Rackspace Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
477 Reviews
3.6
477 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Graham Weston
65 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Culture is amazing and I've never had more a better work/life balance (in 25 reviews)

  • Great culture and endless opportunities (if you earn them) (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Middle management is the worst I've seen in my career in most departments (in 30 reviews)

  • Work life balance can be a challenge - not nearly as bad as Amazon (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

58 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great culture, low pay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Austin, TX

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

    Pros

    Lack of flexibility and pay

    Cons

    Culture and location in Austin

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Culture Eroded

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

    I have been working at Rackspace

    Pros

    Somewhat flexible schedule depending on department. Some good managers.

    Cons

    More bad managers than good. Servant leadership almost non existent. The low pay compared to the rest of industry used to be made up for by awesome culture. That culture is nearly dead yet pay has remained the same. Do more with less attitude is causing stressed out disengaged employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    It's just a paycheck

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

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

    Pros

    Get to wear shorts at work. Rackspace seems to be doing well. Bonuses are good.

    Cons

    Unrealistic deadlines from clueless management. Unworthy promotions. Tired of seeing the same mistakes again and again. Haven't seen much improvement in four years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote the good people and fire the bad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 12 people found this helpful  

    Ironic blend of social consciousness and Orwellian core values

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

    I worked at Rackspace full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Chance to learn cool technologies and work with awesome individual contributors. Socially conscious company. Provides ways to incorporate volunteer-ism and fitness into the workday. Nice treatment of veterans. Employees reach out to each other and the community in all sorts of ways.

    Cons

    Though their heart is in the right place, Rackspace could use some work. Rackspace's infrastructure is sorely lacking. The Rackspace culture is manic, dysfunctional, and reeks of cronyism. When management talks about "friends and family," it means they get to hire their incompetent pals without any checks or balances. I need a "Rackers Anonymous" meeting. The place is filled with people with "manager" or "director" in their title, without any clear indication of what they actually do. The best leaders at Rackspace tend to get their wrists slapped for not lining up with "core values" and tend to get lost in the chaos. The least effective leaders are encouraged to perpetuate the "let's talk about this forever without getting anything done" syndrome. Lots of managers use the core values to stifle innovation, speaking out, and risk-taking. For instance, I've seen more than one person get ousted for speaking up in meetings, for being innovative and proactive, for actually getting work done, or for being a self-starter. Rackspace promotes "group think" - if you don't line up with the ineffectual way they do business, you are accused of not conforming to core values or being a team player. They claim to value fanatical support - meaning, employees should feel empowered to do whatever it takes to do a great job - however, the culture disempowers employees and forces them to shape up (to the core values) or ship out. Rookie-O - a weeklong indoctrination camp disguised as an orientation - gives you a good idea of what's ahead. Lots of red tape for a place that claims to eschew it. Thank god that San Antonio is a warm place because the emperor is definitely naked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revisit the vague and subjective core values. Instead, start valuing experienced and competent technical contributors and leaders over pontificating do-nothings. I've never been at a company where technical contributions are so sorely ignored. And, I've never heard so much jargon in my life (especially in the RED organization). Typical management speak at Rackspace includes phrases like, "circling back," "cadence," "learnings," "thought leaders," "mentoring moments," "leadership sponsor," "reach out," "rockstar," and, of course, "fanatical." It's telling that the highest award at Rackspace is a straitjacket.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 11 people found this helpful  

    Reality clashes with what Rackspace claims to be…don't let the superficial pretend sizzle fool you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Just Another Sugar Bear Sucker  in  San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Just Another Sugar Bear Sucker in San Antonio, TX

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

    Pros

    The Rackspace "story" and image is very special and attracts newly hired "Rackers" away from their existing jobs like ants to candy. At first the grass is so much greener it seems too good to be true.

    The core values are well structured and drive new employee behaviors. If you are hired by Rackspace you are made to feel unique and special during your first 30 days of employment. During Rookie Orientation they use a statistic that, "It is harder to get into Rackspace than it is to get into Harvard University" based on the percentages.

    Cons

    While it might be harder to get into Rackspace than Harvard, its a safe bet that the average time spent on campus pursuing an undergraduate degree at Harvard is about two times as long as the average Racker career! I challenge anyone at Rackspace HR to dispute that claim with hard data.

    The Core values are lived more so by new employees than existing employees. This is one of the most fundamental disconnects of the Rackspace reality. Once new Rackers begin their journey, they quickly become distracted by heavy workloads and do not think much about their attitudes, let alone whether they are in conflict with what they are told to be the core values of the company. They witness behaviors all around them that are in conflict and over time will slowly begin to see the real values of the company.

    At the end of the day, as a 14 year old company it really is a very unprofessional group of young people that thrive on a gossip culture with heavy emphasis on perception and not performance. The HR team is overrun with a school yard mentality where lack of privacy is accepted and everyone knows all the sorted laundry of everyone else.

    The current compensation levels are 15-25% below their industry competitors. Typically, management avoids annual merit increases at all costs and instead "awards" additional stock options to its very noisiest Rackers. (These options take 4 years to vest and truly serve no purpose other than to quiet the disharmony.)

