National Instruments
3.8 of 5 581 reviews
www.ni.com Austin, TX 5000+ Employees

National Instruments Reviews in Texas

Updated Jun 25, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 346 reviews

                             

95% Approve of the CEO

National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard

James J. Truchard

(296 ratings)

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

    Things are ok here

    Product Marketing Manager (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsEasy work hours and very nice peope

    ConsCompensation and leadership is confused about what to do next

    Advice to Senior ManagementTruly be a "high performance culture"

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great place to work

    Staff Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Austin, TX

    Pros-Good work life balance
    -Friendly co-workers

    Cons-lower pay
    -not a lot of room for growth

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    culture is not a career

    Product Support Engineer (Former Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsI went the AE-PSE path that technical new hires usually take. I did well in both, won some awards and ended up staff level before I took off.

    I chose NI out of college for a few reasons I think are still valid:

    1) Austin is a fun place to be the first years out of college. This isn't related to career at all but I think it provides a good way to come out of your engineering shell and establish a work life balance by finding people and things you like and can engage in while driving a career. No one should be the 35yo engineering stereotype.

    2) The exposure to different engineering disciplines and companies in AE is unmatched by anything but a marketing or sales role.

    3) NI technology is valuable and innovative.

    Some reasons I think I over-weighted are:

    1)Stability. If you can get into NI, you have other options anyway, but you will have to try to get fired. While this acts like insurance while you get your feet under you to be industry competitive, you just don't need it.

    2) Great place to work. Form your own opinion on this. No statistic will ever say what culture you personally will enjoy.

    3) ELP. ELP is a "marketing construct" (the guy who started the program's words, not mine), not a job reality.

    ConsI left the company after three years for a few different reasons:

    1) Management overhead. It is ridiculous how many managers there are in R&D and how poorly they function at developing talent.

    2) Inability to take risks to provide opportunities, on both an individual and product level.

    3) Lack of performance on an individual and product level. This has officially been recognized within NI as critical issue causing growth problems. My opinion is that it is heavily tied into the first two issues

    To a new hire I think the bottom line is that this is a learning opportunity, not a career company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have to pay people more - you really just do. I believe an accurate statement of current NI pay structure within R&D is "we reward long term loyalty by paying senior level people individually determined salaries raises and have much smaller, inflation based raises for people at lower levels." However, every senior level person I know is dissatisfied with their pay and the people you want in those positions don't feel the need to wait around for ~5yrs to start getting raises.

    Improve the transition between and within roles. I will only be satisfied when I am sure my career is limited only by my abilities and determination, not predefined paths, "informal relationships required to progress" (section manager's words, not mine) or tenure rules. In practice I think this means expecting more of people and enabling them to do it. Especially within R&D, this wasn't my experience.

    Fire or actively reallocate some people, including managers. You can't process away a bad work ethic and I don't think you can afford to try.

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Great for new hires, difficult and frustrating for experienced employees

    Senior Hardware Engineer (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsThe unique and laid-back culture lures new-hires in. It's a fun place to be, and many times the work can be exciting and engaging. Work-home balance is good, and it's easy to make friends to hang out with outside of work as well.

    ConsNI tries to hire the best and brightest, but pay is less than average, and the company tries to avoid the issue by saying it uses a 3rd party industry comparison to ensure salaries in line and bring up the "total package" argument as well as highly-discourages sharing your salary amount with anyone else. Health care isn't as good as it used to be years ago. Once you start achieving a higher rank it's still hard to feel valued or that your opinions matter. You spend more time arguing for resources you need to get your job done than what it would cost to just go buy what you need. Praise, bonuses, or any other positive encouragement is very infrequent. Lots of inefficiency and delay caused by consensus-driven decision making, and management changing their mind about where focus should be or changing their mind about critical decisions during the design process.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen you hire the best and brightest and pay average (or less than average) salaries expect the very best and brightest to move on. It might work for a couple years out of college, but people will only take so much until they realize they are undervalued.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Used to have great culture, always pay less than industry/regional average.

    Database Marketing Coordinator (Former Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsJob security is the main reason people stay at this company. Not sure the current climate, but you'd have to do something pretty serious to get fired. A great place to start a career and get some experience.

