Cerner Reviews

Updated 19 April 2015
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2.0
118 Reviews
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Cerner Chairman, CEO & President Neal L. Patterson
Neal L. Patterson
72 Ratings

118 Employee Reviews

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  1. Little Appreciation and Little Opportuntity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Knowledge Architect in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Knowledge Architect in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you get in the right organization with the right leadership you can see your career advance quickly.
    Good aggressive nature of the company allows company to continue to edge the market.
    Investment in future allows company to sustain.
    Executive cabinet is great. Its unfortunate town halls have stopped. Listening to these leaders is reassurance the company is still lead by the right people.

    Cons

    Some orgs (IP) are very tough to climb through. This is due to highly skilled employees (a good thing!) but also due to the adage of its more who you know. You are better off leaving and coming back or switching to other orgs within Cerner to advance your career.

    Company strategy at VP/Director level is poorly aligned. Senior Management seems to get it, but the next level down struggles to find the right alignment and strategy. Every 6 months there is realignment at this level that generally just results in more poor decisions. This poor strategic alignment is accommodated for by the aggressive nature of the company....allowing them to continue to meet goals.

    I question whether the company should have bought Siemens. Since this purchase every request for existing associates outside the Siemens acquisition is declined. This includes resources needed for projects (people or tech) and funds to acknowledge existing associates. (Your existing associates got you to where you are...). The last round of compensation adjustments were a joke.

    Advice to Management

    Have a little appreciation for those that have stuck with your company. The company used to regularly promote from within. I've worked for executives of half my skill set that have been hired externally. (This isn't a one off scenario...this has become a regular occurrence)

    Be HONEST with your associates. Require reasoning as to why promotions aren't being considered.

    Create some accountability at Junior executive level for strategy. Perhaps this is there? Maybe this is why there is realignment every 6 months.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Systems Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Kansas City, MO (US)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, good pay, and access to awesome technology

    Cons

    Unrealistic deadlines, long hours, high pressure work environment, and management who will not defend their own people.

    Advice to Management

    People have a life, so respect the work/life balance. Defend your employees when needed and don't just rollover for any request.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Great for young go-getters (and yuppies)

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Super energetic work atmosphere. Top pay for career fields.

    Cons

    Mandatory 50+ hour work weeks. Top pay averages out to pretty much average pay based on hourly requirement. Yuppies.

    Advice to Management

    There is nothing that can be done. They done drank the kool aid.

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  5. Helpful (9)

    Not bad for a job out of college, but ultimately unsatisfying compared to other tech jobs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Cerner full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Cerner hires a ton of people fresh out of college and compensates them fairly well for a Midwestern city. Their internship program is great- they pay you a decent hourly wage and provide you free housing in a trendy part of the city.

    The engineering campus has a casual dress code and I've found the environment to overall be very laid back. Managers and subordinates usually get along well with a decent amount of water-cooler banter and team interaction. From my experience and that of friends at the company, micromanagement is rare and bosses generally give you leeway to complete projects as you see fit.

    Your experience at Cerner varies greatly based on your team. Unfortunately that is true for many tech companies. On my team, people work 40-45hrs/week, with the exception of the occasional hard deadline. I've heard horror stories about teams that require 60+hrs/week every week (not really legal, but oh well it happens). But Cerner is trying to cut down on that, especially due to the crazy turnover it creates (average employment is <2 years here).

    The company is growing quickly, so if you stick around for a while (and the growth continues), you should expect to find yourself in a management role at some point.

    Also, the company has quite a reputation in town. Not sure if it matters to anyone, but saying you work at Cerner will occasionally elicit a positive response or even a corporate discount at certain stores.

    Cons

    In terms of the Midwest and the poor economy college grads face, Cerner compensation is fairly good. But in terms of the market for software engineers and the tech sector, it is really lacking. Salary & bonus appears good when you start, but raises seem to be minuscule and not really correlated to performance (look up Stack Rank for more info). Stock options are virtually nonexistent- there is a stock purchase program which involves giving up part of your salary in exchange for stock on a regular basis... no thanks. 401k match is not that great. Health & dental plans are good, but the company-run free clinics (a much touted corporate perk) are overcrowded and it may take weeks to see a doctor if you go there.

    As I said before, the average length of employment is <2 years. There is a massive amount of brain drain and important engineers are hardly ever paid what they're worth, so they leave.

    Many teams still use some really outdated development methods and Agile has not been implemented well. Not to mention really dated legacy code (CCL) that nobody wants to work with. In terms of outdated processes, prepare for design documents and lots of otherwise pointless paperwork that you have to cut through to make the simplest of changes.

    Prepare for hostility if you have to reach across teams for help with a project. Your team usually has your back, but if you have to start asking random people for help (even if they're the designated point of contact for a piece of code), they might make things difficult for you. This seems common in the corporate world, but it is really awful to deal with.

    Cerner's CEO is famous for his hostility to employees and crack-the-whip persona (look up Cerner Pizza Email). Now his legacy includes mandatory timesheets and a company-wide unwritten 48hr/week minimum work commitment. I've been told that this rule isn't enforced anymore, but I've also heard that you won't get promotions unless you follow it. Things like this just breed resentment and decrease morale among employees.

