SolarWinds Reviews

Updated August 25, 2015
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SolarWinds President, CEO, and Director Kevin B. Thompson
Kevin B. Thompson
25 Ratings

Pros
  • Gym, Free lunch twice a week, a job in a tough economy - Looks good on resume (in 22 reviews)

  • Free Lunch twice a week, great benefits (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • There is also very little to be said for work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • No training you have to learn on your own (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

44 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Working at SolarWinds

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SolarWinds as a contractor

    Pros

    Very competitive environment, very smart people. Free food twice every week and a free gym membership.

    Cons

    Little work-life balance, very intense working environment. Too much bureaucracy to sort through and red ted could be reduced.

    Advice to Management

    Less red tape, more work-life balance


  2. Helpful (8)

    Zzzz...Tiring.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Lehi, UT
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Lehi, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SolarWinds full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Location was great, free food, air conditioning, nice offices.

    Cons

    Micro managed, numbers driven pushy sales model. Calling customers/potential customers at blinding rates throughout the week was common practice. If you have an opportunity with a company and they agree that they like the software, you will be tasked to basically burn them down via phone and email until they send you a purchase order. Offering insane discounts just to bring a deal in, then at the end of a quarter, hearing from management that they are disappointed in the 'lost revenue' numbers based on how many discounts were handed down in the previous quarter. This makes no sense because they preach that "a dollar today is better than 10 dollars tomorrow". This archaic idea of building and maintaining revenue numbers is the sole reason many quality hires have left the company. They had good software (5 years ago), but when they lost more and more people, you could see that the tech wasn't evolving fast enough. The tech is not lightweight, it runs on SQL Server, and causes plenty of headaches for even the most seasoned IT Engineer. Be prepared to offer SUBSTANTIAL discounts in order to bring in deals, this not only devalues the product, it devalues your paycheck. When you're making ~3.2% commission per deal, knocking $15,000+ off of a quote, just to bring a deal in, makes a big impact on what your paycheck COULD be at this company.

    Advice to Management

    Nah, you won't take my advice. Which is why I and others continue to leave your company. Until you notice you can't cash out $2,500,000 in stock options per year, you might either sell this company or change something.


  3. Helpful (7)

    Micromanaged to Death

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Plenty of PTO offered (Although; either you, your team, or the company, is always "behind", so it's hard to use that time), free drinks, snacks, free lunch a couple of times a week, loose schedule when it comes to lunch breaks, good benefits, nice office and an aesthetically pleasing work environment. They do a great job at showing you a glamorous workplace, from afar. (I would actually recommend this company so long as you weren't joining the sales team - but I've only worked in the sales dept so I can't be sure)

    Cons

    There is a reason they give out free stuff to their employees... The company does everything it can to appear fun and loose as an organization, but behind upper mgmt's closed doors, they push lower management to do their dirty work. Lower level bosses micromanage their reps to the absolute max, while the higher ups walk the floor and make energetic small talk with peon sales reps (that way we say, "it must not be the company who is to blame, it's only my mgr who sucks"). Mgmt has always aggressively hounded "daily metrics" (call stats, opps hit, leads hit, stage duration, etc), which has always been the biggest complaint from sales reps. But now they've gone so far as to strictly base the managers bonuses on metrics, rather than sales. So the managers get paid bonuses based on the "seven daily principles", rather than how much their reps close. This kind of micromanagement essentially says, "we think all of you are completely incompetent and couldn't organize a silverware drawer, let alone an 8 hour work day; So we're going to tell you every little thing you should during the work day (maybe even which hand to wipe with). The hypocrisy of management is extremely difficult to wrap your head around. The lower level managers regularly say, "upper mgmt is making us stay late, yelling at us, and making us come to wknd meetings, but I'm doing everything I can to shield you guys from that pressure." At the same time, upper mgmt tells the sales reps how well the org is doing and how much potential there is for growth from the rep level (even though no SW reps are being hired as managers any more). Upper mgmt also says they want to change the high-pressure culture and invite open honestly from the reps. They don't want honesty, they want a high-fenced maze to separate unhappy employees and those who can do something about it. If you're 22, don't know how to tie your shoes, and get excited over a free redbull, this place may not be that bad. If silly things like: money, loyalty, growth potential, and honesty, interest you - I recommend looking elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Tell your managers to stop promising raises when they know they aren't going to happen. Don't make your managers regulate metrics in a way where your entire sales team wants to quit. Don't do company wide surveys that tell you micromanagement is killing your staff - just to adjust mgr bonus pay structure so that they micromanage even more. From a positive POV - Invest in your sales staff (pay more for better employees), teach/ incentivize sales staff to have at least a slight customer service approach (your sales model has people burning bridges by the dozens and you don't even see it - or you do and just don't care). Invest in your customers, employees, and reputation - they are your future, not next quarter's projections.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    Good place to work a year or less

