lot of difficulty in meshing the old and new cultures. The company is trying to recover from the purchase of a half-baked Microsoft-based insurance system. It works, but it is poorly designed and will present performance and maintenance problems down the road.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Culbertson is a straight shooter. You can't help but like him and respect his grasp of the business. He's the kind of person you want representing the company. Getting rid of the CIO recently was a very smart move, and it opened up all of IT's shortcomings and vulnerabilities. Rebuilding will take a while. In the meantime, find out what people who work for you want out of a job. They aren't just robots. Get rid of the offshoring effort.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Having ditched a dubious project, Seibels software development organization becomes a more interesting place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Developer  in  Columbia, SC
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in Columbia, SC

    I worked at Seibels Bruce

    Pros

    Seibels decided at the end of January 2009 to stop using the Leaning Birch software toolkit, since its inability to handle complexity caused very slow and difficult development. Senior management showed a genuine humility in pulling the plug on a project that they had approved over the vehement objections of their senior development staff. (If senior management had been interested primarily in saving face, they would have attempted to keep limping along anyway.) It's full steam ahead on the new .NET policy management system.

    Seibels remains reasonably profitable despite the recent economic downturn, which means that employee morale remains good. They are able to invest in growth opportunities.

    Both the iSeries and .NET development wings now report to a single manager. This has improved the collaboration between the 2 sides of the dev organization.

    Cons

    The company is still very slow-moving with regard to software development process improvements. A .NET manager brought in from Microsoft only lasted 6 weeks; his zeal encountered strong resistance. IT management is not completely inflexible, though; if you make a good case for a change, and offer a well thought out plan to experiment with it, you *might* get it approved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management has been open to technological advances over the past 25 years; it's time to be more open to process innovations that the industry has adopted over the past 25 years as well.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A View of Seibels Bruce from within the IT area

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

    I have been working at Seibels Bruce

    Pros

    1. Your co-workers will be friendly. You will meet a lot of colleagues who have been at the company for 10, 20, sometimes 25+ years, and they will treat you like a long-lost cousin.
    2. Management understands that employees are people who have a real and sometimes complicated life outside of the cubicle.
    3. The president of the company, Mike Culbertson, is a really sharp guy with good business sense. He operates with 100% integrity and treats everyone well.
    4. There has been an influx of talent in the IT ranks recently. The junior developers are really bright and advancing fast. Some business analysts are very impressive in their ability to understand how to work with customers and the rest of the IT org to get systems developed. Chris Glasser has a good handle on software architecture.
    5. Seibels IT is willing to invest in technological advancement. They have started paying for developers to attend conferences or other training events, and they have some budget and inclination to adopt new technologies in the Microsoft .NET arena.

    Cons

    1. There is strong resistance in the IT area against innovation in the software development process. Managers complain about quality problems and missed deadlines, but if you propose something like new QA tools or agile methodologies, those same managers will tell you that "the culture is not ready." Why is the culture accepted as a given, if it is not producing entirely satisfactory results?
    2. The development of a new policy management system is going in a bizarre direction. Instead of "First, let's kill all the lawyers" (Shakespeare), it's underlying tenet could be phrased as "First let's kill all the developers." The fundamental conceit of the Leaning Birch toolkit which is being used is that the typical business analyst should be able to develop the system, with occasional assistance from a programmer. It's an intriguing idea that unfortunately ignores the reality of how complex systems must evolve. There's no way that a toolkit developed over an 18-month period by one guy in his basement, with 4 man-years of junior developer assistance, is going to be able to provide the means to handle complexity that the Microsoft .NET toolset--the product of tens of thousands of man-years of effort--can provide. And when you're writing software, you are dealing with complexity every moment of every workday.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop wasting money on the Leaning Birch toolset. Invest instead in process improvements, particularly agile methodologies which would be well-suited to Seibels' informal style.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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