iDirect Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

iDirect Technologies Reviews

Updated June 18, 2017
12 reviews

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iDirect Technologies CEO Mary Palermo Cotton
Mary Palermo Cotton
3 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance (for most) (in 4 reviews)

  • Interesting technology, and future seems to be good (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • It's a company where no one listens to you about anything (in 6 reviews)

  • 7- No bonus most of the time due to unattainable sales goals (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Company Politics and reshuffling."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at iDirect Technologies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some of the staff were a pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    Management politics, poor processes.

    Advice to Management

    Need leadership in all ranks.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Not too bad to work here"

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

    I worked at iDirect Technologies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly working environment , some smart people to work with

    Cons

    No job security. Mricomanagement sometimes is annoying. Work load is tough.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Down down down"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at iDirect Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Good internal knowl edge of satellite communication control and data transmission

    Cons

    "Fake agile", layoffs, poor employee moral, loss of knowledgeable employees

    Advice to Management

    Stop the fake agile process!
    Agile isn't applicable and is not supposed to force overtime!


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Too Many Chiefs"

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

    I have been working at iDirect Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I can't think of any good pros for this company. At one time there were a lot of good things but have been overshadowed by the bad.

    Cons

    Too many managers for too few employees or you have managers that only manage themselves. And those managers think that just because they hold that title, it entitles them to a lot! Bonuses are virtually non- existent anymore. I would much rather forfeit that bonus and ask that it be added into my salary. Bonus money is heavily taxed so you really don't come out with that much. It's a company where no one listens to you about anything. You totally have no voice unless your a brown noser..... this is truth. Christmas parties have gone from 4 -5 hour events to 2 hour cocktail hours because of budget cuts. More and more job duties are given to you and your expected to do it all!

    Advice to Management

    Seriously get it together and revamp the whole system or otherwise your going to lose a lot of good people to other companies.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Stalled"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at iDirect Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Salary is good and there are lots of smart people, well there used to be.

    Cons

    A lot a people are leaving, people who have lots of product knowledge, senior engineers, good people and replacing with lower quality.
    Top level engineering management is abusive and angry. He can't communicate without insulting the people that work for him. It's not good when engineers see upper management act this way.
    There is a do what I say attitude but don't do what I do. Top engineering management is a hypocrite. They say they want more communication but they don't communicate. They want better product but don't encourage it and they encourage groups to blame other groups when things don't work.
    Bonus does not pay. Company says at company meetings that we made good revenue but we only get half our bonus.
    They set objectives we can't meet, and they do it all the time.
    No career opportunity if you want to be manager. The way they do Agile it doesn't exist.

    Advice to Management

    The culture has changed a lot in the last two years because of poor decisions in some upper management choices. There are lots of people in senior positions that don't know how to treat people. You should get rid of them to improve culture or get them some coaching. If you don't more people will leave and it will only be a matter of time before new people see it. It's hard not to see it, but maybe you have blinders because they are friends.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "OK internal culture, rudderless company"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    OK work/life balance

    Great time off allowances

    Wonderful work culture

    A select few senior engineers and managers are very keen on grooming new talent - keep your eyes open for them; they are shining stars @ this company and genuinely want to see you succeed.

    Cons

    Management is incredibly bizarre. Some managers are downright deceptive and self-serving. Others are interested only passively in company advancement. There is a HUGE pay and respect gap between management and engineers; many managers play musical chairs to avoid admitting failure or assisting company with recovering from their own errors.

    Company feels rudderless at this point; just seeks to desperately jump from big contract to big contract, hoping to stay afloat for another 1.5-2 years. No unified vision; no overarching "we are moving towards X" concrete goal.

    Agile integration is ridiculous - company used waterfall strategy for many years; adopted agile and is now trying their best to shoehorn waterfall back into agile (which, of course, doesn't work.)

    Do not go into the company expecting bonuses any more. Expect a salary that is (competitive - 10%) - NOT the market average. Bonus program is touted as reason wages are competitive, but company's sales goals are becoming unrealistic & unobtainable. Bonuses fall short of target virtually every quarter these days.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the layers of stagnant middle managers. Especially the ones that deliberately lie to their engineering staff to keep their job.

    Deliver on your bonus programs. We have families to support.


