Old 08-05-2009, 03:48 AM
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Epic?

The company in Madison, WI. I'd never heard of it before today, when I got a cookie-cutter email from their HR department.

I Googled and found a thread about them on some other message board, which had mixed reviews - some say they're great, others say they're the epitome of evil. This thread is a few years old, however.

Can anyone tell me about this company? Worth applying to, or stay away?
Old 08-05-2009, 05:01 AM
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What kind of position are you considering applying for? If you're a software guy, be prepared to languish in the pit of despair that is millions of lines of MUMPS. Their target is the healthcare market, and their big name product is a named after a deadly disease!
Old 08-05-2009, 12:50 PM
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Their email says "you might be a good match for our Problem-Solver (Technical Services/Customer Consultant) position." Their web site has a couple of others that require a math degree, including Software Developer. I know some C, and less Java, but I'm certainly no programmer. All of the job descriptions listed there are rather vague.
Old 08-05-2009, 12:59 PM
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I don't know about them as a company to work for, but they are well-known in the healthcare industry. Many very large medical facilities -- including the top-20 university medical center I work for -- use their software to manage patient scheduling and billing.
Old 08-05-2009, 01:53 PM
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Epic is kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, they offer some really nice perks - they have a giant campus with really good food and coffee on offer. You can get your dry cleaning picked up at work, get your oil changed, too. There are hiking trails you can wander around on during lunch. They have some really cool travel/sabbatical programs as well.

On the other hand, they have a reputation for hiring young people fresh out of college and draining them. The opportunities for advancement are not as thick on the ground as they are made out to be, and people tend to get sick of it and leave after a few years. I've had several friends who worked out there after college, and while they were all excited about their prospects for the first year or two, after working for Epic for a few years they became extremely burned out. It's a good place for work experience and it looks good on your resume, but I wouldn't count on working there for the rest of your life.
Old 08-05-2009, 10:20 PM
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I actually have a couple of friends who work there and I visited the campus last summer. It's a beautiful workplace in a very nice town. My friends were very impressed by the perks, which Lily just listed, and they say that the President is amazing. It's also a privately owned company, which means you won't get sacked just to give the stock price a jolt.
Old 08-06-2009, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily View Post
On the other hand, they have a reputation for hiring young people fresh out of college and draining them. [...] after working for Epic for a few years they became extremely burned out.
As in, they work 60 or 80 hours a week? Been there, done that.
Old 08-06-2009, 10:57 AM
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I worked at Epic for several years. GESancMan, feel free to PM/email me for more details or questions. Lily's post is pretty accurate. Epic is good for:
1. The campus
2. Casual work environment (not to be read as "not a lot of work" but rather no dress code, good food... think Silicon Valley in Verona, WI)
3. Being around other smart, fun people
4. The pay, although annual raises/bonuses there are certainly not what they used to be

Epic is not good for:
1. Work/life balance. It's not terrible for Technical Services, but it's not great. Long hours, semi-frequent travel. If it turns out they want you for Project Management/Implementation, then you're talking VERY frequent travel. Most folks last about 2-3 years before quitting, either to go back to grad school or because they are just burnt out.
2. Promotions. The company is very flat. You MAY get promoted to a "Team Leader" (aka lower/middle management) but unless you're very good, lucky, and stay there a while, that's all you'll get. (There is also a "good ole' boys" network that sometimes keeps good people from being promoted; this didn't happen to me - I was promoted - but I was in the management meetings where I saw it happen. I suspect this is no better or worse than most other companies, though.) If you care about titles, it's not the place for you. You may get higher profile projects/customers instead.
3. Quality of management. It's kids managing kids there. I know, because I used to be one of those kids managing other kids. Don't expect great bosses, thorough annual reviews, etc. Management direction is sometimes changed at a moment's notice on the whims of the company's "eccentric" CEO, Judy Faulkner. It's a private company, so there are no shareholders to make the decisions; what she says goes, and what she decides is sometimes odd.

Overall, it's a nice company to work for if you don't mind long hours, some travel (frequent travel if you are more into project management), and putting up with some tight deadlines. The campus really is beautiful. The pay is decent, but they did just go through a quiet round of layoffs, and the pay raises and bonuses are not as great as when I was there (they are still above industry average for most folks, though). I don't have a technical background, so I can't tell you how it would look on a resume to work just in MUMPS.

Like I said, feel free to email/PM me if you want more info.
Old 08-06-2009, 11:04 AM
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GESancMan, I realized I didn't answer a couple of your questions. Overall, depending on the role they want you for and your situation right now, you should probably apply. If you are not in the Madison area and you get past the phone interview stages, they will pay to get you out for interviews. I personally would not apply there again because I make the same now that I did when I worked there, doing the same kind of work, but much fewer hours and with no travel.

Also, there are plenty of folks who went into the Technical Services area without a very thorough technical background. One thing Epic does very well is provide extensive training to get you up to speed for your job.
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