Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated September 1, 2015
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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
207 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is the last remaining pro (in 666 reviews)

  • Ability to work from home when needed or desired (in 369 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is nonexistent (in 184 reviews)

  • BIG company that treats employees as interchangeable (in 170 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

6,267 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    Cisco sucks, stay away

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boxborough, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Boxborough, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Pays reasonably well...if you are not that bright, you can survive for ever in Cisco, place is full of dead weight so you'll fit right in.

    Cons

    Work is not interesting, people can be downright hostile, raises/rewards have no relation to the work you put in.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up and smell the roses...all the good employees are dissatisfied and leave, and only the dumb dead weight people stick around...so now, the whole place is full of dull people who dont care about work, and morale is superlow. Improve your rewards strategy, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of recognition.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Hell for a Hacker

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Developer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Web Developer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Telecommuting is encouraged Teams are competent and unified Internal transfers are easy Code ownership is shared to relieve pressure against vacations Training and higher education is supported

    Cons

    Micromanagement is rampant and backed up by a culture of fear External tools are poorly chosen, overvalued as silver bullets, and not optimized to fit the needs of developers Employee evaluation system is based on an individual's reputation for working long hours, oratory skills in meetings, powerpoint skills in presentations, and popularity with upper management Advice of developers is disregarded by technical leads and managers, yet failure is always attributed to a lack of effort and communication among the team Project marketing and team size are used as leverage among management, leading to unhealthy competition between teams, code redundancy, and useless features creeping into requirement lists Hard work is not rewarded as much as shameless self promotion and socializing outside the office Deadlines and milestones are decided without any input from developers implementing the requests

    Advice to Management

    Remove political roadblocks by deferring to developers instead of a senior manager or a committee to make design decisions and technical requirements. End reprisals against employees who disagree with management so that pressure to give unrealistic estimates and hide issues in failing projects becomes a thing of the past. Reward employees with freedom to move to exciting projects rather than with bonuses


  3. Helpful (4)

    Image isn't everything.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Leader in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Technical Leader in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to learn networking technology. Good people at the lowest ranks. Not a sweat-shop.

    Cons

    Incompetent senior management that is unbelievably short sighted. Promotions are only possible by being hand-picked by a VP who are the least qualified. The result is chains of incompetent management. Marketing is ridiculously superficial and self-serving. Development is cheap and poor quality. Indeed Chambers is a great CEO. He's an excellent business manager, visionary and leader. However, Chambers is a horrible technical manager and cannot make Cisco into the world-class company we should be. As proof, see the recent departure of Alan Baratz. Great technical VP who barely lasted 6 months. Stock has gone nowhere in 10 years and this is the cause.

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing efforts on hiring cheap engineers and start looking for quality internally.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Good company to hide, but not for innovation.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cisco does pay a bit higher than the rest of their peers. It is a large company so being able to move around is quite easy especially if you know people in the targeted area of your choice. John Chambers is an excellent CEO and a strong leader.

    Cons

    Promotions, especially when it comes to Director level and above are difficult to come by and is more a matter of who you know versus your accomplishments. Cisco does seem a bit top-heavy in management and that also prevents one from moving up more quickly. With any large company, there seems to be "fiefdoms" of organizations that have questionable reasons for existence. In other words, sometimes you're not so sure what function that organization was created to do and what value do they bring to Cisco in the big scheme of things. It becomes less and less clear on how one's day-to-day work applies to Cisco's Top Business Priorities so at times you might feel that you're not really making much of a difference.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more mentorship to budding management talent so that they can develop the skills required for promotion.


  6. Helpful (5)

    If you respect your self stay away from Cisco

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good reputation, benefits, and flexible working location. Good vision and nice story. It's a pity that middle level management (directors and senior directors) destroy such a great company.

    Cons

    Exec management is disconnected from the rest of the company. People are not important and they treated as such. Great place to suffer as professional and descent human being!

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the people. They suffer. Correct directors and senior directors. Are the cause of people suffering and Cisco not able to move forward.


  7. Helpful (7)

    Cisco belongs on the Disco floor.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The only good part is the name. If you can get a job with the company and leverage its name towards moving up in your career, then that's about the best reason for working at Cisco.

    Cons

    Directors and middle managers are mostly incompetent and unable to lead or manage resources amongst them. Instead, they like to take the success of their subordinates and make it there's. So when it comes to proper recognition of work, acknowledgment of contribution, and everything you'd expect to advance in your career, you can forget about.

    Advice to Management

    There are too many chefs in the kitchen who don't belong in management. Management isn't just about managing the product. Find those who are capable of managing people and capable of being mentors instead of out there for self-fulfilling prophecies.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Caution: make sure you get the resources you need up front

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager, IBSG in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Manager, IBSG in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Huge organization, brand identification, its possible to stay in the firm for your whole career. Sales infrastructure is the best in the industry.

    Cons

    My team was expected to deliver at SVP levels - but we didn't get the resources to make it happen. Sales however - spent money left and right on travel, communication etc- where we were bound tight.

    Advice to Management

    Give IBSG the resources to perform like the racehorses they are - and tell sales to take a cab once in awhile to save money. Restrictions on global client relationships are damaging - not supportive.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Don't work there!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good medical benefits, well known company.

    Cons

    Needs new management, very difficult company to work for, expectations are not realistic. Treat employees very badly.

    Advice to Management

    People are not perfect, nor are they robots. Take action when an employee comes to you with an issue, and get back to the employee. Employees should be your first priority, not your last priority.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Dissatisfied with Cisco politics.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Exceptionally motivated or just lazy. People who want to do some side business with main work.

    Cons

    Too many mediocre people, who talks more and works less. Resistance to good work. Too much office politics. Nepotism.

    Advice to Management

    Think long term. Try to identify who truly works and who portrays to work.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Read ahead

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer IV in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer IV in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    big company. lots of folks, lots of projects. Potential to find something you like very high. You can also relocate to any part of the world for projects. health benefits are becoming more expensive every year. There are *great* visionaries in Cisco. They get the big leaps in technology right - every time. The incentive systems have become squeaky but still work to a large extent. We need to reform and get a bit of the old Cisco magic back.

    Cons

    Big company drags you down. The processes. Strong pull to the median. Not much transparency. Some folks get by with 40 hour weeks whereas others kill themselves with 100 hour weeks. Not a fair place by any means.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline bloated middle management.



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