  7. "It takes more than aptitude to get things done right..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - S/W Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Former Contractor - S/W Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at iDirect Technologies as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I did not see any in s/w dept. I worked in the s.w department which is run chaotically. Other departments seemed to be under control.

    Cons

    Ladder climbing mentality is very high for people from Asian Indian culture. I think this company forgot to address that and never put a check and balance for that. They are reaping what they sow.

    Advice to Management

    Advise engineers to share their knowledge properly without holding on to details in their head alone. When the head explodes you lost the info altogether. Some people have too much holding by not disclosing a lot of things to other people. This is gonna hurt when those people leave . Not a good style.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Dead Sea Effect"

    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

    I worked at iDirect Technologies full-time

    Pros

    1. Good exposure to all areas: hardware, software, firmware. Even if you only work with 1, you pick up bits about the other areas.
    2. Good engineering coworkers - most full-time engineers are technically competent, and intelligent. There is a wide variety of backgrounds.
    3. Good work life balance (for most). This depends highly on your area of the business. The persons who are working weekends and until midnight are concentrated to certain teams.
    4. Innovative technology* - Very dependent on your department. iDirect is a market leader in ground infrastructure for satellite communications, and some aspects do use very modern approaches behind the scenes. As echoed in another review, there are quite a lot of legacy systems.
    5. Financials - working for a company that is a subsidiary to a public company is advantageous - there is a level of transparency in our forecasting and actual financial results.
    6. Engineering Process - Micromanagement is rare. The focus is on delivering a quality product. Company has undergone an agile transformation that works decently for a hardware-oriented company.
    7. Unification - Company has done good work in the past year to bring together groups that were previously unaware of each others' existence, which has increased knowledge sharing.
    8. Perks - PTO is slightly better than average. Dedicated sick days. Decent medical, dental, vision insurance.
    9. Lower and middle management actually care about quality.

    Cons

    1. Lost Souls - Many people left in 2014-2016 due to the lack of bonus for a period of time. The pay is not competitive without the bonus, and the people who left were in more senior roles, and understood the business logic. Very difficult to find good people genuinely interested in the sector, so people quit when they find something more interesting or lucrative to them. Even after the exodus, attrition in certain departments remains high.
    2. No Direction - Managers tout that iDirect is a market leader, and we are the experts, but we haven't been the experts since the massive brain drain. Management believes that contractors can crank out value-add products, but have no one to actually understand what the customer wants.
    3. Assumptions from management - Management assumes more junior employees know the long-term product-level vision for systems, but most specifications were written years ago. I once received more information about a product by watching a YouTube video than looking through documentation and asking around.
    4. Pay and career growth - Salary is OK for entry level, but raises and total compensation is not competitive above the lowest level. Hence, the company has a lot of turnover.
    5. Morale - It is dead zero. There is an incentive programme for referring employees, but I've never referred anyone because I'd have moral reservations about deceiving them.
    6. Training, even "on the job training" is inadequate - No real mentorship organisation, formal training is often irrelevant to day-to-day tasks. Training seems like an afterthought or a time suck rather than something that is built into career growth.
    7. Weak engineering culture - Being a part of iDirect is like being as a "has-been" company. The engineering department is large, but the culture is weak in comparison.
    8. Clueless contractors - as full time employees have quit, they are replaced by contractors, but the quality of work is below that of an undergrad computer science student. The company is having trouble attracting talent locally, due to other companies' more competitive compensation packages.
    9. Lack of team communication - at the lower levels, many employees have no idea how processes or code works from other teams, which are critically dependent on their own systems. There tends to be a bottleneck for innovation due to the high level of effort involved in contacting necessary parties to make even small changes.
    10. Mismatch between testing capabilities and the engineers - often times, testers are mismatched with systems and are not trained on how to use or troubleshoot systems to produce meaningful issue reports.
    11. Company is abusing agile - The company transitioned project managers to product managers and scrum masters, but really needs non-project product managers who can drive the product. Product managers and scrum masters are there to shuffle around work and be glorified secretaries without understanding of the industry or product.
    12. Metric-driven project management is misleading - unofficial project managers kill the engineering process by making sure that minimal-cost work is completed to show misleading progress to executives.
    13. Marketing of the bonus program - language used by HR makes it seem like there is a high level of bonus guaranteed - but this is not the case.
    14. Not Built Here syndrome - company tends to overengineer a lot - marginal gains are offset by having to debug proprietary code where obvious third party solutions could have done the job.
    15. Grafted software - Software is an afterthought, grafted onto the hardware division. Movements within the software industry are given a spin which is incorrect, and then given the excuse that it must be different for a hardware company.

