Video Gaming Technologies
2.3 of 5 29 reviews
www.vgt.net Brentwood, TN 500 to 999 Employees

Video Gaming Technologies Reviews

Updated Jun 27, 2014

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2.3 29 reviews

                             

27% Approve of the CEO

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Jon P. Yarbrough

(22 ratings)

25% of employees recommend this company to a friend
29 Employee Reviews
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Management is COMPLETELY untrustworthy - they will say anything, regardless of what they have planned

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIt's changed so totally, I have no idea what would be good. The only that hasn't changed is the lying, deceitful management.

    ConsYou cannot believe anything management says, because they are working at an entirely different level in the backroom, focused exclusively on maximizing profit (which is fine), REGARDLESS of the effect on employees (not so fine).

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry to not deliberately mislead the people who actually do the work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Good times, bad times, you know I had my share

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Nashville, TN

    ProsThe work was usually interesting, the lunch was free if not always good for you, the salary was decent. The benefits were average however the bonuses were always very nice.

    ConsClosing of the VA office forcing people to relocate if they were desirable to keep. Not talking with the lowest level managers to see which employees were valuable and which were not. Prima donnas in certain satellite locations.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTalk to each other. Preferably before you commit someone to something that they have no idea about. If you really want change, do what is right not what someone else wants. Stick to your guns.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    5 people found this helpful  

    Was a great place to work, until the owner wanted to move to Agile.

    Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    Charlottesville, VA

    ProsWhen I first started there were intelligent developers, middle management that understood development, and a VP of engineering while willing to throw developers under the bus was also willing to say "no" to the owner.

    ConsFailed to hire or even address a VP of engineering for 2+ years. Owner distrusted and frequently blamed engineering for many problems. Owner is not willing to provide the tools to allow the developers to do their jobs, nickel and dimeing for hardware, while still demanding timely work.
    The owner decided to transition to Agile and in doing so hired people to make the transition in such a way that talent was hemorrhaged at an alarming rate.
    In ability to advance, for much of my time at the company, your title was based solely on your number of years experience versus whether one fit the description of title.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGrow a backbone and say "no" or "next release" to the owner.

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

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    6 people found this helpful  

    A company in transition. Not necessarily a good thing.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Ruckersville, VA

    ProsVGT is small enough that an individual can potentially make a meaningful impact to the company as a whole and not just toil away on things nobody will appreciate. Financial compensation is fair and supports a comfortable family lifestyle. Free lunches are provided along with other sundry benefits. Good health coverage and matching 401k contributions.

    ConsFrom early 2011 up through 2012 today the company has undergone a very turbulent transition from the cozy "family" feel of the operation to one which is much more regimented and corporatized. In this time many senior employees who helped shape the success and personality of VGT were dismissed, lengthy development projects were cancelled, and the entire Virginia office summarily closed in favor of new kingdoms being built in Tennessee and Nevada. These events took place without any convincing words provided as to why this was "The Right Thing to Do.". Instead the impact was "We're doing this for arbitrary reasons. Deal with it."

    The turmoil is far from over as many employees depart for new opportunities and their vacancies have not been filled. Meanwhile the new hires and projects in development have yet to fully gel or prove themselves with successful products on the market. The stability of the company rests on the solid and reliable revenue stream from legacy partners and support systems. This may be strong enough to last while VGT is internally broken and remade. In that respect there are many career opportunities to be had for those looking to take advantage of the situation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOne of the greatest things about VGT was the sense that you as an individual were valued for your work and that the company noticeably benefited from your efforts. The events of the past two years have undermined that sense of satisfaction in the worst possible way. This may be an effective way to "burn the ships in the New World" as Jon Yarbrough put it, but it changes the core of why you would want to stay with the company. Instead of a desire to do a good job now you just want to get a paycheck.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Good, smart people...lack of direction

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Ruckersville, VA

    ProsGood working environment that allowed me to stretch my legs and take on the tasks that fit me. Really smart people with some great ideas floating around in their heads. Fast paced environment that, when it was working, moved at a good pace.

    ConsLack of direction and decision making from the upper management ultimately took it's toll on our office. Too many chief's syndrom made it hard to have a choice made and moved on.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your people and make a choice in the time needed.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Amazingly talented people to work with

    Software Engineer II (Current Employee)
    Ruckersville, VA

    ProsCo-workers are top notch
    Company buys lunch for the staff each day
    Company invests in training staff in new technologies

    ConsCompany has had difficulty adapting to explosive growth and the changing organizational needs of a larger company. They are making an honest effort to make changes, only time will tell if they are successful.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed more management types who are more technically literate and will be more capable of translating effectively between senior management and engineering

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    VGT Review

    Project Manager II (Former Employee)
    Ruckersville, VA

    ProsFree lunches
    Great benefits
    Good people (peers)

    ConsMessed up and indecisive management

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe careful about who your middle management is

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

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    Highly political environment

    Business Analyst (Current Employee)
    Ruckersville, VA

    ProsFree lunch. Allowed to blow off steam by playing foosball during normal working hours. Very advanced IT infrastructure.

