Ciena Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
133 Reviews

3.4
133 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith
Gary B. Smith
76 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • This allows employees to have a great work-life balance (in 19 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule and good work environment (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • No career growth plan for employees (in 6 reviews)

  • The upper management does not know what they are doing (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A change in attitude

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

    I have been working at Ciena full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good technology and strong revenues.

    Cons

    The open door policy from the past is closed. No career path. Plenty of politics for everyone. Management is getting rich. Zero work-life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Why don't you being back the team spirit? Make Ciena a place that people want to work.

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great product, poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer  in  Alpharetta, GA
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Alpharetta, GA

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

    Pros

    Innovative product with rich feature set and high reliability.

    Cons

    Poor management. Politics not productivity determine employment status, bonus and raises. Constant demand to work weekends for show, not need.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Evaluate performance with actual performance information.

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

    Ciena is a terrible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Field Eng  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Field Eng in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    There is absolutely no good reason to be employed here. They treat their employees horribly and have taken nearly their entire workforce off-shore, calling themselves "a U.S. based company". Decietful liars.No bonuses to those that tow the line.

    Cons

    Selfish management, no work life balance, slave-like atmosphere. Management takes care of only themselves. I have been dragged all over the planet performing my job above expectations and I have not received a raise or bonus in two+ years of employment here. This place is absolutely horrible and I do not recommend emplyment here. I came over from Nortel Networks where employees were treated with dignity and respect. Ciena is selfless and selfish.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get over yourselves

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Disgusting Company

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

    I worked at Ciena full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    No Pros, only Cons if u want to make your career hell ,go to Ciena.

    Cons

    hardcore internal politics, not employees only politicians work their
    Every manager is a politician , very poor work culture, HR team sucks big time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn some People development , learn some humanity .

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Demotivating work environment

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

    I have been working at Ciena full-time

    Pros

    Work Life balance is very good.
    Good HR policies
    Good pay
    Good place if you are just looking to take life easy.

    Cons

    The bonus pool is a joke.
    No positive cross-team communication.
    In-fighting among team members fostered by the upper management.
    Poorly managed release schedule.

    Interview process is a joke. People are hired willy-nilly based on who they knoe rather than how much they know. And the process itself is not regulated - sometimes they have group interviews and sometimes individualized.
    No respect for employees and future employees. I have seen interview candidates made to wait for hours in the lobby, while they bring in other candidates for interviews.

    Not enough senior members in the engineering teams. The less experienced Engineers are not able to handle the major design changes. Not enough work for all the Engineers. Right now the all the Engineering teams are in hiring mode but this is just so that the management can get promoted. Loads of people are just sitting around doing their own personal work/training etc. People have been working on the same technologies for years - this is good as they have great knowledge of that one technology but the bad thing is they have no idea about the others and refuse to work on other technologies.

    One BU rides on the shoulders of the other. This will not work long term and will lead to lay-offs if no new revenue stream is generated.

    No long term planning. Work is done on a day to day basis leading to mismanagement of time.

    NO RSUs/Stocks till you are at a much higher grade.

    Research more about the company culture before accepting a job and take the recruiters words with a pinch of salt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find out why people are so demotivated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a place to build a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer  in  Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Engineer in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I worked at Ciena full-time

    Pros

    - Some people are very knowledgeable in their area
    - Good technology if you're actually let to work on it
    - Good place to go after school if you don't have a better offer, develop some marketable skills, then look for a better job where you can build a career

    Cons

    - Terrible compensation
    - Bonuses are a joke
    - No career development especially for new grads
    - Not enough room for new grads to prosper
    - Too many layoffs (2 or 3 times per year at times) - if you're a new grad they will try to make you think that you are safe from layoffs and that they're trying to make the company younger, but the truth is they have a deal with the government of Ontario to hire new grads (it's basically free for them) then if you're not a top performer or even if you're a top performer but your manager hasn't developed you and given you ownership then they will lay you off. As a new grad you may even get laid off in less than 6 months! Beware!!
    - Very team dependent. Your team may be really good or it may be terrible - In general, if they haven't been able to tell you what your role is clearly before they give you an offer, then chances are they don't even know what your role is. You don't want to be in that situation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Complete Waste Of Life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Alpharetta, GA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Alpharetta, GA

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

    Pros

    Interesting technology, and nice people to work with. A very fast-paced environment, and lots of potential for moving around to different focus areas.
    Wellness Reimbursement fund given to all employees.

    Cons

    No real bonus or raises in the 4 years I worked there.
    A lot of politics required for any vertical movement (promotions)
    Very little communication between senior management and employees.
    Varied work schedules with no consistency and forced shift schedules.
    Always in "crunch mode".
    Poor release scheduling and management.
    Yes-man to customers, which constantly forces employees to adjust schedules and add features originally not planned in the release.
    Technology can be varied some is current, and some is rather ancient.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start listening to your employees more instead of focusing on business growth. Cut out the management from Nortel, and get managers who have a sense of time and people management. Realize that there are realistic deadlines, and unrealistic deadlines. Unrealistic deadlines usually don't get met on time. ...or simply change the company name to Nortel.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sub-par Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Linthicum, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Linthicum, MD

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    - Good salary and benefits
    - Good opportunites
    - Decent time off policies
    - Decent working environment
    - Some opportunities for growth (if the company grew)

    Cons

    - Terrible top management. Same senior management and Board of Directors for at least 10 years. Golden parachutes (for what?) are abundant. That is the main reason for all the "one-time charges".
    - Layoffs, acquisition, layoffs, acquisition, layoffs, acquisition
    - Titles are out of whack. Directors, Senior Directors, VP are flying around everywhere. Who actually works there?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some folks (and not the cronies that started with the original Ciena organization) in there and run it as "real company". CEO Gary Smith's previous job was as Vice President of Sales at the semi-public entity Intelsat. Time to change (even if it will cost the CEO's 3 million dollar exit agreement).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Waste of time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Module Lead  in  Gurgaon, Haryana (India)
    Current Employee - Module Lead in Gurgaon, Haryana (India)

    I have been working at Ciena

    Pros

    Good work-life balance (can maintain 9-5 job)
    Good benefits
    Free food
    Good infrastructure
    Good for people coming at Manager or above level - life is easy and money is good

    Cons

    - No technical knowledge gain
    - No good work - most done in US
    - Some people are favored - they get promotions and hikes
    - HR is useless
    - Management is pathetic
    - Roles are not defined

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you enjoy layoffs, excessive overtime, and management abuse, Ciena is the place for you.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director of Software Engineering  in  Linthicum, MD
    Former Employee - Director of Software Engineering in Linthicum, MD

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Ciena has retains some highly competent engineers; compensation is good (while it lasts). Ciena has a technically decent portfolio of products (albeit not profitable ones).

    Cons

    Ciena goes through regular cycles of mass layoffs and outsourcing. Heavy overtime is expected, software in particular is abused and opportunities for advancement and learning new technologies are limited. Software engineers can do much better elsewhere. Software engineering management jobs are even worse: despite much lip-service paid to good management practices, management at Ciena is insanely political; managers are expected to leave their conscience at home: ride staff hard, burn 'em out, and then lay 'em off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To management: develop some respect for staff and shareholders. Stop rewarding executives for losing money. Return Ciena to its core competence: communications technology development. Use proven staff to develop new products instead of buying companies that are bleeding out and then putting them in charge of the company.

    To the board of directors: Gary Smith has run Ciena as a "sales and marketing company" for more than a decade; he has decimated shareholder value and burned huge amounts of cash while rewarding himself handsomely. Every quarter seems to have a "one-time" charge. Why exactly do you keep this guy?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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