Skip to comments.Vanity: Anybody have an inside look at EPIC in Madison WI?
Posted on 05/06/2012 8:50:24 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
Hello fellow FReepers,
Like a lot of folks I'm looking for a job and battling this tough market. I can competently wear either or both of two major hats, either as system administrator or computer programmer.
I've had my resume out on Dice for several months, which has resulted in lots of nibbles, maybe about three a week, a mix of contract and permanent jobs that recruiters have asked me to submit my resume to. But virtually nothing has gotten to an interview... that is until this month. Now stuff has started to hop. The recruiters sound more interested and I've had three interviews this past week, and nothing about my experience has changed.
I got contacted by a firm called EPIC in Madison, Wisconsin. I'm not putting their website's URL in here because I don't want them to see a link back to this in their web logs. But it's what you'd think. They write software to support medical applications. Doctor's offices, hospitals, etc. and medical records.
They strike me as trying very hard to be cool in the save-the-earth, organic, birkenstock wearing kind of way. Being a knuckle dragging conservative (well maybe not quite but close) a yellow flag goes up for me. What's the culture like in there? Do they expect you to follow all the liberal fads or get ostracized? I just want a job writing software, I couldn't care less about the cool. Technically they look like they are no fools -- they'd keep me on my toes and vice versa. But if they'd want me to join in a gay kumbaya -- maybe I'd choose a contract position over being part of EPIC cool. IF I have the choice, I may not.
Wisconsin job advice for Hi-Tech Red Neck
FReep mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
I know of two arch-conservatives who work for them. They have no complaints. If you are placed at a site it will be liberal, as Madison is liberal.
They want you close to Madison (within 45 minutes). They are VERY big on college and higher ed in general. They are picky about who they would consider. They care a lot more about my grades than I ever did. They like youth.
More bad news:
They had been on a hiring spree, but got swamped and have slowed it down. There are plenty of long-term opportunities in the Madison area in both government and medical, and they pay well if you have what they are looking for.
Well, they know I’m an old dog, relatively speaking. They did ever since I filled out their online application. And yet they’ve kept talking with me.
But there are still some new tricks in this old dog, I think. And some good old tricks.
Thank you for the WI ping.
Stay away from EPIC. They’re an insurance Company that never pays out claims for the victims of Med malpractice. Take any other job you get offered. They uprooted our family luring us to Wisconsin. One year later they changed the business model.
I suppose you’ve looked at their web site (including the careers section) and their corporate bio on Wikipedia.
I’ve found I can learn a lot about a company by what they let the public see.
For example, they use the word sustainable on the home page.
Have you coding experience in MUMPS?
Check out the Community Giving page on their web site.
Best of luck to you in your job search.
Many medical systems are going to this type of software to help keep up with all the changes to the Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement criteria.
Hummm... are you saying this EPIC medical software operation (it looks like they are doing way more than just insurance related stuff) is an offshoot of this questionable EPIC Insurance?
No MUMPS and they never asked for it. Sounds like they have an in house training program, maybe because MUMPS is rarely seen in the general programming community.
Wow! Is that still around? I haven't seen MUMPS since the early nineties. I miss the VMS days.
My son sent a resume on a lark about 4 weeks ago to Epic. He’s graduating next week with a computer science degree. They hounded him, but he kept putting them off till he heard back from 3 other companies he had sent resumes. They finally stopped calling. He’s had three offers and accepted one. There’s only a handful of computer science majors from his university graduating this year and they all found jobs easily. It’s spooky.
Can’t speak for or against EPIC, but Madison is a beautiful and highly ranked place to live. Madison is uber-liberal, rural Dane County slightly less so, but the further you go, the stronger conservatism becomes. It’s been called “25 square miles surrounded by reality” for ages...
A very solid conservative minority does exist, and I’m sure you’d be welcomed. Here’s home base for the “Voice of reason in a city of chaos”: http://www.facebook.com/vickimckennapage
I mentioned MUMPS because the Wikipedia article says Epic is based on a MUMPS database.
I think that Epic would be good to work for.
(They are NOT an insurance company — not sure where those comments are coming from...)
They produce and maintain electronic medical records systems, which is extremely broad and complicated, so they probably have a very wide range of needs for employees. They have been around for years. The company is doing very well.
Their original databases are MUMPS based (and still are, though they also have SQL interfaces to those databases now), but that is all just one aspect of what Epic does.
