Blue Acorn Reviews | Glassdoor

Blue Acorn Reviews

Updated March 1, 2017
43 reviews

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3.3
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Kevin Eichelberger
27 Ratings

43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Newbie"

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

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

    Pros

    Love this Company. There is more talent in our organization than I have seen in the past 10 years at some of the world's most innovative companies. Beyond that, our clients are among the best of the best in eCommerce and we get to help them to be successful each day! I am always amazed at the value our teams deliver to our clients...simply the best!

    Cons

    We are often a bit too hard on ourselves in our pursuit of excellence...but isn't that normal for a firm that is entirely focused on its clients' successes?

    Advice to Management

    Company growth is career growth, and with your focus on growth, I am thrilled to see just how far my career will grow over time. Keep it up!


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Engineers not valued"

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

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours
    Free beer sometimes
    Some cool brands

    Cons

    Engineering staff first to go when there's a budget problem
    No developer leadership, most of the good devs have already left
    Only project managers get promoted, engineers aren't valued
    No chance to learn anything useful about software development, only the platforms they sell
    Long term employees way out of touch with the industry
    Turning into a project management only business

    Advice to Management

    Nothing, they don't listen


  3. Helpful (6)

    "This was the best job I ever had."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Offers training for every position
    - Helpful peers and managers
    - Team outings
    - Great place to challenge yourself

    Cons

    - Workflow process can be bloated
    - Billable hours aren't so great
    - Workflow process will change from time to time


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  5. Helpful (14)

    "I'll Be Surprised If We Survive This Year"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - New office and lustre of well-known startup in the Charleston market
    - Company can make changes quickly to adapt to changing needs
    - "Startup" environment - kegerators, ping pong tables, casual dress, no hard-set work hours
    - Laid back atmosphere

    Cons

    - Serious lack of professionalism.
    - Increasing lack of transparency.
    - Mediocre benefits package.
    - Targeted, collective terminations versus calling them what they are...layoffs.
    - "Taking away" of benefits (eg - removal of accrued PTO to be paid upon employee exit timed just prior to *another* layoff).
    - We've lost about a third of the company due to leadership missteps and serious lack of foresight about the business.
    - New leadership team member (CPO) look to be another nail in the coffin on the leadership level. He's openly disrespectful to his peers and is quickly eroding already disintegrating confidence levels.
    - Operational leadership doesn't appear to know what they are doing. The COO is either checked out, oblivious, doesn't know what he's doing, or is just .simply not the right person to lead this organization.
    - Technical leadership has checked out.
    - Lots of layoffs, firings, and dissolution of roles since mid 2016.
    - Lost focus on the client and hyperfocus on driving billable hours.
    - Processes that don't seem to be aligned with the goals of the business.
    - Significant process bloat. We just want to do great work and are encumbered by so much overhead that it significantly slows things down. This results in a direct hit to our ability to generate revenue.
    - SDLC is anybody's guess, depending on what day of the week it is, what team you're on, etc.
    - Immature leadership team - far too much reliance on brainstorming sessions with large groups and not enough seasoned personnel in the right positions to make the hard decisions.
    - Rose-colored glasses: at our recent company meeting, the discussion was about how great the future is going to be. This was on the heels of a 10+ person layoff the previous 2 days so if you're thinking mixed signals, you'd be right.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house on the leadership team. I respect our CEO but he has far too much confidence in our Operations leadership. In 4+ years, we have not been able to operationalize the organization and it's time that changes are made at the top or this company simply will not survive. Adding layers of management is not the fix that we need and only masks the problems. We need to refocus on what made us great to begin with - singular focus on creating great experiences for our clients. Replace your COO, yesterday.

    If we need to make hard decisions about headcount reductions, just call it what it is. Terminating people for this purpose is wrong on so many levels - if they needed to be cut, cut them. Don't choose terminations just because you're afraid to call it a layoff. You're damaging the reputation of people that have been the most loyal to you - those of us who have stuck it out even when it feels like we're on a sinking ship.


