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(Chicago Trib)   Epic Systems ordering 9,000 employees back to work despite Covid-19 concerns and fear of "untold deaths." When asked about Coronavirus, an Epic spokesman replied "What is it?"   (chicagotribune.com) divider line
    More: Scary, Health care, Health, Public health, July emergency health order, health care operations, mass gathering requirements, Health economics, healthcare company  
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1285 clicks; posted to Business » on 05 Aug 2020 at 10:32 AM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-08-05 9:37:17 AM  
"It is what it is"
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-05 10:00:11 AM  
It's a disease that could put you in a hospital.
 
2020-08-05 10:03:53 AM  
The health software company...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-05 10:07:29 AM  
You can shut the office door and focus without distractions, which is not always possible if you live with others or in a noisy environment.

Come back so you can more easily collaborate by holing yourself up in your office!

Plus, I'm really wondering how many of the workaday folks actually have real offices with doors they can close.
 
2020-08-05 10:41:38 AM  
FYI, Epic is rather culty, and their founders are kooks.
 
2020-08-05 10:42:41 AM  
Epic is pretty famous for turning over 95% of their developers every 2-3 years, so if some of them get sick, they're always hiring new grads from rural no-name colleges to pass on the Visual Basic/Caché misery just long enough to say "boy, this sucks" and pile it on to the next generation.
 
2020-08-05 10:46:04 AM  
I know it unreal for this to happen on fark, but I think this is not the same company that many are thinking of.
 
2020-08-05 10:50:23 AM  

TheSubjunctive: Epic is pretty famous for turning over 95% of their developers every 2-3 years, so if some of them get sick, they're always hiring new grads from rural no-name colleges to pass on the Visual Basic/Caché misery just long enough to say "boy, this sucks" and pile it on to the next generation.


Epic Fail.
 
2020-08-05 10:51:02 AM  

HighOnCraic: It's a disease that could put you in a hospital.


But that's not important right now.
 
2020-08-05 10:51:39 AM  
Epic is a medical software company headed by Judy Faulkner who is a 77 year old woman but looks like a 50 year old man in a wig.
thehealthcaretechnologyreport.comView Full Size

Also her net worth is about $4 billion.
 
2020-08-05 10:52:22 AM  
Sounds like an awesome place to work.
 
2020-08-05 10:52:44 AM  

Diogenes: You can shut the office door and focus without distractions, which is not always possible if you live with others or in a noisy environment.

Come back so you can more easily collaborate by holing yourself up in your office!

Plus, I'm really wondering how many of the workaday folks actually have real offices with doors they can close.


None of them. They all have actual offices. Some of the offices are shared, but there is no cube farm or open plan there.

I would like to say I'm shocked by this but I'm not. Epic has always had a bit of a different culture than many places, and I'm not surprised that the business is finding that having everyone holed up in their houses with questionable networking and distractions from pets and children incompatible with their mien.

I also wouldn't be surprised if they will require masks, limited visiting, and closed common spaces.
 
2020-08-05 10:55:28 AM  

pdieten: Diogenes: You can shut the office door and focus without distractions, which is not always possible if you live with others or in a noisy environment.

Come back so you can more easily collaborate by holing yourself up in your office!

Plus, I'm really wondering how many of the workaday folks actually have real offices with doors they can close.

None All of them. They all have actual offices. Some of the offices are shared, but there is no cube farm or open plan there.

I would like to say I'm shocked by this but I'm not. Epic has always had a bit of a different culture than many places, and I'm not surprised that the business is finding that having everyone holed up in their houses with questionable networking and distractions from pets and children incompatible with their mien.

I also wouldn't be surprised if they will require masks, limited visiting, and closed common spaces.


Reading is fundamental.
 
2020-08-05 10:58:25 AM  

TheSubjunctive: Epic is pretty famous for turning over 95% of their developers every 2-3 years, so if some of them get sick, they're always hiring new grads from rural no-name colleges to pass on the Visual Basic/Caché misery just long enough to say "boy, this sucks" and pile it on to the next generation.


Cerner is the same way, I think most big software shops may work like this.  Hire kids out of college for $40-60K work them 50+ hours a week.  Then the kid figures out its a crap gig an moves on, Software shop just hires more kids out of college.
 
2020-08-05 10:59:16 AM  
You want it all, but you can't have it.
 
2020-08-05 11:07:15 AM  

FrancoFile: FYI, Epic is rather culty, and their founders are kooks.