    The software engineer training program is terrible! It's basically a weed-out recruiting process for new employees, even after you've signed an employment contract and expect to be working there at least 2 years. Mentors vary from good to horrible, and getting stuck on a bad project with a bad mentor can mean the difference between early graduation so you can join a real team and being fired.

    Mentorship when you start out is so-so, but it kind of varies by team. It seems like some team managers are very hands-on, helping out newbies on a one-on-one basis, whereas some teams take a sink-or-swim mentality. You may find yourself figuring a lot of things or your own or hopefully getting a sympathetic engineer to walk you through everything.

    And finally, a small gripe, but there is a pre-employment drug screen and they threaten random drug tests in the agreement you sign (although I've never heard of that happening). It would be understandable for a medical professional perhaps, but it is a little bit strange for software engineers, considering that marijuana is legal in a neighboring state and this is a software company.

    Advice to Management

    - Boost compensation! Profits are at an all-time high, there's no question that this is a commitment that needs to be made. Product quality suffers with such high turnover. Higher salaries and real stock options would go a long way.
    - Address culture problems. Sometimes teams are a little too protective of their code and unwilling to work with others when it is required. This friction slows everything down.
    - Nix the software engineer training program! If you are trying to weed out bad engineers, you should firstly improve your recruiting methods.
    - Get rid of mandatory minimum time commitments and stop treating your engineers like children. Forcing people to sit at their desk an extra hour or two a day doesn't result in better software.

  6. Helpful (4)

    The belt is tightening every day.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Consultant in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good first job out of school

    Cons

    Terrible compensation compared to industry standards. Stay for 2 years and then go get the money you deserve.

    Advice to Management

    Stop cutting benefits to the lifeblood of your operation.

  7. More of a functional company .. developers stay away!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are some important pros as well :
    - Nice infrastructure + Manyata techpark is a better place (less traffic than ITPL or Marathalli)
    - No Micromanagement.
    - Process oriented , you get used to the process which is very important for us (indians) to learn.
    - Healthcare domain will add value to your resume.
    - company is reputed and rich.

    Cons

    - you will forget that you were/are a coder.
    - the architects or the ones above them has no clue on the technology. And please stop treating developers as just "resources".
    - you get trained on stuff which is of no use and finally end up working on the useless.
    - India office employees are just name sake cerner associates.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an eye on india management. promote the deserving ones.
    Please use the indian associates to add value , we are not here to support and clean junk!

  8. Helpful (2)

    Disorganized and Management was scared of making decisions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Cerner full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Would be good for someone right out of college looking for experience, but would outgrow the job/company within a few years

    Cons

    Pay is poor for experienced employees. They get by on ignorant college kids before they realize they are being used and underpaid.

    Advice to Management

    If you want top experienced people to stay for awhile, salary has to go way up, along with stock options.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Support Analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Support Analyst in Kansas City, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Support Analyst in Kansas City, MO (US)

    I have been working at Cerner

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The company provides great benefits and many perks (many as support analyst do not get to enjoy). Most associates are friendly. Great place to make new friends.

    Cons

    Managers do not care about you at all. Most support analysts are there hoping to move to a different position after 18 months. Many of them leave before then. Most support analyst positions are call centers. They only give it an fancy name. The opportunity to grow is minimal before the 18 month, no matter how hard someone works.

    Advice to Management

    Care more about everyone's career.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Horrible pay

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

    I worked at Cerner

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Strong-performing company, industry leader, constantly surpassing the competition

    Cons

    You are expected to work no less than 45 hours per week, pay is as low as they can possibly give you, raises are so low they feel like punishment. Work/life balance is not taken into consideration, and they still pay you less than you're worth!

  11. Helpful (5)

    Job security but little satisfaction

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -job security, once you are hired you are there to stay.
    -gym on campus with great classes and instructors
    -if your manager supports you, lots of training opportunities online, in person, and at conferences

    Cons

    -"business need" trumps all. People are transferred to new jobs (to new locations 20 miles away) with only a day of notice. regardless of what job you're hired for, you will be assigned somewhere based on what they need that particular day.The experience very much depends on what team you're on. Some teams were very satisfied with job quality, while others really suffered from lack of leadership
    -long hours are required, regardless of quality of work. Management would rather see you work 60 hours a week and be unproductive than 40 hours and get stuff done. Leadership rewarded us for a summer of 80 hour weeks with $5 gift cards
    - managers are promoted based on tenure alone, and not by quality. as a result, several of the managers I had weren't qualified for the role, which impacted my job satisfaction.
    - limited opportunities for career advancement. strict 18 month no-transfer policy, and even then, hiring/transfer freezes left you in your role for as long as they need.

    Advice to Management

    Management knows that between KU, K-State, and Mizzou, they can get an endless flow of new grads. But that's not an excuse to treat people without respect and consideration to a work-life balance or career development.

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