IBM Research

  www.research.ibm.com
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IBM Research Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 346 reviews

68% Approve of the CEO

IBM Research CEO Virginia Rommety

Virginia Rommety

(47 ratings)

81% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Breadth of technologies; really smart people; excellent work-life balance(in 37 reviews)

  • Relaxed work culture, flexible timings, work from home is possible(in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • A lot of the senior management believes it has the "vision" necessary to micro-manage the work of research staff(in 8 reviews)

  • Lots of uncertainty regarding job security and very hard career growth(in 6 reviews)

346 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Still top industrial research lab but for how long?

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsInteresting work on border between industry and research.

    Conssenior management lost touch with market, IBM outside Research is still in denial about changes such as cloud, refuses to read and understand "Innovator's Dilemma"

    Advice to Senior Managementmore market validation, less micro management, need long term investment and not few months until next report, abandon EPS before it is too late ... invest into deep change and give people freedom and responsibility to make it happen

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    Interesting, hard to navigate.

    RSM (Current Employee) Yorktown Heights, NY

    ProsChallenging, good working environment. Flexible working hours, if needed ability to work remotely. Collaborative and productive research environment.

    ConsLots of uncertainty regarding job security and very hard career growth. Flexible working hours sometimes means you have to work at all times.

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    I have a great run, these days, the company is beset by layoffs

    Research Staff Member (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    Pros1) Good smart colleagues
    2) Flexible work hours
    3) License to learn new things, and come up with completely new ideas

    Cons1) The company seems to be run by bean-counters. These are MBA types that do not care about technology, and don't take into account any considerations which do not have quantifiable monetary value. For example, how much do free snacks contribute? Travel to talk to colleagues overseas?
    2) Slow decision making process
    3) Difficult to transition ideas and code from research to development.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop talking in earnings per share, and stock buy back. Employees could not care less.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    good for research

    Research Staff Member (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    Prosgood for research if you like it
    good environment for work
    flexible work schedule
    good based payment for fresh PhD
    good location, nice view on the top of the mountain

    Consvery limited salary raise
    very limited bonus

    Advice to Senior Managementmore bonus and salary raise

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    good environment should be encourage

    Research Scientist (Current Employee) West Delhi, NY

    Prosgood environment in the company

    Consbad location where the company located

    Advice to Senior Managementincrease salaries of all employees working under

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    As student is ok

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsNew technology, cutting edge, brand new tools

    ConsPeople, lack of communication, offices

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunication, coordination, cooperation

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Many excellent researchers in one place.

    Postdoctoral Researcher (Current Employee) Yorktown Heights, NY

    ProsResources both physical, monetary, and intellectual

    ConsValuing the share price of employee satisfaction

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Research Staff Member

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsQuite many legendary figures are still here. There are many aspects of business technology one can work on. Flexible hours, individual offices. New Watson technology is exciting for AI scholars.

    ConsIBM business is struggling, losing business in its traditional domains. Some drastic changes in business model are pending.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep smaller research staff, let go less productive people, treat the remaining team well, focus on longer term goal.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    IBM Research is great but the rest of the company is dragging it down

    Research Scientist (Current Employee) Yorktown Heights, NY

    ProsIf you are a Ph.D. and want to work in the industry but still be in touch with the academic work, IBM Research is one of the few places that can provide that opportunity. As a research staff member (typically only Ph.D.s are hired), you will be measured based on three things: 1. your project work and how much it contributed to the company in terms of cost savings, revenue impact, or other qualitative impact, or technological advances if you are lucky enough to be working on such things 2. patents you file, 3. papers you publish. Since IBM is a global company, the projects can come from many different industries and many different locations in the world. The Research division enjoys high respect within the company but much more so outside the company.

    ConsIBM's obsession with pleasing the Wall Street brings about a short sighted view to its research policy and hence impacts its Research negatively. All parts of IBM unfortunately scramble to meet short term financial objectives and Research is very often called for help, which takes researchers away from their primary roles of inventing and innovating game changing technologies and methods. By definition, research means investing time and money in high risk high reward problems. For instance, Watson was developed over quite a few years with dozens of people involved. That is what it takes to create serious technologies. Watson team had the few lucky researchers. Unfortunately, many researchers find themselves in a situation where they are asked to help the other parts of IBM improve their bottom line. Since other parts of IBM provide research its funding, they have a lot of influence on defining research projects and therefore how researchers spend their time. Since they are hard pressed to meet their financial objectives, they tend to define projects that help their short term financial goals. Such projects are almost always less innovative and tend to have marginal value for the company. IBM researchers are very capable people. IBM hires the very best to its Research. However, under so much pressure to help IBM's bottom line and do it fast, it is hard for researchers to come up with earth shaking innovations, though they would be perfectly capable to do so if they were given some breathing room. There are still quite a few researchers who still get to work on really promising things but their numbers are quite small.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo back to the basic definition of "research". Go after high risk high reward ideas, invest your precious research resources to those and be patient. Protect your researchers from short term ups and downs of IBM's business. Research is not about that. Here is a simple analogy if you don't really understand this. Imagine parents that are struggling to make the ends meet. They have a child who is brilliant and doing extremely well at school. He/she has a bright future but needs support. What do the right parents do? They sacrifice everything to make sure that child gets a chance to use his/her potential. If supported well, such a child can not only save himself/herself but the entire family and plus more. IBM has over 400,000 employees worldwide. IBM Research has only around 3000 people. IBM can certainly effort to provide some level of protection to its researchers if it wants to get good things out of them. If a researcher has to worry about budget cuts, limited resources, and having to help this division versus that, when will they have the peace of mind to do serious research that can change the future of IBM. IBM has to trust its Research again and make the environment conducive for its researchers.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Research @ IBM T.J. Watson

    Research Staff Member (Current Employee) Yorktown Heights, NY

    ProsSmart colleagues, wide range of research projects to work on, can have impact on research and IBM products.

    ConsPretty happy here, no real cons that I can think off at the present time.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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