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Software Engineering Institute Overview

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Pittsburgh, PA
501 to 1000 employees
College / University
Colleges & Universities
Unknown / Non-Applicable


The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a not-for-profit Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) at Carnegie Mellon University, specifically established by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to focus on software and cybersecurity.<br/><br/>As ... Read more

Mission: The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a not-for-profit Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) at Carnegie Mellon University, specifically established by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to focus on software and cybersecurity.<br/><br/>As

Software Engineering Institute Reviews

  • "On the right path, hope we stay on it"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Member of the Technical Staff (MTS B) in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Senior Member of the Technical Staff (MTS B) in Pittsburgh, PA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time (More than 5 years)


    CMU benefits and great work colleagues.
    Starting a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion focused change initiative with a full time, highly qualified leader who appears to be invested in making change. Communication increased substantially.


    Have started change programs before and have asked for our inputs and opinions before. Waiting to see if this one will be the one that sticks. So far, I’m optimistic and so are my coworkers. Not many women or people of color in tech director roles, none in my own division.

    Advice to Management

    Town halls are good, but please stop the personal interactions at the end; they feel contrived. Please make DEI a priority. We, could Increase our influence, innovation, and workplace happiness if we can get this right. We are a sea of white men that is in much need of new perspectives. A multi dimensional SEI produces multi dimensional solutions. Make tech directors be role models for others to follow. I’m giving high marks here because you appear to really be trying. Don’t give up.

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Software Engineering Institute Photos

Software Engineering Institute photo of: Beautiful building
Software Engineering Institute photo of: Main Building
Software Engineering Institute photo of: Great Location
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Software Engineering Institute Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (2)  

    Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 12+ months. I interviewed at Software Engineering Institute (Pittsburgh, PA) in January 2020.


    Let me start out by saying I was very excited to finally obtain an interview with what I thought was such a highly rated and highly valued organization. I should have paid more attention to a few of the Glassdoor interviews already posted.

    I started by giving a presentation to about 30 employees. After the presentation and question/answer period, there were several panel interviews. Approximately 15 employees and one senior manager participated in the various panel interviews. Any organization that conducts panel interviews and makes decisions by committee is risk averse and not a forward-looking place to work.

    The interviewers mostly consisted of very casually dressed giggling men who were also texting amongst each other during my presentation and the panel interviews. There was a POC and a woman in the interviewer set. Severe DI issues here as noted by another interviewee not to mention very unprofessional behavior. I was asked to dress in “business attire” to interview with what appeared to be a group of college frat boys in their hoodies.

    HR was clueless and, although it was promised, never provided me a copy of the updated position description for which I was being considered.

    Interviewers stared blankly while I answered their questions. Lots of "I come from such-and-such background <insert banking, coal, insurance, retail, nuclear, academia, military>..." and their questions to me related to their own prior experience before they started at the SEI. The majority of the questions had nothing to do with the duties of the position to which I thought I was applying. Also asking questions about how I would do something in my current job that is not a part of my current job. I did try to answer anyway with either no response or no follow-up questions yet more blank stares. It was very awkward. I have interviewed for a number of positions in the past and have conducted lots of interviews and this was one of the absolute worst. It seemed like they were all getting points just for sitting in the room, wasting time and checking a box until it was time to go home. Only the senior manager appeared to have some minimal interviewing skills.

    Interviewers seemed to have no clue or were gaming me regarding other well-publicized activities going on at the SEI like their annual SEI Research Review or what the rest of the place was even working on. Didn’t recognize names of well-known SEI contributors over the years such as the late Watts Humphrey or at least pretended not to know. The team supposedly has several large clients including well-known federal government clients and when I brought up my work experience with those clients, I got blank stares as if those clients were not applicable.

    Followed up with the senior manager at the end. HR was nowhere to be found and apparently had left for the day. The senior manager seemed to be very concerned that I might want to take post-graduate courses at CMU and that would cost the SEI a lot of money. But isn’t that the point of being associated with a great university? More education?

    Overall, this place should not waste time on interviews for candidates they have no intention of hiring. They’re just going to hire candidates that the managers already know and are currently working with. History repeats itself over and over at this place. Silly me for thinking they might change. As an interviewee, this place did nothing to garner my interest in becoming a contributor to whatever is their mission these days. Not that anyone could articulate it to me.

    Avoid the SEI until the senior leadership turns over and they get someone who understands the value of new ideas and maintaining client relationships. Considering there are hundreds of FFRDCs out there, you can easily find one that values change and the future. I’ll be surprised if this place is still in business in 5 years.

    Interview Questions

    • The interview questions were mostly based on the interviewers' backgrounds prior to joining the SEI.   1 Answer
    • Why are you leaving your current job?   1 Answer
See All 30 Interviews

Company Updates

  • INtersect: Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification | Role of the Cybersecurity Engineer

  • This is the inaugural episode of INtersect: Where DoD, Academia, and Industry Meet. Today Matthew Butkovic, CISA, CISSP and Matt Trevors discuss how pen testing improves an organization’s cybersecurity posture and the role of the Pen Tester.

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