The Nerdery Reviews

Updated August 9, 2015
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The Nerdery CEO Mike Derheim
Mike Derheim
62 Ratings

Pros
  • Bring your dog in, free beer, red bull, and a killer coke machine (in 7 reviews)

  • A work/life balance is definitely encouraged (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • No real leadership opportunities for women (boys club) (in 5 reviews)

  • Lies about work/life balance, inconsistently enforced (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

95 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (9)

    Optimistic about the future

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When I first started at The Nerdery, I too read the reviews about nepotism, boys club and poor management. Would it be a lie to say that I did notice those things when I first started? Yes. However, I can attest to the fact that this company takes feedback from their employees better than any company I've ever been a part of. There are now many women in leadership roles, and management is starting to address performance issues and get better at being actual leaders. The culture here is something special, and you won't find it anywhere else. People are so willing to help, even if they aren't in your department. It's incredibly collaborative, and it's a heck of a lot of fun.

    Cons

    There could be a bit more training opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the cheerleading, be honest and transparent. We all trust you, we want to know what the plans are, or at least what the framework is.


  2. Helpful (1)

    A Great Place to Work

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very collaborative culture, great people, great perks, DOG FRIENDLY!!, intelligent and driven developers, fairly competitive pay. I have really enjoyed my time here and enjoy coming in to work every day. I also really love all the free food/drinks in the kitchen, after work beer and the super awesome OCD team that organizes all the food in the kitchen and handles our food ordering system.

    Cons

    I can't think of many, but I do wish we had a better building and/or location (Bloomington office). They are working to improve the interior, but it is sort of dumpy and the location isn't the most interesting. Unfortunately it sounds like we're stuck in a lease but maybe in the future we can get a nicer location. Overall, this is a small con when compared to all the things I love about the company.

    The Nerdery Response

    Aug 7, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill, echoing your shout-out for OCD (Ordering, Catering, Delivery) for making an artform out of the care and feeding of Nerds. Thanks for the kind words! As you mentioned, we are ... More


  3. User Experience Design

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at The Nerdery (More than a year)

    Pros

    trust, flexibility, learning, growth, employee driven culture

    Cons

    commute, pay lower than market average, growth pains

    Advice to Management

    continue listening to your fellow nerds

    The Nerdery Response

    Aug 27, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill – I hear you, fellow Nerd. Please stop me in the hall so I can hear more.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    Cultural Chaos meets Corporate Process

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia Heights, Anoka, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbia Heights, Anoka, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    There are many things about The Nerdery that are uniquely valuable. The leadership is laser-focused on growth, but not at the expense of their core values. It may sound like corporate BS, but I have not seen another organization that actually operates with the levels of humility, transparency, and empowerment that I've seen at The Nerdery. The fierce adherence to a DIY attitude opens a lot of doors to internal promotion, and keeps away the outside investment and off-the-shelf solutions that could dilute leadership and development growth. If you do good work, keep yourself aligned with the company goals, and build the right relationships you can accomplish a lot here.

    Cons

    On the flip side, there are many things about The Nerdery that are uniquely frustrating. The company refuses to deviate from a pure services/work for hire based business model, which leads to razor thin profit margins and no room for investment or error when it comes to hiring or infrastructure. The Nerds Gone Wild culture and overly-pragmatic office decor makes for a dorm hall meets comic book shop atmosphere. And not every department has the leadership it needs, which leads to cliquish behavior in some of the specialties.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let individuals take advantage of your corporate humility! Learn how to distinguish talent from hubris, accomplishments from embellishments, intelligence from ego. There's room and need for all of this, but keep decisions balanced and focused more on merit, less on friendships and feelings. And don't forget that you have ridiculous amounts of talent there. Keep learning what it takes to maximize that potential.

    The Nerdery Response

    Jul 23, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill. Thank you for your service to our company and clients, as well as your kind words and thoughtful critique. I value your perspective and welcome any chance to personally thank you ... More


  6. Helpful (3)

    Amazing developers; misaligned management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time

    Pros

    Best part of The Nerdery: the developers. The development team - including many of the managers with technical backgrounds - are some of the most simultaneously brilliant AND humble people with whom I have ever had the privilege of working. This is a workforce marked by their level of intellectual investment in building great solutions, their integrity in doing it right, and their humility and compassion for helping or teaching anybody who asks. They are absolutely the heartbeat of this organization.

    Cons

    Biggest con: compromised values and misaligned priorities, as driven from management. In their pursuit of growth, management has pushed for things that contradict and compromise the company's values - particularly humility and integrity. It is commendable to pursue growth, even aggressively, but there are ways to do it well... and then there's focusing too much on individual project margins, rather than building long-range relationships (understanding the client and the market.) Focusing too narrowly comes with: pushing employees to "bill as much as possible," pushing project managers to "be on time and ON budget," and pushing everyone to "find work" to exhaust every dollar a client signed for, on a project that may have otherwise come under budget. Even when management is not trying to collect on every dollar signed, they're still not prioritizing a deep understanding or respect for their clients. They demonstrate a limited understanding of the value, for example, of face-to-face relationships. When they do meet with the clients, they often approach it either as a chore or a chance to showcase - they do more talking than asking questions, or care too little about the answers to adapt business practices. (Some members of upper management, as recently as early 2015, were still largely unaware that most clients, especially their largest, are aggressively incorporating Agile principles -- let alone understand what that reflects, in terms of their clients' climate and culture, or what it means for the overall market. And The Nerdery.) There is lackluster interest in the investment required to maintain an ongoing dialogue / relationship with clients, even those deemed "high priority," even once it's established.

