Habush Habush and Rottier

Friday, May 27, 2011


Start working your network as soon as you're able to. Call your friends, call your family, join job hunting Meetup groups--find out who's hiring people with your experience. Get your resume updated on Monster, Dice, LinkedIn, and Robert Half and you will get calls and emails within hours.

If you want to stay local to Dane County, Robert Half Technologies is probably your best bet. There are quite a few tech companies in Madison that aren't Epic, but are used to hiring ex-Epic employees.

On LinkedIn, join the Epic Users One Stop Shop group and any sub-groups that you qualify for--most are based on what certifications you hold, but there's also a group for Epic Non-Compete. This is mostly inactive with few discussion threads and little user interaction, but the action that does happen is useful. The group's administrator gets tons of job postings, although you won't be eligible for any of them. Post to discussions though, and get your name out there. If you give good advice, people will start to recognize your name and you'll get a leg up on other prospective hires a year from now.

The great part is that you can do all this while you're still at Epic.


  1. Do you recommend taking any measures while still working at Epic and on good terms, just as sort of an insurance policy to soften the blow of a possible firing or to know one's options in case one gets too burned out to continue working there?

    No doubt if you sign a non-compete then it would be a very bad idea to do consulting or moonlighting while still working there, but are there networking groups or meetups in the Madison area related to medical software/IT that one can attend while not violating Epic's apparent aversion to publicity? If I were to work there I would be genuinely interested in making new acquaintances and learning more about my new field of work independently of whether that would help me down the road in networking, but it seems from what I read the it's frowned upon to do these activities anyways. Or other groups related to software development or programming languages?

    How does the app certification process work? As a software developer I guess one gets ceritified in the app he or she is working on, but can one volunteer to get certified in as many apps as time allows after that without seeming like he or she is planning an exit strategy? Again, I'd be genuinely interested in learning about this independently of it being an "insurance policy" or "exit strategy".

    1. If I remember the contracts correctly, Epic pretty much owns you while you're employed. If you come up with any intellectual property while employed there, they own it. Moonlighting, writing iphone apps--it might not be worth it.

      There are tech-related groups in Madison but unfortunately I don't remember any names. There was a group that had a shindig every MLK day to do computer-related charity work for other charity organizations--stuff like formatting computers for after school programs in downtown Madison, or rewiring a network at a Hmong cultural center--that sort of stuff. No pun intended (truly, it made me groan when I reread it), but there are plenty of networking opportunities in that group, whatever it's name is, for non-Epic IT in Madison. I think I found out about them from Craigslist, but it was half a decade ago now.

      It sounds like additional certifications are mandatory now--at least one new cert for each year of employment, and I don't think Epic gives you a monetary bonus for them like they used to. It's good to have multiple certifications outside of Epic. I foresee a rise in sales for Radiant, Beaker, and the other specialty applications in the future, now that everyone has tried Epiccare Ambulatory and Inpatient, and they're getting tired of maintaining interfaces to other companies' systems.

  2. How much demand is there for IS now-a-days? This blog was written over 4 years ago, so I'm wondering if there's still that much demand for Epic consultants. In addition, how big of a difference is there in terms employment opportunity for someone with 1 year of Epic experience as opposed to 2 or 3 years?

    I noticed you have a poll on the right that asked "How long did you work for Epic before they fired you?"

    1. Project managers are in high demand pretty much everywhere. I know Epic doesn't do any of the PMP-type stuff, but using the non-compete year to pursue some of those certifications might not be a bad idea.

      In my limited experience, IS are still in demand for Epic work--Hospital systems are always going to have new go-lives as new clinics get bought/built.

      For older Epic clients, ex-IS are valuable for their knowledge of what the standard, currently pushed workflows are (e.g., Is Epic pushing smartforms or doc flowsheets more).

    2. And yes, there is a poll over there. I was curious and wanted to see if there are any trends, or if, once you've passed a certain milestone, informal tenure is granted.