I've heard this as well. From a former employee.
 
2020-08-05 11:08:14 AM  

tobcc: TheSubjunctive: Epic is pretty famous for turning over 95% of their developers every 2-3 years, so if some of them get sick, they're always hiring new grads from rural no-name colleges to pass on the Visual Basic/Caché misery just long enough to say "boy, this sucks" and pile it on to the next generation.

Cerner is the same way, I think most big software shops may work like this.  Hire kids out of college for $40-60K work them 50+ hours a week.  Then the kid figures out its a crap gig an moves on, Software shop just hires more kids out of college.


Sounds like the SpaceX employment model.
 
2020-08-05 11:16:43 AM  

OptimisticCynicism: tobcc: TheSubjunctive: Epic is pretty famous for turning over 95% of their developers every 2-3 years, so if some of them get sick, they're always hiring new grads from rural no-name colleges to pass on the Visual Basic/Caché misery just long enough to say "boy, this sucks" and pile it on to the next generation.

Cerner is the same way, I think most big software shops may work like this.  Hire kids out of college for $40-60K work them 50+ hours a week.  Then the kid figures out its a crap gig an moves on, Software shop just hires more kids out of college.

Sounds like the SpaceX employment model.


I've recently changed roles at work (promotion!) and am much more involved with the account management of our customers.  It's frightening how many are like that.  We've had customers for years that suddenly require training from 101 on up because they canned their developers and got all new ones.

No continuity of technical knowledge, institutional knowledge....
 
2020-08-05 11:19:21 AM  

wingnut396: I know it unreal for this to happen on fark, but I think this is not the same company that many are thinking of.


You're saying that it's an entirely different company altogether?
 
2020-08-05 11:29:00 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

epic spokesman
 
2020-08-05 11:32:33 AM  
Wage slaves need oversight to maintain corperate efficancy

MBA grads have no concept of the cost of training and it shows in corporate culture
 
2020-08-05 11:39:17 AM  

HighOnCraic: wingnut396: I know it unreal for this to happen on fark, but I think this is not the same company that many are thinking of.

You're saying that it's an entirely different company altogether?


Article is about the Epic that fark may remember for the supreme court case that okayed forced arbitration for employees. Which is totally different from the other software sweatshop that makes games(nearly everyone in that subindustry is one) .
 
2020-08-05 11:41:13 AM  

kkinnison: MBA grads have no concept of the cost of training and it shows in corporate culture


Agreed. People like to pretend that domain knowledge is quick to gain, but it takes a long time.
 
2020-08-05 11:44:13 AM  
Wait.  They're unionised by the IWW?
 
2020-08-05 12:18:58 PM  

HighOnCraic: wingnut396: I know it unreal for this to happen on fark, but I think this is not the same company that many are thinking of.

You're saying that it's an entirely different company altogether?


It's an entirely different company.

/are we like the only ones playing today?!?
 
2020-08-05 12:23:17 PM  

tobcc: Cerner is the same way, I think most big software shops may work like this.  Hire kids out of college for $40-60K work them 50+ hours a week.  Then the kid figures out its a crap gig an moves on, Software shop just hires more kids out of college.


And "actually hires people" is an important role in the industry, when you have so many places that are "entry level, must have 2-3 years of industry experience".  At least with Cerner, C# is relevant other places.  I hear there are teams at Epic that aren't stuck in 1992, but there are teams that definitely are.
 
2020-08-05 12:33:18 PM  

Diogenes: HighOnCraic: wingnut396: I know it unreal for this to happen on fark, but I think this is not the same company that many are thinking of.

You're saying that it's an entirely different company altogether?

It's an entirely different company.

/are we like the only ones playing today?!?


I'm glad somebody got that.

/Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking...
 
2020-08-05 12:33:25 PM  
as a former user, EPIC >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> cerner (blows)
 
2020-08-05 12:35:21 PM  

Diogenes: You can shut the office door and focus without distractions, which is not always possible if you live with others or in a noisy environment.

Come back so you can more easily collaborate by holing yourself up in your office!

Plus, I'm really wondering how many of the workaday folks actually have real offices with doors they can close.


