REI Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

REI Systems Reviews

Updated March 22, 2017
24 reviews

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REI Systems President & CEO Veer Bhartiya
Veer Bhartiya
18 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Nice workplace environment, flexible hours (does not mean less work) (in 13 reviews)

  • Best workplace environment, flexible work hours (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • After all this hard work also, do not expect recognition unless you have out of office friendship with managers (in 5 reviews)

  • Why would anyone want to work with such people (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Salesforce programmer"

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, bagel Fridays, tuition reimbursement, the building is somewhat new, asks for employee inputs during all hands meeting, and basketball court.

    Cons

    Takes 6 years to get fully vested, which is pretty ridiculous. Low salary, lots of overtime without compensation. The cubicle scene is depressing. The company is cheap and unwilling to make employees few comfortable. At least provide some free snacks.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being cheap, pay your workers a decent salary. Promote within and stop hiring the heartless managers.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "A Sinking Ship in Denial"

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    REI needs help to evolve, so there are potential opportunities for smart, talented, and disruptive executives or managers who have a history of making real, impactful change happen. Solid vacation and otherwise decent benefits package. Free bagels on Fridays.

    Cons

    REI is a static and reactive company where very little has changed overall in the past 5+ years. Being static in IT for that long is a death sentence. Unless REI makes a concerted effort to drastically change, it will not be around a decade or two from now.

    There is an ugly culture that dominates this company wherein honesty is not valued and employees are not trusted and it stems from the top down. You can see evidence of this in the previous review ("The People's Company"). Notions like "If you are unhappy here, you'll be unhappy anywhere!" and "There are very few cons, but I don't even want to talk about them." are tossed around, even from C-level executives. That is dishonest at best and manipulative propaganda at worst. It's great to be positive about the future - it's horrible to be obstinately blind to your flaws and to lie to yourself and to your employees. Avoiding tough truths and halfheartedly searching for short-term solutions to the company's problems are surefire ways to stagnate and fail in the long-term.

    REI was a company of ~500 employees when I joined. It was a company of ~500 employees when I left over five years later, but not for lack of trying to grow. The company has been spinning its wheels and it has been going nowhere because there is simply no solid foundation to build upon. There is no real growth opportunity to be found there, either as a whole for the business or for the individuals therein, unless REI's management is able to bring about some very disruptive changes company-wide.

    While there are some isolated teams which are technologically competent and up-to-date, they hardly represent the company as a whole. There are some very talented people here and there, but they are nearly always incorrectly utilized and mistreated. You'll often see that the most competent person on a team is also the most junior (both in title and experience) member of that team and that should never happen - that marks a critical failure in resource management. The company also has many of the pieces it needs for success, but it frankly has no idea how to use them.

    REI is a purely reactionary company that has proven that it simply cannot plan for the future. I strongly suggest avoiding this company and looking elsewhere for employment if you are an IT professional. Is it absolutely the worst place in the world to work? No, but given the other options available in the DC area, there is no reason to settle for a sub-par, struggling company. If you do choose to join and are good or great at what you do, you are in for a world of stress and frustration.

    Advice to Management

    You reap what you sow - Garbage in, garbage out. You absolutely must revamp your hiring process, rethink your approach to gathering, training, and retaining a talented workforce, and trim your personnel down to those who are actually providing true value, including eliminating wasteful and redundant managerial positions, while seeking to add higher quality hires.

    You cannot afford to lose the talent that hasn't left, so you must begin to recognize and value the exceptional workers that you do have currently, which includes paying them competitively and rewarding them when they persevere and succeed, especially under difficult circumstances. You must learn how to create opportunities for advancement and promotion for the employees that shine the brightest. Most importantly, you have to learn to trust your employees from the top down.

    Learn to think and act proactively. Look for the risks beyond the horizon and have a plan in place for them ahead of time. Acting in a reactive manner will only carry you so far before you lose the trust of your customers. You will continue to lose business if you fail to break the cycles of over-committing and under-delivering and at the heart of that cycle is a reactive mindset.