    Advice to Management

    1. Better training for all - satellite telecom is a niche industry and non-industry persons may not understand business processes for months or years, when there's no excuse to hide this information. Engineers need comprehensive training on business level and hardware, firmware, and software areas within their first month. Company needs to be proactive in encouraging outside deduction opportunities.
    2. Hire business analysts, product managers, and user experience personnel with satellite or networking experience, who are technical to drive the company's product direction. Don't be afraid to poach, rather than trawl and see what comes up in the net.
    3. Divy out "interesting" work appropriately - it will keep morale up.
     Re-examine large parts of architecture - figure out if there's a simpler, less proprietary, and more unified way of doing things.
    4. Keep improving the agile workflows - do a check-up and see what is and what is not working
    5. Explore market opportunities from the perspective of a startup, encourage more experimentation.
    6. Encourage team harmony, don't encourage office politics and unnecessary componetisation to avoid personal blame.
    7. Reexamine total compensation to reduce the brain drain - don't promise what can't be delivered. The company should prevent catastrophic brain drain to competitors. Long term, this would make the organisation much more competitive to SaaS/IT companies, rather than SATCOM companies.
    8. Improve recruiting process - write better job descriptions, pose better questions at interviews to give people a better idea of what they're in for
    9. Consider a mentorship program - Newer engineers often don't know where to turn for industry specific knowledge and would benefit from a guide.
    10. Reverse the dead sea effect - create real incentives for people to stay, starting by creating a strong engineering culture and reexamining compensation competitiveness.
    11. Fix the contractor situation - hire for quality, not quantity.
    12. Company should become an engaged employer on Glassdoor. With almost 500 employees, why are they not engaging on this platform?


  9. Helpful (13)

    "We need a lot of changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Herndon, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at iDirect Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Location is good. The company has been up and running for 20 years which only means it was a good company.

    For junior engineers, iDirect is a good starting place to learn both technical skills and office politics, due to its high physical and mental pressure.

    Cons

    1. Low base salary like it offers always.
        Bonus was good at 20%, however due to rapid loss of revenue, we only received 2% in this year.

    2. iDirect won a big project several years ago which is the start of all the chaos today. A lot of new engineers were hired at loose interviewing process.
        Due to the inexperience of the management team and a series of bad decisions made by the senior management, the project is now delayed for 1-2 years and en route of failure.The delayed new product is causing loss of once-loyal customers and revenue.

    3. People is leaving iDirect because of the dark future, the low pay and high workload, and the politics. Many of the engineers left are technically important which can't be replaced shortly. This has worsen the situation of the failing project.

    4. The company is over-hierarchied causing lots of overhead as well as confusions.

    5. Unlike the past, the company is now driven by a group of management people who don't understand the products iDirect develops.
        Roughly half of the technical managers (who only manage 3, 4 engineers on hands-on product development) have no idea about how satellite system works, even though they go from meeting to meeting everyday just to make them visible.

    6. Satellite technology is not as cool as it sounds. It is actually made of a mix of sophisticated (outdated) technologies due to its high requirements of reliability and stability. For entry-levels, it is impossible to learn here the cutting-edge techniques and skills.

    7. Many other big companies like Google, Facebook, SpaceX had already started its satellite projects or replacement projects. iDirect will face the most fearful challenges in the next few years. Are we ready for it? Sadly no.

    Advice to Management

    We have to be realistic and stay focus only on the core business.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Expected to work long hours and weekends for no extra compensation"

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

    I have been working at iDirect Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Being involved with lots of new technology. Friendly environment and nice coworkers. Management is well intentioned even when they make plenty of planning mistakes.

    Cons

    Expected to work 60+ hours every week for several months without extra compensation. Projects are late and managers are in panic/firefighting mode with lot of inefficient decisions. I would not recommend the company to my friends eventhough I would get a $5K referral bonus.

    Advice to Management

    Plan projects better


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