The Nerdery Reviews | Glassdoor

The Nerdery Reviews

Updated December 4, 2017
144 reviews

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2.9
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R.J. Nicolosi
8 Ratings

144 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • There's a big lack of trust in upper management which is filtering into the culture (in 10 reviews)

  • But provide great customer service (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Unfortunate leadership change"

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time

    Pros

    Relaxed culture, work from home freedom

    Cons

    Salary practices are shady, poor communication from leadership

    Advice to Management

    Work on diversifying the leadership. Right now it’s slmost all white males. We need more perspectives.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great place to learn in the trenches, but hesitant and indecisive leadership creates frustration and a revolving door."

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

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The organization has a strong and passionate culture of building highly collaborative teams to tackle a diverse mix of interesting and complex business technology needs. You will work hard and learn a ton along the way - and meet some fascinating people along the way.

    Cons

    Client business and project needs have been shifting significantly over the last few years, and there are large talent deficits (and shortages, due to significant turnover) in meeting the needs of engagements the company is trying to win.

    This results in substantial challenges meeting technical quality, delivery commitments, and providing a customer experience that exceeds customer expectations - and also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on project leads to "fake it 'til you make it".

    Scrambles for team members with the right skill sets are a ongoing battle; consistency of project teams is sporadic due to constant shuffling to meet new project needs; and a PMO team that has historically been driven to hyper focus on profitability (don't get me wrong, profit is good) without balance on quality, long term relationships, and consultative customer service. Previous reviewers' comments about a "downward spiral" may seem overly dramatic, but current conditions and symptoms cannot be overlooked.

    In addition to the above, this year marked several staff reductions with a number of solid, long term contributors being let go from the organization. These weren't toxic people or folks who wouldn't "get on board or get off the train", as some have alluded to in previous feedback. Most were very passionate about seeing the company succeed and were simply in the expedient target group for cost saving measures. While no company can provide complete loyalty, the figurative pat on the back for a good job one day may be a tap on the should to "stop by for a quick conversation" the next.

    The organization is lead by a relatively small group, who operate at a good distance even from their Director level reports. They have done very little to recognize, engage and cultivate leaders within the organization which is, I think, very reflective of the current situation of the company. A few external hires of late appear to be breathing some fresh life into the organization, but there is still a lot of cleanup work to do. Unfortunately a lot of talented and good people have been lost along the way.

    Advice to Management

    Nerdery offices in other markets seem to be somewhat insulated and less affected by the challenges at HQ. I highly recommend that the ownership group and extended board take a look at why. Is it smaller offices, strong leadership, team engagement, a better market strategy?

    Stop the spiral. It may be time for a hard reboot at HQ. A number of valuable customers and talented team members have been impacted over the years. It may be time to hold legacy leaders accountable.

    Lastly - recognize, engage, and cultivate the leaders you have left before it's too late. You will need their help in 2018 to get the train back on the tracks.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Evolve or Die? We evolve."

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Nerdery is growing into a strategic company. They have found their footing over the last 10ish years and have sorted out who and what they want to be. They have now hired the right type of talent vs. the quantity of talent that they were once known for. The addition of the Chief Strategy Officer has been HUGE. He's is a breathe of fresh air.

    Cons

    People have to evolve and that's hard for some people. There are still some people wandering the halls saying "remember how it use to be?". Those people should move on because The Nerdery is moving on. With more strategic relationships there should be a move away from the billable hour.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring top talent. It's not cheap but it is worth it.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Growing up is hard. Deal with it or leave."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Leader in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Leader in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Over the past few years we stalled. We became stale and clung to the past. Sort of like a grown person reliving the days of high school. Tough choices were made this year and we let go a lot of people who were good people. Including our old CEO. But those were the right decisions if we want to grow and move forward. The changes hurt but they hurt like growing pains.

    I've worked at the Nerdery for almost a decade and I've never been more encouraged or motivated as I am now. The decision to bring in the COO/CSO has and will continue to have great, positive impact. Keep pushing.

    Cons

    A huge downer are the people who cling to the past, can't look at the big picture, and who's fanatical focus on their short term self interest at the expense of their long term career success.

    We're upgrading talent and skills with a lot of time and money in training and bringing in high level, super talented people and yet some people just can't let go of the past. They should leave and stop being trolls and malcontents.

    Advice to Management

    Make tough choices on the people you have who are clinging to the past and won't mature with the company. Keep pushing.


