Ciena

  www.ciena.com
  www.ciena.com

Ciena Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
157 Reviews
3.3
157 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • This allows employees to have a great work-life balance (in 21 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule and good work environment (in 14 reviews)


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

  • The upper management does not know what they are doing (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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
  2.  

    Great place to work but mediocre pay & advancement opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Linthicum, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Linthicum, MD

    I have been working at Ciena

    Pros

    Flexible work environment (relationship with immediate manager is key)
    Highly intelligent and productive people; peers & managers included
    Plenty of responsibility, task diversity, high level of influence
    No tolerance for poor performance or bad interpersonal skills

    Cons

    Mature management & staff; (few opportunities for role advancement)
    At or below market salary (you'll want to negotiate everything going in)
    Limited pay increase potential (annual raises are not very common)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up pay for performance initiatives;
    Hire new grads to get new perspectives and long term growth

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Pretty Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Engineer in Linthicum, MD
    Current Employee - Quality Engineer in Linthicum, MD

    I have been working at Ciena

    Pros

    great work/life balance
    great people to work with
    products are impressive
    good opportunities for new grads
    company that tries to keep things global

    Cons

    it's unclear what the future holds, even the immediate future
    little communication on what to expect
    health care plan could be better

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    communicate more with the employees
    encourage employees to make decisions and maybe even make mistakes
    think about the true talent pool

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Ciena used to be a nice place to work, but poor management decisions have led to its decline.

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

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    1. Compensation is competitive to the industry
    2. Work-life balance was fine - flexible hours
    3. Immediate working peers were fantastic - team environment

    Cons

    1. Limited to no career growth
    2. After every merger, the keys were handed to execs in the new company in favor of existing employees (e.g. NT now owns majority of eng. development)
    3. No loyalty to employees
    4. Indecisive management
    5. Constantly changing long term vision
    6. Clickish environment - it matters who you know

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should reward loyalty to your employees who have been there for the long term vs. favoring new acquisitions and their employees.

    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Quality People

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

    I have been working at Ciena

    Pros

    Ciena has quality people who care about their company and their jobs. They have flexible work arrangements and compensation is fair.

    Cons

    As compared to other companies I have worked in Ciena has few "con's". As I have to say something I would say those typical of a technical company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I choose not to answer this question as I can't presume to know the best way to run a company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Software Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Ciena (then Wavesmith) had some interesting projects going on. Overall I was very impressed with the quality of my team members.

    Cons

    I have to say there weren't too many downsides. Management had their act together, and I had a great boss. I was pushed when deadlines approached, but otherwise was left to my own devices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can't really think of any advice I would give anyone at Ciene. They are a world class organization and I was happy to be an employee there.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very Vertical, Poor Communication

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

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Some of the technology is complex and interesting, there is a strong pool of talent in coworkers, and select team managers do an excellent job with their team members.

    Cons

    Management style is very vertical and often micromangement, Compensation changes and promotions seem to be about playing favorites rather than work ethic or performance, HUGE communication issues between departments and teams, some employees who have been there for a very long time have not learned new technology and are very resistant to change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be nice if senior management looked more into the actual workings of the company on a day to day basis. Because of how vertical the company is there's a thick layer of middle management that basically spend their time competing, playing politics, and masking what really goes on from senior level management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Was a great place to work, but now questionnable due to Nortel acquisition

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

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Ciena had a great work/life balance with perks such as telecommuting plans, flexible work hours, health club reimbursements, and company wellness plans. The benefits package was quite lucrative, and the salaries were on par with other companies in the telecommunications industry. Management had an open door policy, and employees were empowered to work autonomously to achieve their assignments. The people are great to work with and sincerely want to help you when you ask - there truly is a sense of being a huge family.

    Cons

    Ciena is still an organization where it is important as to who you know rather than what you know in order to advance. The internal systems are very archaic and disjoined, and a silo mentality exists within certain groups. Gary Smith and upper management really sold out Ciena during the Nortel acquisition - who purchased who? Most Nortel management remained while Ciena management will most likely soon be shown the door. Many employees were very loyal to Ciena, and put forth a tremendous amount of effort to build the organization over the years. However, now they anxiously wait for severance packages.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You had a very strong team who sacrificed to make Ciena the successful telco it is today; however, you have just lost the most important resource to any organization since the trust factor has now disintegrated. Even though the Nortel acquisition supposedly launched Ciena 2-3 years into the future, what indirect price is Ciena going to pay? Gary used to stand up to Wall Street and not worry about what was thought or said about Ciena with respect to shorter term performace. Why did he not do it this time? Slower with much planning and thought is what drove Ciena to what is is today, but the Nortel deal was rapid and hasty.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work

    • 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

    Everyone is so friendly and supportive. Full of very smart people, the best at what they do. Ciena only hires the best. Everyone around you helps you succeed.

    Cons

    Sometimes there are too many level of senior management. IT department is somewhat incompetent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees, and empower them to make change without so many levels of approval.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Ciena is a good employer to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer in Durham, NC

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Opportunities to grow. Management is not micro.

    Cons

    Very focused in growth in MD.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Few acquisitions turned out to be successful. Need to be more careful before jumping to the next one.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

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