Vecna Technologies Reviews

Updated January 12, 2016
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2.6
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Deborah Theobald
54 Ratings

Pros
  • Vecna allows good work/life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • The community service is fantastic, and attracts the right type of people to work at Vecna (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • The pay was substandard; they sell you on benefits and profit sharing, but don't tell you it's unlikely you'll ever see that (in 8 reviews)

  • Time tracking is annoying and I don't get the point of it (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

100 Employee Reviews

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  1. "I loved Vecna"

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

    Pros

    Vecna was a really great place to work for most of the time I was there. When the company was doing well the benefits could not be beat. Monthly T pass, weekly lunches, fun events, 401k matching, awesome healthcare, paid community service time, free massages, profit sharing, and we can't forget the stocked kitchen of healthy snacks. I felt valued and worked with wonderful people. In all honesty, most of my memories of Vecna are positive and I'm grateful for the time I had to be part of the team.

    Cons

    Sometimes the office was too casual, it would have been nice if people had a little more structure in terms of office hours and dress code.

    Advice to Management

    At times management struggled and difficult messages were not relayed very well. This often caused confusion and a lack of trust when it could have instead fostered more trust and understanding if delivered differently. The executives have good intentions, but it was hard for everyone to see that.


  2. "Exciting time of change and opportunities, great caring culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Member in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Team Member in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vecna Technologies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Relaxed but professional culture. Energetic team. Lots of opportunity for growth. Caring culture. Management is regrouping for everyone's success. People matter at Vecna. Opportunity to do what you are good at, what you like and make a difference.

    Cons

    No employer or job is perfect. Change is tough but it is everywhere - not just at Vecna - and it means there are opportunities for current and new employees. Vecna team members have gone through ups and downs over the past 1-2 years but persistence and hard work now looks like it is paying off.

    Advice to Management

    Keep discussing/living/embodying and highlighting company philosophy of Excellence Integrity and Service. Group updates help everyone get a sense that we are making progress.


  3. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible working schedule, good benefit.

    Cons

    Under pay. Won't get a raise unless you ask for it.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate people who have been with the company through up and down.


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  5. "Good for Interns"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vecna Technologies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of challenging work. New ideas to brew and shared.

    Cons

    1. Poor management. 2. Time-sheet entry is exhaustive.

    Advice to Management

    Time-sheet entry should be made easy for employees.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Hopeful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Bright, capable team. Focus on value-add for customers and market

    Cons

    Lack of focus and leadership. I wish there was most management experience.


  7. "Software Engineering Summer Internship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Development Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Product Development Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vecna Technologies (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Genuine interest in doing things that bring good to the world; Good medium number of employees giving a sense of stability while avoiding a sense of facelessness; Great emphasis on work-life balance--you work when you work, and you're done when you're done

    Cons

    There's a sense of division between the Patient Solutions and Robotics divisions--it feels like the former makes the money, but generally management (and employees!) are more excited about the latter. That's frustrating if you're working on PS and feel undervalued. There's a lack of communication and collaboration between teams and customers, particularly around software upgrades.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Bright Future Ahead"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Vecna Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Excellent benefits (100% paid health/dental/life, 401k matching, PTO and other time off), hard working teams, community services is encouraged and time is paid, extremely flexible working hours, understanding management - if you talk to them they do listen, CTO sends every person a birthday card on their birthday with personal note, location is right by Alewife T Station, onsite parking (nominal fee - nothing like you would be charged working elsewhere), public transit subsidies, training reimbursement, opportunity for growth (currently developing new career path track - very exciting); great learning environment, multi-cultural, opportunity to create products that truly make a difference.

    Cons

    Vecna has had a difficult year - there is no denying it, but what company doesn't have challenging times? Ramping up commercial sales takes time, and money - but it's important to diversity and not soley depend on government contracts. The layoffs were not pleasant, but these things have to take place in order for a company to adapt to change and prepare for the next stages in it's life cycle.

    Advice to Management

    Executive team - keep clear lines of communication open, appreciate the team members that are dedicated and work hard every day to keep Vecna operations running smoothly as well as the team members working directly on contracts and developing products.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Finance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Finance in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Vecna Technologies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great boss. Great people.

