Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
5,146 Reviews
3.6
5,146 Reviews
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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,597 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 630 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 182 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 165 reviews)

More Highlights

214 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good company and career move 20 years ago, but not today.

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Large brand with global footprint. Deep pockets. Interesting 3 year initiatives - ones that should have been implemented 10 years ago. Some pretty good employees, if only execs and management would empower them. Potential for independent contributors to work remotely. Potentially opportunity rich environment, IF management gets their act together.

    Cons

    Dinosaur management. Lack vision and execution. Highly complacent and out of touch employees processes and programs. Sitting on laurels from 15 years ago syndrome, endemic to bloated megalith corporate structure. Check out the VERY dated web presence. Very ambivalent toward customers, ISV's and technology partners. Company currently desperate, "suddenly" realizing that they are largely irrelevant as a value OEM and need ISV's more than ISV's need them. VERY VERY late to market in key areas, although you can expect to see efforts to establish themselves in Collaboration and the Internet of Everything - yet with assembly line minded employees and severe lack of thought leadership. Seriously vulnerable to competitors who understand the new Internet based paradigms. No knowledge management practices to speak of. Way too many manual processes internally for a connectivity company, no BI or tools with which to work - they simply don't walk the talk internally to match their external promises. Buzzword over substance. Fear based instead of opportunity based. Highly disorganized. VERY flaky with regard to contract consultants and value add partnerships. Low Trust organization. Out dated. Expect high levels of PR over the next year as execs attempt to right the ship. Dumped all my stock. Out of touch and headed the way of NCR if execs don't get things together within 6 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Inject expertise from outside and cut the dead wood, inefficiencies and bloated practices.Attempt outreach to customers and partners to find out what they value, instead of silo'd vacuum crystal ball thinking and continually wasting money and effort on products and programs that miss opportunity windows, or the marketplace doesn't want or need. Listen to experts in Market Responsive technology businesses, especially those who have proven expertise in areas you need to survive and thrive. Stop treating contract consultants as instant on/off resources, they will go away. People commit their lives, the corporation needs to ante up. Embrace new paradigms - "we've always done it that way" is not a successful business model. Embrace Innovation instead of allowing market relevant ideas to succumb to turf protecting corporate politics.

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

    Engineer IT at cisco systems

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, and good work life balance.

    Cons

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    More Layoffs

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

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

    Pros

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

    Pay is generally good

    Cons

    Layoffs are becoming commonplace and morale is sinking!

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

    Very few opportunities to advance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Video

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Video Production Specialist in Milpitas, CA
    Former Employee - Video Production Specialist in Milpitas, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Worked with great people in the Video Production team

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upgrade those offices into a more modern space

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Used to be much better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Good pay. Some good people left.

    Cons

    Bad 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 ManagementAdvice

    Grow a pair and provide real advice up the line rather than sycophantism.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible internship, had to beg for work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    None really. My boss and mentor were nice people though.

    Cons

    No project, even asking numerous times for work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    don't ask for interns if you have no work for them

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    No US growth, driving out its best people

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    We 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.

    Cons

    Too 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 ManagementAdvice

    Hire new management.

  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Engineers Stay Away

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

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

    Pros

    800 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.

    Cons

    Hasn'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 ManagementAdvice

    1. 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.

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

    File years of nightmare at cisco

    • 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

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

    Pros

    At 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 ManagementAdvice

    Not 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Cico Has A Broken Engineering Organization

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Cisco'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 ManagementAdvice

    Focus 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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