Cisco Systems
3.5 of 5 4,217 reviews
www.cisco.com San Jose, CA 5000+ Employees

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 4,217 reviews

                             

75% Approve of the CEO

Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers

John T. Chambers

(3,046 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend
181 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Engineer IT at cisco systems

Engineer IT (Former Employee)
San Jose, CA

I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 3 years

ProsFlexible work schedule, and good work life balance.

ConsToo much politics.
No growth or career development opportunities at all.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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More Layoffs

Sales (Current Employee)

I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

ProsI'm sad to say that the number of pros is shrinking every year

Pay is generally good

ConsLayoffs are becoming commonplace and morale is sinking!

Competition is growing in many areas - routing, switching, security, collaboration

Very few opportunities to advance

Advice to Senior ManagementCut some of the fat at the top and stop cutting individual contributors. It's getting harder and harder for teams to get their jobs done.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Video

Video Production Specialist (Former Employee)
Milpitas, CA

I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor for more than a year

ProsWorked with great people in the Video Production team

ConsTerrible culture, no color in the walls or cubicles, cubicles

Advice to Senior ManagementUpgrade those offices into a more modern space

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Used to be much better

Systems Engineer (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGood pay. Some good people left.

ConsBad management. The beatings will continue until morale improves. Micromanagement. Paranoid managers (who know there are too many of them) who need to convince their superfluous manager that their direct reports couldn't get to the bathroom without assistance. Would be funny if not living it.
Been at Cisco a long time and it used to be engineering driven. Now - engineers are abused and dared to find a new job.

Advice to Senior ManagementGrow a pair and provide real advice up the line rather than sycophantism.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Horrible internship, had to beg for work

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Cisco Systems

ProsNone really. My boss and mentor were nice people though.

ConsNo project, even asking numerous times for work.

Advice to Senior Managementdon't ask for interns if you have no work for them

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No US growth, driving out its best people

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Cisco Systems

ProsWe used to have free drinks. Now they have free out-placing service when they offshore your job to China or India. I guess it is a plus that you get to spend a lot of time training your offshore replacement before they let you go.

ConsToo many to name. They are so big, they move like a dinosaur. Chambers says we are family. I would hate to be one of his kids.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire new management.

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Engineers Stay Away

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 10 years

Pros800 pound gorilla in the networking industry.
Involved in almost every aspect of communications.
Opportunities to be involved in full product development life cycle involving almost any imaginable communications technology.
Top performers compensated well above normal market rates.

ConsHasn't had competent top level engineering management since 2007.
Complete chaos in engineering across all product lines.
Fierce internal executive rivalries and frequent engineering executive shuffling make it very difficult to successfully complement projects.
Company completes only a small number of the numerous of engineering projects it starts.
Business units are littered with un-dead zombie projects that have undergone multiple direction changes and leadership changes.
Cisco's new product development life cycle now generally exceeds technology life cycles. It takes so long to develop products that the product technology is obsolete when the product ships.
Everything aspect of engineering possible is being out-sourced without out regard to the impact on quality, efficiency, and ROI.
Cisco treats its engineers like farm animals.

Advice to Senior Management1. It is all about leadership. Crack open the Cisco cash hoard and spend whatever it takes buy competent engineering executives to fix your internal problems.

2. Get better at engineering outsourcing or stop doing it. Current efforts are failing and destroying quality.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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File years of nightmare at cisco

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Jose, CA

I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 5 years

ProsAt least, you have a job

Cons"Cisco used to be a good company but now not anymore". I hared about this from so many current-ciscos and ex-ciscos. It is absolutely true from my years of experience at NMTG, which is the worst BU at cisco. Another saying is what cisco can do is acquiring companies as cisco itself cannot build anything. There are numeric examples about the products through acquisition failed later like the camera. Some of them would be market pearl If not run by cisco. I sometime ask people why the company occupied so much talents but making so much junks never delivered to customers.
Now, the company is less and less competitive to Juniper, F5, HP, especially Huawei, which would be a terminator of cisco if no protection from the US government. There are so many factors to mar the company:prevalent unfairness, nepotism, incompetence, arbitrariness and rigid layer. All of these formed a huge manacle for creativeness and innovation.

Advice to Senior ManagementNot only always support your managers but listen to employees, who designed and made real products. Connect employee's feedback for managers to the manager's performance rating and bonus. Pay more attention to the manager's practice and conduct because "an incapable soldier may lose his life, but an incapable officer may lose a battle". What the one-on-one, agile and all of other formalism are craps. Naive management rely on some methodology like agile, which can only hurt both the productivity and creativeness as it is so rigid, unintuitive, self-contradiction, task-forced, mechanical, static, time consuming and software developer unfriendly. The very infamous bottom-10 or bottom-5 forced distribution encourage cut-throat competition, which usually apportion to some really good employees, who just work, work and work but don't know how to make boss happy, put truth in the feedback to managers or not good at visualizing themselves or just be easier to bully. The classification formed a bottom layer of disadvantaged groups who spent a lot of time to appeal, and rejected, and then angry, felt unfair and undeserved as well as unbacked. Those are really bad cancers of cisco. That is why cisco's stock is always bearish.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Cico Has A Broken Engineering Organization

Software Engineering Manager (Former Employee)
San Jose, CA

I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 5 years

ProsCisco is a pretty good spot to land if you're coming to Silicon Valley from somewhere else.

ConsCisco's engineering organization runs on nepotism. The performance reviews happen in reverse: The management decides whom they want to move up, then they give those folks the choice assignments, and at review time everyone declares success and enacts what was predetermined. Any failure to execute is obfuscated so it doesn't impede the process. Cisco's engineering is a giant grinder where the movement of the people up and down is what's important and the products are just a sausage coming out of the side. If you want to do engineering work I'd suggest looking elsewhere.

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on engineering excellence and build a cult of personality around the software developer like has been done so successfully at Google and Facebook. Make internal product development be driven by rapid prototyping instead of by Powerpoint.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It's like the Army with a decent paycheck

Senior Manager (Former Employee)
Santa Clara, CA

I worked at Cisco Systems full-time for more than 8 years

ProsYour paycheck didn't bounce even during the worst of the last recession.

ConsYou could remove 5 of the top 6 layers of management and no one would notice, except things would get done. Hopeless groups of managers having meetings about having meetings.

Advice to Senior Managementnext time you do layoffs start at the top down and you might get somewhere.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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