    At the HQ in San Antonio, Texas the cost-of-living excuse is at the ready to defend its practice of paying below scale. Making money at Rackspace means you are earning it through the stock. Most Rackers will agree that they each took their low-paying position based on the promise of future earnings which seem to move further into the future with each passing week of employment.

    Rackers are constantly focused on the "cool & we're better than the rest vibe" of their work place and not on their individual circumstances which include: poor internal systems, high-turnover, low pay, long hours, poor benefits, and constant fear of replacement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) - Pay more attention to the mid-level leadership. The title of Vice President is significant and shouldn't be endowed on those that are just working to be in the right place at the right time. Experienced leaders will take you from good to great. Don't allow inexperienced leaders to use Rackspace as a learning ground to experiment with quick/shallow decisions. These people are now in charge of your reputation in the market and truly serve as your face to the Racker.

    Treat new hosting contracts as if your personal wealth depends on profitability and not on the current stock price. Your sales teams are growing top-line at the expense of your future profit margin. Sooner or later, that gig won't be sustainable. Many customers are now conditioned to wait until the end of the month to purchase or negotiate their contracts because they realize that Rackspace is frequently employing a used car lot approach (slashing prices) to sales in order to accomplish sales goals at month's end.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Good company if you are managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer  in  Blacksburg, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Blacksburg, VA

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance and good company culture. Great working environment as co-workers are treated as family and friends.

    Cons

    Lots of B or C-players in the company. Lack of career growth opportunity if you are not managers. Most managers are very young (less than 30 years old) and all are only good at talking and meeting; not managing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better career path for software developers. Better pick A-players to the company. Start innovate and stop play catch-up with competitors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Cool Culture gone Corporate

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

    I worked at Rackspace full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I worked at Rackspace for almost 2 years. When I was hired, the company culture was fantastic. But over the time I was employed, they stepped away from the great culture and became more corporate and uninviting. If you're high tech, it's a great company on the cutting edge but if you think you won't work hard and have to follow pretty strict rules, look elsewhere.

    Cons

    Management at the local DC level is difficult to deal with. The customer isn't always kept in the loop about what is happening with their servers during a maintenance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More transparency needed for your customers. If a mistake is made, fix it, and train staff better to avoid situations that could cause downtime or data loss.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Middle Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Rackspace

    Pros

    Great front line people to work with. These are the people that actually enjoy coming to work and helping others figure out this crazy technical world.

    Cons

    The inexperience of front line management is disappointing. The fast growth of the company is what has facilitated the buddy hiring system. They let those with no management experience, training or business knowledge have control over other peoples lives and careers. I will admit that they give the training after the fact. I would at least think there should be created some sort of assistant team lead position before letting someone else manage a person's future.

    What is even more disappointing is the senior managers making these sort of hiring decisions. When approached the senior managers are not able to provide anymore of an explanation of gut feeling on multiple occasions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being new this is my initial impression but this isn't looking good. I think some front line manager clean up is in order.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Losing ground

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX

    I worked at Rackspace

    Pros

    Rackspace offer great opportunities for technical training, and you can work with some of the smartest people you'll ever meet.

    Cons

    Their much-vaunted culture is on a rapid decline, and Rackspace is quickly becoming a place to earn your stripes and progress to somewhere else for better pay and opportunity. Leadership is very disconnected from front-line staff and decisions are frequently made without regard to their impact outside of the bottom line. It's a great company to own stock in, and not such a great one to work for long term.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees. Foster an environment of openness. Steer away from the environment of fear that is currently present. Rackspace prides itself on "fanatical service", but employees are no longer empowered to provide that. There is a huge gulf between the message being broadcast by senior leadership and what Rackers see from their immediate managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great building and perks, incompetent managers, great co-workers, position lock-in, inaccurate recruitment promises.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Windows Systems Administrator II  in  San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Windows Systems Administrator II in San Antonio, TX

    I worked at Rackspace

    Pros

    The fellow administrators (Rackers) are amazing people and the company does a lot to foster that family feeling. The building has a lot of perks and makes it somewhat comfortable place to be. If you happen to work first shift, there are lots of opportunities to train and such. And of course you have a lot of freedom in how you dress, etc.

    Cons

    Staffing levels are so tight you can not take time off without burdening your team. Due the heavy emphasis on "family" in the company, that translates to looking down on even taking sick time when needed as you are putting more pressure on an already stressed out team. Managers are taking the attitude of flinging poo at the wall and seeing what sticks as far as ideas on maintaining growth. The infrastructure, including tools you will use daily to do your job, are unreliable and poorly maintained, and there is little effort or emphasis on fixing that. Senior leadership is spending a lot of time out of the company touring the press, etc.

    Also, it appears that this company has forgotten who butters the bread. Non-technical staff are inconsiderate of the support staff by entering the building loudly, acting as if they are not walking by admins on the phone with customers, etc.

    It appears to that there is a massive PR campaign in progress to position Rackspace as an acquistion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's simple: When the best and brightest leave, and they all leave for the same reason perhaps you should take notice and do something about that. While you may have been a leader in the past, you will get nowhere unless you have the strong support of your administrators ... in case you've forgotten, and it appears you have, those are the people who make Rackspace great: Not your marketing people, not your managers, not billing. Rackspace appears to have completely lost it's way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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