System Architect and Technical Lead (Current Employee) – Los Angeles, CA – April 12, 2018
This review is very specific to the rail transportation group at Rockwell Collins IMS (formerly ARINC), which is separate from the main business (aerospace).
Software is 90% of the activity, but management is apparently inexperienced with managing software. Process and procedures are handed down to engineers and lack details, but are enforced blindly. For example a release meeting check list asks if the installation procedure is documented, but not to identify the document's name, where it is stored and managed, etc. Such document is not explicitly listed in the formal process.
Since the purchase of ARINC by Rockwell Collins, management does not really know rail transportation either. There is a lack of clear leadership, replaced by textbook-driven, top-down management reorganizations. Last management-level reorganization took more than a year and is not complete yet.
People are managed as replaceable parts, ignoring each individual's specific skills, talent and weaknesses. Assignment turnover is high, leading to loss of knowledge as there is no time to build experience on, or take ownership of, a specific software function. There is a stated goal of maintaining such a turnover to train people on all parts of the organization.
The geographic dispersion had led to inter-office infighting, to which management response for now has been a hopeful message of "let's all work together". The assignment turnover still generates a culture of competition between offices nonetheless. Each office regularly tries to grab projects from other offices.
I was surprised to be faced with an attitude that work should eclipse all else in life. When on vacation I was expected to call in - leaving them my cell phone number was not enough.
Overhead was a contentious issue so we were expected to spend our own time working on things that would ordinarily be charged to overhead - like requests for proposals. Timecards I can see, but projects to bring in new work seem like something the company would want to support.