Software Engineering Institute Reviews

Updated Apr 28, 2020

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2.6
41%
Recommend to a Friend
21%
Approve of CEO
Software Engineering Institute CEO Paul Nielsen (no image)
Paul Nielsen
49 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great work life balance and benefits(in 24 reviews)

  • "There are great benefits (besides paternity leave) through CMU and the work/life balance cannot be beat(in 11 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. "Great Place to Work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Valuable Mission, Stability, CMU Benefits

    Cons

    Not as many perks as newer companies

  2. "Good place to work"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Software Developer in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    great transparency good benefits (great if you take classes at CMU) decent remote work support people are great

    Cons

    Government contracts are not fun can be frustrating dealing with customers Not endless money like the tech sector to go to conferences or training

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Good Perks & Benefits, Toxic HR"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are great benefits (besides paternity leave) through CMU and the work/life balance cannot be beat.

    Cons

    Beware of HR. There is retaliation for trying to address any internal issues you might have and is ignored by HR. Diversity and Inclusion does not exist at this company.

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "SEI needs an overhaul and reboot"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on many different projects when allowed by manager. Remote work sometimes authorized. Great retirement contribution by CMU of 8%. Many valued CMU resources just outside the door. Tuition covered except employee pays taxes which is still a deal. Public transportation costs covered.

    Cons

    Tunnel vision on teams where everyone is focused on their own interests. Not invented here mentality. Senior management is absent or doesn't exist. Appears no one is running the place. Management and support staff virtually unknown to employees unless there is a problem. Stagnant salaries. No headroom. Old Boy atmosphere. Not enough minorities for diversity. Confusion and fighting for work between managers. Good people can't get interviewed because of inept HR and processes. Nepotism and hiring friends too prevalent.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Low opportunities, High worker attrition"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    * Interesting projects * Okay wages and benefits * Close vicinity to CMU

    Cons

    * High worker attrition * Lack of diversity * Restricted to government work * Fighting among divisions * Low salary among field * Low upward mobility * Low job satisfaction * Poor office culture

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  6. Helpful (7)

    "Run, don't walk away from this place"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    Good place to work if you want to get money for nothing.

    Cons

    Sort of a criminal bureaucracy. I've seen them ruin the careers of young, promising researchers and then blacklist them so they couldn't work elsewhere.

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  7. Helpful (6)

    "Interesting Work, Poor Leadership, No Direction"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Interesting Work -Job Security -Personal Office -Campus Benefits (Bus Pass, Campus Gym, Free tuition (have to pay taxes), .edu email perks) -Decent Salary for Pittsburgh -Retirement Contribution (automatic 8% to 403b) -Communications Allowance (expected to use personal cell phone as work phone)

    Cons

    -No clear path for promotion -Absentee leadership -Low employee morale -No Bonuses -Lack of ability to work from home -Lack of innovative work, especially for being an FFRDC (still living off reputation of work done decades ago) -Branding identity crisis (constant battle between CMU, CERT, SEI brands) -Compensation -Lack of collaboration between teams -Inclusivity and Diversity -Freeloaders -Lack of perks and benefits -Little to no maternal/paternal leave policy

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  8. "Good enough place to work"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cyber Security Research Scientist 
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Salaries stagnate pretty quickly. Suffers from the "good ol' boys club" in upper management.

  9. Helpful (6)

    "I would not recommend working here..."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Prestigious Institute - Name Recognition - CMU Benefits

    Cons

    Compensation: - The salaries are non-competitive and well below industry standards. - There is no career advancement opportunities. - There are no bonuses of any kind. I've been told that a bonus was given once a few years ago and it was insignificant amount. - The yearly raises are always capped less than 2-3% from upper management and is not based on performance. Work Culture: - Strict work from home policies, if you are an hourly employee this is not an option. - Recognition is very centered around cronyism and not based on performance. - I've been told examples that some departments micro-manage. - Morale is very low, probably because everyone is unhappy at their job.

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  10. Helpful (6)

    "Before you choose to work here, consider your priorities and weigh your pros and cons"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Great benefits and work-life balance. This includes free CMU undergrad or grad education (but you'll have to pay tax on grad school). - If you're lucky, you can work on some cool projects and hardworking people. - Most staff members get their own offices. - Job security. - Newer employees are enthusiastic and dedicated to their work, and want to improve the company's culture and contributions.

    Cons

    - This is an FFRDC, so don't expect to be paid as much as you would in the private sector. - You'll most likely work with people who've been here 10+ years and no longer do any work, or are severely outdated in their skills and technical knowledge. They're here because once you're here it's almost impossible to get fired. - If this says anything, most of the people here use IE11 as their go-to browser. - Diversity and inclusion is an absolute joke. If you are a woman or POC or both, you will probably have a less-than-stellar experience (that's an understatement but you know). This is especially true for the technical divisions.

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Found 77 reviews