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SolarWinds (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you live Austin and can adapt, you can rise quickly. Everything changes, constantly.

    Cons

    If you don't live in Austin, out of sight out of mind. Career promises are rarely kept either due to the constant shifting or just flat out lies.


  6. Helpful (6)

    Proceed with caution

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice People, Catered food twice a week, snacks, decent job in a growing industry.

    Cons

    Minimal training (if any), high turnover of employees (don't get comfortable), little opportunity for growth within the company. The salary is low and made to seem non-negotiable. There are company politics and middle management suffers from nepotism.

    Advice to Management

    Figure how to boost company morale without giving your employees the boot. Set up a better "training" program


  7. Helpful (12)

    Account Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SolarWinds full-time

    Pros

    Brought in food frequently, Generally nice people to work with but everyone is in it for themselves so there is no team atmosphere. This is the way management prefers it. They believe it encourages more sales.

    Cons

    Management is clueless. They only have experience within their one company and no insight into how other companies work. If you try to improve upon a process it will be shut down because they have "never done it that way". Turnover in the sales department is very, very high.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in outside management and listen to them. You have good products and some good people. Change the culture and you will be unstoppable.


  8. Helpful (8)

    Software sales

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great entry level software job. Better than selling cars.

    Cons

    Software sales seem to be headed in a different direction


  9. Helpful (8)

    good at first then it went downhill

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free lunches two times a week

    Cons

    Pay is not up to standard rate Became more about the money than the employees or product quality No real chance of advancement


  10. Helpful (11)

    Not Ideal...not even close

    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at SolarWinds full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's in Austin. There are some quality people who work here.

    Cons

    I realize every job has some negative aspects but there are a lot of negatives at Solarwinds. - The culture at Solarwinds is lacking and it has a bad stench of a misogyny at times. - Bad behavior has been rewarded and described as "being hungry". Aka: lie, cheat, steal from your team/sales floor to get the deal. - There is a feeling that management doesn't have your back and aren't trustworthy. We get told one thing then the complete opposite happens the next day; there is no consistency with rules. There's nothing worse then constantly "being sold" by your manager on a weekly basis. - We are encouraged to talk to our managers if we have an issue/concern/question but once this happens, it turns into a "lesson" like a grade-school principal situation. I have actually heard of a manager refer to his team as children. - Favoritism is oddly prevalent here. Leads are spoonfed to certain reps so there is one "superstar" on a team rather than evenly distributed. You would think evenly distributing them so 6 or 7 people look great rather than one would equate a great manager AND foster a team mentality. This is not the case. - Constant pushback from clients on the dated sales model. The expectation is to make 50 calls a day, call and email every lead/opp every 2 days, move 4 deals down funnel a day, plus others. When you don't meet these metrics you will get the "Are you ok?" sit-down from management or "you haven't done much today" speech. Think: Bill Lumburgh. They don't take into account that cultivating relationships actually help a sale and trusting your employees to do their job is a winning idea. - Most days are spent fluffing metrics so you can actually get to doing your job. It's a massive waste of time. - PTO is frowned upon and we are expected to stay super late during end-of-month and end-of-quarter when there are no customers to reach out to at 8 or 9 in the evening. "Call Someone" is often shouted from the C-Level as roaming the halls. Most of the time employees are on Facebook at this time just waiting to be released. - There is little room for growth at Solarwinds. All the recent hiring has come externally, not many promotions internally to management which makes me think they do not trust the skill set of their existing employees. - Most employees I speak with feel like the overall vibe at Solarwinds is a beat-down. Employees have actually been given a hard time for getting coffee in the morning. This 10 minutes each morning adds up to blahblah minutes each week.. to month, which is this much time you've wasted calling someone to ask for their order. See #4 above: lesson. - The CEO sends out super religious emails which can be seen as incredibly offensive if one doesn't have the same beliefs. - MICROMANAGING is at an all-time high.

