IBM Reviews

Updated August 17, 2015
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
45 Ratings

Pros
  • You can work from home or office (when you are in town) (in 1347 reviews)

  • Depending on projects - excellent work-life balance (in 1315 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is basically non existent (in 423 reviews)

  • Senior management has lost it's sense of what the corporate mission is (in 214 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

127 Employee Reviews

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  1. Consulant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Ability to travel and work remotely, competitive pay, good team members

    Cons

    Consistent quality employees, long hours, hard to take vacation


  2. Helpful (1)

    csops

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    excellent benefits for families and pharma

    Cons

    felt like a mercenary theres the door if you dont like it

    Advice to Management

    go back to having value for your employees like the old days


  3. Helpful (1)

    Excellent Employeer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Boulder, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    IBM provides excellent opportunities for learning and growth in some very interesting cutting edge area's. The opportunities to pivot from the path you are on to a whole new area provides a dynamic place to work.

    Cons

    To the delight of some, like me, IBM is restlessly reinventing itself to serve our customers better, so if you don't like change, this isn't a good fit for you.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Product Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Longmont, CO
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Longmont, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Incredible visibility and responsibility supporting worldwide enterprises.

    Cons

    IBM thinks innovation comes from acquisitions. Worse, they stop investing as soon as the new firm is blue-washed.

    Advice to Management

    Understand that in services, your employees are your product.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Mixed bag.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Variety of experience. Feeling of being in an important place.

    Cons

    Annual 3rd quarter layoffs or furloughs. Process placed ahead of productivity.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to placate Wall Street and sell product. If you make and sell a good product at a competitive price you will gain market share. The byzantine structure for business partners and customer support is frustrating for everyone involved. You need to shed about 4-6 layers of middle management. You must promote a culture that innovates, not stagnates in process documents.


  7. Good place to start.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Support in Longmont, CO
    Former Employee - Technical Support in Longmont, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly people. If you're a person that keeps to themselves then this is a good call center. Not much coworker interaction.

    Cons

    Too slow paced, way to quiet for me.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid to say hi to your employees


  8. Helpful (1)

    Transition Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Transition Manager in Boulder, CO
    Current Contractor - Transition Manager in Boulder, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at IBM as a contractor (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Interesting assignments, competitive pay, competent fellow workers, diversity of workforce, work from home, travel not normally at 100%, lots of change

    Cons

    Layoffs, chaotic business direction, silo-ed organizations, teaming sometimes lacking, leadership focused on quarter over quarter growth, reorganizations sometimes do not make sense


  9. Technical Support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Support in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Technical Support in Boulder, CO
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to learn multitasking, IT support can be fun, but the shifts are not kind. This is a nice temporary position, it's a great starter job for those in IT.

    Cons

    Generally, IBM employees are managerial, everyone else is permanently temporary, contracted through a temp agency.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in people.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Expendable - Immobile - Ignorant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Teleservices Agent in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Advanced Teleservices Agent in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You are almost impossible to fire for gross misconduct, you will likely be given significantly less work than you can do, and the company is developing a significant amount of interesting technology (Watson).

