Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated July 29, 2015
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  1. Helpful (1)

    Real lack of communication due to politics

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Always plenty of work to be done.

    Cons

    The politics are insane. There's a lack of communication at all levels, and multiple groups are often working on competing projects.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the middle management politics.


  2. Helpful (6)

    Senior Director

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good Pay, Good Perks, Easy Life

    Cons

    Too big, management sucks, too much politics, no decisions

    Advice to Management

    Fire the management team


  3. Helpful (9)

    Collaboration Group at Cisco has a lot of dysfunction

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    IMPORTANT - Different divisions within Cisco are vastly different from one another, my advice is to make sure you know if a GlassDoor review is relevant to the job that you are applying to. I work in the Collaboration Technology Group (CTG) which includes WebEx, TelePresence, IP Phones, Jabber and Spark (aka Project Squared). The Pro's of CTG are: (1) Typically your co-workers are great people. My immediate team, for example, is one of the top group of peers I've had in my whole career. They are smart, qualified and everyone cares about each other (2) The Collaboration Group has some really interesting products, there is a very good chance you'll work on something that is relevant and that you'll be proud to have on your resume (3) Cisco offers great benefits. I can almost guarantee you won't find a company that can beat what you get for being a full time employee (Medical, flexible work, 401k matching, etc)

    Cons

    The con's of working within the Collaboration Group: (1) At the VP and Director level Cisco is competitive and tumultuous, more so than any company where I've worked in 20+ years. In the last 5 years there have been 4 different Senior Vice Presidents and with each change there has been a lot of churn and changing of priorities. (2) There is a ton of in-fighting between groups (aka BUs or business units). Basically every Director and VP is incented to compete against ever other Director and VP for budget, resources, attention from executives & the sales force, etc). While this sounds normal for a large corporation, the stakes are high. Winners build set their own agedas and losers can not control their own products and often are subject to yearly layoffs. The bottom line is almost none of the teams are rowing in the same direction, rather everyone competes against each other. (3) Most importantly Cisco has a yearly layoff. Every July/August for the last 6 years the company lays off a large number of people. In that time the company has laid off more than 20,000 people and yet the number of employees is larger than ever. I've seen entire product teams get cut when other teams could sorely use the talented people that were let go. I know someone who got an Outstanding yearly review (which is only given to 6% of people at Cisco), and he was laid-off just a week later. Normally you think of a large company as being more stable than a small one, but Cisco is not at all stable (4) It's very hard at all levels to move up at Cisco. If you are a manager who wants to become a director it's very difficult, the best way to be a director at Cisco is to be at a company that Cisco buys. If you are a Tech Lead who wants to become a Senior Tech Lead the competition is fierce - I know several engineers that have been trying for years to make the next step.

    Advice to Management

    If there's one thing executive management could do to improve things it would to end the policy of yearly layoffs. It's ridiculous that they would allow such a corrosive practice to continue, it ruins moral and any belief that the company is on the right track.


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  5. Senior Technical Lead

    Current Employee - Technical Leader II in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Leader II in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Some groups which are spun based on acquisitions, still maintain startup culture. Work here can be challenging and also satisfying based on the product you work on.

    Cons

    Due to its large size and with different groups have varying profitability, all engineers are treated with same yardstick when it comes to compensation.


  6. Helpful (1)

    I am just a number

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Controller in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Controller in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility, balance, benefits, employee activities, opportunity to change roles internally

    Cons

    Manual and inefficient processes, politics, slow to change, too many redundancies, no sense of making a difference or contributing, no career path, limited process documentation, job rotations occur too frequently

    Advice to Management

    Value and listen to your employees, simplify systems and processes, give merit increases, get rid of excess human capital


  7. very slow to get promoted and salary increased

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    benifits is OK. The location is OK, not too crowd

    Cons

    no promotion or salary change no matter how hard you work


  8. Helpful (1)

    Hit or Miss

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer TAC & HTTS in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Engineer TAC & HTTS in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cisco has the resources to do anything they want. If they want to fix a problem they can. The saying at Cisco is, there are jobs.. just not a lot of good ones.

    Cons

    The last 20 years created a huge outsourcing black hole, and along with that many engineers were brought into the US to support customers here and abroad. Unfortunately they don't speak English very well, and many are completely unintelligible. Some of the managers are also from India and don't want to remove these folks, and so the work gets piled onto the US engineers to make up for them.. so you'll become their mule.

    Advice to Management

    It's time to seriously look at the lower management and figure out who needs to go. Just because you had a CCIE in 1990 doesn't mean you know anything about IT, Telecommunications, or business process management.


  9. Disjointed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Vision, ability to change business focus

    Cons

    Poor middle management, lack of consistent managers aligned to employees and their development. Leadership handles layoffs poorly.


  10. Program Manager

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    It was great when it was smaller

    Cons

    Sweat shop - no work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Move on vs resting on your laurels.


  11. Helpful (2)

    No apparent direction and no advancement for engineering.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer IV
    Current Employee - Software Engineer IV

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Remote work fully supported. Decent benefit package. ESPP plan is a nice perk.

    Cons

    Immense, ever shifting bureaucracy. Tons of middle management and endless meetings. No clear direction. Zero advancement possible in engineering.

    Advice to Management

    Pay market rates or offer some sort of career track for your engineers or continue to lose them to attrition.



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