F5 Networks
3.9 of 5 124 reviews
www.f5.com Seattle, WA 1000 to 5000 Employees

F5 Networks Reviews

Updated Nov 2, 2013
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.9 124 reviews

                             

94% Approve of the CEO

F5 Networks President, CEO, and Director John McAdam

John McAdam

(100 ratings)

84% of employees recommend this company to a friend
15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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1 person found this helpful  

"Tyranny of the mediocrity"

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at F5 Networks full-time for less than a year

ProsCompensation: Above market rate plus quarterly bonuses plus RSUs
Trusted brand within the industry
Well-run, responsive IT department
In-demand technology, especially with the growth of rich media, mobile and social

ConsPolitics over productivity
Flagship product losing global marketshare
Limited openness to change: Long-timers more invested in keeping cushy bonuses / RSUs then working to set up the company for future success. Promotions based on politics rather than merit or even basic knowledge of the job
Limited openness to new employees: Majority of attrition is from people who have been there less than a year. Those who stay chose the same path of politics over productivity
Siloed organization up to the top: Executives more focused on looking good to analysts and "the market" rather than making the hard decisions to set up the company for success
Current conditions point to a long, slow decline - Microsoft-style

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Company itself is good but corruption and politics run rampant in some departments

Order Validation Specialist (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at F5 Networks full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat benefits
Work space is comfortable and ergonomically minded
Fun events

ConsAs mentioned above, the company itself is great. However, the management in the Finance-related department needs to be re-evaluated. The people in the upper management have no regard for the welfare of their employees, especially when many sacrifices are made to meet deadlines and quotas. Loyalty and strong work ethics are not appreciated and favoritism sadly exists with employees who do not uphold these values. People are left feeling afraid to express valid concerns on improving morale, workflow processes, and efficiency. Too much time is being spent on gossip and not enough on the business and welfare of the company and its people.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease show more appreciation to employees who stay at their desks to do the work they were hired to do and express concern over those who would rather socialize during quarter end.

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

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Terrible working conditions for some, decent for others. Sinking morale is infectious.

Senior Network Support Engineer (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at F5 Networks full-time for more than 5 years

ProsMade good friends
Nice Seattle location.
Diversity in the workplace
Cutting-edge technology that you may have time to explore.

ConsVery political upper management. Middle management does not care about employees; they serve their masters.
Extremely under-staffed in some departments. You will be worked to the breaking point.
Benefits look good on paper, but in reality they are quite limited.
Salary, if negotiated well at hiring, can be competitive, otherwise you must leave the company and come back if you want to be paid fairly. The guy sitting next to you may be earning 10K more and be half as productive as you.

Getting anything paid for is like squeezing blood from a rock. The technical lab is a joke at this point.
Hard work is rewarded with more work to do. Standards are not consistently applied.
There has been very little investment in engineering. Most hiring is in sales.

They cut corners now far more than any time in the past.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop just thinking about the short term. Work for the good of the company, not the demands of Wall Street analysts. Spend a little.
Stop hiring your buddies. Management quality has declined over the years, substantially.
Get out and at least pretend like you care.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Getting worse day after day

Engineer (Current Employee)
San Jose, CA

I have been working at F5 Networks full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGood benefit, used to be very good especially on insurance and etc.
Used to be a great place to work at and have work-life balance
OK Salary

Consvery bad management recently,
asked to work over weekends,
very bad project planning and management,
some team were hired and paid very high just because of Foundry,
very hard to get promoted if you are not some one in higher management radar, aka not in the core project,

Advice to Senior Managementlisten to the engineers, please! you guys used to listening well!
don't just hire and promote your old friends from Foundry! there are many good F5 engineers as well!

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Growing worse day by day. Work is no more pleasure

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
San Jose, CA

I have been working at F5 Networks full-time

ProsStocks are doing great
Kitchen stocked up with snacks once in 2 weeks I guess
Benefits are good

ConsUsed to be a great company. Work culture is very bad. Management grows worse day by day. Setting unachievable goals and forcing employees to show up on weekends and holidays for the sake of showing up but not really concerned about people being productive. Management does not hear you. Have never seen such a bad work culture in my prior experiences

Advice to Senior ManagementLet employees set the goals. be little flexible which will lead to more productivity

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Not the Best, but Not the Worst

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at F5 Networks

Pros-Great medical, dental and vacation benefits!
-Small enough that you can help grow and expand the business. You really do make a difference.
-Lots of potential here
-On Site gym
-Beer Friday

Cons-poltical work environment
-small enough that the more niche positions aren't available or there.
-lacking in organization and systems management that you find in larger coorperations
-in need of restructuring due to growth

Advice to Senior Management-management is heading in the right direction in terms of technology and advancement.
-work on getting rid of the political environment inherent in a large number of companies

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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No pain , no gain

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Singapore (Singapore)

I worked at F5 Networks full-time for more than a year

ProsYou will have a lot of technical exposure and take away is political skills. You will learn patient.