I can see lights from Epic in the Winter, so I'm pretty close. Had family members that worked there. Most of the offices used to be "double occupancy", but lately the building focus is on everyone having their own "office' with a door. Not very big and mostly no windows, but an office. Probably all cross ventilated though, so not sure how effective in preventing virus spread. Think hallways with teeny offices as far as the eye can see. Some have windows that you can look in and see the specimen working if they don't block the glass. Food service workers are all lumped together, and the cafeterias are packed, so not sure how that is going to work out.

It has been nice not having the Epic Traffic each day, us locals have to avoid going out at certain times; the traffic is unbelievable. I've actually been able to take the shortcut through campus on my way into town, but not any more once they start back. Rumor is people are not too happy about going back.
 
2020-08-05 12:36:51 PM  

FrancoFile: FYI, Epic is rather culty, and their founders are kooks.


I've worked with these guys on trade shows before, and I wasn't going to say that. Not exactly that, anyway.

They're... focused but scattered? Something like that. Not bad, just hard to deal with some times.
 
2020-08-05 1:18:58 PM  

Diogenes: You can shut the office door and focus without distractions, which is not always possible if you live with others or in a noisy environment.

Come back so you can more easily collaborate by holing yourself up in your office!

Plus, I'm really wondering how many of the workaday folks actually have real offices with doors they can close.


Not a lot in comparison to the past.

As an aside, yeah, they're assholes. They wanted my wife to work there a few years back. They even offered a pretty good pay package, but she the hair on the back of her neck stood up talking to the company reps. Talking with people that have worked there over the years, she is glad she never went to work for them at all.
 
2020-08-05 1:27:25 PM  
Epic is known in the Medical SW industry as being somewhat culty and office centric.  Unlike most of their competitors they do not allow remote working or telecommuting and require all employees to live in the Verona - Madison area.  Even if an employee travels 90%+ of the time on their home days they are required in office.

They heavily recruit out of UW Madison and other colleges and expect 50 to 70 hour work weeks.  Their office is fun with a slide, themed hallways like Harry Potter and subway, have a lot of onsite services for their employees that seem great (barbers, dry cleaner, cafe) but are designed to not allow employees a reason to leave during the day.

Sadly this does not surprise me given their culture.  I do wonder what their clients will require in terms of testing or isolation when Epic people start to travel again.
 
2020-08-05 1:28:19 PM  

XSLUMLORDX: Epic is a medical software company headed by Judy Faulkner who is a 77 year old woman but looks like a 50 year old man in a wig.
[thehealthcaretechnologyreport.com image 200x300]
Also her net worth is about $4 billion.


Would you smash for a million of that 4 billion?
 
2020-08-05 1:35:37 PM  

KarmicDisaster: Diogenes: You can shut the office door and focus without distractions, which is not always possible if you live with others or in a noisy environment.

Come back so you can more easily collaborate by holing yourself up in your office!

Plus, I'm really wondering how many of the workaday folks actually have real offices with doors they can close.

I can see lights from Epic in the Winter, so I'm pretty close. Had family members that worked there. Most of the offices used to be "double occupancy", but lately the building focus is on everyone having their own "office' with a door. Not very big and mostly no windows, but an office. Probably all cross ventilated though, so not sure how effective in preventing virus spread. Think hallways with teeny offices as far as the eye can see. Some have windows that you can look in and see the specimen working if they don't block the glass. Food service workers are all lumped together, and the cafeterias are packed, so not sure how that is going to work out.

It has been nice not having the Epic Traffic each day, us locals have to avoid going out at certain times; the traffic is unbelievable. I've actually been able to take the shortcut through campus on my way into town, but not any more once they start back. Rumor is people are not too happy about going back.


Hi neighbor. While I can't quite make out the lights from the office windows, I enjoy watching the lights on the cranes blinking at night. 

The past couple of days have been extremely interesting as the townsfolk who worship Epic have had their eyes opened. I've really enjoyed their contributions to the community, (The library and fire station are pretty sweet.) but I've always understood that it was PR and tax write-offs. Talk to anyone who has worked the construction end of that campus and they'll tell you that the entire thing operates as, "What Judy wants, Judy gets." ALL of it. Every level. That people are surprised by this call back to the office cracks me up.  

I'm quite curious to see how the first real challenge to her kingdom plays out. Hopefully this will slow down some of the gross levels of development on the north edge of Verona.

I'm especially curious to see how Madison Metro is going to work with bus routes out there. The bus is always PACKED coming into Epic in the morning.
 
2020-08-05 1:45:13 PM  

Diogenes: The health software company...

