Candle's technical environment includes mid-range Sun, HP, and IBM hardware with operating systems from UNIX to AIX. They have approximately 2,000 PCs, mostly running NT, with a few on Linux. Development languages include C++, Java, C, some Visual Basic, Microsoft C++, and IBM's Visual Age. For Web development, Java Script, Personal Home Page (PHP), HTML, and XML are common. On the infrastructure side, the technical staff uses COBOL and PeopleSoft for applications development and Web servers Netscape and IBM's Websphere. The company uses its own tools for network analysis, such as J-Builder, a development tool, and Purify for profiling code for C++. Third party tools include Sun's Java Test and a tool from Parasoft. The communications environment includes Cisco routers, electronic switches, gateways, and firewall.

There are two kinds of projects on the product development team, the long-term, 12-month projects for a major product release, and the short-term, 3-month projects for quarterly version releases. A short-term project might include a team of three or four people, who develop a prototype, release it to selected customers who download it from the Web and provide feedback before it is released to the general public. Long-term projects typically involve ten to twenty people, with subteams, and adhere to a more structured methodology from feasibility study through product launch and follow-up.

Development of the Advanced File Transfer Network Facility is an example of a short-term project. This is a B2B feature that allows customers to transfer files easily from one company to another, transforming the data from one format to another. For example, data might be converted from ASCII to EBCDIC. Fields and strings would be re-mapped to match the target file. Security features might be added, like reconstructing files if a connection is broken, for files that would be sent over an MQ series network.

A long-term project is represented by the company's recent CandleNet BP product release. This product is a tool that lets applications like PeopleSoft on one machine and a custom application on another platform collaborate through XML. Standard software connectors are available for the market-leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications like SAP. Says Nguyen, "This tool allows companies to integrate applications in weeks instead of years because the standardized interfaces are already in place."

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Everyone at Candle, including the owner, works at workstations with 64-inch high panels. Managers have 10-foot square cubicles, with a table; everyone else has 8-foot square spaces. Electrical connections are designed into side panels, so staff members may face their desks and ergonomically-designed chairs in any direction. A few have two or three PCs. This reflects Candle's philosophy of open communications and flexibility.

Dress is business casual; jeans are ok, but are seen more often on Fridays. Official hours are 37 1/2 hours. Technical professionals typically work around 50 hours a week, with flextime. Travel requirements range between five and ten percent. Telecommuting extends to employees working from home in Florida, Utah, New Hampshire, Maine, and Ireland. Turnover is typical of the high-tech marketplace at 24 percent.

Benefits include both HMO and point-of-service medical plans. Says Terri Shomohara, Senior Director of Compensation and Benefits, "We have very competitive benefits. The company pays for an HMO for its employees and their families." This company-paid benefit extends to dental, accidental death, and life insurance, and most of the cost of a vision plan. There are 12 holidays, including one personal day, and 10 sick days. Vacations start at three weeks, and go to four weeks after six years. Employees may sell back vacation days, but must take at least five days a year. Supplemental benefits include a dependent care information resource, an employee assistance program, tuition reimbursement, and domestic partner benefits. The company contributes to a 401(k) plan as well as a profit-sharing program. There is a fitness center at corporate headquarters, a cafeteria on-site, and some concierge services, like dry cleaning pickup. There have been layoffs, generally when offices were consolidated, or the company re-oriented its business. Severance packages are based on years of service, and include COBRA extended medical benefits and outplacement services.

There is free coffee, tea, chocolate, and filtered water. Bagels and fruit are available for free every Thursday. The Candle Connection is a monthly celebration, with breakfast pastries, during which employees are honored for their long-term service (1,5,10,15, 20, and 25 years of service) with gifts like Cross pens, or items of their choice from a gift catalog.

Social activities include sporting events such as ski trips, ball games, whale watching, summer picnics, a Halloween party with costume contest for employees' children, and a formal winter holiday dinner. Recent trips have included an airport museum and a car exhibit.

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Candle's major divisions include administrative functions like Communications, Legal, Finance, Human Resources, and Sales, as well as its more technically-oriented divisions, Enterprise Business Group (EBG), Information Technology (IT), Research and Development, Business Integration and Solutions (BIS), and Consulting and Services. EBG focuses on helping companies accelerate their business-to-business (B2B) e-business with products like those in the CandleNet family, which provide user response performance monitoring.

