Blue Coat Systems Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
Updated October 22, 2014
138 Reviews
3.5
138 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Blue Coat Systems CEO Greg Clark
Greg Clark
49 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work life balance, fairly transparent, good focus on innovation (in 9 reviews)

  • Great talent and smart people work here (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management, especially the President/COO, are shady (in 7 reviews)

  • Deceptiveness from senior / middle management (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Company Full of Redwoods

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Development Engineer in Draper, UT
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Development Engineer in Draper, UT

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There's a lot of really smart, talented, and dedicated people working at Blue Coat. Most of them are easy to approach and willing to offer help when asked. There's opportunity to grow professionally, bringing one's skills to new levels. Dress is casual, which is a huge plus. You can usually work from home part of the week. Base salary plus bonus brings one's annual pay to far more than you could get anywhere else in the valley. I would dare say it is THE top paying company when it comes to compensating their engineers. The company has an excellent culture, with an in-house, company supplied bar, tech talks, frequent company provided lunches, a free snack and soda supplied break room, several wall mounted TVs scattered around the office, a beautiful view of the valley, opportunities to engage in community projects, company outdoor BBQs 2-3 times in the summer.

    Cons

    Since they pay for the best and brightest, there is no hand-holding. The onboarding is basically non-existent; you're just expected to come up to speed quickly and on your own. If you need help, it's up to you ask someone for it. When you come on board, your work environment isn't set up for you; you request the machines you need and set them up yourself. The projects can seem to use a methodology somewhere between Agile and Cowboy coding. You can alternate between too much to do and too little to do (during code freeze and waiting for the OK to release). As a new employee, it can seem like a fraternity, trying to prove yourself worthy of the respect you deserve for your years of experience. In other words, there's a tendency to not trust the new guy until he proves himself, rather than vice versa.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Scrap the ridiculous idea of team building through "Storming and Norming...", which often leads to simply the most vocal and fanatical getting their way. You decide who is best to make the decision on certain things and put them in charge of it. Don't just throw the team together and let them work that out.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    when it comes to values, actions speak louder than words

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

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    new addition to the break room, infused water

    Cons

    trust & respect are anything but part of Blue Coat values. I am aware of at least three instances where they did not even honor the terms of the job offer. No matter how strong the case against the manager is, HR always sides with the manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    try to cut on office politics

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

    Had No Life At This Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Order Services in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Order Services in Sunnyvale, CA

    I worked at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    They feed you very well when days are very busy, so you can work through your lunch. This company offers great benefits.

    Cons

    No room for growth with this company. Very high layoff rate. Very cutthroat. They expect you to work 14 hours days. Had to wait 6 months before receiving overtime pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too aggressive. No empathy for there employess. Very dishonest.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Overworked employees

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

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you are willing to work 12 hour days every day and perform work volumes that are meant for 3 people it would be a great place for you.

    Cons

    There is no work-life balance unless you are an engineer. Perks for engineers only. If you are not an engineer you are made to feel unimportant and if you question anything you are told you have an attitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to your employees and don't treat them like you would be willing to replace them rather than fix what needs fixed. The company announce a core value refresh and the Senior Executives have stated they will walk the talk and expect all managers to do the same but there are managers in a couple departments that have not attempted to make the change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Wonderful place to work

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

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Employees, Team effort, Learning Opportunities, Career growth

    Cons

    Rumors about the company's future

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mostly a good place to work with some notable drawbacks

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

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Since going private the company has been pretty stable in terms of job security. Bonuses have been good.

    The benefits are pretty good. Vacation/Sick time is especially good (the best I've seen) and I have never taken any flack for using it. There are a lot of company activities and lunches including frequent technical training talks.

    Work/life balance is good. I don't know many people that work a lot of overtime and schedules are flexible, at least on my team.

    My experience has been that people are treated like adults and not micro-managed.

    There are free drinks/snacks.

    Upper management seems to have a pretty good vision of how to keep the company growing.

    Cons

    They delayed merit increases by several months both of the last two cycles. The review process is de-motivational and managers are way too overloaded to pay any attention to career development. There is no clear path for advancement once you get to a senior level position. Performance ratings feel arbitrary with artificial limits placed on how many people can get higher ratings (which are tied to better bonuses now).

    The downside of all the fiscal discipline has been that there aren't enough people to get all the work done so most people wear multiple hats. They don't generally require overtime but there's always so many competing priorities that a lot of things get dropped or mismanaged simply because there's too much going on.

    They are implementing some really draconian security measures for engineering.

    This is a very much a top-down company. Individual innovation is not valued or appreciated very much in less it happens to be related to something sexy. The focus is entirely on implementing upper management's vision as quickly as possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop messing with raises.
    Give people some breathing room to allow for more focused work and some bottom-up innovation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    All good things must come to an end. This wasn't one of them.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Coat Systems as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Location wasn't bad. Pretty flexible to working off site when the weather got nasty

    Cons

    Too many to list. No sense of urgency on the part of the hiring managers. Poor management at the local level and not a nice culture. Also lack of name recognition. Nobody knew who BlueCoat is, since it is a West Coast based company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treating people nicer and with respect would be a good place to start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Leading technology, lots of opportunity

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

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Technology: Cyber security is hot right now, Gartner rates them in the Magic Quadrant
    Benefits: Matching 401K, competitive salaries, company doing well so bonuses are excellent
    Other: Free snacks, drinks, bagels on Friday, lots of social activities with food served, however no in house cafeteria but lunches are subsidized.
    Culture : Hard working people, flexible working environment with lots of autonomy (but it depends on area you work in). Work life balance flexibility, feels like a small start company but with reasonable processes and systems in place.

    Cons

    -Owned by private equity company, no equity offered, starting to lose people to other companies who are. Management needs to do something.
    -Rumer's of being a potential acquisition target is causing some uncertainty with employees especially those who want to stay in a small company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reconsider the no equity position especially if company is sold, unlikely the good people who do the work will still around if there are no retention incentives. Your people are being aggressively recruited (especially in the valley) do something about it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Intern in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - QA Intern in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Blue Coat Systems as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with and a flexible, comfortable, working environment

    Cons

    Have to have good knowledge in the field

    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Great market space to work in; great people to work with

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

    I have been working at Blue Coat Systems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Blue Coat is challenging and rewarding as an employer. The culture is one of freedom to go as far and contribute as much as I'm willing to do. Yet there is sensible support for a balanced life.

    Cons

    Pulling in and retaining top talent is something the company can continue to improve on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the passion for excellence; consider what it takes to invent your best talent

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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