I have been working at Ambient Corporation full-time
Like the technology which is in the smart grid arena. The people are nice and very helpful. They are open to making changes to make things better.
There is too much politics. I hate the long commute. The company is working to get more customers. In May, they had a major layoff.
Smart grid technology is trendy and some good people work there. New offices are better with access to local parkland. Public company on the pink sheets so you can sell your options if they go above water.
The CEO lives on Long Island and shows up for a few days every couple of weeks and thus doesn't really have a handle on the day to day operations. The CTO is an IT guy who doesn't understand product development and doesn't like being challenged. He is once again responsible for business development, but they only have one customer, Duke Energy. They have brought in bizdev people (three in the last few years) but they only last a few months because of the internal strife. The defacto COO is a manufacturing guy who owns development but really doesn't understand software development. He was on a big "Go Agile!" push after he attended a seminar and hired a Scrum guy as Software Director, but then after a couple of months changed his mind, gave up on Scrum and demoted the guy to SQA manager. The CEO and CTO make almost $500K and $400K respectively in a company that has lost tens of millions of dollars over the years and the employees go without raises for years at a time. There are a lot of employees with their resumes on the street. I finally couldn't take the arguing any longer and when they fired the product manager who grasped how to get things moving I decided I'd had enough.
Advice to Management
The CTO should be moved into a different position. Hire VP of Engineering who reports to the CEO, not to the VP of manufacturing, and either the CEO should be there every week or hire a COO who runs the day to day operations. There needs to be a focus on getting new customers, especially as there are now competitive boxes in the marketplace. Treat employees with respect. Don't yell, scream, or curse at them. Eventually the economy will pick up and if the internal behavior isn't changed you'll be left with a lot of empty offices.
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