Five hundred twenty-eight of the company's employees work at corporate headquarters. Aubrey Chernick, founder of Candle, is still its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Chernick revolutionized the business of selling in the computer industry by spending two years telemarketing the company's early products - the first time high-end mainframe software had been sold over the phone. Chernick developed OMEGAMON, diagnostic software for mainframes, to help customers better understand and manage their systems. All the company's suite of tools are designed to help customers integrate, manage, and monitor the performance and effectiveness of their systems from the customer's perspective at the Web, on the desktop, and in legacy systems. As Chernick explains, "The enemy in e-business is the second hand on a clock."

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Candle has about 400 technical professionals, including 250 in its facilities in El Segundo and Agoura Hills, California. Additional sites with significant numbers of developers include several other laboratories in California, and sites in Minnesota; White Plains, New York; and England. Most developers have a Bachelor's degree and an average of eight to twelve years of experience. Nguyen looks for "the ability to learn something new - capability, not just what someone knows already." Effective communications are critical, as is the ability to work well on a team. Says Nguyen, "I have somewhat of an accent, so if people are patient enough to try to understand me, I know they will work well with others." Says Steve Orzeck, Director of Recruitment, "Of course our developers and infrastructure staff are technical, but even our sales and marketing people are highly technical."

New candidates are found through online recruiting (50 percent;,,, employee referrals (30 percent), personal networking (10 percent), advertisements (5 percent), and employment agencies (5 percent). Last year, Candle hired more than 300 technical professionals worldwide, including some for entry-level positions. In the next year, the company expects to hire 500 additional employees worldwide, with approximately 350 of these for technical positions.

There is a dual technical/management career path. Job titles include Associate Software Developer, Software Developer, Senior Software Developer/Manager, Advisory Developer/Senior Manager, Consulting Software Developer/Director, Senior Director, Assistant Vice President, and Vice President.

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No technical positions currently posted. Sample jobs from earlier listings are shown below.

Job Title






Fin. App. Specialist   10 years Banking, application design Bus. Int. Solutions New York, New York
Availability & Performance Project Mgr. BA/BS or equivalent 10 years Proj. mgt., problem-solving Consulting & Svcs. Eastern U.S.
Bus. Architect BS technical, MBA preferred 10 years Web, client-server, thin-client, DBMS, Decision Support, EIS, Data Warehousing Consulting & Svcs. McLean, Virginia
Consultant     EAI, MQSeries, IMS, CICS, MVS, or NT, UNIX, and C, C++, COBOL, or Java Consulting & Svcs. New York, New York
Consultant, Associate     NT, UNIX, or MVS and C++, COBOL, or Java Consulting & Svcs. Boston, Massachusetts
Consultant/Sr. Consultant     MQSeries, OS/390, Sysplex, MVS, CICS, IMS, or DB2 Consulting & Svcs. Southern US
Director, eBA Bus. Development BS technical, MBA preferred 15 years Systems integration, services sales Consulting & Svcs. Oakbrook, Ilinois
EAI Proj. Manager BS CS, Math, EE, proj. mgt certification helpful 10 years Exper. In industry markets - finance, insurance, utilities, mfg., telecom Consulting & Svcs. New York, New York
EAI Solution Architect   10+ years EAI, middleware, MVS, UNIX, OS/400, NT Consulting & Svcs. New York, New York
Instrumentation Consultant BS technical or equivalent 3-10 years DHTML, Java, NT, Citrix, TN3270, OLAP, Oracle, SQL7, Cognos, SAS Consulting & Svcs. White Plains, New York
Sr. Consultant/Sr. Soft. Eng.   7 years IBM MQSeries, C, C++ Consulting & Svcs. Boston, Massachusetts
Product Mgr. BA/BS 3-5 years e-finance, Java, Web design and marketing, EDI, XML, Vitria, STC, Neon, WebMethods eBusiness Applications El Segundo, California
Sr. Soft. Developer     C++, Java, VB, HTML Enterprise Computing Group El Segundo, California
Soft. Developer     Level 2 support, NT, UNIX Enterprise Computing Group Portland, Maine
Sr. Programmer Analyst BA/BS MIS, CS, Business 2 years PeopleSoft Financials, SQL, Oracle, DB2, UNIX Information Technology El Segundo, California
Advisory Soft. Developer     C, C++, Java, XML, CGI, JavaScript, NT R&D El Segundo, California
Sr. Soft. Developer    5 years NT, AIX Solaris, C++, Java, IBM's Websphere R&D El Segundo, California
Soft. Developer   4 years Web testing, certification, programming R&D El Segundo, California
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  • Computerworld, "Candle Updates, Refines Its Web Site Monitoring Tool," June 19, 2000
  • Information Week, "Companies See Gold in Outside Data Analysis," March 20, 200
  • PCWeek, "Candle to Host B2B Integration Service," March 27, 2000
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