  5. Helpful (12)

    "Lack of clear direction breeds distrust and fear"

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really easy to build great working relationships
    Tons of people who are passionate about their disciplines and interests
    Flexible scheduling and sympathetic HR
    Awesome after-hours perks and clubs
    Fun company events and gatherings

    Cons

    Departments are all misaligned with one another, leading to a lot of weird communication hiccups within them.
    Lack of ground-level advocacy has created "silos"
    Esoteric, detached messaging from executives
    Once-revered culture has become a shadow of its former self

    Advice to Management

    Departmental budgets are dwindling. Company-wide events are shrinking. There have been multiple layoffs and firings in a single year. Insisting on referring to these changes as "restructuring" feels disingenuous at best, and patronizing at its worst. Nobody really believes this messaging so please stop repeating it.

    It's times like these that make heroes.

    Deliver concise, transparent messaging about the real struggles of the company, and THEN step back and give your employees a chance to solve them. You can't deliver messaging about the importance of "co-presidency" but only pay lip-service to it in practice by refusing to let your staff have any say in the direction of the company. You have a building full of the brightest, most innovative problem-solvers under one roof. These are people who are passionate about their careers, and passionate about this company, and they will absolutely DELIVER if you give them the chance.

    We cannot continue to act as though the executives are the only people with "vision" or that, alternatively, their vision is the only correct vision.

    You will get nowhere if your actions demonstrate that you feel it is beneath you to consort with your employees. The laying-off of all of the middle-management, followed by Tom O'Neil's departure should have heralded a need to get more involved with employees and more active in the company's culture, but your actions have been in opposition to this.

    There is a palpable amount of distrust and fear. You have swaths of employees getting "siloed-in" because they're too afraid of sticking out by attempting anything new. You've been sowing the seeds of this for a couple of years now, and it's really no surprise that you're hemorrhaging even more funding now by "deleting" expenses. This might solve your short-term goals of profitability, but it's becoming evident that it's not a long-term solution as loyalty and engagement continues to plummet.

    That all said, I still believe in this company. I believe in the resolve of its people, and the new leaders that will emerge through this rocky period. As you read this there are dedicated, passionate Nerds working to re-ignite the cultural fire that once burned brightly at the heart of the company's day-to-day operations.

    I also have a lot of faith in Adrian and RJ to become cultural powerhouses in the coming year. I just hope we're done licking our wounds by the time we get there.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "An organization in flux, opportunities exist for amazing growth or spectacular failure."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomington, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomington, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The dogs, provided snacks and beverages, and similar are perks, but there has really ever only been one "Pro" for the Nerdery and that is its people. Even now, with the loss of so many Architect and Lead Engineers, there is still amazing talent here.
    Other nice stuff: the Holiday Party is amazing, the Lobby is really nice, and the instant network you gain is unbelieveable.

    Cons

    It's a company in flux. The Nerdery has been trying for years to figure out what kind of company it wants to be. The current vision will require intense investment in new talent and training for the existing employees- investments that several generations of management have promised, but never delivered on.
    The culture has diminished greatly, all company events once had nearly universal attendance, now only meetings to contain the aftermath of the latest layoff, or involuntary change in executive leadership have a good turnout.
    While the company continues to hire, the talent lost over the last 18 months is not replaceable at the pace the company is moving. This impacts client retention, and profitability across the board, hurting nearly every department.

    Advice to Management

    RJ (the newish President) seems like a good guy- but it's well past time to stop talking and start taking action.
    Figure out what you want your CSO/COO's job to be and have him start doing it- the job he thought he was taking no longer exists, and he's spread too thin to do any of his current roles well, leading to the same mistakes of the past being made over and over.
    The founders need to take an active role, somehow, in the organization.
    Make the rest of the headquarters building look as nice as its lobby.
    Put your money where your mouth is. It's going to be expensive replacing the talent you've lost recently, but to be the organization you're reaching to be, you can't make it without doing it.
    You were great once, you can be again- but if you don't follow through on the right steps, rock bottom may not be that far away.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Downward Spiral"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Bloomington, MN
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Bloomington, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Nerdery full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Like most of the reviews you'll read here, you're surrounded by great people. Work life balance is pretty decent. There are cool perks like free drinks including four different beers on tap.

    Cons

    I'll try to focus on items that have not been made note of, as I'd hate to belabor the points that have been made over and over. If you take a look at the last post titled "Growing up is hard. Deal with it or leave", you clearly see that leadership no longer really cares who stays and who goes. If you look back far enough, you'll see our past leadership actually DID care about the company and would reply to feedback. Now the current leadership is replying to all the negative posts basically saying the train is coming: get on board, get out of the way, or get run over. Unfortunately, you can't run a development team like the military, and that train you've been using to run over your employees the past year is coming off the tracks. Before long, your passenger cars will be empty struggling to get to the next station.

