Welcome first-timers! A look at 16 organizations new to the Best Places ranks

Hats off to the 16 organizations making their debuts on Computerworld's list of the Best Places to Work in IT.

computerworld best places 2015 welcome

New kids on the block

Some are small and nimble, barely out of startup phase. Others are large and well-established in their fields. Whatever their size, specialty or location, these 16 newcomers, presented in alphabetical order, are 2015 Best Places to Work in IT honorees thanks to a combination of competitive pay, generous bonuses, comprehensive benefits, challenging IT assignments and superior employee satisfaction. Welcome to the list, freshman class of 2015, and long may you run.

akamai computerworld best places to work in IT 2015

Akamai

No. 9 Midsize: IT hiring practices at Akamai, a Cambridge, Mass., cloud computing services and content delivery network provider, favor candidates who want to work with the latest technologies and are willing to take risks. Bike racks, Ping-Pong tables, arcade games, on-site fitness centers, company-only screenings of pre-premier movies and unlimited vacation days up the happiness quotient. And an IT-specific awards program recognizes individuals and teams who have gone beyond the call of duty.

In photo, from left, front row, Zach Bray, Eddie Beach, Jackie Geilfuss, Paul Weidel and, back row, Justin Denbow and Logan Levine.

axxess computerworld best places to work in IT 2015

Axxess

No. 6 Small: Engineers at this Dallas-based software developer are energized by the company's commitment to using high-quality, sustainable code to produce software for the home health market. Axxess IT employees are recognized as teams throughout the year and individually with performance-based merit awards. Benefits include three weeks of vacation annually (with no accrual time needed), a flexible work schedule, a casual dress code, concierge services, birthdays off, happy hours, and free beverages, snacks and games on-site.

In photo: Axxess engineers at work in one of the firm's collaboration spaces.

Bounce Exchange Best Places to Work in IT
Neal Patel

Bounce Exchange

No. 8 Small: Developers, engineers and service team members are highly valued at this New York City startup, which ranked No. 1 among the 100 Best Places for both employee retention and career development. A maker of behavioral automation tools for digital marketers, Bounce Exchange has expanded its staff from 20 people to more than 74 since it was founded in 2012. All-hands meetings are held every six weeks to keep employees up to date on internal developments and company strategy. Retreats, poker tournaments, karaoke parties and board game nights help foster a sense of camaraderie.

In photo, Bounce Exchange co-founders Cole Sharp (left) and Ryan Urban.

cfa institute computerworld best places to work in IT

CFA Institute

No. 15 Small: This Charlottesville, Va., professional organization strives to offer its employees the best of two worlds: The challenging IT work of a startup, and the stability, benefits and lower stress of an established operation. The CFA Institute promotes ethics, education and professionalism in the investment industry; its IT employees work with technologies like mobile, gamification and cloud computing. Benefits include summer hours and a 12% total contribution to 401(k) accounts with no required employee match.

In photo, from left, CFA Institute IT employees Rachel Vogus, Ken Meyers, Joe Russ, Kyle Carmitchel and Todd Fischer.

cook children's health care system computerworld best places to work in IT

Cook Children's Health Care System

No. 55 Large: The IT department at this Fort Worth, Texas, healthcare provider strives to ensure excellence in a fun, caring, collaborative and innovative environment. Employees at Cook Children's Health Care System benefit from the organization's strong investment in new technology, and IT leaders are advocates of promoting from within -- a policy that keeps employees motivated. The IT team enjoys a fun social scene at work, with events such as pumpkin-decorating contests, holiday parties and cookouts.

In photo, Cook Children's Health Care System IT employees (from top) Levi Hunter, Obra Hackett, Murtaza Moiz, Chrystal Baeza and Amanda Seremet.

drivetime automotive group Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

DriveTime Automotive Group

No. 15 Midsize: IT employees at this Phoenix-based used car dealer and financing company are encouraged to "speak up and think fast" as they share in a companywide quest to improve the DriveTime customer experience. DriveTime works hard to attract top-tier business analysts, database and application developers, and support teams, and then strives to keep them engaged by offering leadership and training programs, as well as the opportunity to work on projects they are passionate about.

halifax health Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Halifax Health

No. 10 Midsize: IT professionals at this Daytona Beach, Fla., healthcare provider take seriously their responsibility to supply clinical personnel with the tools, information and support they need to treat patients and make decisions that affect the lives of patients and their families. Halifax Health, which ranked No. 5 for employee retention and No. 3 for career development among the 100 Best Places, offers flexible working arrangements, opportunities to pursue training and certifications, and internal career advancement programs. Also offered: Wellness initiatives such as free fitness club memberships, a Friday morning fresh food marketplace and health plan discounts.

lafayette general health Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Lafayette General Health

No. 2 Midsize: From rewards and recognition programs to performance incentives and attention to everyday concerns, such as the quality of the office furniture, this southwestern Louisiana healthcare organization finds many ways to show that it ranks its employees as a top priority. Lafayette General IT employees are empowered to take creative approaches to challenging projects, and their successes are recognized and celebrated on an ongoing basis. Employees value the learning opportunities available to them thanks to Lafayette's emphasis on career growth.

