Blue Acorn Reviews | Glassdoor

Blue Acorn Reviews

Updated November 14, 2017
51 reviews

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3.0
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Kevin Eichelberger
33 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They have a fun and healthy work environment (in 9 reviews)

  • Great work life balance, really fun people to work with, and knowledgeable technical staff (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Lost focus on the client and hyperfocus on driving billable hours (in 4 reviews)

  • Decision to outsource development on new projects left developers angry at feeling overlooked and uneasy about their job security (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Be A Smart Job Seeker - Know What You’re Getting Into"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Acorn full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people you work with on your delivery teams are great and are the best reason to work here. There’s dogs and beer, but that’s at every tech company, so don’t make that the reason you work here. When you can get things done, the work we do is pretty cool.

    Cons

    The morale tanked and it’s trying to rebuild, but it’s still a tough environment to work in every day. Management is 100% disconnected from what it’s like to work in delivery. Your clients are big name, but come with big attitudes. It’s a grind. Most tech companies are, but we are bleeding dry a little bit to meet crazy revenue goals. The whole work life balance thing isn’t real here. You’ll work nights and weekends and dream about work. The pay/benefits is mediocre even for Charleston and is way below the national averages. Shop your salary. Training is weak for new employees so a ton of them don’t do well and burn out immediately.

    Advice to Management

    I like to think you learned from the mistakes that led to the first three rounds of layoffs but I thought that after each one of those too. You need to focus on rebuilding job security and pride in Blue Acorn so that people care about working again and not just showing up to cash out their salaries. You have to start putting your awesome people first or you won’t have any left. Do that and we could go back to being the company everyone remembers.


  2. "Great work place, great culture, and growing monthly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Acorn full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Current team members are highly innovative and forward thinking
    - Morale is growing daily by leaps and bounds
    - Dog friendly office
    - Future of Blue Acorn is clear and heading in the right direction
    - Work hard / play hard environment
    - Great office location
    - Competitive wages

    Cons

    -While the company has gone through some rough patches, it is definitely on the upswing.
    - Did go through some recent layoffs, but some were warranted and got rid of dead weight

    Advice to Management

    You have seen the previous errors of your ways and have corrected course. Keep trending in this direction and there will be nothing to worry about.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great company, growing stronger every day!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Acorn full-time

    Pros

    -Great headquarters in downtown Charleston
    -The culture which was once gone has come back little by little.
    -Allowed to bring dogs into work!
    -Great craft beers on tap!
    -Free lunch once a month, Ben and Jerry's truck out in the parking lot once a month, food truck out in the parking lot once a month. Plus you have Lewis BBQ, Hometeam BBQ, Tattooed Moose, and Santi's nearby. Did I mention Revelry is 3 blocks away?
    -Has been very transparent as of late on what we need to do to succeed.
    -Plenty of work from all different clients available.
    -Work with the newest technology in a very pleasing environment.
    -Training and certifications are available and paid for.
    -The company used to be closer to each other but that is coming back.
    -Great managers!

    Cons

    -The company went through a year and half drought in which their were multiple layoffs. This was due to misdirection, cockiness and not enough foresight from the management. This has changed dramatically.
    -There are still hiccups in the processes but they are still being ironed out.
    -Younger employees seem to have an issue if things don't go their own way.
    -The culture is lacking but it is getting much better.

    Advice to Management

    Stay transparent, stay truthful. YOu have some smart employees with great ideas. Listen to them. Remember your employees make the money and they should be happy first and foremost. "Happy employees equal happy customers. Similarly, an unhappy employee can ruin the brand experience for not just one, but numerous customers." -Richard Branson


  4. Helpful (10)

    "The blind leading the blind."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Specialist in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - QA Specialist in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There used to be many. Now the culture is so damaged that people who have worked there for years are secretly hunting for jobs and trying to get out.

    Cons

    A complete lack of cohesive vision. C Level leadership does not have diverse enough experience to plan for hardships or the courage and general foresight to let employees know when there are problems. The company was recently aquired by a private equity firm and has gone through three rounds of lay offs in the last year. If history is a reliable indicator, which it often is, one could reasonably conclude that the private equity firm is in the process of thinning out the company to make it look more profitable so that they can sell the company for a profit and move on. While that's purely speculation, the evidence seems to point to that conclusion. If you are considering joining this company you should ask about the intentions of the private equity firm during your interview.

