The Nerdery Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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3.3
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The Nerdery CEO Mike Derheim
Mike Derheim
57 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

87 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    Optimistic about the future

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 (3)

    You will learn a TON, then move on.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    -Work with incredible coworkers who are super smart, super passionate, super creative, and willing to help you grow in your own abilities.
    -You can bring your dog to work
    -Free benefits like Redbull and Beer, and the Bottlecap food on Fridays is awesome.
    -The internal catering department is awesome and will help you with everything from ordering lunch to prep for large client workshops.
    -Lots of opportunity to work on projects that will have you learn skills that aren't currently in your toolbox.
    -20 days flexible days off per year to use if you're sick or taking a vacation.

    Cons

    -Upper management gives the impression that the support staff are nothing but a drain on the company profits, and being a 'non-billable' employee means that you aren't included in the company's vision of being the best place in the world for web nerds to work.
    -Overall compensation is lower than industry standards, and the so-called free perks don't really make up for it.
    -Little to no recognition for going above and beyond the call of duty in your day to day work. Getting a video shout out is good, but many deeds go unrecognized and management will only increase your workload as a result.

    Advice to Management

    I wish I could rate the President instead of the CEO on this site. The CEO is never seen anymore and everything is being led by the President instead. Transparency is better than it was, but for people to feel like co-presidents they need to feel trusted and that they are valued in a company. Trust and value is definitely missing in working here in any kind of non-sales or project role.


  3. Helpful (3)

    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

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

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

    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.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Working hard to be the best place in the world for Nerds to work.

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    * Challenging work & interesting clients
    * Smart and passionate Co-workers
    * Opportunity to learn
    * Career path
    * Community spirit
    * Communication
    * Weekly shout outs, meet the newb videos
    * Pentathenerd
    * People leaders who really want to create an awesome job for their teams
    * Values and vision that really mean something

    Did I say Smart and passionate Co-workers? Honestly, the people at The Nerdery are the greatest part about the job. The people we work with care so much it's refreshing.

    Cons

    * Sometimes I forget to eat lunch because I am too busy working on a cool project
    * Last week I thought it was Tuesday and it was already Friday
    * When our client sent us the cookies for doing a good job we ran out before I could get my PM one.
    * Our last MindMeld Tommyo only recognized one of my project teams for a job well done
    * On my trip to NYC for work my hotel room didn't have mints on the pillow
    * Sometimes I don't get shout outs from my co-workers EVERY week
    * No pool on the roof
    * No free beer until 5:00PM (or 4:00 on Fridays)
    * Sometimes we run out of Redbull by the end of the day.
    * The free afternoon popcorn always runs out just when I catch a whiff of it.

    Advice to Management

    The Nerdery is great because of the great people. Don't forget that. Continue to empower them and keep up the good work.

    The Nerdery Response

    Jun 19, 2015President

    I’m Tom O’Neill, and I approve this message.


  6. Current

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

    I worked at The Nerdery

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Values people, people can grow into their positions

    Cons

    Growth makes it more challenging to meet goals

    Advice to Management

    Bring in A CEO who has experience growing a service based organization.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great Place To Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Minnesota in Bloomington, MN
    Current Employee - Minnesota in Bloomington, MN

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great work environment with plenty of room for advancement. Lots of great perks and the company really values their employees. I'm not sure if all these negative reviews are accurate.

    Cons

    None that I can think of at this point.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  8. Helpful (1)

    You get out of it what you put into it.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Code Monkey in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Code Monkey in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    I have alot of respect for what Tom O'Neil and his crew have been able to accomplish and their ability to scale the company. I value my time at The Nerdery and really appreciate their desire to take chances on people and try new things. Do they do everything perfect? No, but who does.
    Having worked for in corporate America for many years, the work environment at The Nerdery is a breath of fresh air.

    Cons

    The culture can be alienating to people who are used to working for companies where everything is uniform and no one is outwardly passionate about anything. You do have to love tech and the web to really enjoy the work environment to the max. IT would be the same way if I worked for a Major League baseball. If I wasn't nuts about sports, I probably wouldn't appreciate the fact that I get to be around sports people all day.

    Cliques. Things can be clique-ish but what company isn't? People naturally gravitate towards like minded people.

    Project Management - In the past, my eperience with them had been that they would over promise and under deliver sometimes. Not all the time, but when you're on a project that is going poorly, you can't help but think about all of that stress and frustration could have been avoided if the client and project had been managed better.


  9. Helpful (4)

    You'll Probably Enjoy It

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Biggest asset for me was always the people. The Nerdery has a culture and personality requirement of applicants. In other jobs I've worked with vitriolic or otherwise onerous employees and it impacted my happiness. The Nerdery is mostly filled with fun, intelligent, people. Most of them are nerdy, too.

    - If you're not quite yet a senior/lead developer, the learning opportunity is immense. You will jump into the deep end of processes, standards, tools, and along the way you'll have support from intelligent people. Not just developers: sales, project managers, and others, too.

    - If you're lucky, you'll get put on a project that you probably wouldn't get too many other places. I can think of 1-2 projects that were this way: all-consuming, can't believe you're doing this for money-kinda projects.