In photo, Lafayette General Health IT employees (from left) Edwina Mallery, John Kleyla, Mike Dozier and Michael Mickey.

los angeles world airports Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Los Angeles World Airports 

No. 18 Midsize: A department of the Los Angeles city government that owns and operates a system of three airports, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is recognized as a leader in airport technology development -- an effort that's driven by the LAWA Information Management and Technology Group. Tech staffers are rewarded monthly and yearly for outstanding performances, and IT consultants and contractors are eligible for annual service excellence awards. Employees can participate in training and travel programs to improve their technical skills, and their prospects for career advancement are enhanced by opportunities for transfers and promotions.

mcgladrey Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

McGladrey

No. 34 Large: Employees at this Chicago-based tax, assurance, consulting and wealth management firm enjoy multiple benefits, including a generous allotment of paid time off, customized work schedules, an allowance of $2,500 per person annually for professional development, and opportunities for advancement within the firm. The IT culture at McGladrey promotes interdepartmental teamwork. Tech professionals are encouraged to focus on their strengths and become highly trained experts in specific disciplines.

navy federal credit union Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Navy Federal Credit Union

No. 26 Large: This Vienna, Va., credit union offers full- and part-time employees a robust benefits package that includes a 401(k) plan with an employer matching contribution, a pension plan and a loan discount program. Navy Federal Credit Union points to the fact that it has had no layoffs in its 82-year history as evidence of a strong commitment to its employees, 76% of whom have a military affiliation. To promote employee well-being, the organization offers on-site wellness centers at its three main campuses, telephone-based wellness coaching services and 24/7 fitness centers.

pekin insurance Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Pekin Insurance

No. 12 Small: Techies who sign on with this Pekin, Ill., insurer have a chance to build things from the ground up. As legacy systems are phased out, IT employees at Pekin Insurance get to dig into technologies like SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, mobile, social, data center virtualization and predictive modeling. Pekin offers telework options, paid time off to attend children's school activities, half-day Fridays, all-company parties and a 3.5% 401(k) contribution, whether an employee contributes or not.

In photo, Pekin Insurance IT employees (clockwise from front center) Jennifer Sinn, Robert Bonjour, Lorraine Watkins, Gary Finamore, Susan Jones, Sean Horack and Carole Bunting.

rkon technologies Computerworld Best Places to Work in TI 2015

RKON Technologies

No. 16 Small: To keep ahead of its rapid pace of growth, this Chicago-based cloud services provider invests heavily in its employees, offering fast-paced, challenging IT assignments, and ongoing career development and training opportunities (RKON Technologies ranked No. 1 for training among the 100 Best Places). Other perks: Work-from-home options, competitive salaries, pop bonuses and team-building activities like dinners and sporting event outings. Benefits include financial planning services, commuter reimbursements and a comprehensive wellness program that encourages employees and their families to participate in local road races.

rural sourcing inc Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Rural Sourcing Inc.

No. 22 Small: It's no surprise that training and career development are priorities at Rural Sourcing: The Atlanta-based organization's mission is to bring offshored IT jobs back to the U.S. by connecting companies with IT professionals in smaller cities in rural areas of the country. At RSI, which ranked No. 8 for career development among the 100 Best Places, hands-on and self-guided training options are complemented by off-site programs offering instruction in specific technologies. Employees who exemplify RSI's core values are recognized by their colleagues at monthly meetings. Company picnics and dinners, bowling nights, kickball and baseball tournaments, and a "Nerd-lympics" competition help foster team spirit.

s&p consultants Computerworld Best Places to Work in IT 2015

S&P Consultants

No. 24 Small: To attract and retain top-notch healthcare IT experts, this Braintree, Mass.-based consultancy offers a challenging environment where staffers' skills and abilities are always being tested and expanded. To put themselves in the best position to take advantage of their organization's promote-from-within policy, S&P Consultants employees can work with mentors and pursue multiple learning and development opportunities. Generous bonus and incentive programs -- including a four-week paid sabbatical -- keep people motivated.

In photo, S&P Consultants IT employees (from left) Denisse Ocasio, Cassandra Reamer, Catherine Finnie, Esther Jeannite and Eric Potter.

zumasys Computerworld best places to work in IT

Zumasys

No. 19 Small: IT staffers at this fast-growing provider of cloud services in Irvine, Calif., can take advantage of a wide variety of training and certification opportunities, and they're given hands-on access to the latest technologies, including systems from NetApp, Citrix and Cisco. An incentive program rewards Zumasys IT staffers on a monthly basis when goals are met, and the company's International Travel Incentive gives one employee per quarter a week of paid time off and $4,000 to travel anywhere in the world outside of North America.

In photo, from left, Zumasys CTO Andy Takacs, co-founder and president Paul Giobbi, COO Jennifer McGraw and VP of strategic development Corey Luckow.

Want to be here next year?

Is your company a Best Place to Work in IT? 2016 Best Places nominations are open now: Nominate your organization.

Read the full report: Computerworld's 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Next: Best Places survey stats: What workers want, what companies offer