Zodiac Inflight Innovations

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Zodiac Inflight Innovations Reviews

Updated January 6, 2015
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3.0
26 Reviews
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Rod Farley
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Correcting older reviews

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

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time

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

    Pros

    I am a current Software Engineer. There are a few inaccuracies in old reviews for this company that I'd like to correct. In 2014 the higher-ups in software management were replaced with internal promotions. This lead to a number of extremely positive changes in how the software team operates. An "open" seating arrangement is no longer used; all developers have a nice full-height cubicle. Bottlenecks on specialized, rare hardware are now uncommon: a large systems integration rack room available *only* for software developer use is now available. SCRUM is, at least culturally, being phased out. The former software management team was responsible for putting SCRUM in place, and it didn't work. The company is continuing with what works from SCRUM (like sprints whose stress levels are honestly pretty minimal). With SCRUM's cultural departure went artificial deadlines: they are, for the most part, now non-existent. Managers are able to provide clear, technical justifications of the deadlines they're imposing. An Embedded Software Group has been formed, acknowledging (finally) that the company's products necessitate that a core competency in lower-level Linux work be developed: the SCRUM ideal of a "generalist" is not so popular at ZII anymore. Besides the aforementioned management promotions, internal promotions on the technical side have been made. The software team is now heavily guided by a "Technical Director of Software" and a "Software Architect," two much-needed positions whose occupants are doing a great job of guiding the company towards great products. Combine all this with free snacks, free sodas, free coffee, a catered lunch every Wendesday, and a twice-annually "RaveAboutIt Day" wherein developers are given control of a day of their labor to do something cool for the product suite, and you've got a work environment with a truly positive future. I'm happy with where this company is headed.

    Cons

    The mid-level manager you're assigned under will make a HUGE difference on how you perceive the company. Thankfully, the company has evolved to a point where positive, corrective steps are being taken for those managers who aren't doing so well. There are a few rogue employees who make large scale changes without discussion with the team at large. These employees continue to make everyone's job harder. Thankfully, their role in doing so is now recognized by management. Lastly, the codebase itself has a large amount of technical debt. Early code falls into one of two categories: 1) outsourced stovepipe code, and 2) overcomplicated, over-templated, over-abstracted code unsuitable for embedded systems. Lots of work has been done to address this technical debt, but lots of work remains.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. You're having a positive impact.

  2. Very bad experience

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

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Allowed flexibility with work schedules

    Cons

    Very unethical company to work for

  3. Intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Zodiac Inflight Innovations

    Pros

    Challenging work environment. Flexible Schedule. Good people to work with.

    Cons

    Top management only gives promotions to people they like not based on peoples work or skills. Family oriented if top management likes everything is possible.

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  5. Digital design

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Digital Design Engineer in Brea, CA
    Current Employee - Digital Design Engineer in Brea, CA

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great to learn many new innovations in less time

    Cons

    None as of now. I had a wonderful time till date

  6. Helpful (3)

    Annoying development process

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations

    Pros

    Used to be better. Few good people.

    Cons

    * Can’t finish any work to go through process in placed for managers to tract you down.
    * Can’t finish work until code review is done. Developers will pick on even extra white spaces. Most annoying code review process. Managers want everyone to be extremely picky thinking that will improve the quality of the product. Think twice. Doesn’t improve anything. Just take extra few days to finish any work.

    Advice to Management

    Remove all the useless process. When nothing is getting done, it's not just developers fault.

  7. Helpful (8)

    Its a job that will leave you dissatisfied

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

    I worked at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    Free snacks (can be a con), usually unhealthy snacks like cookies etc.
    Great IT department and HR department. Probably the best IT and HR people I've ever worked with. Wish other companies would learn from them in that area.
    Product is cool, fun to work on. Somewhat flexible work hours, though daily SCRUM status meetings at fixed times make it a lot less flexible.

    Cons

    Work environment is very crowded. They believe in open style seating, so there is no privacy for developers. Who would think that a cube could be missed?
    They also don't invest in resources for engineering. You're asked to write software that is highly dependent on hardware devices, and yet you have to share a hardware platform with several other developers. Other developers will snag it whenever they can, some will put a sign saying "in -use" then they go out to lunch and leave it busy all day. The managers couldn't care less about that, because as long as developers find a way to meet their SPRINT goals every 2 weeks, that's all that matters. Lack of available hardware to test and debug on means less testing is actually done by developers before it goes to the test group. This is something the engineers have complained about for 2 years and nothing was ever done.

    They have pretty terrible health insurance premiums. Worse than any company I have ever worked for, including a tiny 10 million dollar company I used to work for.

