Cavium Networks Reviews

Updated August 28, 2015
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4.1
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Approve of CEO
Cavium Networks Chairman, CEO and President Syed B. Ali
Syed B. Ali
25 Ratings

Pros
  • lot of scope to learn new things (in 2 reviews)

  • Everyone can make a difference here (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • work-life balance difficult, depending upon project (in 4 reviews)

  • Benefits and perks are very few compared to other companies (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

41 Employee Reviews

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  1. Characterization Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cavium Networks full-time

    Pros

    Love this place. Learn so much every day.

    Cons

    Nothing that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    Place more emphasis on validating the numerous chips you are taping out


  2. Best for Career Development with great Work-Life balance

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cavium Networks full-time

    Pros

    Mid-size company - read small teams, more work in your lap and great learning along with it. Mentor system when you start out as a fresher - so they don't drop you in the middle of the sea and expect you to swim ashore by yourself. Very friendly work-culture.

    Cons

    lower benefits and lesser number of paid vacations compared to big tech companies.


  3. Great place to work with some caveats

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Marlborough, MA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Marlborough, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cavium Networks full-time

    Pros

    * Great learning opportunities due to many parallel projects with a relatively small design team. * Less management in the way to make progress efficiently (get more work done in less time). * High-growth environment allows career growth opportunities. * Competitive RSU grants to employees. CAVM stock is doing really well. * Motivating and energetic CEO.

    Cons

    * Below par benefits (small 401k match, expensive health insurance, fewer vacations). * Rapid team growth mainly by hiring experienced people has resulted in an incoherent work environment. Good interpersonal skills are necessary to succeed in this environment (given that management's involvement is very limited).

    Advice to Management

    * Make efforts to retain top talent (improve 401k match, lower health insurance cost, increase vacations). * Rapid team growth creates management challenges. Choose managers wisely and provide formal training to new managers.


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  5. SW Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cavium Networks full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    lots of interesting low-level CPU stuff and deep networking projects

    Cons

    silicon company, not a sw house


  6. Dynamic work culture, highly talented team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Marlborough, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Marlborough, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Engineers are given much greater responsibility than other companies, endowing them with a sense of ownership. Seasoned technical leadership team maintains focus on getting quality products out by emphasizing on features important to the market and customers.

    Cons

    while challenging and rewarding, work does intrude a lot into your life, due to the small team size.

    Advice to Management

    Provide broader technical experience to college recruits. Improve 401k match and additional vacation time for long term employees. Seriously consider a 2-month sabbatical after 7-8 years of experience.


  7. Talented team and great upside potential.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Marlborough, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Marlborough, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Stock grants. Work culture. Compensation. Few Meetings.

    Cons

    Little vacation but one can take leave without pay.

    Advice to Management

    Aggressively staff for future competition.


  8. Helpful (7)

    Ups and Downs - Depends on who you are and what position you are going for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cavium Networks full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people who work for Cavium are wonderful to work with, and the technology is very exciting. It is possible to carve out a 40-hour work week. For people who are not bothered by the things in the "con" list, this can be a great job. One of the best things about Cavium is the friendliness of the people who work there. In particular, bullying is very rare. Discrimination is very low. Note that your view of the company depends on who you work for. Finance is incredible, hardware engineering in Massachusetts seems great. Many people have worked for Cavium for a very long time.

    Cons

    Management does not know how to form teams, or how to manage in a style where people cooperate and build trust. You cannot form a gestalt, so are deprived of the amazing things a team can do which individuals can't accomplish working alone. Each person is an individual contributor. Sadly, there is a hierarchy, with "workers" being rather unvalued ("I can easily outsource your job, so don't complain.") Also sadly, a few departments discriminate against women, especially technical women. I have seen my best friend be humiliated in public meetings, and her boss not acknowledge what she brings to the company technically. I know she is paid significantly less than her male counterparts. This is hard to watch. Also, I have seen people hired with "promises" of various things which did not materialize, such as a manager hired with promises of a team soon to come. The employees did not come and the manager was swamped with technical work he was not expecting to do, and a tight deadline. Be prepared to function as an individual contributor who is expected to meet an unrealistic deadline, without support of management or a team. There is a bias toward Indian and Muslim employees, and toward people who come from Intel. There are few Caucasians in management positions in San Jose. There is no true project management, with schedules and tracking. Formal structures are lacking (requirements documents, and other infrastructure, and the sign offs needed to ensure communication and agreement).This was okay when the company was small, but is now causing problems. The hardware engineering team in Mass. appears to be the exception, and so are Finance and operations, with great management, and team behavior. Finance and operations have great opportunities for women. There are some women in software engineering, marketing, sales, and customer support, and one woman in technical marketing. Don't expect much of a raise after you get there, so make sure your starting salary is good enough.

