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6 people found this helpful  

IBM STL/SVL

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
Current Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in San Jose, CA

I have been working at IBM

Pros

Private offices.
Decent chance for advancement for new college hires.
Experienced knowledgeable people.
Great place to work for the best employees, you'll get trips, options and nice rewards.

Cons

Horrible place to work for an average employee.
Management moving more products to SVL and combining multiple people in offices
A lot of out-sourcing overseas (India/China).
For lab developing billions of $ worth of software amenities are very poor. Horrible cafeteria, library was removed to add space for mobile workers traveling to the lab.
In general at IBM, techies are not viewed as important. Driving customer sales and becoming a salesperson is required to rise in the ranks.
Many experienced people mean that they are long time residents of San Jose. Someone coming from out of state will be hard pressed to live comfortably for a long time unless they like a long commute. The basic management explanation is that you have to suffer for a while and you'll get rewarded later.
Promotions can be bad because of the PBC system. Common management thinking is that you get promoted when you do work above your band. However when you move into the next band you are assumed to be the lowest performer in the new band, and get a lower ranking. A lower ranking causes you to get a small (or no) bonus/raise. Management compensates for this by not promoting people until they are overpaid in their band, then when they get to the new band they can endure the penalty of the promotion.
Some people stay in bands and gobble up money/high appraisals because it is to their advantage. They do not want the additional work associated with a higher band and increased competition even though they are doing higher band work. Those people in the wrong band cause increased competition at lower bands making promotion more difficult and skewing the PBC rankings.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Promote people to their proper bands and evaluate them on their work. Comparison to peers is okay but it often taken to an extreme.
Throw away the bell curve, this isn't high school. IBM "recommendation" on PBC rankings is 10%, 80%, and 5% and 5%. Management takes that as fact and distributes the rankings exactly that way. Since 10% get a 3 and two 3's means your out, there is a "musical" three rotating around to satisfy the PBC rules but prevent people from getting laid-off. This doesn't motivate the average employees.

Disapproves of CEO

11853 Other Employee Reviews for IBM (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Big Blue doesn't know how to develop & retain young talent.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    great benefits - health care, 401K
    good starting salary, hard to get laid off unless there is a recession or the company is doing poorly.

    Cons

    senior management does not care about your career. They only care if you are billable.
    Promotions are hard to comeby. If you don't get the right project and role, you have no chance of moving up. Raises are only 2-3% per year unless they determine you're being underpaid compared to the market. When I left IBM, I was getting paid as much as a new college hire even though I had 2+ years under my belt.

    Performance ratings based too much upon utilization. It's not our fault if you can't find a project for us.

    Annual Bonuses are lousy, barely 2%

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need better training and development for collegehires. Don't make them staple papers for the first 3 months or continuously place them in glorified admin roles called project management assistants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    The remote employee-itis

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

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    The positives outweigh the negatives in the work life balance, working from home. However the needs of the individuals in remote settings are often difficult to harmonize for the benefit of a team and the individuals involved. IBM is addressing this issue in a number of ways and stimulating good ideas to bring the challenges into focus so that there is inspiration and greater productivity. I find that heartening as I personally enjoy working from home but miss some of the values derived from face-to-face stimuli with colleagues.

    Cons

    It is a HUGE company that requires strong navigational skills to work into all of the values and be the most productive employee one can be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In difficult economic times don't overlook the need to boost morale and evidence encouragement. It isvery important now more than ever to thank and suppot those on your team who are working exceedingly hard to make every effort count for more than is expected.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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