Cisco Systems

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Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated August 15, 2014
Updated August 15, 2014
4,951 Reviews

3.6
4,951 Reviews
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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,565 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance (for most) with plenty of tools to help get that done (in 534 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 301 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 161 reviews)

  • The result is a dilution of culture and a race towards big company mediocrity (in 149 reviews)

More Highlights

245 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good ole boys manage the company for the most part leaving playground bullies and back stabbing thugs the winners.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    Competitive Salary and bonus plan although bonuses are rarely paid unless you can walk on water.

    Cons

    Uses Bell Curve to force those rated as lowest are placed on probation or terminated, those in the mid 74% range get patted on the head and told try harder next time, and only those in the top percentile get raises, perks, bonuses, and or promotions. Sounds like a great incentive plan until you realize that out of 100 people every year roughly 14% have to be put on probation and a percentage of those have to be terminated. My former manager is a bigot and sexist so he used his power to drive people out he didn't approve of and with a PC approach to justify his racism and sexist views. Hopefully HR has outed him for what he is and he isn't bullying people anymore. But Crisco promotes these values from my experience and rallys around such people at management levels so work as hard as you may your number will eventually be up, unless you're the Sociopath that can manipulate the system in your favor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just say no to the Good ole boy mentality. Just because you may suffer through hazing doesn't justify becoming the hazer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Voice Technology Group - avoid at all costs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager  in  Boxborough, MA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Boxborough, MA

    Pros

    They are supportive about flex time and telecommuting. Paychecks arrive as scheduled.

    Cons

    There is no on-boarding. If you need to know about something, (f.e.; auto-deposit payroll vs. commission checks) you're expected to find it on the poorly-indexed corporate website(s). For somethings you can call HR in California. The phone staff was always friendly & the on-hold times were ok. However, even at ok, altogether it'll make for very long first days.

    There is no relocation assistance, so bargain hard for that signing bonus!

    I can only speak from my experiences, but in my opinion - Do not work for this company. Not unless you enjoy being bludgeoned out of your career by small-minded micro-managers. If you have another option, take it. I had options. And I chose Cisco! Dammit.

    Forewarned is forearmed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit valuing your 60% margin over your employees.

    Provide real on-boarding.

    You need to enable employees to give honest (i.e., truly anonymous) feedback of their manager.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Bad News

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    It was nice to telecommute so many days out of the week.

    Cons

    It probably sounds like sour grapes, but anyone considering reviews should be aware of the issues too and decide for themselves what to do. There are some people in charge of other people in the Service organization that are abusive and unreasonable. I was cautioned by a recruiter about their reputations (in writing), but it was even worse than he admitted. They have no idea what they are doing. Seriously. There is no way working under them that you can be successful. It was an unfortunate experience and tops the list of bad news. In a large company bad apples can hide for a long time and cause a lot of damage, all around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's healthy attrition, but when a particular team is especially high, you should find out why and fix it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    WARNing

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

    Pros

    On-site medical, fitness center, and child care
    Campus environment
    Historically good bonuses and benefits
    Camaraderie in workforce (at least in the past)

    Cons

    Unstable business model where reductions in force are a regular way to trim costs. If you look at Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN) notifications that Cisco has had to file in the last several years, here are the results in terms of number of employees laid off in San Jose by date: 10/18/13 - 899; 9/21/12 - 291; 8/19/11 - 1051; 7/18/11 - 55; 8/21/09 - 15; 7/31/09 - 6; 7/16/09 - 704; 6/16/09 - 22; 6/15/09 -25; 5/30/09 - 127; 4/24/09 - 233...and so on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create stability in the business model where the workforce is not a trade-off variable to simply reduce costs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    not an exciting place to work

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

    Pros

    Good balance with life and work
    provide internal transfer if you want to go to another division or department

    Cons

    lack of opportunities to present your ideas and thoughts
    bad management team

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop micromanagement, it is horrible for senior professionals

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Make it hot for me---Test Engineer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    cannot see pros so far

    Cons

    speak too fast and has a strong accent.
    I applied for the automation test position. ask a lot of Java, but the bad thing is he asks me while he searches questions on the Internet. Not professional and very indifference.

  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Cisco is mired in it's past and unfortunately this onetime leader had fallen behind and can't get up.

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

    Pros

    If you like sustaining work rebranded as development work and red tape then this this is the company for you.

    Cons

    A large percentage of all Cisco jobs will be non US jobs in a few years if the current trend continues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do away with grades 11 and 12 this job function has become completely useless and is holding Cisco in the past.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Work here - if you want to learn to become a back stabbing Politician and not do any Engineering.

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

    Pros

    Paycheck does not bounce.
    Great Work - Life Balance

    Cons

    - Pay is Low Compared to Other Companies
    - Zero Chance of Career Growth unless you Kiss a Lot of $$$es of Managers and Tech Leads
    - Benefits are Getting Reduced Day by Day
    - Technical Leaders (Engineering) - do not do any work - They act as Pseudo Managers and keep scrubbing bugs - Most Tech Leads don't write a single line of Code. All they do is sit in meetings and talk loud as if they are doing something.
    - Managers cannot be trusted - Software Engineers II to IV will get the Work Done - but they give credit to the Technical Lead and give them CAP awards
    - You will not a get a Job in Any Younger Startups if you stay here - You will not learn any real coding skills or real engineering - 50% of your time will be giving updates to Tech Leads and managers and editing bug scrub notes, rest 50% of your time you will spend in unnecessary meetings.
    - Your training will not be Approved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Get rid of the Tech Leads and Many redundant Managers
    - Improve your Employee Morale
    - Don't keep making false promises
    - Stop Lying to Employees that you value them - You only value your Managers and Tech Leads. Rest everyone is expendable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Overall I learned a lot but was disenchanted by how little parts of the company care about their employees.

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

    Pros

    Work with some very bright and great people.

    Cons

    Little work life balance and they don't stand behind their own 'zero tolerance' for harrassment policy. When you report something you get told to get over it and move on. I've heard this from at least 10 people at this point.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They should care more about their employees. It doesn't appear that the cream is rising to the top. It appears that lots of good people are being restructured or leaving.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    salary

    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    I was interested of the quality of work

    Cons

    The work environment wasn't very professional

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be fair and honest

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