I imagine that most of their programmers do not know MUMPS now. They use a lot of Visual Basic, and a lot of web programming. They have many products. Their systems are used by many big medical centers, Mayo, Kaiser, many med school clinic systems, on and on. They are probably the number one medical record system in the world.
Despite their liberal tendencies, they are “nice” and would be a good company to work for.
They unfortunately have gotten so big and entrenched with huge clinics and hospitals that they have lost their old advantage of being nimble. They have evolved from a responsive company to one that has such a mission critical user base to support that they have not, in my opinion, been innovative for years. They get by because all the other medical software companies are generally even worse. They need good people who will tell them the Emperor is naked!
If you have a lot of common sense and creativity you might end up feeling frustrated (just a guess) at trying to turn the Epic supertanker with your work.
I suspect we are not telling you anything you don’t already know, but maybe are validating some things...
Know nothing about EPIC.
BUT, considering that you need a job, if they offer you a job, TAKE IT!
If things don’t work out, it’s still easier to get another job, while you have a job and while you are working for them, you’ll be getting a salary.
AND it may work out and could turn out to be a great job.
Employers appreciate competence as a most important trait.
Good luck and take that job or any job in your profession that’s offered — as I said, you can always keep looking, while you are working, if it doesn’t work out.
You can learn a lot of info on any company on Glassdoor.com
EPIC is very successful as a hospital EMR. The big difference between EPIC and its competitors is that EPIC is still privately owned, hence not as focused on short-terms earnings as a measurement.
Maybe that's why they do the "superhero" schtick on their careers page, lol. Nobody but Superman (Epicman?) could do that. In a past technical life I really put some kick into the pants of some database-centered processes with the hi tech redneck's secret formula. (AKA a custom main memory database manager.) If those guys aren't doing something like this all over now, I'll have to ask why.
Thank you everybody for your input which has provided food for thought.
Big HEY! shout out to everyone who commented here.
The epic of EPIC is still in progress for me. I went through their rigmarole which culminated in an on site interview a few days ago. I spoke with managers from multiple departments, all of whom zeroed in rather accurately on different segments of my experience. (These folks actually bother to READ resumes.) They are now waiting for transcripts I have ordered from my schools, and then will cogitate upon whether to offer me a position. It looks very, very possible now.
They are not kidding about casual. If you see someone there wearing a tie talking to someone in a tee shirt and sandals, the tie wearer is a recruit. The buildings are very prettily and cutely decorated. I get the impression that the gal who founded this place must have had a dream when she was a little girl that she’d have a business that would do good to all the world and its offices would have all this pretty, cute, and neat stuff in it. And by heaven, she made that dream come true. I can’t fathom any other reason it would be this way.
Anyhow they do put a lot of emphasis on the brilliance of their people, with being able to collaborate with others productively also being important. If there was a heavy new-age or anti religious bent, I couldn’t see it. Maybe the goofiest thing I saw was a display in one of their underground halls that borrowed from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a small brass idol head that, if pushed or lifted, caused all sort of chaos to sound out behind a wall of random wooden slats. Someone said there was a rumor that Ms. Judith wanted it to shoot at you, but she got overruled on that idea. Several of the folks I met seemed to be serious Christians. After my interviews were over I took a couple of quizzes. Fueled on adrenaline and Pepsi, I believe I blew them away.
For those of you so inclined, prayers are coveted for my success if this is to be a blessing — I think it would be; it certainly seems to beat the pants off of having NO job even though I’d have to go from the Chicago area to Madison. I’m tired of being a bum.
Thank you to everyone who advised and gave input.
It didn’t work out. They “went on with other candidates who were a better fit.”
I do not know why and don’t expect to be told. Maybe I came on TOO strong due to my experience. Maybe I just don’t fit the age demographic (during my visit I was old enough to be the father of almost all the people I met and saw, including in the cafeteria, and most of the other candidates could have been my grandchildren). I didn’t get asked the usual interview question about what my plans or expectations for the future were, but if I had I would have told them I planned to keep my career going for at least 15 more years. (This ain’t grandpa’s social security padded, easy early retirement era.)
Thank you to everyone who gave input. I never say never, and maybe (as has happened with other situations where I submitted for a job many months ago) I could get called out of the blue for a second round of consideration, but I’m sure not counting on that.
Ole Dawg Red Neck.
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