    Advice to Management

    Long-range, sustainable revenue growth is about mindset and where you focus... It's built through an authentic and emphatic respect of the customer - a DEEP understanding of their needs and a high prioritization of meeting them - not just project requirements, but who they are as entities and people. This is about rich, ongoing dialogues: meeting with them in person, asking questions more than talking at them, really listening to what they say, and responding or reacting accordingly. Over and over. It's not about the margins on a single project or SOW. It's about the long game.

    The Nerdery Response

    Aug 27, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill. I agree that we always have to be as passionate about our clients’ business as we are about our own – this consistent, high level of client empathy is a top pursuit for our ... More


  7. Best job I've ever had

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

    Pros

    The Core values are a huge part of what makes the company great.

    Cons

    Some might say compensation isn't as competitive as other places...This may be partially true, but I feel like the company, through my employment, gives back in a whole host of ways that aren't necessarily quantifiable through monetary compensation.

    Advice to Management

    We don't take you guys for granted. Love what you all do for us. Love the job, the opportunities, and the environment at work.

    The Nerdery Response

    Aug 3, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill. I appreciate that you credit our core values as our guiding principles, and want you to know I don’t take Nerds like you for granted, either. Thank you!


  8. Great People. Great Culture. Great Environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Nerdery (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Couldn't ask for a better place to learn, grow and become an expert in your digital trade. One of the best places to work and collaborate with other highly passionate individuals.

    Cons

    Not many... younger rapidly growing organization..... - Benefits could be better, but not complaining about them.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring more Co-presidents.

    The Nerdery Response

    Jul 23, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill. I’m glad to hear that you learned and grew with us – I wish you continued success and hope you'll keep in touch.


  9. Some cons, but overall I love working here.

    • 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

    You get to work with inspiring and intelligent people everyday. You work to understand and solve complex technology problems that are occurring across the country, across a wide swath of customer types and sizes. Tons of free food/drinks and access to daily lunch food delivery service. Beer kegs are open each day at 5. Fun environment with themed conference rooms and weekly shoutout/skit videos made by employees. A new location (small, "startup-like" feel to its office with 6 employees) opened last fall so it's possible there may be more like it on the horizon in other parts of the country.

    Cons

    Management-employee tension is apparent and a lot of long-term employees have moved on this year, which is hard to watch. It's clear that people miss the way the company used to be when it was a small, tight-knit group and don't like the feeling that this 500+ company is "going corporate." If you are a fan of smaller companies, this will be a con for you. There have been a few "restructuring" layoffs in the last few years due to developers of specific disciplines "being on the bench" without work (due to changes in industry trends). The company can't control what external customers want, but layoffs hurt morale.

    Advice to Management

    Elevate the importance of information learned during exit interviews and find out what needs to be done to keep the talent here. Continue the positive trend of increased communication and "Mindmeld" (monthly all-staff company news and developments) meetings. There are some cons that need to be addressed, but overall I love working here

    The Nerdery Response

    Jul 15, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill, grateful to have “inspiring and intelligent people to solve complex technology problems” (like you, and in your words – you’ve just perfectly described our value prop, right ... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    I hate to say it, but The Nerdery has turned "Corporate"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great Co-Workers Super Smart People Dog Friendly FUN environment

    Cons

    The Nerdery brags about how hard it is to get a job there "our acceptance rate of applicants is historically less than half that of Harvard" - Nerdery.com What they don't mention is how many people drop out and leave the company. The attrition rate is HIGH. Low Pay for Industry standards Incompetent Leadership (not everyone, but overall)

    Advice to Management

    Hire experts to do their job, not to tell them how to do their job. Work on Retention, not growth

    The Nerdery Response

    Aug 3, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill. While we do remain choosy about applicants, I can tell you that I feel it whenever we fail to retain good people – especially those who see greatness in their co-workers. My door ... More


  11. Helpful (7)

    Great Past, Uncertain Future?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomington, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomington, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Smart, fun, engaged co-workers. So many people at The Nerdery are amazing humans with skills and backgrounds that you'd never expect to find in a technology shop. Expect to laugh and make friends while you work. - Good work/life balance. - Enjoyable environment. The snacks, dogs and atmosphere are everything the marketing promises. - Extremely talented, dedicated development team. These are people who really do code day and night because they love it. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

    Cons

    - Growing resentment within employees towards management and the company's change in direction/priorities. This has led to heavy attrition, notably among the company's top talent. Some of the recent departures would have been unthinkable a year ago. - Lack of communication from management - I was let go for "performance" reasons despite months of perfectly acceptable reviews, with no real warning of an apparent performance drop. I am not the only person that this has happened to of late. - "Company Values" matter right up until they don't. Unfortunately, that "don't" is a wider and wider area - I watched senior leadership lie to clients in some shockingly ugly ways, just to avoid embarrassment.

    Advice to Management

    You have a lot of fantastic people in this organization, and it's clear that you want the company to succeed without losing what makes it unique. Figure out what it is that's causing all the recent trouble. Communicate to the entire company where things have gone wrong, as well as how you plan to fix it. Stick to that plan to reliably to regain the trust of your employees, because a lot of people don't believe in your ability to follow through on big promises. The negative reviews are piling up here, and there's a reason for that. I had a great time for most of my tenure at The Nerdery, but it's not currently a place I'd recommend to job seekers. I'd love to say otherwise in the future.

    The Nerdery Response

    Jul 6, 2015 – President

    This is Tom O’Neill. While I fully agree that your former colleagues are amazing humans, I’m disheartened to hear your critique of management’s lack of communication – but I’ll own that, and get ... More



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