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Epic

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Epic

Postby massimo » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:11 pm

I'm surprised so little is spoken around here about this company. Given Epic's oddball leader, mysterious and controversial hiring and firing practices, accusations by some of age discrimination, odd management structure, etc., you'd think there would be more Epic-related screeds out there on the internets, but that's generally not the case. Local media are basically silent, aside from the occasional feel-good piece.

A recent discussion on reddit sheds some interesting light on what it's like to work there.

I spent 2 years with these guys - here's the pros/cons of the PM job:

Pros:
Competitive or Good Salary
Great food in the cafeteria
Offices are in newer buildings
Makes you valuable in EMR consulting circles

Cons:
Pretty much only hire college graduates. You're old if you've been there 4-6 years.
Closed doors on recruitment, promotion, and firing processes.
Good Managers (TL's) are hard to find, most are made managers within 12 months of graduating college.
The unspoken rule is that you are expected to work especially long hours because of the pay
Located outside of Madison, WI
High turnover rate

I would like to note that Epic has a unique management structure, in that it is incredibly flat and filled with entry level managers and employees. They hire a lot, but they also fire a lot, giving it a mushroom management, or burn and turn structure. I started having anxiety attacks after the first year, and got out after the second year to pursue a software position in a non-healthcare related field, because unless you become a TL within 6 months of completing your training, you have absolutely no idea why people are promoted, hired, or fired.
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Re: Epic

Postby jjoyce » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:29 pm

There used to be a lot of chatter about Epic on this board, and it was all pretty much just like what you reproduced.

Yawn.

Do you know anyone who works there? Do they tell you stories? I've heard that they have adapted a little to retain long-term employees by offering some sweet benefits, which may or may not be true (travel anywhere in the world for six weeks?).
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Re: Epic

Postby Donald » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:43 pm

EPIC used to be a sweatshop on a higher plane, and they still would qualify, though they have gotten a smidgeon better. The longer they keep you, the more you're going to want to make. They hire young'uns because you are smart, hardworking, dedicated and, most important, so thankful for your first real, big job that you'll work your ass off. After a year or two, of course, you will expect to be treated as a human being, and to be paid commensurate with the butt load of money they are making off the health care industry. You might, just might, get the idea that a union could straighten out a lot of the screwy things you see with their promotions, hiring and firing regime. They know this, and they can get enough of the young'uns fresh of state U's to fill your position, so bye-bye.
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Re: Epic

Postby massimo » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:54 pm

Yes, I know a number of people who work there, both happy and unhappy. I guess I wasn't around for the chatter back in the day. I agree with the "yawn" comment, I hear the same stuff over and over.

What surprises me is that, given the amount of very unhappy people I know there, and given that those people are young and active online, you don't see a lot of ranting out there. I know that Epic strongly urges employees to keep it quiet on the internet, and for the most part that urging seems to work. They must fear the long arm of Judy's law.
(travel anywhere in the world for six weeks?)

Every 5 years at Epic you get a 4 week "sabbatical", which is basically a vacation, paid for (yes, airfare and hotels and all that) by Epic.

I'm sure any talk of a union at Epic would not be welcome.
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Re: Epic

Postby swoon_queen » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:25 pm

massimo wrote:Every 5 years at Epic you get a 4 week "sabbatical", which is basically a vacation, paid for (yes, airfare and hotels and all that) by Epic.


Airfare and hotel allowance is given to both the Epic employee & a guest (one after the first 5 years, and more guests, not sure specific number, can accompany on subsequent sabbaticals), and employee is paid while they are on sabbatical.

My theory is that Epic employees are far too swamped at work to post on internet forums.

I have a slew of close friends who work or have worked there, and their happiness levels directly correlate/d with their departments. Those working in technical services seem more stressed and overworked, QA bored and frustrated, tech writers content but working long hours, and implementers etc. traveling 80% of their lives away.
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Re: Epic

Postby wallrock » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:19 am

massimo wrote:
(travel anywhere in the world for six weeks?)

Every 5 years at Epic you get a 4 week "sabbatical", which is basically a vacation, paid for (yes, airfare and hotels and all that) by Epic.

A friend of mine used his to go to South Africa for the World Cup last year. He asked me if I wanted to tag along but four week vacations are pretty much off the table for me.
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Re: Epic

Postby massimo » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:18 pm

swoon_queen wrote:My theory is that Epic employees are far too swamped at work to post on internet forums.

Hmm, doesn't seem to stop them from trolling Facebook all day, every day. I can't imagine it would be that difficult for Epic to block Facebook, but the ensuing revolt might cause Verona to burn.
swoon_queen wrote:I have a slew of close friends who work or have worked there, and their happiness levels directly correlate/d with their departments. Those working in technical services seem more stressed and overworked, QA bored and frustrated, tech writers content but working long hours, and implementers etc. traveling 80% of their lives away.

Interesting, I've never thought of it in terms of roles, but I do see the same general breakdown with my Epic friends. I don't know any developers personally, I wonder what their lives are like. The implementers I know tend to run around town in packs and don't branch out much.
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Re: Epic

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:19 pm

I interviewed for a programming job with Judy back in the early 80's, I think the company was just a handful of people. Their product was in an arcane language called "MUMPS", which I had a tiny bit of experience in.

I walked into her office and took a seat. The first thing that came out of her mouth was, "I want it all, I want the jet." I had zero idea what she was talking about, I sat in stunned silence.

Turns out that "jet" was a corporate jet, a metaphor for grand success. She was shocking me to see if I could relate to her single-minded zeal for riches and glory. I must have stammered and failed her test spectacularly.

She wanted me to take a computer programming test, which is a bit unusual. Oh ya, she advised me, "if you want security, go work for the state." I slinked out of there with my now sweaty, cheap suit, skipped the programming inquisition, and in the fullness of time took her fine advice.
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Re: Epic

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:53 am

Huckleby wrote: The first thing that came out of her mouth was, "I want it all, I want the jet." I had zero idea what she was talking about, I sat in stunned silence.



"You paying attention? I'm talking... G5, Pecker!"
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Re: Epic

Postby ilikebeans » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:55 am

Epic was the only place I ever started applying for which required that I list my high school GPA. Uh, sorry Judy, that was upteen years, a college degree, and several professional jobs ago. Not relevant. I stopped the application, and have never regretted it.

I just checked now, and their online application still requires GPA for any educational institutions you care to list. In addition, they require SAT and/or ACT scores on the very first screen. Um, no.

Really speaks to what another poster mentioned-- they look for 'em young and impressionable. I'm sure today they'd just look at my application and laugh while hitting the delete key.
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