Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) Reviews | Glassdoor

Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) Reviews

Updated August 18, 2017
1,489 reviews

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3.5
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Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) Founder & CEO Judith R. Faulkner
Judith R. Faulkner
942 Ratings

1,489 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good pay especially for your first job out of college (in 96 reviews)

  • Great work life balance, many opportunities to look into other areas of the company that interest you (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance for a traveling project manager is pretty much as bad as it can get (in 266 reviews)

  • You'll oftentimes have to put in long hours (in 156 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "3.5 stars is about right"

    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 Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time

    Pros

    1. Very smart colleagues. Epic hires the best, and they mean it when they say they don't tolerate mediocrity. I only remember 1 or 2 times that I was disappointed in a co-worker's communication with me.

    2. Everyone declares their areas of expertise on the company intranet, and my experience was that my co-workers were generally friendly, which meant, for me, that a lot of difficult questions were answered quickly.

    3. Stellar health benefits (although they're much better for singles than families) and unparalleled campus food.

    4. You own your own projects. You are granted tremendous professional autonomy. I can't stress enough how much I valued that.

    5. To a certain extent, I "drank the kool-aid"... the campus is spectacular, the monthly staff meetings are very energizing, the annual conferences are astonishing events and are mostly put together by staff. It does make for a great corporate culture, and I didn't feel it was cultish. I was always extremely impressed by Judy Faulkner.

    6. The work is a fantastic challenge. It is hard, but if you get it, the intellectual rewards are pretty high.

    Cons

    1. Epic is on a semi-rural campus and their set-up is absurdly unfavorable to non-drivers. Unless you live in Verona, which is a sleepy town with little going on apart from three decent bars, getting to campus is a horrible chore: the two public bus lines that take you to the campus generally fill up far beyond capacity, and Epic flatly refuses to consider subsidizing services outside peak time. This on top of a (thankfully only inconsistently enforced, if you got your work done) no-work-from-home-at-all policy. I carpooled when I could, but at the time I left, the carpool system was informally set up at best. Epic needs to learn that lack of flexibility around working arrangements and commuting, given their rural location, is seriously inimical to retaining disabled employees. Do more.

    2. I was lucky enough to have R&D TLs, but anecdotally some of my ex-colleagues' TLs in quality assurance were by-the-numbers work-until-you-drop merchants with people management skills that could best be described as "deficient". Others were great. Let's not smear the whole QA department with the same brush.

    3. Epic is flat-out bad at creating new roles outside of their four "standard" roles - quality assurance, tech support, project management, development. Any new necessary function is generally folded into one of those four boxes, without much success: employees whose skillsets might contribute to that new function, but are nonetheless employed in one of the four traditional ones, are frequently told by managers that their work within the new function is not important, doesn't count toward evaluations in their primary role, and is not to be encouraged. Fighting these battles constantly is extremely unhelpful. Once you've identified the need for a specialist skill set, hire the people and pay them for what they do. It is not hard.

    4. Too much control is centralized, with even relatively minor budgetary commitments needing to be approved by the most senior management. All this does is create an approval bottleneck which slows things down and delays projects that need the extra expenditure.

    5. QA pay is rather poor. Epic does have a wider applicant pool than the average, because they don't have the requirement that you have to have tons of experience in automation and the like and they hire smart people from any major. However, of all my colleagues, QA were the most demoralized.

    6. There was, while I was there, a definite bias toward the "everything is on fire" mentality rather than the "let's proactively get this done" mentality. Perhaps, with patient safety a top concern, this was necessary.

    7. Internal documentation is spotty. There are periodical attempts to improve it, but because of point 6) they often fall to the bottom of the list.

    8. After the training (which is easy), the learning curve is very very steep. I think it's intended to be so, to weed out people who can't hack it.

    9. Vacation benefits are mediocre and lag behind most forward-thinking companies; Epic really should have some sort of policy on parental leave beyond mandated and uncompensated FMLA. They tout the 5-year sabbatical as if it's this brilliant thing; it's quirky, sure, but it doesn't replace a good vacation policy.

    Advice to Management

    Be more creative about new roles. Sort your transportation situation out. Devolve more spending power to middle-management. Teach more people management skills. A work from home policy would be nice. Get rid of vacation and sick and implement PTO instead.


  2. "Quality Assurance Analyst"

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

    Pros

    Great place to work, nice people, nice facilities.

    Cons

    Less than stimulating work, not many opportunities for growth beyond becoming a Team Leader (manager).

  3. "Decent place to work"

    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 Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time

    Pros

    OK compensation. Reasonable hours. Good amount of resources. Interesting work

    Cons

    Thoughtlessly change course. Talent runs away as fast as it can.

    Advice to Management

    Children are frequently promoted to management. Little idea of what they are doing


  4. "Project Manager"

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

    I worked at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time

    Pros

    Epic pays its project managers and implementation consultants very well with high bonuses every year. You also get to work with smart and motivated people.

    Cons

    Work hours are greater than expected. However, if you are able to handle your workload, it really isn't too bad.

    Advice to Management

    Look to try and keep your employees happy


  5. "Great First Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time

    Pros

    Pay is good, people are fun, and Madison is an underrated city.

    Cons

    It's easy to find the bad any place you work. Focus on the positives and you'll be happier in life.


  6. "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time

    Pros

    Compensated well and great culture/good people.

    Cons

    Hours can be long and difficult.


