WTS Paradigm Reviews

Updated October 8, 2014
Updated October 8, 2014
24 Reviews
3.1
24 Reviews
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Nathan Herbst
16 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging, Fast-Paced Work Environment with Great People

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

    I have been working at WTS Paradigm full-time

    Pros

    - Exceptional co-workers who are ready for the next challenge, bright, creative, and hardworking
    - The office culture and events are fantastic and allow you to get to know others quickly, especially with the growth the company has experienced over the last few years
    - The business is focused on developing people and new technology to support the industry
    - Being owned by an entrepreneur, the culture is one of ideas, many of which are used if you voice your opinion. This has also led to opportunity for advancement
    - Overall, WTS has been a great place to work. The company is not the same as it was years ago because of growth, but that is to be expected

    Cons

    - Many internal processes that could be streamlined
    - Still trying to catch up from recent growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Continue to grow the business and trust your leadership team to make decisions that support the growth plans and goals
    - Continue the efforts started to measure and improve customer satisfaction

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart people and the market leader

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

    I have been working at WTS Paradigm

    Pros

    Filled with top performers who want to make a difference, people rally around a customer request or issue, growing its customer base and product offerings in the market, many industry experts, and continually look for creative ways to get things done.

    Cons

    There are quite a few internal meetings, some of them could be cut back. I believe there are several internal processes that could be streamlined to make people more efficient.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would like to see a formal fenestration industry training tract to ramp up new employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Demoralizing

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

    I worked at WTS Paradigm full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You will like your grunt-level teammates. They're generally good people who are fun to work with.

    Cons

    You are paid below industry average. Raises will not cover inflation let alone increases in insurance premiums. You will not be given the tools you need to succeed. Training is nearly non-existent, timelines are unrealistic, and management is focused solely on figuring out ways to bill customers for everything we do. Budgets and time entry take up most of your time here, not your actual work for customers. Making suggestions for improvements is encouraged, but then never acted on. Emails to coworkers and managers go unanswered for days, sometimes weeks. Quality is something management talks about a lot, but they have an understaffed QA team that is constantly scapegoated, and not given resources to do their work. Dev and QA are not allowed to make decisions on whether software ships, it's all about customer deadlines. Company events are fun, but will be planned on days of major software releases when it is least convenient for average level workers or customers. Development is often outsourced to developers in China, and it can be difficult to work with the differing time zone and language barrier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating your entry-level employees like replaceable chattel. Have a solid business plan that re-invests funds into the business and stop nickel and diming customers. Outsourcing development and QA to China might be cheap, but it affects quality in a serious way and is not the best strategy. Hire employees locally, invest in them, train them, and keep them happy and invested in making a quality product. Compensate employees fairly, offer opportunities for upward movement in the company. Do not make culturally-based jokes about international customers at company meetings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Need to respect customers and employees before both are driven away

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

    I have been working at WTS Paradigm full-time

    Pros

    Our coworkers are mostly intelligent, motivated, hard-working and overall great to work with. Work/life balance is typically good under most circumstances, with limited "crunch times".

    Cons

    Management decisions seem to be short-sighted and made with little to no input from those the decisions affect. On top of that, often the same decisions are reversed, leading to confusion and an impression that management doesn't really know what they are doing. The middle managers I have interacted with either don't have the guts to stand up to upper management or legitimately have no authority to make decisions and upper management seem to be unwilling to back them when they try to make decisions, with the typical reason given being "lack of budget".

    Salaries are below market averages across all positions, insurance rates are high and keep rising, and raises are typically marginally below inflation unless you have a habit of kissing up to the correct managers (not always your own). Developers, have been leaving in droves over the past 6-9 months and almost none are being replaced. Most remaining developers have either been with the company for 3 years or less, or nearly a decade or more, with few in between. With so many leaving and the amount of "tribal" knowledge that exists in the company with little to no documentation on most topics, there are chunks of information simply cease to exist as people walk out the door. Many other departments are shrinking as well, with the only department that continues to grow being sales.

    Customers are treated as cash cows to be milked for every penny. Most major problems in our software remain until someone can find a customer that is impacted enough that they are willing to pay to fix it. Until then, we often do nothing because of a lack of resources, and if we fix it to improve software quality, we can't charge any customer for the work performed. Overall, pride in our software is relatively low and seems to be getting worse as our core product offerings age ungracefully.

