Software Engineering Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Software Engineering Institute Reviews

Updated June 14, 2018
54 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.2
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Paul Nielsen
34 Ratings

54 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • "That being said, there is a sincere work/life balance that just doesn't exist in other jobs" (in 17 reviews)

  • "Great place to wok since you are given real projects to work on almost immediately" (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "rarely open to new ideas and feedback" (in 3 reviews)

  • "Pays significantly less than industry" (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great company to work for"

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

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The SEI really cares about professional development-- they encourage all employees to learn and grow with both events/conferences and within their day-to-day at work. That being said, there is a sincere work/life balance that just doesn't exist in other jobs. We have the incredible opportunity to collaborate with a top-notch university through our affiliation with Carnegie Mellon. There is opportunity to grow and learn both vertically and horizontally-- we are encouraged to get involved in projects to expand our knowledge and capabilities. As an employee of the SEI, you get to work on cutting-edge projects all while knowing that you are working toward a higher level mission than just creating product.

    Cons

    Because we are at the meeting of academia, non-profit, and government work, our processes can often take a long time to work through. The salary is often not as good as our for-profit counterparts. That being said, it depends on where your priorities are. One of my top priorities is work/life balance, so I am satisfied taking a cut in salary to achieve that.

    Advice to Management

    Try to take obstacles out of your employees' way. Trust them.


  2. "Administrative Assistant"

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

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good retirement and tuition benefits

    Cons

    terrible familial leave, definite slant towards older employees, difficult to move up within the organization

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Work/Life Balance Great, Career Path Lacking"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent people with whom to work, in certain pockets. Great place to work if you're interested in research, policy making, and training, but not for development.

    Cons

    Too exposed to one large, very dysfunctional government agency.
    between cyber and non-cyber practitioners.

    Advice to Management

    Need to better leverage the organization's strengths by thinking more strategically, and less project-by-project. Need to employ more women and promote them to positions of leadership.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Toxic Hostile Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Technical Staff in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Software Engineering Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Have good options for learning and education

    Cons

    Toxic sexist environment. I was sexually harassed and HR did not care. The organization harbors sexual predators. After complaining about the sexual harasser, I was let go.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the "Good Ole' Boys" network. Get rid of the sexual predators. Someday the Upper Management who knows this is going on will be fired like Harvey Weinstein.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Avoid At All Costs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    The pay is decent and the benefits are from CMU. Those are the only pros I could come up with.

    Cons

    When looking at all the things you should NOT do when running an organization, this place does ALL of them.
    - The leadership is non-existent. CEO and CTO are constantly traveling (i.e., they might be in the office 3 days out of a month) and have absolutely no interest in the employee base. To that end, the stories of harassment, discrimination, etc. coming from the top are almost constant.
    - Nothing is confidential. Don't go to HR because they'll spread everything they know throughout the organization. They're like a bunch of high school girls looking for drama.
    - This is the only place I've ever worked where people treat others terribly, if not inhumanely, and absolutely nothing is done. If you go to HR for help, they say they need "proof", and then start spreading around that you complained about so and so.
    - The leadership has put so much fear into the masses, that morale is non-existent and people look like they're going to throw up before they walk into a meeting with the top brass.
    - Lying and bullying are commonplace. Nobody can avoid it. Nobody is held accountable for their actions, so bad behaviors run rampant.
    - Work is stagnant and definitely not cutting edge. Nicely put, it's boring. Old men who've been there for 30 years ride the coattails of "good" work they did 30 years ago....and get paid a hefty sum to sit and do nothing.
    - To that end, there are so many useless people in undefined positions who pretend to be important. They really need to weed out the workforce and keep the people who actually contribute (preferably before they quit, like most worthy people end up doing.)
    - The most frightening part is that this is taxpayer money. And it's all being spent on essentially nothing.

    So, if you want to go to work everyday and get paid to do absolutely nothing, and sit in your office and gossip all day, this might be your place. However, be careful because the vultures will zero in on you and run you out of there if they don't like you. I honestly hope other departments at CMU aren't run like this, because if so, CMU is in trouble.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. Please. Directors, Deputy Directors, HR, Legal, everyone in a supervisory position. Please quit. Let someone try to rebuild this place into a nice department where people want to work.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "A Toxic, Has-Been Organization"

    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

    I worked at Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    Very few pros, but:

    - Work/Life Balance
    - Good benefits through Carnegie Mellon University, including free tuition for any course for employees and dependent children (but not for spouses, so take note)

    Cons

    Toxic environment. If you are considering employment here, don't. You'll be much happier and be paid much better almost anywhere else.

    I will echo what has been said in many of the previous reviews.

    - While some teams are still doing interesting work, it is extremely rare. Many projects yield insubstantial (yet physically voluminous) deliverables and long, pointless papers that are usually thrown away unread. Very little useful work is being done. Much of the budget comes from the US government, so if waste of taxpayer money bothers you, this place will make your skin crawl.

    - There is infighting throughout this organization. It starts at the top and trickles down even to the lowest levels, touching almost every team. It is very hard to hide from it.

    - Management is disengaged from the organization and hides from employees. Little effort is made by leadership, executives, and most directors to find out what is going on within their own teams. The ones who are good at engaging tend not to last here and I saw many of them move on during my tenure. (Another reviewer from mid-2016 mentioned giving high marks to the CTO. That CTO quit.)

    - Management is filled with Yes men. There is an utter lack of people skills and leadership qualities at all levels. Often the people least qualified to be managers, due to a lack of not only soft skills but also technical skills, are the most likely to be promoted out of favoritism and politicking. With so many parts of the organization under terrible leadership, morale is absolutely awful.

    - Compensation is not competitive, though benefits are decent. If you are unwise enough to accept a position here, negotiate very hard at the outset because your pay raises and promotion opportunities will be miniscule. Get everything clearly in writing; you will be misled if not outright lied to during the hiring process.

    - This is the most toxic, hostile, and unprofessional environment I have ever worked in. Personal insults and profanity-laced tirades are common at meetings.

    - Organizational silos are so rigid that they will astonish you. Many employees outside your immediate team are outright hostile at the perceived interference of trying to work more closely. If someone sees your work as non-aligned with theirs, you will be undermined or sabotaged.

    -Technology is decades behind private industry.

    - Many people have been here for 20 or even 30+ years and are just milking it, so there is a lot of stagnation. No new blood, no fresh ideas, and attempts to innovate are ignored, stifled, attacked, or angrily shut down.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. Please.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "SEI experience"

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

    I worked at Software Engineering Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    interesting work and good benefits

    Cons

    management is overloaded with former senior military leadership who do not understand how to run a business

    Advice to Management

    bring in some folks who know how to run a business and eliminate the red tape

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Good place for student internships"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programming Intern in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Programming Intern in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, interesting projects, other interns of similar experience to work with

    Cons

    No serious cons I can think of.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure interns are acquainted with the team and with support resources


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great benefits and support!"

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

    I have been working at Software Engineering Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -great work life balance
    -opportunities for professional development through the university
    -flexible schedule
    -professional environment
    -respected managers

    Cons

    -long approval process
    -challenging to move up in the company
    -rarely open to new ideas and feedback
    -free tuition but still taxed, money taken directly from paycheck, most people can't even afford the taxes

    Advice to Management

    Encourage your team to pursue professional development and regularly ask for feedback.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "New Full Time Employee"

    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 Software Engineering Institute full-time

    Pros

    Supportive environment, great research opportunities, and excellent benefits

    Cons

    Can be a siloed environment

    Advice to Management

    Encourage more collaboration


Showing 54 of 64 reviews
Reset Filters