    Advice to Management

    Consider how your actions affect your employees. Invest some money in teaching yourselves how to effectively run a company. Find managers and leaders based on experience and merit and not based on personal obligation. Learn the difference between looking good on paper and actually being good at your job.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time

    Pros

    Amazing work environment, VERY smart and fun co-workers, great team atmosphere, endless learning opportunities, challenging work, never boring, working days pass quickly and the opportunity to work with high-end clients. This was one of the best working experiences. I am thankful for the learning opportunities and employment. Also, they are located in a great location downtown and have neat working space. The working space allows someone to work outside if they need fresh air or at a standing desk. They supply you with all of the resources you need to do your job.

    Cons

    At times, there can be a lack of cohesion between different job roles, managers and upper-level management.

    Advice to Management

    Spend some time with the front-line employees gathering their insight, observing and learning their operations. You have really smart employees! The CEO did this from time and time and I really appreciated it. Build cohesion as a whole company, everyone is working towards the same end goal. Send people managers to leadership training. ( very important) There is a lot of talent at Blue Acorn, ensure talent is used in the right role/way. Change is inevitable and mostly a positive thing, but constant change can be disruptive. Make a change incrementally. Keep hiring smart, fun, wonderful employees! Lastly, keep on keeping on and thank you for the opportunity!!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "The best job I've ever had"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Acorn full-time

    Pros

    They value work/life balance
    Great location
    The pay and benefits are good
    The work is challenging
    You work with really smart and devoted people

    Cons

    They had to let quite a few people go because they didn't make numbers over the past year and employees lost some inspiration.
    They have gone through some major process and organizational changes which can be really painful.
    There are a handful of negative, unsatisfied people that stay at Blue Acorn for some reason but continue to complain about everything. It can be draining.

    Advice to Management

    Still the best job I've ever had.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Poor Upper Management is the Achilles Heel of this establishment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Blue Acorn full-time

    Pros

    Non-upper management co-workers are awesome people...and maybe one or 2 upper management members.

    Good office location.

    Cons

    Poor Leadership.
    Poor Upper Management.
    Dishonest leadership.
    Inaccurate information given often...and its on purpose to cover up lack good management.
    Sales does a bad job of being upfront with clients from the beginning of process, and leads to upset clients later...not many if any clients are happy, and I don't blame them.

    Advice to Management

    Stop biting the hands that feed you (the ones that do all of the work) when their are layoffs, and look in the mirror and in your upper management circle - 3 of those in upper management cause all of the issues and business problems, poor decisions and they all roll down hill. And you wonder why you can't stop the bleeding...

    Its kinda bad when after you have been acquired, you still have to layoff people because you are unable to put your ego aside and manage things properly.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Not what it used to be - lack of integrity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Used to be many pros, not so much at this time

    Cons

    Poor leadership, lack of vision, poor processes which lead to constant change usually not for the better. Inner turmoil.

    Advice to Management

    CEO had a great vision but it has died due to poor leadership. C level execs are lacking.


  9. Helpful (10)

    "In retrospect, I am grateful that I was let go."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Free drinks, and free food on occasion
    - Fun and intelligent co-workers, although several of them are gone now.

    Cons

    - Management is clueless and disorganized. No sense of direction. Lousy decisions and constantly changing process management have resulted in multiple layoffs after months of promises that the future is looking bright.

    Advice to Management

    Whatever you have been doing, you need to do something else. Map out a business plan that will work and stick to it.


  10. Helpful (23)

    "If you like office politics, cronyism, and atrocious management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior DevOps Engineer in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Senior DevOps Engineer in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very casual workplace environment
    Generally friendly co-workers
    There's free drinks in the kitchen

    Cons

    Hires low-quality developers for low pay
    Hires low-quality management for high pay
    Low-paying salaries unless you complain constantly and game the system of office politics
    Management is a complete and unmitigated trash fire
    Little to no respect for your job or output from management except for largely superficial placations
    Completely inconsistent hiring/salary practices
    Absurd degree of cronyism and posturing
    Management quite consistently ignores advice and feedback from employees
    Management also quite consistently lies and goes back on their word
    Majority of job is constituted by pointless, arbitrary, and ultimately worthless busywork and needless micromanagement
    Career advancement opportunities are practically non-existent as a developer
    Thoroughly disorganized and largely discordant as a company

    Advice to Management

    The management at Blue Acorn is utter garbage. My only advice is to gut it and start over. Up to and including C-level positions.


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