[Fark user image image 547x308]


HIPPA, for starters.
 
2020-08-05 1:53:53 PM  
Liadan:
Hi neighbor. While I can't quite make out the lights from the office windows, I enjoy watching the lights on the cranes blinking at night. 

The past couple of days have been extremely interesting as the townsfolk who worship Epic have had their eyes opened. I've really enjoyed their contributions to the community, (The library and fire station are pretty sweet.) but I've always understood that it was PR and tax write-offs. Talk to anyone who has worked the construction end of that campus and they'll tell you that the entire thing operates as, "What Judy wants, Judy gets." ALL of it. Every level. That people are surprised by this call back to the office crac ...


Supposedly every new employee is told what Judy's car looks like and that it can "park and drive anywhere it wants to" heh.  Yes, Epic has definitely helped the local tax base, although IMHO Verona has wasted some of that on the world's biggest and fanciest high school instead of providing tax relief. I mean, multiple pools, indoor and outdoor tracks... a lot of colleges would be jealous. Still, there has definitely been a surge in restaurants and bars and venues that Epics would like to go to, and we like to go too.
 
2020-08-05 1:57:12 PM  

XSLUMLORDX: Epic is a medical software company headed by Judy Faulkner who is a 77 year old woman but looks like a 50 year old man in a wig.
[thehealthcaretechnologyreport.com image 200x300]
Also her net worth is about $4 billion.


Is the money all from Epic, or did she make some of it as the singer in Rush?
 
2020-08-05 2:03:12 PM  
I work in health care analysis and I've been to Epic's campus for industry functions. The campus is, well. . . epic, as in its farking HUGE.

In my many years of experience working with Epic I can tell you that most of the rumors in this thread are true. They work their people to the bone, (is there a huge successful company that doesn't?), the bit that I have seen their internal culture is are very culty, and they have a celebrity/cult like status in the industry.

They grind up college grads. The veterans there are in their late twenties. I've met a few managers past middle age. Their code and coding practices are largely stuck in the early 90s. (Some newer depts are evolving)

Also their campus is massive!!! I work for the biggest HC company in the world and our global HQ is nothing compared to Epic's. The have waaay more than enough room to social distance on campus if they want.

/I doubt they will.
//Most of these business executives-types are self-diluted cult leaders
///they kind of have to be to reach the single mindedness it take to succeed at that level
 
2020-08-05 2:53:59 PM  
I've been in IT for 20+ years in financial services and education.  When my wife got sick, I saw firsthand how bad some healthcare IT systems are. Hated by the users and able to cause real problems for patients and their advocates.

I have about 15 years left in my working life and was seriously consider switching to healthcare IT. But what I've read about Epic scared my off. I'm a pretty good programmer, and I'm highly motivated to improve these systems. But there's no way in Hell I'm moving to Wisconsin and equally little chance of working 60 hours a week.

I've got two and a half years until I can start receiving a state pension. I'll still need to work after that, but thanks to the pension I can take any job I want that pays better than $15/hr. Based on what I've heard about Epic, I'm now training to become an entry level electrician.
 
2020-08-05 3:08:19 PM  

Hebjamn: I've been in IT for 20+ years in financial services and education.  When my wife got sick, I saw firsthand how bad some healthcare IT systems are. Hated by the users and able to cause real problems for patients and their advocates.

I have about 15 years left in my working life and was seriously consider switching to healthcare IT. But what I've read about Epic scared my off. I'm a pretty good programmer, and I'm highly motivated to improve these systems. But there's no way in Hell I'm moving to Wisconsin and equally little chance of working 60 hours a week.

I've got two and a half years until I can start receiving a state pension. I'll still need to work after that, but thanks to the pension I can take any job I want that pays better than $15/hr. Based on what I've heard about Epic, I'm now training to become an entry level electrician.


Epic is always looking for electricians, painters, groundskeepers, food service. They treat them really well too, they get the same benefits as everyone else. A lot of it is 3rd shift though, they like to have that stuff done after the employees have left for the day.
 
2020-08-05 3:17:19 PM  

KarmicDisaster: Hebjamn: I've been in IT for 20+ years in financial services and education.  When my wife got sick, I saw firsthand how bad some healthcare IT systems are. Hated by the users and able to cause real problems for patients and their advocates.

