Vecna Technologies

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Vecna Technologies Reviews

Updated Jul 26, 2014
Vecna Technologies – “CRL Office Building”

All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 45 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

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Deborah Theobald

(34 ratings)

76% of employees recommend this company to a friend
45 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Fantastic first job out of college

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsVecna has been a wonderful learning experience so far. Everyone I have encountered is very helpful and supportive. Though I haven't seen other companies, I imagine it's hard to find such smart, nice people. I have learned a ton in my time here, and I imagine I will have great opportunities either to advance at Vecna or to pursue grad school. Finally, the benefits are awesome. It doesn't feel like a job at the moment.

    ConsI guess the only con is a personal pet peeve of mine: some whining (as I think is evident in some of the reviews on this site). People are prone to whine, and a minority of those at Vecna occasionally engage in this negativity. However, whining actually may have its purpose, in that it pushes institutions to be better. On the other hand, it can be a bit annoying when people don't understand how good they have it here!

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone for now! Keep up the good work!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good place to learning coding and improve your skills, but there is no room to grow up after.

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsSome what flex time - you can come and leave work at any time as long as you work 40 hrs a week and at least 4 hrs during day time on Mon-Fri.

    Benefits - you don't need to pay for medical or dental insurance for yourself or your family.

    People - most of the people here are from MIT. There are other universities present including WPI and RPI. Tech. Leads are the smartest engineers here. Some of them are also very friendly and helpful.

    Overall fair work/life balance.

    ConsShort vacation time (5 weeks total but including government holidays which is usually 2 weeks. Thus, only 3 weeks for vacation time and seek days);

    Poor management skills on the part of mid-level to upper management. Some project managers just got out from schools with a little or no experience.

    No room to grow up for software engineer, at least right now. All technical lead positions are already taken and besides them, there are no senior level positions.

    No one in interested in your personal or career growth. There are no place for questions like - "What should/can I do to get to this position/salary?".

    Advice to Senior ManagementCare a little bit more about employees. With mass hiring you expect that you can always replace some people, but keeping your employees happy, so that they won't need to look for other opportunities is also important.

    Consider discussing with your employees career opportunities, encourage additional trainings/certifications.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Vecna Technologies Director, Talent Acquisition responded to this review

    Jul 21, 2014

    Thank you for your feedback. Vecna was founded on the idea of caring about every member of the team and helping them to achieve their maximum potential. Vecna has and continues to offer numerous ... More
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Programmer

    Programmer (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsCool projects and wook environment

    ConsNun that i can think ok

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep duing what u r duing

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    6 people found this helpful  

    I interned at Vecna in 2013

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsVecna is a growing company with a great entrepreneurial culture. Colleagues are great both to work and to hang out with. There are clubs and learning lunches and other ways that create a strong sense of community in the company. Everybody, including senior management, is open and friendly. Vecna allows good work/life balance.

    ConsAnother advantage at Vecna is flexibility in schedule. This, however, can sometimes translate into lack of accountability. The startup-like culture has its cons as well as pros.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep the open and friendly culture, that's what makes Vecna different.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    8 people found this helpful  

    A beautiful mind, but a rotten heart

    (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsGreat benefits (as previously covered in other reviews), fantastic employees, and you have the opportunity to work on projects that can help make the world better for all of us.

    ConsFor starters, when I was employed by Vecna there was a strong internal push to improve the reviews on this site. Many of the reviews were submitted by employees who believed their reviews would help them gain clout with the company. So read with caution.

    As of the time of my separation from Vecna, the CEO had stepped down for personal reasons, and with it the company lost its "heart". Without the yin to the CTO's yang, Vecna became an unhealthy work environment: no structure, two internal "unspoken" hierarchies based on religious affiliation and collegiate alma mater, and being left to follow the whims of a man who is a genius at software development and robotics but terrible at everything else. Provided you played the office politics well (which is extremely difficult because "there are no office politics here at Vecna") and you were either a graduate of MIT, Harvard, or (to a lesser extent) any other ivy league school or a member of the CTO's church, you can go far. If you don't meet this criteria, heaven help you. Vecna's stance on employment is "hire them in bulk, hire them young (so they don't cost much), and don't try to develop them if they're imperfect." Many employees are removed on an annual basis without any formal write-ups or counseling because they can be replaced by the next graduating class (why else would such a small company have such a large recruitment team and only one HR professional?) If you are considering working for Vecna, enjoy the benefits, make connections with some incredible people, and keep your resume current because this is not a company anyone will retire from.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring back the yin, and believe in your employees like they believe in your vision.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Vecna Technologies Director, Talent Acquisition responded to this review

    Mar 4, 2014

    Wow, ouch. I apologize, but need to set the record straight on this. This review simply isn't consistent with reality.

    I agree with your point about not trusting content on social networking
    ... More
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Support

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIt is a great job for a person who is single. There is food in the kitchen if you are starving.

    ConsThere is no official holidays. You have to work during holidays.