    If the complacency continues unabated, REI will face a slow death in the years to come.


  3. Helpful (9)

    "All-American sweatshop! Minus the Americans."

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good digs, good work computer. I had enough time to pick up lunch at the gas station nearby and eat at my desk.

    Cons

    Above is the best I could do on good things. The employees are seen as tools, not people. I know this because I climbed the ladder quickly and got to hear the management discussions about their underlings. It's not good. I would never treat people the way they do by default.

    I was working 13 hour days minimum, and I only tolerated it because I don't have dependents of my own. Please, do me a favor and don't ever entertain the idea of working at REI. You can thank me over a beer sometime.

    Advice to Management

    No advice, you're the problem. Just sell the company and move on.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    "They Make Commitments They Don't Intend to Keep"

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. Utmost job security for non-performers
    2. High focus on keeping employees happy irrespective of their performance - detrimental to high performing resources
    3. CEO has all the right intentions of looking after employee welfare - always has employees' best interest in mind

    Cons

    1. Incompetent senior and mid-level management - right from COO to line level managers
    2. Persistent record of absolute distrust for external hires - employees who have been with REI for long have a habit of keeping things close to themselves while making relatively newer external hires look incompetent
    3. Record of flouting all terms and conditions that were negotiated after an employee is hired
    4. Strong performers are few and far between - high performers are odd people out in the environment
    5. Strong resistance to evolution of the culture to remain relevant in the industry
    6. Lack of accountability on part of senior and mid-level management
    7. Very theoritical/bookish management styles adopted by leaders/managers - focus is not on tangible results
    8. Leadership lacks capability to drive and manage large portfolio
    9. Close knit fraternity of old timers look down upon newer external hires and their experience - sign of disrespect and arrogance - not a healthy environment for new hires

    Advice to Management

    1. Accountability should start from top -- from COO level
    2. Risk losing high performance if non-performers are not held accountable
    3. Management shake up with a mix of experienced external hires with proven credentials has the potential of opening new avenues of growth for REI - complete reliance on long-term tenured staff resulting in stagnation
    4. CEO and CIO need to dig deeper into the underlying issues - not sure if they are being fed the right information about the root cause of either loss of business or lack of new business growth
    5. Invest in skills and capabilities which are relevant in the current industry - past laurels are not relevant any longer - technology company is as good as their capabilities that are relevant today
    6. Resources being promoted to managers and leaders just due to their satisfactory spoken english skills has to stop - it drives away capable resources
    7. Please do not hire people from outside if you don't have respect for their experience and skills - no one has the right to ruin someone's career


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Few Spoiled eggs making things bad for all"

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The company has a good reputation with its customers and they are generally very satisfied. The senior management cares about the company and tries to promote healthy work environment. The corporate culture is good.

    Cons

    There are few bad managers who play politics and try to be dominant. They don't know how to talk to people and goes out of their way to prove their dominance. Why would anyone want to work with such people.

    Advice to Management

    Employees can't complain about their managers. Find and Fire these managers/resource managers.
    They can't be trained.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Indian style of management."

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very friendly team members, supportive and understanding.

    Cons

    1. Inexperienced management. Bad planning, no value for people and hard work. Moreover, they make developers to pay for their own errors. They make you feel misarable and always judge you.
    2. A lot of overtime.
    3. A lot of actions against the labor law. Follow them or will be laid of. If you do not want to work overtime, you are not good team player.
    4. Nothing really interesting from technology side.
    5. They promote only people who they like, not who deserves promotion.
    I quit. Back to US.


  8. Helpful (7)

    "Cheap labor."

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice facility with some very knowledgeable technical team members who are helpful. You can learn a lot while you are here. Very hands on.

    Cons

    Their salaries are well below industry average. I head people left got raises of 20K + in other companies when they left. I experienced this myself when I left the company. There are fewer americans and the companies has a lot of bound labor on visas.