I have about 15 years left in my working life and was seriously consider switching to healthcare IT. But what I've read about Epic scared my off. I'm a pretty good programmer, and I'm highly motivated to improve these systems. But there's no way in Hell I'm moving to Wisconsin and equally little chance of working 60 hours a week.

I've got two and a half years until I can start receiving a state pension. I'll still need to work after that, but thanks to the pension I can take any job I want that pays better than $15/hr. Based on what I've heard about Epic, I'm now training to become an entry level electrician.

Epic is always looking for electricians, painters, groundskeepers, food service. They treat them really well too, they get the same benefits as everyone else. A lot of it is 3rd shift though, they like to have that stuff done after the employees have left for the day.


I appreciate the info, but I'm in New Orleans now, originally from New England. A night job in Wisconsin just doesn't sound like my dream gig.
 
2020-08-05 3:51:46 PM  

XSLUMLORDX: Epic is a medical software company headed by Judy Faulkner who is a 77 year old woman but looks like a 50 year old man in a wig.
[thehealthcaretechnologyreport.com image 200x300]
Also her net worth is about $4 billion.


Now, now. Not very woke or alphabet people friendly.
 
2020-08-05 4:00:06 PM  

gar1013: Diogenes: The health software company...

[Fark user image image 547x308]

HIPPA, for starters.


What are you on about now?
 
2020-08-05 7:21:51 PM  
I've worked on epic for the last decade at two different health systems, I can attest to everything that has been noted in this thread.  its certainly culty.  I do appreciate their leaderships dedication to being privately owned as well as in person training, as the only way i can competently pay attention and learn what i'm doing is with zero distractions.

That being said, i don't see a problem with them hiring young techies, and despite the tech being behind the times on the back end, its a pretty cool system to work on.  I can't see myself doing anything other than working on their apps within a hospital system.  It was my ticket out of my first career, a ten year stint in desktop support at a hospital.

as far as the article, yeah that doesnt surprise me either.  i know their analysts share offices but with their resources, they'll split them out.  They have the money to set up more workspaces.
 
2020-08-06 7:05:42 AM  

HighOnCraic: Diogenes: HighOnCraic: wingnut396: I know it unreal for this to happen on fark, but I think this is not the same company that many are thinking of.

You're saying that it's an entirely different company altogether?

It's an entirely different company.

/are we like the only ones playing today?!?

I'm glad somebody got that.

/Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking...


I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you.
 
2020-08-06 8:55:29 AM  
I got a job offer a few years back doing nurse consulting and product support roll out. Decided against it due to the crazy amounts of travel and the potential need to move dispite the crazy salary boost (though the cost of living increase takes a lot off).

Glad I did. I'll make the same as a nurse practitioner and have a little more autonomy.
Of course, charting on Epic all the while...
 
2020-08-06 12:07:22 PM  

Hebjamn: I've been in IT for 20+ years in financial services and education.  When my wife got sick, I saw firsthand how bad some healthcare IT systems are. Hated by the users and able to cause real problems for patients and their advocates.

I have about 15 years left in my working life and was seriously consider switching to healthcare IT. But what I've read about Epic scared my off. I'm a pretty good programmer, and I'm highly motivated to improve these systems. But there's no way in Hell I'm moving to Wisconsin and equally little chance of working 60 hours a week.

I've got two and a half years until I can start receiving a state pension. I'll still need to work after that, but thanks to the pension I can take any job I want that pays better than $15/hr. Based on what I've heard about Epic, I'm now training to become an entry level electrician.


Yeah, back away slowly. I'm in a similar boat, on all counts. The sweet spot for getting into healthcare IT was about five years ago. The predators swooped in, and what's going on now is about as vicious and exploitative as it gets. If my experience was any indicator, you really, really don't want to touch healthcare IT. Let me put it to you this way - I'd rather go back to AWS before I'd ever consider healthcare IT again.

CSB: I used to work for Caradigm. Best hope I saw for healthcare software - Microsoft & GE, pooling resources, best of both worlds - and it turned out to be the exact farking opposite, in which they basically screwed up so badly that Microsoft sold them their half and said "we're out." For the last few years, watched in horror as they've augered themselves into the ground almost deliberately.
 
2020-08-06 12:10:27 PM  
As an aside, Neal Singh should have been banished from the industry. His failure is why Caradigm became a bundle of IP sold ignominiously to Inspirata. Spent the last year-plus of that company's failure basically pulling a Donald Trump, hiding in his office as his subordinates played games & jockeyed for dough.
 
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