  6. Helpful (14)

    "Caveat Emptor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Front End Developer II in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Front End Developer II in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Majority of co-workers are good to work with
    - Direct manager knowledgeable, helpful, and sympathetic
    - Offers competitive compensation and benefits
    - Some growth opportunities, from junior to senior developer
    - Nice location downtown, with off-street parking and close to various tasty meal venues
    - Several employee perks, including cold-brew coffee and beer on tap, a ping pong table, and a full kitchen

    Cons

    - Decision to split work stream into two distinct areas caused team disintegration, work flow problems, and the formation of knowledge silos
    - Decision to ditch any form of development process (Agile, Waterfall, etc.) caused developers constant stress
    - Decision to outsource development on new projects left developers angry at feeling overlooked and uneasy about their job security
    - Unexpected layoffs caused general anxiety for all staffing positions
    - Majority of developers have < 5 years of experience, which means it is difficult to form mentoring relationships
    - Knowledge of proprietary e-commerce-specific frameworks limits future job prospects

    Advice to Management

    - Do not voice your support for transparency then immediately refuse to answer specific questions.
    - Do not hide on-going business problems that directly impact employees via unexpected layoffs; for example, if a new project falls through, let the staff know at the monthly company meeting - not via the office grapevine


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great potential"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great work environment and co-workers.

    Cons

    Disjointed and lacking direction. Having two buildings has spread people out with no feeling of working together.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to basics and focus on the client.


  8. Helpful (18)

    "When its too good to be true..."

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

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very fun environment to work at while it lasts. Good location, good food around the neighborhood, great people to work with.

    Cons

    Company spends too much money on spoiling its employees and worrying about their "happiness" while their productivity does not increase. Because of lack of accountability and poor management, the company is forced to make cuts frequently. It's an awesome place to work at while it lasts but be sure to save your money when you're there because there is 0% job security or long term future (no matter how much they say otherwise during meetings).

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent about financial situations, don't say there's "nothing to worry about" and then fire over 20 employees soon after. Don't blame the employee on "performance" when some of those fired got promoted just a few days earlier (because of their good performance). I've been laid off many times in large group layoffs and have never once heard a CEO blame the employees or make some BS excuse about going a "different direction". We are adults, we understand when a company loses money it has to make cuts, so just say so.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing Company With Wonderful People"

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

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

    Pros

    From the clients we work with to the team, the culture is everything I had been searching for in the past decade. Coffee, soda, cold brew, beer, occasional catered lunches, typical startup amenities, comfortable office, and a great location.

    Cons

    None so far. There are some growing pains, but that is typical.

    Advice to Management

    Keep Doing What You're Doing.


  10. "Challenging and fun place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Blue Acorn (More than a year)

    Pros

    When you are employed at Blue Acorn you become part of the team where every one has your back. We succeed or fail together. Work can be challenging and stressful but we create amazing websites. Its an opportunity to work with different clients I otherwise would not be able to work with. Executive management really cares for the welfare of all the employees. We have individual development plans to encourage our growth and development, we have flexible schedules, generous leave policy and good benefits. We have several employee run committees, one is for employee moral and the other is for Happiness at Work anonymous surveys. Both help with building teamwork, fun, and maintaining our positive culture.

    Cons

    Can be stressful meeting deadlines but because we are agile, we have team buy-in for the deadlines. Processes can be tedious but are necessary. We are always trying to improve processes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep asking for employee input like you are doing. We appreciate that!


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome place to work and grow!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PHP Web Developer in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - PHP Web Developer in Charleston, SC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blue Acorn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Had an amazing time and got meet wonderful people.

    Cons

    A little process heavy and still figuring out a nice routine, but once they do they'll be unstoppable.

    Advice to Management

    Don't worry too much about process, you might bog down your developers. Give them a little space and you'll the wonders that they can work.


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