WMS Gaming

  www.wms.com
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WMS Gaming Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 76 reviews

67% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

David L. Kennedy

(3 ratings)

54% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great Benefits, Pay is comparable to industry standards(in 6 reviews)

  • Had great benefits, very, very laid back work environment(in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • senior management is doing its best to turn a fun place to work into a world of drudgery and uninteresting business-style development(in 4 reviews)

  • Resources in game development are stretched very thin(in 3 reviews)

76 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great benefits, overall good environment

    Senior Test Engineer (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    Pros-Location
    -Culture
    -Flexible schedule
    -Good technology
    -Great benefits
    -Positive attitudes
    -Fun Industry to work for
    -Lots of opportunities for advancement

    ConsFast pace
    more and more politics
    While many opportunities to advance seems hard to move up
    Managers are in some cases hard to work with

    Advice to Senior Managementn/a

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great place to work, great people, great comp

    Senior Principal Engineer (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    Pros- innovative culture
    - none of the "not invented here" thinking
    - visibility at upper layers
    - great work - life balance

    Cons- sometimes not enough sense of urgency
    - not enough discipline and follow-through
    - old-fashioned industry
    - industry burdened and constrained by regulation

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring in more pride, urgency and discipline - not as in "process", but follow-though and ownership. I see positive changes. Keep it up.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    Used to be good, maybe even the best, now it's almost poisonous

    Principal Gaming Software Engineer (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    Pros- There is the chance of reward and recognition if you put in a big effort
    - Individually there are some cool and very smart co-workers there

    Cons- Management have no idea about planning or scheduling, all they use is a random date generator and microsoft xls. That is no exaggeration.
    - You will be forced to bust your ass due to managements failings
    - Cooperation between some key departments is non existent
    - Whole company is littered with legacy procedures and practices that will make you weep, don't bother trying to complain or change them.
    - Every company has politics, if you can't play them watch your back. There are some caustic people there, and they are at all levels of the company

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo the 'leadership' group that should be above R&D do the following
    1. Teach middle management how to plan and schedule
    2. Make WMS the creative and fun place it was in it's halcyon days, thats how you became the darling of the industry.
    3. Get down in the trenches, speak to the troops.
    4. Don't just listen to the troops and nod. Understand, react and keep them happy.
    5. You worry too much about the competition, look at yourself from the inside and you'll understand why the competition is getting back on top of you.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    Day to day work function is satisfactory but lacks good people management and recognition.

    Senior Principal Software Engineer (Current Employee) Atlanta, GA

    Pros1. This company has above average benefits.
    2. There are a number of very good engineers to work with.
    3. Their products are some of the best in the industry.
    4. Relaxed atmosphere.

    Cons1. Internal political games, low trust in management due to lack of integrity
    2. Closed off environment and culture.
    3. Inter-team competitiveness between departments is counter-productive.
    4. Favoritism practiced far to often, promotions/opportunities not necessarily based on abilities.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to promote/compensate key individuals above market value to keep intellectual property from straying. Exceptional engineers should be compensated equal to senior management!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work, manager supports and challenges me and senior management communicates the company plan constantly.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsWe have flexible work hours and passionate employees to develop creative products that are innovative and truly lead the competition. Named 2010 #1 Best Place to Work by Chicago Tribune in the large company category. Solid overall benefits plan.

    ConsGaming industry is highly regulated.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    More cons than pros

    Senior Principal Software Engineer (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsWMS Gaming has good pay and benefits. Plenty of PTO and holiday days. Fun working on products that will be played by a large number and wide variety of people.