    Advice to Management

    You have little idea how your managers treat employees


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Worst Company to work For!"

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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A growing company with many project

    Cons

    Totally under staffed and real inexperienced management. Most of the line managers are from India with hardly any American work experience or knowledge of US labor laws.

    At the time of interview, they will be really nice to you but when you actually start working for them, they will expect you to work every night as well as weekends. These managers will not ask you if you are busy during he nights or weekends, they will simply tell you that you need to get the work done during nights or weekends. No apology for asking you to work during the nights or weekends, they will simply require you to work when the managers want.

    Advice to Management

    Hire professional managers with American experience. make sure they have the knowledge of local labor laws. This company can do really well if the Top management tries to actually find out why so many good people leave this company. It is not if but when someone will sue them for forcing employees to work for 16 hours a day but paying only for 8 hours a day. This is a very unprofessional company.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Average at best. If you're competent at what you do, you have far better options."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    * Very flexible office hours, you can come and go as you please as long as you get things done (with some managers).
    * Good medical benefits for the company size.
    * There are a few people in the company who are great at what they do. If you end up working there, find out who they are and stick with them; your life will be easier.

    Cons

    * Pays about 5-10k less than the average for software development positions in this area. The main figures on this site might be padded towards the high end, but you'll find out for sure if they make you an offer.
    * More fear with new technologies than innovation, and it leads to a lot of wasted effort in development and testing.
    * Falling behind with "cutting edge" technology. They're currently moving to .NET 3.5, but hardly anyone knows the framework and most are still programming from a non-OO perspective.
    * Project managers were promoted from senior development positions, and are lacking the interpersonal skills to do their jobs properly. They don't seem to read up on management or software books (or read far too many bad ones), as they often use catch phrases that sound good, but are effectively meaningless to the workers and don't help get anything done. They get angry at workers when deadlines slip (even if it isn't their fault), instead of just dealing with the situation professionally and working with the resources they have.
    * Some of the QA's think that giving you a hundred defect issues with one piece of information each is better than giving you ten issues with defects grouped logically. Leads to wasted time, frustration, and less work actually getting done.
    * Things are usually rushed, and code-quality practices are non-existent when deadlines come up. It's the type of environment where firefighting has taken precedence over most everything else.
    * Don't let HR glaze over the hours worked while you're interviewing, ask about it. When deadlines come up people are working late nights and weekend hours for 1-2 months before releases, which can happen every 4-6 months.
    * They've promoted technical people who don't have the skills for their position titles. I had a technical lead on a .NET 3.5 project who was supposedly "senior", but didn't know how to use LINQ, program with generics, or use partial classes with T4.

    (Also, the awards listed on glassdoor for this company are misleading. Those are actually for "Recreational Equipment (REI)", not "REI Systems Inc.")

    Advice to Management

    * Potential employees couldn't care less what you do if you're offering lower salaries. Pay people at least the average for this area, and you can start attracting better talent to your workforce.

    * You have employees who are visibly sitting on YouTube all day long and don't really do anything. This makes your threats laughable and demotivates workers who actually contribute. If you got rid of these people you might be able to afford to pay the productive people more and your workers would take you seriously when you have meetings on improvement.

    * You're long overdue for an upgrade in the skills of your workforce. Either find some way to get the existing ones to learn the .NET framework and solid OO principles, or replace them with people who are already at that level.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Here comes marketing!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    I worked at REI Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great curry aromas in the break rooms at lunch since most employees are Indian and bring their lunch to work.

    Free parking.

    Cons

    Notice they recently received some low scores from employees. Watch now, as marketing plants phony reviews saying how great things are, in order to raise the scores and keep the trend line from dipping. Sad.
    They continue to turn over good people as soon as they figure out that these guys are a one-trick pony. Recent departures of senior managers, technical folks...it's always the same: you need to invest in the future if you want a future, but they don't. They just hold on and hope that something will change.

    Advice to Management

    If you are tired, retire. If you want to change the company, clean house.


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