Sierra Nevada Corporation Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    Hands-on, High Impact Work

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

    I have been working at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time

    Pros

    The projects are unique, high value, fast paced and have a direct and immediate positive impact to users in the field. No where else can I think of that individual contributors will take their design/work from start to finish to field support in as little as 6 months. You come to know the user and their pain points very well, and have the ability to alleviate some of that pain with less political maneuvering than required at other similar companies. The mission is phenomenal, and very customer focused.

    Relatively small teams within project-oriented atmosphere which allows for a high level of responsibility and impact, but also requires a higher than average personal commitment.

    As mentioned elsewhere, 401k is above average (150%). Health package is also very competitive.

    Bonuses do exist, and are somewhat merit-driven, but also come from a collective bucket so current state of the company as a whole plays a large role in the payouts.

    Layoffs are fairly common, which is good if you are a high performer, not so much if you plan to simply clock in and out every day.

    Cons

    Work/Life balance is dependent upon the stage of the program life cycle, but in general the balance is heavily towards work. Couple the lack of work/life balance with lack of paid overtime, and you can get a pretty sour taste in your mouth pretty quickly. Base salary is also consistently lower than average.

    A previous reviewer identified him/herself as a manager and referred to employees as "worker bees". You will feel this mentality within the workplace as well. For better or worse, engineers, technicians and support staff are seen more as commodity work units than individuals. This may or may not bother you, depending on your goals.

    I have never experienced such friction between HR and the managers/employees they are tasked with supporting. This may be a local effect, or across the entire corporation, I'm not sure.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Great place to work other than management's handling of layoffs

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

    I worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits: Company matches 150% up to 10% contribution to your 401k. Additionally the health plan was affordable and there were options for career growth such as continuing education.

    Great workplace environment: It seemed like everyone who worked here enjoyed the work they were doing. The work was challenging, which kept things interesting. Everybody was friendly and outgoing.

    Cons

    Work-life balance favored the work side. There was no sick leave time, which required the use of PTO or telecommuting.

    After losing out on a NASA contract there was a sizable reduction in force which was handled poorly by corporate and HR to the point of being disrespectful to their employees.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. Great company in a great area! Lots of opportunities for career advancement.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Program Manager in Hagerstown, MD
    Current Employee - Associate Program Manager in Hagerstown, MD

    I have been working at Sierra Nevada Corporation

    Pros

    Wonderful people to work with and the benefits are unbelievable.

    Cons

    Pace can be hectic at times, but it's not constant. Being busy is good in the aviation business.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 9 people found this helpful

    Space Systems: Program manager tyrants. Aviation: full of nepotism / Air Force favoritism. Good 'ol boys rule!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Support Management in Centennial, CO
    Former Employee - Operations Support Management in Centennial, CO

    I worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefits, good hours, busy.

    Cons

    Management can be brutal in that they eat each other politically. Full of favorites and nepotism. Lacks upwards and downwards communications and shifting positions occur often based on want, not need. Layoffs occur frequently and quietly, so many good people just leave or are ushered out the back door literally, as I was. Managers will huddle together and plan for the demise of other seniors. Scary place to work because the future of job security is always uncertain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire some real managers who know what management is on a personal level. HR is ineffective - 7 months to find candidates is common. Values are never discussed or shared by upper management. There are none, so the culture is always shifting based on who gets placed where. CEO and corporate support is available on a limited basis, and corporate (Sparks, NV) really runs the show. CEO is fantastic but greatly uninformed. They know nothing of employee development, honing skills, forward thinking. All reactive. No branding. No caring. Just work and stay quiet, or you're out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Good people, fun work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Sierra Nevada Corporation

    Pros

    Good people, fun work, great compensation

    Cons

    Struggling to get work in now

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Overall positive experience

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

    I worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - Excellent 401k
    - Chance to work on a great program
    - Fun coworkers (regular meetups outside of work to go hiking or to happy hour)
    - Pay ok, but not great
    - Dream Chaser program management was honest and open with us
    - Company internet firewall is overzealous (absolutely no incidental personal use of computer allowed, not even to check bank account. I mean come on...)

