IBM Research Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    In the downward spiral

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

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

    Pros

    great and knowledgeable colleagues. However many good people are leaving for they are uncertain about their long term future in the company

    Cons

    Employees are no longer valued . The healthcare benefits are not good and salary increases are non existent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to the core IBM values .

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful

    Exciting world-class industrial research environment, marred by mediocre (or worse) treatment of employees by management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Research Staff Member in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    * Exciting opportunity to collaborate with world-class researchers covering a broad array of disciplines, focused on
    solving real-world problems.
    * Expectations include publishing papers in high-quality venues, allowing one to maintain good contact (and possibly even collaborations) with academic community

    Cons

    * Employee evaluations based on a quota system that other companies like Microsoft have now abandoned because it has been proven to hurt employee morale; employees can receive low evaluations for excellent work, and incentives can thwart collaboration among employees
    * High-level corporate strategy of cutting way to growth seems wrong-headed and unsustainable, and has negative impact on Research including tight budgets and shortened time horizons for Research
    * High-level corporate budget-tightening has in some cases translated to less freedom in Research, with some managers treating their teams like military command-and-control organizations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * To the CEO and Board of Directors: How is cutting your way to growth working out for you? Not so well, according to IBM's financial results for the last many quarters running. You need to radically re-think your approach.
    * Follow the lead of Microsoft, and drop the quota system for employee evaluations. Human Resources needs to read the studies that show that evaluations systems of this nature hurt employee morale and create incentives for employees not to cooperate with one another.
    * Please realize that Research is not a military organization. High-level managers do not have all the good ideas. You need to listen to the ideas of researchers who report to you and be willing to do some work to creatively blend them with top-down directives.
    * Please realize that the most healthy and productive research environment is one in which researchers have some freedom to explore; to take chances on promising but uncertain projects. By and large, the tight budget and the quota system for employee evaluations seem to drive IBM Research management to punish failure much too harshly, and this naturally directs people towards doing safer, more incremental research.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. Software Administrative Analyst/ Project Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Administrative Analyst/Project Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Software Administrative Analyst/Project Manager in San Jose, CA

    I worked at IBM Research

    Pros

    It was a great place to work and grown. I gamed lots of experience and got to meet very nice people. I loved the new challenges that came with the territory. I was never board because they was always new things to learn all the time.

    Cons

    They laid off when times get hard instead of reducing the entire team time and hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They should look at ways to keep all employees on board instead of laying off as soon as the stock drops below expectations.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. PhD Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at IBM Research

    Pros

    Lots of independence to work on cool projects

    Cons

    Politics
    Lack of long term vision

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6. Summer Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Research Intern in San Jose, CA
    Former Intern - Research Intern in San Jose, CA

    I worked at IBM Research as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Really interesting work, and interesting work all around you
    Amazing hours and flexibility
    extremely smart people

    Cons

    Not many young people, which was a little annoying as one of the few undergrad interns there.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Great people, but not the company it used to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY

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

    Pros

    Seriously wonderful people and a vibrant community. I've always loved that if you run into a problem or have a question about something, reaching out and finding expertise is easy.

    Cons

    Over the years, the focus on providing customer value has been lost. Sadly, IBM seems to be chasing this quarter's numbers over and over again rather than building sustaining value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flatten the management chain. There are way to many level between the average employee and the CEO. The best jobs I had in IBM were the ones where I was only 4 or 5 levels from the CEO. Now, I'm something like 7-8.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful

    How times have changed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Yorktown Heights, NY

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance. Management will accommodate you for your family need. Many years back, my wife suffered from a rare chronicle decease and required hospitalization and then home care. My manager basically allowed me working from home (and hospital) all the time while she we being treated and recovering from the illness. I really appreciate that. Furthermore, the base pay is very competitive here at IBM Research, although bonus is almost non-existent nowadays. Working atmosphere is very friendly and people are mostly nice and cooperative. If you are a female and at a child bearing age, IBM in general is very accommodating, even more so in IBM Research.

    Cons

    IBM as it is now is the antithesis of successful start-ups and their even more successful descendants (the like of Google, Facebook etc.) There is a lack of youthful energy here. More of us endeavor to try to save (or change depending who you talk to) the dying business model and only a few have the luxury of being given the space to be truly innovative. There is a great brain drain going on. Really smart people are quitting left and right to go the the aforementioned companies. For many of us, we are "Research" in name only. Sure we have the great "Watson" fame, but most of us toil on old IBM technologies and try to squeeze out one more drop of competitiveness out of the outdated systems and tools.
    While things here are going downhill slow motion style, the rank and file bear the most pains. We are supposed to "innovate" as managers consistently demand of us while themselves mostly doing pointless meetings and power-pointing. Yet our accomplishment is mostly determined by how much direct business impact our work creates. With this conflicting goals, we are really caught between a rock and a hard place. Unless you are a super star that can really balance the two, most of us just submit to the fact that our management can at any time put all the blame on us one way or the other, with nothing sticking to them.
    In general, I had my good times here. But this is the sad time now. Stay away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When the ship is going down, don't lock those of us who are going the real work in the cellar cabins and maybe we can help you save the ship from sinking.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. Working at IBM Research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yorktown Heights, NY

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

    Pros

    Great people! Very smart and inquisitive. Good cafeteria. Walking paths, nice campus. Interesting projects; part of a worldwide network.

    Cons

    Too much bureaucracy, limited budgets, excessive reporting. Management pressure increases every year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more basic research. Develop more ideas into products.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    Great CEO, great people, and the worst senior management

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

    I have been working at IBM Research

    Pros

    Great CEO (positive, relatively transparent, trying hard), great people (smart, want to do great things)

    Cons

    Senior management is the absolute worst (incompetent technically, incompetent business leaders, the only thing they know is what they know and what they've always known for the last 20 years)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to leave

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I worked at IBM Research as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very intellectual place. Friendly and helpful colleagues. I had a rewarding intern experience and learnt a lot both from the work and from the people.

    Cons

    Location is in the middle of nowhere. It's hard to get anywhere without a car and it is far away from public transportation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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