    Cons* Senior management not very open, and decision making at the top seems to take forever.
    * Management makes promises it does not keep (we will move to new building, but no change 6 years later)
    * Management changes direction, sometimes contradicting itself (spent 1.5 years coming up with strategic plan for 2012, unveiled in JAN, obsolete in mid-March due to announced plant closing)

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate to the rest of the company more often. Make a decision, and then stick to it ... especially within the context of a strategic plan (software roadmap) for a given calendar year.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Privately Owned, Privately Ran

    Software Engineer II (Current Employee)
    Ruckersville, VA

    Pros- Flexibility in hours.
    - Loose requirement on work hours.
    - Employee’s choice on how they want
    to contribute to VGT.
    - Options for technology helpful to a growing company.
    - Former IGT experience to work on game design.
    - Scrum and all its benefits of greater team responsibility, increased communication, and regular demos to important decision makers.
    - Many good company-wide perks.
    Recognition for patent work. Annual holiday employee appreciation.
    - Regular employee training.
    - Shared product release plans.

    ConsIt is often necessary and difficult to persuade Jon Yarbrough, both CEO and owner, of things that do not fall under his expertise since VGT’s large income leaves him unaccountable. The people that get to make the most important decisions at VGT are overly relied upon because of the trust they are given by Jon Yarbrough. Decision makers at VGT fall into two categories or can even be both.

    1. People who do not deserve to be in their position and rarely do anything to resolve problems.

    2. People who extend their authority and responsibilities beyond their original capabilities and assigned duty by dismissing everyone who disagrees with them.

    This leaves little room for anyone else to accomplish the things that they see needing to be done at VGT.

    Requirements for a product’s release are often overlooked at which point it is found that VGT lacks the capacity and resources to complete them in the desired manner. VGT makes long term goals but rarely succeeds at them due to unforeseen complications.

    Upper level management gives their attention to one company goal at a time and micro manages it while all other goals are given background priority and largely forgotten about. Under performing employees that cannot self-motivate themselves go unnoticed because they are placed on tasks that are not given enough attention by management. VGT’s most valuable employees resign out of frustration.

    Universal solutions are applied to very small and simple problems at VGT. The analogy of using a baseball bat instead of a fly swatter is frequently used around work. VGT believes that all of its employees are a “free” resource that does not need to be factored into any expense. VGT will throw as many employees as it can at a problem and then blame everyone but their selves when there is nothing to show for it.

    Serious disagreements with someone at the VP level or higher have been resolved by removing the lower level employee from their responsibilities and often firing them from the company. Conflict and disputes between employees are handled by no longer allowing those employees to interact with each other.

    Sick days are combined with PTO so that employees have to sacrifice their vacation days to recover from illness. Contagious employees come in when they are sick and risk spreading illness to other employees to avoid sacrificing their vacation time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt is important that VGT’s decision makers demand that a product first be in a releasable state before adding bells and whistles that generate the most exciting company buzz. Get rid of the rigid pecking order for decision approval unless there is an emergency so that you can trust people to do the job you appointed them for.

    Provide simple solutions to getting information, cooperation, and communication between departments instead of large cumbersome solutions that apply company wide. Stop trying to give management constant control and predictability.

    Have upper level management track and review the percentage of time they are spending on each project they are responsible for. VGT needs functional managers that can be responsible for success in their areas of expertise and not intrude on anyone else’s responsibilities.

    VGT needs to pay very close attention to what their people know, take stock of their knowledge, and effectively manage it. Communicate with each individual employee, not the entire whole, what is expected of them and why VGT needs their knowledge. Encourage, but do not force, mentoring and coaching and job rotations ahead of time to plan knowledge transfers instead of waiting until it is too late. Calculate separation and replacement costs for losing and replacing a VGT employee so that it can be used to figure out how much can be invested in keeping them.

    Be honest with employees instead of pretending like you don’t understand what an employee is talking about or treat employees like they are overreacting when they express concerns about the Virginia office closing. Keep suggestions to improve VGT moving instead of pushing the responsibility back onto the employee.

    The upper VP levels and higher also need to recognize that raising issues may just be an employee’s need to feel out whether they belong to VGT and where they stand in its hierarchy by breaking the ice and initiating conversation. The VP levels or higher should then only take action if the conflict cannot be resolved before the stress it causes begins to have physiological and psychological problems.

    Assume that everyone is working towards VGT’s success until something is noticed. If it is doubtful whether someone is working towards VGT’s success, immediately address it privately as if it is an individual and unique issue, instead of trying to resolve it company-wide. Pass down control of rewards instead of maintaining it at the top where it is harder to determine who deserves it. Use functional managers and team members to frequently identify important employees.

    Give employees the tools that they want to use for their job instead of forcing them to use tools that someone else likes. Make it easy for employees to validate their needs for an expense, especially if it has a proven greater return value for VGT.

    Give your employees sick days in addition to current PTO because you trust that they enjoy coming in to do their jobs and that they will not take advantage of sick days, otherwise remove the employees that you cannot trust instead of placing them on a less important project.

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Leadership has lost its direction

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Tulsa, OK

    ProsOutstanding benefits ie medical coverage starts on your first day. Even offers a free daily lunch. Salary generally competitive for the area. Very profitable company in spite of its self.

    ConsA general breakdown of leadership both at corporate headquarters and in Oklahoma. A great deal of energy expended on the creation of fiefdoms and silos. Failure of leadership to commit and implement. For example a move to a new Tulsa facility has be "just around the corner" for 5 years. Lack of technical innovation in the product.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommit and implement . I would recommend that John Yarbrough hire a board of directors and a President and step out of micro managing the company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Video Gaming Technologies reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Video Gaming Technologies CEO Jon P. Yarbrough. All 29 reviews posted anonymously by Video Gaming Technologies employees.