    Cons

    - Only 2 weeks PTO for first year
    - No pay or flex hours for overtime work
    - Corporate was not open or honest
    - Was laid off (necessary for business reasons, but could have been handled better by corporate - see other reviews for details)
    - Work/life balance depends heavily on your immediate manager and duties.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Corporate - treat your employees like the adults that they are, be honest, and communicate openly

    Dream Chaser Management - keep up the good work and make that thing fly someday

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful

    Management of deployment department was not qualified to run the department.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Planning & Scheduling Analyst in Hagerstown, MD
    Former Employee - Program Planning & Scheduling Analyst in Hagerstown, MD

    I worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Great 401K. Great people to work with out in the field.

    Cons

    No training given when first started. Department went through ALOT of changes - boss promoted, 2 co workers left and left 2 newbies to run department without guidance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to ensure when you hire within the person has experience to run the department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful

    Good Company with Benefits - with some employee issues

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

    I have been working at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    SNC is a good company with great benefits. Most of the people that work at IMS are really great people and treat each other with respect and are dedicated employee's.

    Cons

    IMS and Corporate have stated values and policies. Unfortunately IMS/Corp have both allowed individuals to continue to carry on inappropriate relationship while working in the same department. The individuals have made it almost unbearable to work with or around. The one individual has had MULTIPLE relationships with co-workers in the same department and continues to get promoted. It is the classic tale of 'Sleeping your way to the top". It is sad that IMS now has the sigma of being the"dating" place where marriages are destroyed. There is no VALUE in allowing this and it makes it hard for people who can come to work and maintain a professional relationship with coworkers of the opposite sex. We all work hard to get promotions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Live by the principals and values that SNC as a company states that they have.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful

    Worst experience of my life

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

    I worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    401k is amazing if you stick around long enough for it to kick in.

    Cons

    Stability is bad
    People are treated very poorly. It's all about who you know. Cream does not rise to the top, it gets fired or leaves and the black gunky stuff that's friends with the senior manager rises.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue with your surveys and post survey evaluations where you air out grievances and follow through. Consider whether someone would be a good manager before promoting them. I saw a lot of great engineers get promoted who had terrible management skills and created a toxic environment. Or consider a solid course for a few weeks on basic managerial stuff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful

    Good place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Centennial, CO
    Current Employee - Manager in Centennial, CO

    I have been working at Sierra Nevada Corporation full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Amazing 401k
    - Office location in Denver CO (probably the biggest retainer of employees here)
    - Average health benefits for the aerospace industry
    - Amazing seminars and training program
    - Great deal of responsibility put on the individual
    - Challenging, interesting work
    - Great team of engineers to work with
    - The team's "Get 'er done" attitude
    - Summer and Christmas parties that are usually really good
    - It seems the owners genuinely care about their people
    - Invests in good tools (both hardware and software) to keep the company relevant and technically competent.

    Overall I've really enjoyed working here.

    Cons

    - Pay is somewhat below industry standards for the job being performed.
    - Raises don't "pay for performance" (pools have been hovering around 3% for the last 4 years, compared to 6-8% pools for Boeing Defense engineers in Seattlee for the last decade, for example)
    - No pay for overtime (something pretty standard in aerospace engineering)
    - No alternate work schedules (9-80, 4-10)
    - Projects bid so unpaid overtime is expected
    - Latest round of layoffs show little care for employees, HR clearly caught off guard and did a horrible job
    - HR management in Colorado flights management and engineering every step of the way.
    - Travel "JTR" rules have landed me in some seedy motels. I'm cheap, and I wouldn't have booked places I was forced into.

    Definitely some things that have frustrated me to think about, but I'm still very happy here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Improve lines of communication from upper management to the worker bees, more all hands meetings. Even though the info can be disseminated other ways, occasionally seeing the VPs speak really helps morale.
    - If heavy overtime is expected, compensation for it should be planned.
    - Work past the "rates are too high" crutch and figure out a way to get a raise pool greater than inflation. The Boeings and other big companies have figured out how to do it, why can't we?
    - HR seems to fight lower level management on rewarding people, promotions and even hiring decisions.
    - Time to move to a more matrixed organization. Maintaining a program-centric org structure kills morale(managers have no clue what most of their people even do) and waters down great competencies the overall organization has. SNC is big enough to maintain a more matrixed structure where technical organizations within the company can benefit the overall organization.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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