    Cons

    You will never get a "1" on your annual review which is the key to getting any form of promotion/raise/bonus. These will be reserved for people who have hung out in your job position for more than a decade and came up with your manager. You will not be paid nearly as much as anyone who has been with the company for a long time, despite education/qualification/etc. This has nothing to do with seniority, the company just used to pay a lot more and long ago cut entry pay for everyone joining after a certain date. You WILL be paid the same as your peers in the same job role. This entirely disregards how much work you do, your annual rating, or any other factors compared to their annual rating or effort. For example at the time I quit, I was doing the work of 2.5 people in my position while I had co-workers who were doing half of their actual work and getting on just fine. Continual Education only has value if it's IBM's continual education, and even then, you'll have to pay for it. I have a masters degree and put in more than 1200 hours of continual education in the last two years on my own time and time. Upon completion I was told by management "That's great" and received zero recognition, advancement, or acknowledgment for it. To add further insult to injury, I was then told I could not train in their "program manager" career track because I wasn't qualified (pay grade). Nepotism is rampant. This may be restricted to my division, but several managers have siblings, kids, or _____-in-laws working for them. As a result, these people will take a remarkable amount of vacation, leave early and arrive late, get the best assignments, and somehow rack up a lot of Overtime despite never seeming to be in the office. The career track is a meat grinder. To get to my position and to advance beyond my position is this: Join the company as an extremely underpaid contractor via CCI or Kelly Services. Get worked to death for an unliveable wage. Prove that you're somehow special (maybe) and get the opportunity to interview for a Long Term Supplemental position (a 3 year contract at a flat pay rate that hasn't been adjusted in 5 years and if/when it does, will NOT be retroactively bumped), where you will then compete against about 100 other LTS staff for a chance at getting converted to an IBM "Regular" (the odds are about 1-3%). If you make it, you will not receive any raise or special recognition, you're just not going to get fired at the end of 3 years. Beyond this point, there is a layer of managers who have all worked there for at least a decade and who have no career motivation, so your only hope at advancing higher than this is that one of them gets fired or quits, and even then they tend to just double up over the accounts rather than leaving the position open.

    Advice to Management

    Re-work your services business model. You have annual attrition of 95% and it's a huge waste of talent and effort. Your emphasis on "speed to answer" makes it so that the vendor contractors will hire almost anyone so long as they have a pulse so they pick up the phone, resulting in huge wastes of training, coaching, and HR effort to keep these borderline retarded people still "working". Your emphasis on "think 40" for your staff is stupid. You force staff to educate themselves in things that have nothing to do with them (teaching HR about Cloud Infrastructure is akin to teaching field workers astrophysics; is it interesting? Sure. Is it going to help them do their jobs at all? No.) Your strategic initiatives are great ideas but your are executing way too slowly (by the economic definition you have been in two consecutive depressions). Your system for promotions/retention is insane and borderline abusive. You will hire someone off the street right out of college and pay them six figures, but if someone works for you and gets the same degree, you will not promote them or shop them around to other managers, nor provide them with any raise. This will *always* result in you losing that employee when they get tired of your "See this as a learning experience" BS. The ivory tower viewpoint of the company is killing the employees. I had two mentors who were 20+ year employees who received the fabled "1" ratings for years in a row, and both were placed on the "Developmental Plan of Action" in which you cut their pay by 10% and give them a day off during the week to "educate themselves to improve". This was done to save the company money in a year that it was going to fail to show a profit in 3rd quarter (2014), and resulted in you losing both of them. Don't insult your employees. Specifically to Ginny: Resign. Your tenure as a CEO cannot be excused under the "we're undergoing a strategic transition" blanket. It is 100% your responsibility to make the changes in a timely, efficient, and effective manner. It never occurred to you that the divisions you believed were "low margin" were still producing a margin, whereas firing thousands of talented staff to get rid of these low margin divisions has pushed them into the hands of our competition. You can't get away with giving little-to-no-raises at the company and then pay yourself a multi-million dollar bonus (yes I know the board awarded it to you, but I also know you're super-chummy people). You and your hairband have lost touch with the pulse of the company in a deeply fundamental way. You use and abuse the staff and expect them to be grateful to work at IBM, despite it not being the same company that it was when you were down in the trenches 20+ years ago. You live a charmed life atop your tower, and I'm pretty sure you thought Marie Antoinette was spot on when she said "let them eat cake."


  11. Helpful (2)

    Seriously went downhill over my 12 year career there

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Project Manager in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - IT Project Manager in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent experience, and having IBM on your resume does wonders.

    Cons

    Morale is TERRIBLE after all the outsourcing that happened, constant fear of being laid off. Clients started dropping like flies post-outsourcing. There was a massive brain drain, as well. Really great employees left because they were so unhappy.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that you need happy employees in order to have happy customers. Focus on your employees.



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