    Cons1) The company is run like a manufacturing company even though it is the content and high tech deliverables that make casinos want to buy our slot machines. As a result, we have old machines, old tools, and old methodologies.
    2) Projects constantly have unrealistic deadlines and are understaffed which results in poor quality and poor performance in the market.
    3) Much talk is made of improving quality but the only emphasis ever made is on engineering quality rather than planning quality, design quality, requirements quality, art quality, math quality, management quality, etc.
    4) Decision makers in upper and senior management are not held accountable for their poor decisions but rather pass the blame.
    5) Senior management and CEO recently admitted that they had no clue about how bad things were in terms of deadlines and project status until our recent bad quarters. Problems have been festering for years but since we were making money hand over fist, no attention was paid.
    6) There are too many people who seem to be promoted due to likeability or confusing their team's abilities with their own abilities. As a result, an administrative assistant with no management or software engineering background is now executive director of game development.
    7) The idea of leadership at WMS seems to be to spout out a vision but not provide any guidance, requirements, resources to implement that vision, etc.
    8) Management cannot handle crises. Whenever there is a fire drill, there is always flailing about to find answers and solutions.
    9) Management says "slow down to speed up" but the same people who say that also want quick results.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere has been too much revisionist history and flat out fabrication of incorrect information at WMS Gaming recently to cover the poor decisions made by management. What happened to "Integrity" as part of our core values?

    Accountability needs to be added to our core values. Those who made poor decisions that resulted in our recent results need to be held accountable for those decisions rather than continuously promoted and praised.

    There is a level of hubris at our company that we are so good that the casinos have no choice but to buy our products and jurisidictions have no choice but to allow our technology into their casinos. I think we need to be more humble and more conservative in our predictions of the future.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    Absolute worst management I've ever encountered.

    Principal Test Engineer (Former Employee) Itasca, IL

    ProsGreat benefits including summer hours.

    ConsAs other WMS employees have already stated, the total incompetence of management (especially in the Product Test department), is astounding. Engineers with no management skills at all were put in charge of large numbers of people. They treated people like dirt and had large egos to hide their low self-esteem and incompetence.
    If you want to work for a company that will absolutely kill your spirit and demoralize you, then work at WMS by all means!

    Advice to Senior ManagementReview the performance of all managers in the Product Test department very closely.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    3 people found this helpful  

    Autonomy in coding in my group, very bad cross group communications

    Principal Software Engineer (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsAble to use the right tool for the job, and build a platform with the highest coding standards without too much business process overhead.

    ConsAll of the groups have little kingdoms that communicate very poorly. There are NO coding standards implemented anywhere, across the board. No overall architecture, so when groups need to collaborate, it's always a hack job. All the code base was created outside of the company, and all they do is hack on it and push it out the door.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou need serious coding standards to fix your quality issues. You need to hire a software architect, that really knows how to write code and can do a deep dive into the code base and start implementing testing and continuous integration.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Disappointing

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    Pros4 years ago, this section would have been filled with pros but the company has drastically changed it's culture and work environment in that short of a time.

    Cons- outside of CEO (B.Gamache), upper management cannot be trusted
    - nepotism runs rampant
    - the company lost its identity with the hire of a number of senior level mgrs from big corporations
    - HR is ineffective
    - the company has worked lean since my start there (I don't know how anyone is getting anything done now that they've had 2 rounds of layoffs in Summer 2011)
    - no work/life balance which has gotten progressively worse over last 2 years
    - company has started to strip away the small things from employees (ie sport leagues, employee events, etc) which will eventually, as it always does, become more significant things
    - department heads no longer work together but spend time finger pointing other groups for mistakes to upper mgmt
    - Even though mid level and upper mgmt say they do this... they absolutely do not listen to the voice of the employee

    Advice to Senior ManagementIn your efforts to take WMS to the next level, primarily through the hiring of senior level mgmt with big corporate backgrounds over the past 5 years, you have lost your identity. The core workforce cannot function efficiently with the number of cooks that are in the company kitchen. By the fault of mgmt, the values of teamwork and respect have fallen to the wayside. Without those, the passion of the workforce has deteroriated and the quality of the product has suffered. The incentive to work for the employee has shifted from a sense of genuine fulfillment and job well done to a threatened mindset with the outlook of "this better get done or else".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Challenging

    Director (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsThe people are passionate about the work.

    ConsExtensively use of email to conduct business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSecure more software development expertise at senior executive rank.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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