There are newer employer reviews for Sun Microsystems

 

Great people, great job, poor management

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Technical Support Engineer  in  Melbourne (Australia)
Current Employee - Technical Support Engineer in Melbourne (Australia)

I have been working at Sun Microsystems

Pros

The work-life flexibility is great -- as long as the job gets done, no one will be breathing down your neck or checking timesheets to see how late you got in or how early you left. The chance to work with some really brilliant people -- unlike the management hierarchy, even if you are the lowliest pleb, if you are smart and know what you're talking about, the senior technical folks will be willing to share knowledge and discuss issues with you. The opportunity to learn about technology -- lots of neat things happen at Sun, you can always jump into a "virtual team" (in your own time) and contribute and learn lots.

Cons

Management incompetence, a lack of leadership, some technical careers will result in a career plateau -- it is, for example, very difficult to move to the "next level" when you reach the top Tech Support level.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Execute well, listen to your employees, focus on customer satisfaction, don't chase the short term dollar but instead focus on building the company up to last through the long term.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

1020 Other Employee Reviews for Sun Microsystems (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Imagine: Wiley Coyote pulling of his stunts while carrying Margaret Thatcher on his back all the time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Farnborough, Hampshire, South East England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Farnborough, Hampshire, South East England, England (UK)

    I worked at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

    Highly technical environment, intelligent coworkers, passion for innovation and exploration, pioneering technology, great quality standards, competitive and challenging market. Sun has been fighting an uphill battle for so long that every employee of more than a few years has been instilled with a strong sense of "never give up", "we can do it better [ than the competition ]", "we can go the extra mile".

    Cons

    Line and Middle management focuses very strongly on "how to work" vs. "what to work on" in order to justify their own existance. The work in many areas is therefore decidedly non-agile, with many reporting/approval processes that can give a strong feeling of being disempowered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eradicate a few levels of middle management. Having to write reports for three different managers plus the line manager without ever being given a "downward feed" on how good/useful/complete that reporting is nor what it is actually being required, while at the same time being told by the line manager that your own performance depends on the goodwill of these report-only managers (and their feedback cannot be shared with you as it's confidential) is a sure way of paralyzing the workforce. You can literally work your socks off and get great feedback from customers, but fail to give credit to all the managers involved and your performance review hits rock bottom.
    Middle mgmt. has become a cronyism playground. More fairness and less favouritism, less reporting and more empowerment to the worker bee could release quite some energies there ... energies now spent on appeasing/pleasing middle management instead of creating revenue for the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Heading downhill rapidly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager

    I worked at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

    The only real reason to work for Sun is its Work from home program. Sun provides both the technology and a very responsive help desk to enable you to function in your home environment. The ability to work from home also enables you to balance your home/work life within reason and as long as you fulfill your job responsibilities and meet the necessary job requirements you can choose how you work during the day. For me being based outside of the US I could work early morning to catch up on the US from night before and then take a break during the day until the US work up again.

    Cons

    The constant need to change strategy and direction. You may start the year with a clear strategy and a few months down the line just start seeing the results and all of a sudden there is a 180 and this continues and continues which results in everyone running around in circles and not necessary having the conviction to put their heart into the role as they know it will change shortly down the line. The other fault of Sun is the splatter gun approach - trying to fund everything under the Sun and doing none of them well whereas employees constantly say reduce the amount and fund properly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so arrogant and disrespectful of those that work for you. You work in an environment where a majority of the employees work remotely but refuse to adapt your communications to adjust to a global audience. Yes a majority of management is located in the US but a majority of the business is generated outside the US, give the field more credit and empower them more. Stop being isolated in your ivory towers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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