    Also, it's entertaining to see new leadership dance around all the tough questions that have come up as of late. There are never any answers, or if there are, it's just a deflection technique.

    Lastly, it's interesting to see how the sales team has completely floundered over the course of the past year or so. Quarter after quarter missed and two sales related layoffs this year alone. Sales leadership has been absent outside of the two directors who have done a fine job working with their teams. Unfortunately, with a non existent VP, their roles are a constant uphill battle.

    The previous posts are very real. Don't be swayed by the recent "positive" reviews. Do your homework before taking on a role at the nerdery. Prospective client? Be prepared for constant team changes, fire fighting, and penny pinching.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Core Values?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomington, MN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomington, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Surrounded by a group of amazing coworkers. Difficult to see much more at this point.

    Cons

    Since it was core values week last week at The Nerdery, we should look at what core values meant at one point in time, vs what the present looks like. I'll reference a blog post from a few years back when core values actually meant something.

    Monday: Constantly Push Boundaries
    As co-presidents, we once were empowered to live outside of our titles. Our business cards did not define our role at The Nerdery. Things have defiantly changed since this was the case. The core values were in place to help make sure we made consistent choices. About the only thing that's consistent at this point in time is the next layoffs. One way to push boundaries is to continue to make bad decisions to see how far you can push it before your entire staff is extinct.

    Tuesday: Be Humble
    If I recall, it was once a responsibility as an employee of The Nerdery to share your thoughts and ideas to move the company forward. There was another round of layoffs 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately leadership failed to share any information until about 2 weeks after. Once again we're left scratching our heads on what is really happening here at The Nerdery. "Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed." Mwai Kibaki

    Wednesday: Win By Empowering People
    At one point in time, we were encouraged to move forward on ideas you were passionate about -- innovate, try new things, push your Co-Presidents to try new things. It now seems as if we're going the opposite direction. As of late, we have had many all staff meetings that focus on this new direction The Nerdery is taking. The message coming across is either get onboard with these changes, or move on. No longer are anyone's voices being heard. Let's see how long this "empowerment" can last as current employees are laid off and voluntary termination is at an all time high.

    Thursday: Solve Problems Pragmatically
    This core value used to leverage our amazing talent to bring the best possible solutions to our end clients. While we still have some great talent, many of our senior level architects are leaving for better opportunity where their skills are rewarded. Leadership is going to be busy solving all the internal problems instead of using this time to focus on client satisfaction and retention. As employees are leaving and getting laid off, we've started to see many of our great clients look for other options or fire us all together. I'm having serious doubts that the services we provide are of high quality.

    Friday: Integrity In All Circumstances
    We talk about preserving our reputation, but at this point does it even matter? I've heard from many outside the walls of The Nerdery our reputation is in the toilet. This company was once built on integrity, but once again, all the great effort that was once put in is overshadowed by layoffs, poor customer service, questionable management, blotched deployments, poor employee engagement, and the list goes on.

    One last note I'll leave here is that The Nerdery is in a really bad spot right now. If I were looking to either hire The Nerdery for their services or looking to start a career here, please do your homework. This company is in a serious decline. Upper management and recruiters will tell you that these reviews are solely based on past disgruntled employees. Unfortunately this is not the case. I would bet money that if you were to ask 10 current employees how they feel about the company, 8 would come back with negative reviews. Just look at all the reviews here on Glassdoor. As Luke Bucklin looks down on this company, I wonder what he would think?

    Advice to Management

    If I were in leadership, I would start to value your employees. Become more transparent like the company once was. As of right now, there are very few people that even know what is going on.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Software Engineer"

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

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome Nerds. have much love for the company they work for. The company has a lot of love for the employees as well. Clients are at the heart of the developer's work

    Cons

    The client has too much power in the contracts.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on dev team building. Sign great contracts that will help you build your dev team


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Incompetent at running a business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Nerdery full-time

    Pros

    Co-workers are great human beings and really fun to be around. Everyone truly wants to make projects successful.

    Cons

    Wondering why The Nerdery has had layoff after layoff the past couple of years... Leadership has zero idea what they are doing in regards to working with clients and making sound business decisions. They allow for client's projects to be worked on for weeks and in the worst case I know of, 2+ months without any paperwork being signed. They consistently lose money on projects due to lack of any strategy or evaluation of the amount of pre-sales effort (billable resources being pulled off projects to work on proposals) that client or project warrants.

    The customer walks all over The Nerdery and production is sick of being forced into bad situations by the business.


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