  7. "Breakroom's got lemonade"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Services in Verona, WI
    Current Employee - Technical Services in Verona, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay, Great Benefits, Great coworkers, Can be great for career advancement

    Cons

    -Long hours -Customer facing roles deal with idiots more than anyone wants to

    Advice to Management

    Hire more

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Quality Assurance (QA) - Very Mixed Bag"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance in Verona, WI
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance in Verona, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Epic does hire great people -- you can generally trust your coworkers to try to help you and to do the right thing. Healthcare coverage is excellent for single people. Lots of fringe benefits like great food and casual dress code. Madison is a great place to live. There are some opportunities to do very interesting things that can have a major impact, since Epic has such a large reach. If you are a liberal arts graduate, you can likely make more money in QA at Epic than you would most other places that would hire you immediately after graduation.

    Cons

    Working in QA at Epic is pretty thankless and doesn't really lead to other job opportunities. There is a constant crisis mentality and, while there are cool opportunities available, you don't really get the time that would be needed to explore them. Management is very hit or miss, and there are no real opportunities to advance. While the pay and raises can be generous, your title and official job description won't change over time. Your responsibilities may be hard to describe outside of Epic because of how Epic runs differently than other similar companies. The type of testing that Epic QA does does not generally transfer to other jobs. You will always be a second-class employee after the software developers.

    Advice to Management

    Create more ways for QAers to advance within the company. Give more vacation time. Staff high-profile projects at the levels that they actually need. Give managers (and maybe other staff too) more training in things like projecting staffing needs and being realistic about setting goals, so people don't realize midway through massive projects that they're not going to get done on time. If you ask staff to go above and beyond (working over a weekend, severely extended hours, other extreme circumstances), give them some kind of reward (bonus, vacation time, work-from-home days, free lunch for a week, something).


  9. "Strong company, out of date software process"

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

    I worked at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    --All roles have good-to-excellent salary for fresh college grads, with great healthcare benefits (essentially completely free healthcare after 5 years)
    --Challenging environment, just about any college grad will find the job challenging and will improve your work ethic, and gain "soft skills" that will allow you to excel in most environments.
    --Epic is the market leader for EHR software - it's a nice company to have on your resume(especially if you want to stay in healthcare IT), and there are lucrative consulting opportunities if you choose to leave (and are into that kind of thing).
    --The people who are recruited to Epic tend to be great people to work with, smart and hard-working with generally positive attitudes. Leadership generally exemplifies the hard-working, get-things-done culture, with a few outliers.
    --Top-notch campus with phenomenal cafeteria/coffee carts.
    --Partnership with UW-Madison provides entrypoint for people without Computer Science background to take CS courses at Epic after hours and work towards a certificate/degree and/or transfer into software development, with tuition reimbursed by Epic. This is an incredible benefit.
    --Good overall company mission with significant yearly contributions to charity.

    Cons

    --There's no way to sugar coat it - Epic has a severely outdated/obscure tech stack. If you are in a technical role (e.g. software development) your skills will not transfer well, and you will basically start from square 1 elsewhere unless you spend significant time outside of work keeping up on modern software engineering trends and developing your own projects. MUMPS and VB6 are desired by virtually zero other companies nationwide, so it may be challenging to find a new job at similar seniority/pay level depending how long you stick around at Epic. Even Hyperspace Web(if you're lucky enough to work on it) is getting outdated at this point, and in using it you really don't learn how web development works, but rather how to use Epic's homebrew framework for interfacing a web application with MUMPS/Cache'. Altogether, you get a high starting salary but it's kind of a "golden handcuffs" situation (which is totally fine if you intend to stay at Epic for the long haul, but understand that risk going in).
    --Poor software development processes - the codebase has very low (<5%?) unit test coverage. Developers do not unit test their code and it shows with how frequently regressions are introduced. The company spends a huge amount of development and testing resources fixing/testing bugs and retrofitting those fixes to prior releases where our customers were hurting. At times this was >75% of our day-to-day in R&D, stressful and no fun for anyone. It's a far cry from a CI/CD environment.
    --2 weeks vacation for first handful of years is pretty weak in the tech space these days
    --No ability to work from home (outside of some travelling/customer-focused roles). It's hard to see that changing with how heavily Epic invested into its campus. It was often painful trying to get in and out of campus along with 10,000 other employees.
    --Log your time in 15 minute increments, on average work 45+ hours per week, with some weeks spiking up to 50-60. Overall, work-life balance is subpar and a common complaint.
    --Too much time spent on documentation/red tape, part of which may be a necessary part of the healthcare IT space but often felt due to lack of trust by upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Epic is an amazing company that has done some pretty incredible things by forging its own path as a private company, and has provided a great start to many careers.

    Overall I am impressed with Epic and I don't see the company taking a dive anytime soon, though as a now-outsider looking in, I suggest finding a way to overhaul the software development process to follow more widely-used modern methodologies, and I don't see wrapping MUMPS in TypeScript as the solution to the problem.

    The relatively slow pace of development and massive technical debt strike me as the biggest risks vs. organizations that are able to iterate more quickly.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Weak tech in a somewhat toxic evironment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Integration Engineer in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Integration Engineer in Madison, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Epic Systems Corporation (Wisconsin) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    sprawling, well landscaped grounds, food was okay, madison wi is lovely, and it's decent pay for the region

    Cons

    product is a far outdated backend with effectively a vb front. old technology is less likely to bust and this is a high-stakes environment. totally understand. tech is still lame.
    first five to six months was entirely classroom training on a completely non-transferrable skill set (understanding/maintaining/coding the backend), how to navigate the frontend, and basic fluency in the business area; the successful completion of this training lands you in an implementation team whose work/life is anything but balanced.
    Culture's got a culty vibe.

    Advice to Management

    Foster creativity. Top talent rarely wants to be a cog in an outdated machine.


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