    Advice to Management

    There is a big difference between an early-phase start up and a public company. In order to make the transition successfully, you will have to hire managers who know how to create strong trusting teams. Having a company comprised of individual contributors is fine in the early phases, but does not work later on. It is similar to how a small organism does not need a heart and lungs. Larger organisms need more structure. You might also investigate that employees stay for the money but are not truly happy in their jobs, nor do they feel they are working as effectively as they would like to. What is holding them back in many cases is poor management. The role of managers should be to remove obstacles from the employees paths, help them stay happy and focused, and aid in communication. At Cavium, manager are given their own technical work, preventing them from doing actual management. Management should also be rewarded based on the correct criteria. I believe this situation is critical and must be corrected within the next 2 years or the company will fail to achieve its potential. It is possible that the problem is the CEO. It is also possible that part of the problem is a belief that managers are more important than the replaceable employees. I have seen several companies destroyed by this belief. If the problem is at the top, then the only resolution will be to replace the top manager. He has done a wonderful job with the young company, and his aggression and love of "the game" are delightful and great in a leader, but he needs to allow a different style of management, and learn to respect the contribution of his employees in order for the company to take the next step, to "grow up". This is critical. The company has also made some mistakes in purchasing other companies, which might not have occurred if they had used the power of the team in making these decisions. The company is also very management lean, with a thin hierarchy. Essentially, there are not enough managers. The CEO also needs to examine his priorities carefully, and be sure to correctly allocate resources. Telling the team that a project is so critical that they should work crazy hours does not work if they know that management failed to correctly staff the project (enough people, early enough in the schedule), and rejected an employee's offer to be the architect, telling him that they did not need an architect. When the project is way behind schedule (for lack of staff, a manager, and an architect), don't blame the employees for the lack of success. Watching this happen to a new project was a wake-up call for me. It was so preventable. Also, in meetings, don't brag about how much money is in the bank when employees are overworked and stressed for not having enough teammates and management, and when they are not given the compensation they deserve. This just irritates them and harms morale. It is extremely sad to see such preventable issues in such a great company. I hope that Cavium wakes up in time to fix these things, and does not waste this brilliant technology, and the awesome employees that they have. I would love to see Cavium achieve its full potential, and be the strong grown-up company I know it could be.


  9. Cavium is a good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good work environment, excellent team

    Cons

    Less incentives, team could be more organized

    Advice to Management

    Benefits and perks could be more. Management should be more attuned to employee needs.


  10. Good Place to work but not as a Long timer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent work, Good Pay, and rewards for Work

    Cons

    No Process not even a bunch and No Onsites. No Normalisations for all people everybody has wavering salary

    Advice to Management

    Respect all engineers as one in everything


  11. Helpful (1)

    Jury's out on Cavium but am hopeful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cavium Networks full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Technology. Growth. Complex chips. Can-do attitude. Hard working teams. RSU's are valuable. Growth potential is huge. Lot of original workers pre-IPO still here (may be con as old methodologies should be reviewed and some are obsolete). Difficult interview process overall which is good. Not many hiring mistakes. A lot of excitement about next generation of chips. Cutting edge tech. Lot of smart people. Cavium provides free snacks, soda and coffee all day as well as a company wide lunch on Wednesdays. Is hiring lots of college folks with fresh ideas. Overall exciting times. Hiring a lot. Flexible work hours.

    Cons

    Typical growing pains of company going through big growth cycles. Benefits. 2 weeks' vacation. Work life balance is tough with grueling schedules and 3 weeks vacation after four years. Seriously? Small 401k match and high fees on funds - don't roll over your prior 401k. Horrific PEO with Trinet that manages benefits and payroll. No diversity - no females in leadership positions. Perception of people of Indian descent getting treated better (more vacation, get hired easier). Very lean engineering company. No part-time hours or work from home option.

    Advice to Management

    Training on the soft skills - interviewing, performance reviews, etc. Consider benefits improvement for dental, retirement, add company match to HDHP and especially vacation. Formalize profit sharing / bonus program. Who gets what and why and how? Discretionary bonuses are given but must be on the "in." Some people should not be in management positions. Leave Trinet ASAP. Value the non-engineering roles as well (give them stock and bonuses).



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