    - Dogs/food/drinks/weekly party as others have mentioned.

    - Offices in Minnesota, Chicago, Kansas City, Phoenix, and a work from home team. You can move to whichever city strikes your fancy.

    - Clubs/committees formed around interests like anime, movies, board & card games, sports, and so on. Great opportunities for making new friends and socializing.

    - Executive team is full of great, genuine, people.

    Excited yet? The Nerdery has a lot of great reasons to join.

    Cons

    - Salary is below market value - sometimes egregiously so. This is fairly well-known, take a look at the reported salaries to see for yourself. I was $15k-$20k below market value for much of my time at The Nerdery. Denied a raise when asked for it twice. Received automatic pay increase of 6% one year, and 10% the next.

    - If you're a lead developer, expect to work over your PTO. Expect to work evenings and weekends. Expect to get a "thank you" only part of the time. And if you were short on work during the week of your overtime, expect to have that detracted from your pay. This certainly won't happen with every project, but the expectation is set as such.

    - Recent billable expectations are unrealistic. Employees are expected to be 100% billable. This introduces vast stress into the lives of every billable employee. If you have a 1-on-1 meeting or any admin/HR time, the expectation is that you also match that time with client work.

    - Giving incentive to managers, but not employees, via profit sharing and other means creates a dichotomy of interest. There have been well known issues with timesheet grief/bullying, among other nefarious behaviors I won't get into.

    - Attrition has been a huge problem lately. So many of my favorite leaders and good friends have left the company. Company seems to be losing the personalities that bolster culture.

    - You probably won't enact change in this company. You may feel like your voice is heard, but at around 500 employees, modifying or creating new policies is near impossible.

    - Annual code reviews and pay bands are too harsh. You are asked to submit code you've worked on without modifying it. You are graded on that code - whether or not you are able to explain *why* you did something the way you did. One mistake puts you at a "1" grade, which is unfair. Maybe I just got a bad reviewer, though.

    - One of the goals of the company is to not be corporate, but that's a losing battle for a number of reasons I won't get into. I'll just say marketing and legal are driving this change. I don't think the company will ever be truly corporate, but has lost much of its charm when compared to the early days.

    - I marked "disapprove" for the CEO, but only because he doesn't appear to interact with the company. I don't know anything about him after 2 years of employment. The face of the company seems to be the president, whom I do approve of. He's a good guy that genuinely cares.

    - Executive team does have channels in place to communicate - and they do communicate. The issue is they don't communicate the WHY. So one week you will be told that the billable percentage is now expected to be 100%. When that didn't work out as well as intended, a round of layoffs ensued. Had I known the *why* for the change, I would've put more effort into finding better solutions. The company seems to be looped in on the information cycle too late in the process.

    Overall, would I recommend this company to a friend? I replied yes, but that only applies to newer developers that need growth. More experienced developers I'd say "maybe," and review all the cons I listed. If you are OK with some of those pain points, definitely go for it. You'll probably enjoy it and take away knowledge from the experience.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, you're doing fine. I'm hopeful that your direction will lead The Nerdery to a better place. I hope my feedback was constructive.

    - Review PBR and incentives/profit sharing. Too much of our management are focused on numbers. Remember how that panned out for Microsoft?
    - Find a way to grow without hiring more people. Your moonshot is achievable with far less hands on deck.
    - Find a way to reward large growth in an employee. Budget for higher salaries. You're losing valuable people.
    - Find a way to engage your employees. So many of them are exhausted or indifferent. Make a moonshot that people can be passionate about - not just numbers or direct benefit.
    - Diversify your revenue streams. No one wants to be a services-only company.
    - Loop everyone in on decisions before they are made. You have a herd of talented nerds - ask them for opinions to help aid your decision making.

    The Nerdery Response

    Jun 19, 2015President

    This is Tom O’Neill.

    Thank you for the kind words and for the positive rating. We appreciate it. Also, we always value constructive feedback, yours is valuable and noted. However, I’m compelled
    ... More


  10. Helpful (3)

    Great Place to Work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate User Experience Designer in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Associate User Experience Designer in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The thing I love most about the Nerdery is that the company focuses on the employees as their greatest asset- and it shows. They pay well, and they work hard to create a great culture. There are many brilliant people here and, rather than hoard it, they share there experience willingly with others.

    Cons

    I Haven't found one yet.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!

    The Nerdery Response

    May 24, 2015President

    This is Tom O’Neill. Thank you for being one of the “greatest assets” you've referenced, and “keep up the good work” indeed. Come find me for a high five!


  11. Helpful (8)

    Moving in the wrong direction...

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Super nice and incredibly smart people
    - Great perks and benefits

    Cons

    - Becoming more and more greedy everyday
    - Leadership is not qualified

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the premature growth of the organization.

    The Nerdery Response

    May 24, 2015President

    This is Tom O’Neill. You’re right that many of our leaders are not qualified in the traditional sense of qualifications, but so much of whatever success we’ve ever had has come from taking chances on ... More



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