Blue Coat Systems
3.0 of 5 132 reviews
www.bluecoat.com Sunnyvale, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Blue Coat Systems Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 132 reviews

                             

78% Approve of the CEO

Blue Coat Systems CEO Greg Clark

Greg Clark

(46 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend
132 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good work life balance, fairly transparent, good focus on innovation"
    in 8 reviews
  • "Lots of smart people with great personalities"
    in 10 reviews
Cons:
  • "Senior management, especially the President/COO, are shady"
    in 7 reviews
  • "Deceptiveness from senior / middle management"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    A Company Full of Redwoods

    Senior Staff Software Development Engineer (Current Employee)
    Draper, UT

    ProsThere'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.

    ConsSince 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 Senior ManagementScrap 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.

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

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    Had No Life At This Company

    Order Services (Former Employee)
    Sunnyvale, CA

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

    ConsNo 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 Senior ManagementToo aggressive. No empathy for there employess. Very dishonest.

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

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    Innovative fast passed environment

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Waterloo, ON (Canada)

    ProsLeading edge technology
    Market leader for many of their products
    Working hard to establish strong corporate culture
    Fast passed environment
    Many smart people to work with
    They look to reward and recognize when possible

    ConsUnder staffed
    Many people burned out
    Overall direction can be murky at times
    Often required to change direction and focus quickly

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

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    Overworked employees

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIf 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.

    ConsThere 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 Senior ManagementPay 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    OK

    Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Waterloo, ON (Canada)

    ProsDecent environment to work, with occasional company events.
    Work is also somewhat interesting

    ConsSometimes needed more of a team environment and support.
    Most of the time, hard to get questions in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry to seem more enthusiastic during company meetings.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Wonderful place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsEmployees, Team effort, Learning Opportunities, Career growth

    ConsRumors about the company's future

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    ConsToo 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 Senior ManagementTreating people nicer and with respect would be a good place to start.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Mostly a good place to work with some notable drawbacks

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSince 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.

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    It all depends on who your manager is... Is he a "made" man, or an outsider?

    Director (Current Employee)
    Global Village (India)

    ProsGreat technology direction! It's found the way again! (They lost it at one point!)
    The freedom to do what you need to without someone breathing down your neck is great!
    Decent wages.

    ConsThe company made bad technology choices, and made its employees suffer for it.
    The freedom really comes from the fact that there is no one to do the job anyway, cos all the managers below the "inner circle" are looking up in case the next shit-storm catches them unawares!
    The decent wages means people will stay professional but will happily move the moment they find something they can be passionate about. It's a job... No more than that, unless you belong to the "made" crowd in which case you get stocks, bonuses, and "termination" clauses that protect you with hundreds of thousands of dollars if they restructure you out...

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe people are CRYING out for a sense of belonging!
    Money is great, but really, the fact that only SELECTED people get stock, and they don't make it a secret, is possibly the most BASIC of management mistakes. Really? THAT is how you want to engender loyalty? Fire those you no longer need, pay everyone a "fair" to "average" wage, and expect them to slog for YOUR retirement plan?

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

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    stay away

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Sunnyvale, CA

    ProsYou'll get a paycheck.
    Many people, below the executive level, are very friendly.

    ConsManagement is all over the place in mindset and they appear to take things personally.
    It's a business, not a place for your friends and cronies.
    Benefits are mediocre.
    Some corporate administration functions are amaturish.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't fire engineers or other employees because you made poor business decisions.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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There's No Company Like Blue Coat Blue Coat is a fast-paced, dynamic environment comprised of smart people who push boundaries every day to develop powerful technology. (Did you know we have 200+ patents and patents… Full Overview

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