    Advice to Management

    I am hopeful that management would take this advice into account, but it's not likely. ***Also, the most recent positive reviews on Glassdoor are obviously planted by corporate as an attempt to even out the "bad press".


  11. Helpful (18)

    The Four Seasons of Boiler Rooms

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Representative
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Representative
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SolarWinds full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good Salary, Good Benefits [Medical, 401k up to 12%], Bonuses, Free Catered Food.

    Cons

    You can make good money here. If that is your only goal go right ahead and accept that offer. With that said, the culture is horrendous. Your director, manager will send you at least 7 emails a day inquiring about deals that are coming in for that day. Regardless of whether you respond to said emails, they will come by your desk at least twice a day to confirm what you said earlier, or try to get the answer they would prefer. The company's only concern is what you have coming in today. Humongous discounts are sent out at End of Week, End of Month and End of Quarter to procure sales. Even if your customers have not properly tested and/or configured the product management will push their sales team to send quotes and ask for the sale anyways. Emails that are sent to the sales team are often extremely abusive. Verbal interactions are the same. If you need to take a half day off to handle a medical issue, your immediate management will let you know they do not approve - either with dirty looks or the silent treatment. If they know that you have recently purchased a new house, a new car, got married, just had a child, or have a sick animal they will use this information as leverage against you to guilt you into making more sales - even if you have already sold a substantial amount that day. An often adhered mantra is "Tuesday is for closer's, Friday is for order takers" however, if you have closed a deal every day from Monday until Thursday, but not Friday they will go to great lengths to ruin your weekend for it. Executive VPs and even the CEO walk the sales floor on a regular basis giving them looks of disgust and even hatred [especially at EOM, EOQ, EOY] when numbers are not good - and by good I mean not meeting the ridiculous standards of YoY growth the CEO has promised the investors. Hard work does not pay off here in the form of more money or promotions. Management has frequently passed over talent that have delivered great performances quarter over quarter for promotions in favor of new employees for no apparent reason other than blatant favoritism. Employees that have put several years into the organization are obviously disgruntled management is happy to see them leave while they continue to pursue their agenda. There is zero professional development. Upper management is happy to continue to feed the revolving door, replacing proven talent with new, unproven employees. Vacation time is extremely frowned upon. I did not experience this but heard of employees being asked before joining up in Q4 whether they planned to take any time off to see family or take a trip. The implication and expectation being that they would work straight through the holidays to call users. In closing, before you take a job here I highly recommend watching Boilerroom and Glengary Glen Ross [Al Pacino & Alec Baldwin] before joining up to get an idea of what you're in for working at this place beneath all the attractive benefits and perks they will promise you to work here. While glamorous in the in concept and even in reality [for a while] it gets old extremely quick - six months quick. So much so that many talented salespeople have left the organization for less money to reduce stress. To summarize in one sentence SolarWinds is the Chimay of Boiler Rooms but a Boiler Room nonetheless.

    Advice to Management

    None. They wouldn't take it anyways. A couple years ago they were concerned about negative reviews such as this one. Their idea of improving culture was to have VPs to parade one of the female SEs around in a Unicorn outfit while playing Eye of the Tiger and throwing candy at the sales team to "pump them up". Yeah. Right.



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