    Advice to Senior ManagementN/A

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Vecna Technologies Director, Talent Acquisition responded to this review

    Mar 4, 2014

    Since in the modern world there is a large diversity of holidays, the team at Vecna decided they wanted have flexibility in using holiday leave when they wanted to rather than having fixed holidays ... More
    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Headed in the right direction

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsThe benefits package at Vecna is very competitive. Employer paid health/dental/life, tuition reimbursement, MBTA pass, 401K with match, profit sharing with annual distributions, health incentive program, $4000 referral bonus, I could go on and on. Vecna listens to its team members and gives back most of the profits to employees. Clubs are fun, learning lunches are yummy and enlightening. They have ping pong, art club, yoga, and healthy snacks. The people are friendly and hard working. At Vecna, you are allowed to create. You aren't restricted like at other companies. Senior management is easy going not intimidating. Vecna supplies its team members with ergonomic desks and chairs. Best of all, your desk can be used sitting or standing! Also, Vecna is the first company that I have worked for that allows its employees to do community service and get paid for it.

    ConsVecna allows team members to manage their time and tasks. Some people are great at this. Others waste time and don't meet deadlines. Also, working from home is allowed but team members are not as productive. I can see working from home when you work more than 40 hours, but it shouldn't be abused.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work, Vecna will be at the next level soon.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    You should join if you get the chance.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsVecna really is a great place to work. The technology is amazing. They are doing projects here that are going to change the world. It is super fun, the people are great, the benefits are great, the clubs are fun.

    ConsSince there are so many talented people here, expectations are super high. Sometimes it can be a little intimidating working with all the brilliant people, but I am always proud of the outcome.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI like the new cafe, but it would be great if the second sink worked soon.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    I have worked at several of the top software companies, Vecna is the best.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI have finally found the place to make my career. Smart, talented, people who actually care about their customers and coworkers. A fun, productive work environment. Great benefits. The leadership gives us tons of freedom and flexibility. Massive future for our products and research.

    ConsVecna is a unique company in many ways. All good in my opinion, but that means that it does things differently than other companies in some cases. The problem is sometimes a new person will have a negative reaction to the way Vecna does something instead of first taking the time to understand why they are doing it that way.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI like the round tables as an open forum to discuss things. Please keep those going.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Strong values and intent, but poor execution and engineering

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Cambridge, MA

    ProsVecna's angle in recruiting and positioning itself as a company is that they are building "better technology" for a "better world". Their products are doing good things in a terribly dated industry. The company believes strongly in making a positive impact on the world, both with its business and in things like being environmentally friendly. The co-founder prides himself on being a bootstrapped company with no outside funding. You have the opportunity to take up to 10% of your working tracked time to do community service. Benefits are incredible (t-pass, fully covered health/dental, health reimbursement balance, 401k matching). Pretty much everyone is very friendly and there are very genuinely good people working there.

    ConsThere are many good things about Vecna as a company, but unfortunately the cons undermine almost all of them.

    I'm not sure if this is mandated by law due to government contracts, but all employees must track 40 hours minimum per week (not including lunch or off time). While 40 hours seems reasonable, actually having to track that time, especially as an engineer, is plain silly and draining. There is very little support for working remotely so this makes getting 40 hours in the office even more difficult and a bit against the culture of 'flex-time'. I can't count the number of times people just sit around being unproductive to fill out their hours. It's plain silly, especially when it's not client work.

    While engineering is filled with tons of bright people, there seems to be very little external experience ever brought into the company. This seems to result in a very narrow scoped vision with people rarely experimenting with new things, talking about different technologies, or just challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries. Software engineering seems mostly about waiting for long builds and fiddling with config files and XMLs. The overall engineering culture seems stagnant and stuck in 2002. Too often smart young talent is brought in, and they're only taught how to do things the way Vecna does it, and they don't actually learn how to develop good software... just basically how to push code into the mold of old templates that already exist.

    In terms of project management and vision, things usually feel way too top-down heavy and only directed by the CEO. Engineers and others seem to have little stake and influence in their work and in general, there is a subtle undertone of a lack of trust in employees. Working from home is frowned upon, people can't make decisions on their own, and things move slowly. You are forced to use the Microsoft ergonomic keyboard so you don't get carpal tunnel... instead of being trusted as an adult to make the most sensible decision on your own.

    Overall, Vecna is doing good things and is well-intentioned, but the engineering org moves way too slowly and is stuck in the past. Time tracking, desktops, an ancient tech stack, too many meetings, planning and re-planning things over and over again does not make for a fast moving quality engineering organization that people want to be a part of.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust employees and engineers more to make decisions. Get rid of time tracking where possible and the 40 hour rule. Hire some external VP level software execs to breathe some fresh life and perspective into the organization. Get engineers laptops so they're not tethered to their desks and they can work from home when necessary. Software talent is too scarce to scare away with strong-handed and over-frugal management tactics.

    Stick to your guns on making the world a better place - people do value that.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Vecna Technologies Director, Talent Acquisition responded to this review

    Mar 4, 2014

    Yes, unfortunately we are legally required by the government to track 40 hours a week. Since we are required to track time, our goal is to make it as easy and painless as possible. Please stop by ... More

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