ConsA hostile working environment with bad politic to manipulate you. for example; they will ask you to close 2 cases every day even though it does not state in your employment contract initially. If you can't close 2 cases every day, your immediate boss will threaten or insult you. No equal opportunity. Ready to face for emotional depression and insomnia. Customer support engineers are Guinea pigs.

Advice to Senior ManagementPromote leadership skill instead of management skills. Mid management people need better education.

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

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F5 Review

Major Channel Account Manager (Current Employee)
Munich (Germany)

I have been working at F5 Networks full-time for more than a year

ProsVery good technology and good partners

Consvery high fluctuation rate, micro management style, not really a team spirit

Advice to Senior Managementchange the Managemnt in Germany

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

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Not the best place but an amazing place

Support (Current Employee)
Singapore (Singapore)

I have been working at F5 Networks as an intern for more than 5 years

ProsYou can gain a lot of fire fighting experiences and a good place to practice patience

ConsMicro Management. More transparency to senior top management.

Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to change from communist management style to democratic management style

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great salary, terrible politics, tons of work and worst managers - classic "golden cage" that is entering a downhill

Professional services engineer at a remote branch (Former Employee)

I worked at F5 Networks full-time for more than a year

Pros- They pay higher than the market plus quarterly bonuses and shares (RSU) - so the money is great, thus it is the main reason to make you want to stay.
- Technology keeps running forwards (sometimes too fast, which leads to poor output), so it is always interesting.
- Most folks are above average on the technical side and OK on the personal side
- Facilities are running from OK to old and lacking of maintenance
- Nice gifts on holidays
- Some tolerance for eccentric employee behavior, like strange cloths (mostly in Seattle) and alcohol at the cubic (sometimes this is negative)

Cons- The company tries to run as lean as possible, which means every person is squeezed to the bone - being pushed to work overtime, night, weekends and holidays, just to meet unrealistic deadlines while trying to accomplish tons of work, which should be shared by more than one person.
So, realistically, they pay to one person a 1.25 or 1.5 salary to do the work of two or almost two employees.
- Although that, there are islands where there are folks who do very little, on the same role and salary level, but managers do not divert them to help the overloaded employees. They are the lucky ones.
- Travel, even transatlantic, is always at the economic class, for almost all employee levels, except for the very top managers.
- Most of the 1st and 2nd line managers are terrible. Appointed and promoted mostly by seniority rather than by being suitable to be managers. Simply try to run by the lean atmosphere and push the employees to meet deadlines, without really helping them achieve it or questioning how realistic are the targets.
- Many veteran folks create just a few "close circle" groups that control the company and decide who's in and who's out, even if the employee is good - aiming to keep their regime.
- Shortage of resources and tools (hardware and software) to accomplish your work, which also makes it hard to meet deadlines.
- Low number of annual vacation days (to make you stay at work...)
- Upper management doesn't really care about how things are doing below them. Only come to do the "showoff" presentations to the crowd, but don't wish to hear what is really happening on the "factory floor" thus not meeting with non-managers.

Advice to Senior ManagementF5 is known to be great for its salary, technology enthusiasm and open culture. This is all nice and good, but not enough. The company is both rapidly growing and moving from its safe ground of networking, into the security realm, which the company it is not really ready for nor know how to deal with.
The security world has many veteran giants who rule the land and know the game. It is not the networking world, and you will learn it with some harsh lessons. The current company culture and way of work is not ready for this challenge, of paranoid attitude, much research and very short response time.
The company is currently breathing its own past glory perfume, from the ADC world, not realistic about what is corrupting it from the inside of it and how to face the coming challenges that will come from the security uncharted land.

Some words to the CEO - Show yourself more on the factory floor (also meaning at all branches, not just Seattle). Take single employees to one-on-one talk (let them know they can ask for it but also randomly pick ones), do focus groups with several employees at once - encourage folks to talk freely with you, without being afraid to be punished for speaking their minds. Let your all-levels managers know that no part of the company is hidden from you - so they can't hide their wrong doings.

Drastically improve the way managers are selected, mostly when it is their first managerial role. Don't count only on their seniority. I realize it looks good to promote from the inside, but base it on skills and ability, not just by counting years of service.

Strengthen HR:
- Currently they only execute what the mangers tell them to, thus being the "human shield" for the managers. - Reconstruct the dismissal process - you lose good folks just because they did not were friendly to the correct people - make sure that someone is dismissed only if it is really the last resort and no other options in the company fit that person.
- If you dare - try to do a post mortem for dismissal events, see how things went wrong and what could have been done better. Talk with ex-employees, you may discover some surprising stuff, to say the least.
- Spot, with HR, not only by what managers recommend, the talented ones and create career paths for them, so they will have a reason to stay in the company.

- Watch very closely the remote branches, they always need much more care and attention than the HQ.

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

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