    ConsNI is a pretty good place for entry level engineers and the few who the company feels it really needs and compensates reasonably well. Other than that, I've never worked with so many brilliant yet underpaid coworkers anywhere else. Their goal for paying people is 80% of median, so not even average. That's their goal! When the company hit $1B in revenue everything changed. No longer focused on culture, no longer care about the people. They are focused only on the bottom line and growing by 20% every quarter YOY. They had great growth last year, but missed their operating margin. Employees got a really small profit sharing bonus and CFO/COO got a 20% raise. Leadership also is changing, Dr. Truchard is well liked and trusted but he's retiring soon.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind some direction and start paying people what they're worth.

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Rapidly Fracturing Identity

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsNational Instruments is a very stable company. I think the executives are brilliant, and their overarching strategy is remarkable. They are fiscally conservative, and generally pretty transparent and communicative with employees.

    They're also a very stable employer. There have never been mass layoffs, and the staff that they've let go generally seem to part on good terms. They have a mostly relaxed style of management. They provide a lot of resources to their employees such a health center, fitness center, and social groups.

    Most policy is common-sense based. Hours are usually flexible. Feedback is typically prompt and direct.

    ConsI have worked with several different groups, and they've all been very different. Some managers are there because they get enjoyment out of helping employees develop. Some are there because they feel they need to tick a box on a checklist to progress their career. It's unclear if they do, as while there is a lot of transparency in career progression, NI operates on a broad, conceptual level; people will interpret the same guidelines very differently. With a fair amount of autonomy and good but vague guidance, a lot of groups have drifted very far apart. The right hand often doesn't know what the left is doing, tilling the fertile soil of misunderstanding for a bumper crop of contradiction.
    The stated expectation of a balanced 40 hour week is vocally contradicted by a manager who says 50 would be barely enough. The egalitarian advancement policy buckles under the weight of employees who are hand-picked for high-visibility opportunities. Some employees are coaxed into new roles because they feel turning down the opportunity would look bad.
    Information percolates slowly, which can lead to the spinning of wheels. It's hard to know how to bring something to the attention of the right people sometimes, and it may be too late by the time it gets there.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to re-balance the proportions of autonomy and guidance more often and more vigorously. Being happy at NI requires having clear expectations about the workplace, and as groups grow further apart, it becomes harder to know what to expect.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great company to start with, if you're in the right group.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsGreat company culture, amazing benefits. Good sense of community, great opportunities to get involved in the community around you and sports teams.

    ConsDepending on your group, open communication from leadership can be a challenge. Expanding beyond your current role can sometimes be a challenge if you're not some sort of engineer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a good look at your employees (other than engineers) salary. It's not in line with other companies of your size.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Technical Communicator

    Staff Technical Writer (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsMy department is very laid back, this isn't true of every group at NI, though. They are a fiscally conservative company, and by being so, they have never had mass layoffs. I appreciate the stable environment. Additionally, there are lots of smart, innovative, passionate people who work here. My manager makes it easy to balance work and the rest of my life. We are treated like adults and allowed to manage our time as we see fit as long as we meet deadlines.

    ConsFiscally conservative also means low salaries. The promotion policy is bizarre. They will promote you, but you don't get a corresponding salary increase until you've proven yourself in your new position. There are not a lot of opportunities for career growth in my area and I have felt stuck for quite some time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLoosen the purse strings a bit. If you value hiring and retaining the best and brightest, then compensate us like you mean it. My salary increases (when they've happened) have not come close to keeping up with cost of living.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a great place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsLaid back culture, on-site medical center, on-site health center, great campus.

    ConsLow pay, high cost of healthcare that increases every year, fewer benefits, continually losing perks (no bonuses, no raises)

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf NI wants to stay on Forbes' "Top 100 Companies to Work For," there needs to be some action to improve employee morale. Our revenue is higher than ever, and continues to rise, but the employees see little of that. Sure, we have chargers for electric vehicles that 10 people can use, but that doesn't benefit the other 2,790 employees. What happened to the things that made NI better than any other major employer in town? The company benefits used to make up for the lower pay, but not anymore.

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Not as great as it used to be, does not value high performers

    Engineer (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    Proswork-life balance, does not micromanage

    Conssimply does not pay a competitive wage, won't fire anyone unless they absolutely can't avoid it anymore, likes to think culture will make up for these things

    Advice to Senior Managementcut the bottom 10% of under performers and use that money to recognize top performers. the current set up breeds people who wouldn't last at other employers and it is demotivating to those trying to be their best.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at National Instruments reviews and ratings in Texas — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for National Instruments CEO James J. Truchard. All 63 reviews posted anonymously by National Instruments employees.