    According to surveys, our customers at best dislike us and our software, with the primary reason cited being our employees are inexperienced and/or don't know their systems. They feel like they are always speaking to someone new every few months and have to re-train our employees on the specifics of their system, and so have an understandable lack of faith in our abilities. With so many developers leaving and so much analyst turnover, their concerns are more well-founded than they know.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and customers. Stop trying to take advantage of your customers in the short-term or they won't remain for the long-term. Treat your employees with respect and they will sing your praises; the lack of respect combined with sub-par pay and benefits is killing your reputation as an employer, and hurting relationships with customers.

    Remember that WTS was founded by listening to customers and being responsive to them unlike our competition at the time. We are fast becoming like those competitors that we forced out of business and if we don't start changing how we do business, another upstart that does will likely replace us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    You Won't Make a Difference Here

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

    I worked at WTS Paradigm full-time

    Pros

    The average Joe Schmo employee here is awesome. You will love your coworkers. The company activities are fun and well-organized. If your only interest in employment is to gain a group of friends and you are fun and nerdy, then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    However, if you have some lingering spark inside you that likes to enjoy a job well done, you really pride yourself on your work, or you enjoy the benefits of your hard work when they pay off in a meaningful final product (whether that product is a thing or is just a task completed), then this isn't the place for you. Get used to disappointment if you take a job here. Your work will not be appreciated.

    What is appreciated is your ability to generate revenue through creating spin - essentially if you can bumble your way into forcing customers to spend more money, and if the work can then be done by you, then you will be appreciated. If you happen to be non-billable staff, or want to do non-billable tasks that help your coworkers or the software, you will be shunned by management as a troublemaker and dinged in your reviews.

    You may have big ideas to change this mindset, you may spend hours and days thinking about how to solve those serious organizational problems, but you will be wasting your time as the problems start right from the top, and any manager who tries to change the attitude at the top will be fired or quit. You will see managers who promise change come and go, the whole while telling you you just need to try harder, then leave for the same issues you're having. If you enjoy a Sisyphean job, then you may enjoy it here. If not, get prepared for constant disappointment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Needs to slow down, pick a strategy and stay with it

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

    I worked at WTS Paradigm full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bright, hardworking, energetic co-workers. Decent benefits, lots of fun events for employees to mingle

    Cons

    Pay is less than market, you have to work crazy hours just to get projects done in the time frame expected, and the turnover is so high that it does no good to track down SMEs...they'll just be gone in a month or two. The company states that customer partnership is a core value, but the focus is more on how to squeeze every dime out of billable hours than actually being able to partner with customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on customer satisfaction rather than on how much money each staff member brought in last month in billable hours. Promote people to management because they will make good managers, not just because they've done their time. Decide on a strategy and stick with it longer than 6 months. Most of all, live up to your core values or consider changing them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great People, Disorganized Management

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

    I worked at WTS Paradigm full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There are some really fantastic people who work at WTS. There are a lot of fun activities there, like the City Scour and the Holiday Party.
    They have a corner on the market. There are few competitors in this industry, and if they could get beyond the fact that they are their own greatest hurdle, then they have the potential to be a fun, dynamic company that is really going places.

    Cons

    They nickel and dime their customers, which means you have to nickel and dime your time entry. Every 15 minute increment must be accounted for, and according to pre-set division or company goals, account for a certain percentage of billable time. There is not a focus on customer satisfaction. The software is unwieldy and hard to support. There is so much turnover that it is hard to find answers when you get stuck. Customers end up waiting days for answers that should take hours because of internal issues with finding willing resources to answer questions.
    The management is, I think, aware of the problem, but did nothing of substance to fix the problem. You can re-organize all you want, if you don't address the root cause of the issue, nothing is ever going to be fixed.
    Also, they tend to pigeon hole employees. Only managers get to help out with projects that aren't related to your specific role, and people get bent out of shape if you take on other projects. They are not interested in growing their employees.
    The pay is sub-par for the Madison area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The office culture is some of the best around.
    However, all of the camaraderie is squandered when you foster an atmosphere where no one is allowed to help out their co-workers without a valid PID.
    Stop focusing on how much profit you can eke out of each customer and start focusing on creating a really solid base product that is maintainable. Focus on good customer service.
    Restructure your companies profits so they aren't so dependent on selling customers services to fix and implement the over-complicated software that we sold them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lots of great people, but some growing pains

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at WTS Paradigm

    Pros

    Company culture is great, lots of smart, hard working co-workers. Company is also making a big difference in the industry.

