F5 Networks Reviews

Updated May 20, 2015
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F5 Networks President, CEO, and Director John McAdam
John McAdam
15 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is pretty good: managers show by example that time off is not only acceptable but a good thing (in 23 reviews)

  • Very competitive salary, great benefits that challenge the huge multi-nationals (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • You can tell there are growing pains as the company does transition into that larger point in its lifecycle (in 16 reviews)

  • Too much politics between Seattle and San Jose office (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (23)

    F5 Seattle moved to open space plan

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at F5 Networks full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Up until now, I would have given F5 5 stars, but with the roll out of open space format to save money the working conditions have gone way down. If you work well in a loud and bright open pit 'call center' like environment, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    F5 Seattle is in the process of replacing cubes and offices and rolling out open space floor plans. Everyone except directors and above are being moved to 2.5 x 6 tables, low to no walls, and very bright overhead lighting.

    There's no privacy, it's crazy loud with cement floors echoing every foot step and conversation, and everybody can see what everyone else is doing across the whole length of the floor. The guy in front of me has his desk raised, I get to stare at his backside all day.

    Advice to Management

    Management didn't listen to employee feedback when we were given a tour of the proposed new format, they aren't going to listen now either.


  2. Helpful (8)

    Accounting

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

    I worked at F5 Networks full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Coffee machines, free pop, Beer Fridays! Great workout area.

    Cons

    Passive aggressive behavior. No straight talk. No work life balance. Worked a ton of hours. The more I worked the more work they gave me. Managers that don't know how to manage people. No people skills. Upper management hired because they have friends in the company not because they can do a good job. When they screw up, they cover for each other.

    Advice to Management

    Expectations the same across all departments.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Software Engineer on the BigIP

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at F5 Networks full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Quite a few good smart engineers and the product itself is interesting to work on. The company has had strong growth and provides above average benefits.

    Cons

    Extremely week engineering management from the Director Level and up. Much is run by those who have grown up with the company but they have failed to grow their management skills and so all the teams suffer. Use of a date engineering process has been less than successful.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house and put adults with experience in charge. There is only one VP worth their salt in engineering and no directors. Leadership is non-existent and those with the least amount of experiences (project management) are allowed to drive the process while ignoring all advice. Hold failed teams to account for their failures.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Systems Engineer

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

    I worked at F5 Networks

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

    Pros

    Good reputation, financially sound. Good at core business.

    Cons

    Your worth is measured by how much routing and switching knowledge you have. Networking company that is trying to become a security company but has no real solutions or message. Spent 70% of time on post sales cases due to product instability and broken support model instead of selling.

    Advice to Management

    Fix product stability and back end. Ever heard of a TAM? You should look into the concept.


  6. Helpful (10)

    Very hit and miss depending on your team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at F5 Networks full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Pay is good, on higher end. Decent hardware to work on. Some interesting technical challenges, except if you get buried doing customer support issues. Friday afternoon social event is a nice break.

    Cons

    Management is very political, and a lot of them are old timers who don't understand the company is much larger than when they started out. Favoritism in upper ranks is palpable and creates a very demoralizing culture for most. You might get lucky and get a good manager, but odds are you will not. Test managers are rarely technical and frustrating to deal with as they often do not understand either the business or the technology, and technical skill among dev managers is very hit and miss. Expect to do a lot of brown nosing to "architects" (few of whom really deserve the title) if you want to get promoted beyond the senior level as a software engineer, and only then if your manager really likes you.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house in management. An exec ranting about the parking lot not being full enough at the end of the day is so 1990s, you need someone who understands that work/life balance is actually in the company's interests and especially that a network company should facilitate remote work.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Tyranny of the mediocrity"

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

    I worked at F5 Networks full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Compensation: 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

    Cons

    Politics 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


  8. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Order Validation Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Order Validation Specialist in Seattle, WA

    I worked at F5 Networks full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Work space is comfortable and ergonomically minded
    Fun events

    Cons

    As 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 Management

    Please 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.


  9. Helpful (5)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Network Support Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Network Support Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at F5 Networks full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Very 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 Management

    Stop 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.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Getting worse day after day

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

    I have been working at F5 Networks full-time (More than 3 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good 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

    Cons

    very 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 Management

    listen 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!


  11. Helpful (5)

    Growing worse day by day. Work is no more pleasure

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

    I have been working at F5 Networks full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Used 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 Management

    Let employees set the goals. be little flexible which will lead to more productivity



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