    SCRUM is practiced here, in a very strict manner. SCRUM is an agile methodology that has become a fad in the past couple of years. It promises great things, and really the only person who benefits is the unskilled developer and the lazy manager. The amount of actual work done is very small because you will spend so much time in meetings. There's the daily status meetings, the biweekly backlog grooming meetings, the biweekly retrospective meetings, and biweekly sprint planning meeting, and then the biweekly demo. By the way, since you've already spend half a day demonstrating your software to a product owner, whats the point of sending it to the test group anymore? Didn't you just show it works?

    With the SCUM practiced there, you lose site of the real deadline, and put a lot of pressure on everyone to make the sprint deadlines. Every two weeks, there's a lot of pressure and stress to make sure you meet your sprint goals. It doesn't really matter if the task you're doing wont' actually be useful for another month or two, if its a task you promised for the sprint you better finish it or else work the weekends to get it done.
    Its fine working overtime to meet a deadline that you know an external or internal customer is depending on. That's what you do at a company to support the team. But when you work over time to finish a task that no one really needs on the artificially created deadline, its very demoralizing and makes you feel like an idiot. Keep in mind, the management that expects you to work overtime to finish those tasks doesn't actually stay late themselves.

    I know many others don't like SCRUM, but they don't say anything. Most developers are too shy or too scared to rock the boat. They will wait until management changes, or management decides it was a mistake..and then watch them speak out one by one once its safe and talk about how much they hated all those meetings.

    The other issue with SCRUM is that it promotes a kind of generalization of the work force....it doesn't allow anyone to become specialized in anything. You're rarely allowed to work in the same area of code for more than a few weeks. Some managers believe this leads to everyone knowing how to do everything. Perhaps in some idealized reality that would be true, but if people keep leaving, that will never happen. It would take years for something like that to happen.
    Some developers are stronger in writing GUI software, and some are stronger in writing database queries...you don't force them to write both. The end result is a mediocre product, with no one fully understanding anything.
    I understand the problem they're trying to solve. Preventing disaster when a key employee leaves. But this isn't the solution. One of the joys of software development is being able to take ownership of a piece of code and finding ways to improve upon it and make it better. But when you realize the code you're working on won't be seen again for a few months, and that other developers are free to change it at will while you're gone makes it less likely that you'll spend the time to make that code better.

  8. Helpful (4)

    Need to become a coding robot to survive

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

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time (more than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Many good people work here, but managers are driving them away or preventing them to excel. Everyone in HR is great. IT is also great.

    Cons

    You need to become a robot just to do what the SCRUM ticket says to do. If you do any extra work that is not defined in the SCRUM ticket, you will get in trouble. Senior management team says out loud that no one should be specialized in anything. It’s written on the company’s confluence page. They create this environment so that anyone can be replaced at any time. This leads into no one knows how the system works very well, but managers still push everyone to finish tasks as fast as a specialist. Just doesn’t make sense.

    Everyday process keeps on changing and developers constantly need to do QA’s work. You are asked to do in the area that you have no desire to do or no experience; therefore, the work is not getting done right and the top managers just blame on engineers. It’s not mid-level managers’ fault, it’s coming from the top executives. Mid-level managers don’t have any choice, but to follow the company’s rules.

    Read the previous review, “It’s a job that will leave you dissatisfied”. It describes the company environment very well.

    Be very careful working here. Saw many good employees getting let go without any good reasons. They go through constant hiring and layoffs.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees. Agile mythology is implemented wrong. Understand why so many people are leaving the company.

  9. Helpful (4)

    There is still lot's of room for improvement

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

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    A lot of flexibility (working time, dress code);
    Since it's a small company you get to know everyone well

    Cons

    Management keeps pushing to get things quicker and better without providing the proper processes, training and resources to get the job done. Senior management promises customers unreasonable expectations.

    Advice to Management

    Customers are important but remember to take care of your employees!

  10. Great learning environment to really learn what your capable of

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Rack Room Technician in Brea, CA
    Current Employee - Rack Room Technician in Brea, CA

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The people are great, atmosphere is great, room for growth and really flexible working hours.

    Cons

    could be challenging for some

    Advice to Management

    keep up the good work

  11. Helpful (1)

    Exciting!

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

    I have been working at Zodiac Inflight Innovations full-time (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    A great place to work for proactive individuals that want to make a difference. Good ideas get implemented quickly.

    Cons

    Sometimes the pace can get overwhelming. Lot's to do and schedules are tight. Sometimes it can be stressful meeting deadlines. Slow to eliminate poor performers.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the start-up company feel. Don't let Zodiac Aerospace swallow up the company and neuter the original IMS. Continue enabling those that get things done. Ditch the dead weight. Don't be afraid to lay off those that can't keep up or that continually drag their feet.

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