    Cons

    With recent growth, many areas of the company are still trying to catch up with the demands that larger customers are placing on the company.

  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    High stress, high turnover, lots of scapegoating.

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

    I worked at WTS Paradigm full-time

    Pros

    There's a good health insurance plan, which is great because with all that stress and unpaid overtime, you're doubling your risk of a heart attack.

    Salaries would be only slightly sub-par if employees were actually working a 40-hour work week.

    Since WTS gets lots of practice in this area, they're great at picking out new hires. Employees are often bright creative hard workers who are passionate about what they do. Just don't get too attatched to your awesome co-workers, because they won't be there for long.

    Cons

    CEO thrives on conflict and a "pants on fire" level of urgency. Rules by fear and intimidation, threating to fire people if customer expectations aren't met. Since sales department often makes unrealistic promises, it's virtually guaranteed that that the company will let down their customers. And because of all the threats, employees are hesitant to take responsibility for projects, productivity is down despite long hours, and everyone is scrambling from one emergency to another, throwing each other under the bus in the process. Obviously, this results in an extremely high rate of turnover.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to take constructive criticism. When the CEO found out that there were some mediocre reviews of his company on this site he demanded that his employees come here and give him positive reviews. Stop being so pennywise and pound foolish. Employee turnover issues are costing you a fortune. Lead by example and inspire confidence, not fear.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    A Mixed Bag

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

    I worked at WTS Paradigm

    Pros

    The company has a culture that includes many fun activities like a great holiday party (it has been at the Overture Center or Monona Terrace in the past), downtown Madison scavenger hunt (amazing!), and beer and snacks during major software releases. Great coffee and a casual dress code are big pluses. Benefits were "okay" but the leadership team has listened to feedback and improved them (for example, beefed up 401k's). Title-wise, the company offers numerous ways to climb the ladder internally. There are a good amount of skilled and fun employees - it's easy to make friends with co-workers and feel comfortable in the office.

    They will gladly support shifting folks around to different departments to find a better fit, and it seems to work out for both sides in cases I've observed. If you are useful, you can achieve a great amount of respect.

    The company has become successful and stable, and seems to be on the rise.

    This could be a good, low-pressure starting job in the software industry for a new college graduate.

    Cons

    Lots of turnover and growing pains. That means useful employees having to turn away requests for assistance from others just to get their own work done (or better yet, fulfill all requests and work a bunch of extra hours to get your tasks done!) The company is versions behind on their technology and software stack. The development and testing standards and techniques used lag a decade behind from where the leaders of the software engineering industry are. This has resulted in a brittle suite of software that is held together by twine, tape, and tons of business domain knowledge by a small group of people who have been there for a while. Employees fresh out of school won't know better, but experienced developers, testers, and support workers will be more frustrated than challenged sooner rather than later.

    Technology leadership has been filled with smart, hard-working folks, but not those with the character or desire to advance the company or innovate technically. This is the root cause of the massive stall in technological and process advancement. Many of these folks keep coming from Epic. Same old, same old. With some newer hires I have hope that this is changing for the better.

    There has been a subtle shift from being a "software" company to being a "consulting" company (perhaps not subtle - the CEO came out and said as much!). This translates into less client satisfaction, more nickel and diming, and more pressure on the software teams to fulfill requests no matter the cost. It is palpable. If you enjoy filling out timesheets and arguing internally over 15 minute billing increments for clients (up to several hours a week is spent on this), you'll be happy.

    The office vibe is a strange one. When there are some of the aforementioned fun activities, everyone cuts loose and has fun. On normal days, the office feels very quiet, stale, and corporate. Years back the company had more of a "startup" atmosphere, for better or worse.

    If you didn't come over from Epic or somewhere with that payscale, it will be a long, hard fight to get a fair salary. There does not seem to be a great understanding of actual market rates for certain positions within the company. Consequently, it becomes relatively common for employees to get a new title/promotion and NOT have a financial increase come along with it at the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees can be smart and competent or strong at their job, but not cut out for leadership roles - improve on identifying this and not putting them in places where they will fail and drag down others in the process. Stop hiring consultants and project managers from Epic that are going to provide little use for one year before leaving. Bring in and promote the real innovative thinkers needed to advance the software division, which should be the focal point of the company. Work on improving day-to-day work for talented employees. Fair compensation and benefits will attract talented employees, but only a great working environment will keep them there long term.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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