    Cons

    Horribly mismanaged. Head of company doesn't seem to know how to run it.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what kind of company you actually want to be.


  10. Helpful (22)

    "Only Join With the Right Persepctive"

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

    I have been working at Vecna Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Vecna lists 6 "principles" on their careers page. For the prospective employees out there, let me disambiguate truth from fiction. EXCELLENCE: By and large, the people are indeed excellent.I truly enjoy being around my coworkers. They're fantastic. INTEGRITY: The company seems to value it... at first. SERVICE: The 10% time is certainly true. Beyond encouraged, it's in fact mandatory if you wish to rise up the ranks. POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Daniel, the CTO, certainly has a positive outlook for the company. Few others do. I do look forward to my PTO, which I'm able to spread liberally into ~2x the number of days due to the flex-time policy. FISCAL RESPONSIBLIITY: True to the advertisements on their website, Vecna is 100% owned by Daniel and Debbie Theobald. BETTER WORLD: Vecna Cares is the firm's charity arm and does do great work, no doubt about that.

    Cons

    Unfortunately for you Mr/Mrs prospective Vecna employee, there are indeed many cons to be aware of before interviewing/accepting that offer. EXCELLENCE: While the people are great, they are forced to spend much of their time dealing with poor decisions made in the past rather than innovate. INTEGRITY: Man oh man, this section could take a while, but I'll try to keep it brief. Where to start... This one will have to be multiple paragraphs. Although Daniel, the CTO, runs the company exclusively, Debbie is the CEO. If you are not an employee of Vecna Cares, you will rarely hear from Debbie. Daniel on the other hand you will from ALL THE TIME. How great the company is doing, it's bright future, etc. Once you're there for a few months, you'll realize that you need to take anything he says with a grain of salt, mainly because nearly none of it is true. With regards to the massive January layoffs (yes >30% of the company was laid off or furloughed), what you've heard is indeed true. Daniel BROADLY and REPEATEDLY advertised there would be no further layoffs for the remainder of the year. And then proceeded to A) acquire another company (VGo) and B) quietly lay off more people. Like I said earlier, you'll learn quickly not to trust anything Daniel says. There was also a policy of no benefit reductions. And then they eliminated the free monthly T pass with roughly a week's warning. Vecna's government grants probably serve as the best example to hammer this home. While I don't work on them, I do interact with those who do (or rather used to... more on that later). It would be comical if it weren't so sad what Daniel encourages... Any chance to redirect funds from grants to product development are seized with vigor. If it weren't borderline illegal, I'd applaud Daniel for the business savvy. It's so bad that nearly all of the Cambridge research staff (the only ones I've known... there are a few others in MD) have left either by choice or through the layoffs, leaving no one to act on the grants. SERVICE: While community service is great, forced community service doesn't have the same ring to it. If you don't complete "enough" community service, you will be demoted. Full stop. The numbers are well-publicized in the employee manual and everyone is aware of them, so you'll often see people running to the Food Bank at the end of the quarter to avoid demotion. Sort of changes your perspective on the community service award the company received, eh? POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Morale is so terrible here at the moment that I'm actively seeking work elsewhere. Those who have secured offers elsewhere are doing the same. This is likely why you're seeing all the open positions on the website, not because the company is in some massive period of growth. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Since Daniel and Debbie own 100% of the company, they can do as they wish with no oversight. Layoff employees after promising there'd be no further layoffs? Check. Fund Daniel's hobbies, eg urban gardening, beehives, etc? Sure. Acquire a company when you're struggling to run your own? You bet! Those profit sharing points they talk about? Enjoy the Monopoly money. They haven't been paid out in almost a year and a half and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. As you can imagine, the company is a mess. That being said, if it's your first job, it _may_ be worth it. You'll likely gain responsibilities quickly due to the high attrition.

    Advice to Management

    It's better to own a smaller portion of a lot than 100% of nothing. Offer equity to bring in a proven leader. Or don't and continue to see high attrition rates as no one believes in Daniel.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Hope things will change for better at Vecna."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vecna Technologies (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting group of people that is easy to get along with. Good location next to T station and near by highway. Good benefits. Flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Limited growth opportunities without any system in place for advancement.



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