IBM Research Reviews

Updated July 24, 2015
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374 Employee Reviews

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  1. Research staff member

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time

    Pros

    Having the privilege to work with extremely smart people.

    Cons

    It feels a bit old and slow. Although that's changing.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Overall I was very satisfied with the challenges of the work and the Education Benefits provided.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are on the correct project, working on very exciting leading edge technologies.

    Cons

    Having >400,000 employees and not growing top line revenue has made it tough for advancement in the last few years

    Advice to Management

    It was good they gave up on the 2015 roadmap, spend more time focusing on the top performers.


  3. Helpful (4)

    software engineer

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

    I worked at IBM Research (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    no pros. sorry!!!

    Cons

    - bad first line managers! - mostly useless upper/higher level top management - not good health insurance - salary not good - workplace sucks! (imagine working at 40 year old office :-( ) - not many options for food (at IBM SVL, San Jose CA) - managers dont know what engineers do - complete disconnect between HR and employees, dont know if they have a HR department

    Advice to Management

    definitely need to improve, and take better decisions to improve business, and dont mindlessly fire productive employees,


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  5. Excellent opportunity for diverse areas

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

    I have been working at IBM Research

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    large funding for strategic initiatives, e.g. Watson

    Cons

    Very large company. Hard to maintain contact with friends and colleagues

    Advice to Management

    streamline organization


  6. IBM GBS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Development Specialist in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - Applications Development Specialist in Baton Rouge, LA

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Laid back good work environment

    Cons

    having a job and still having to look for a job


  7. Helpful (3)

    Great balance and freedom.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work-life balance. Lots of working from home -- which is especially helpful for new parents or folks dealing with sick loved-ones. IBM shows a lot of trust in its researchers to choose their own problems and drive them. It also encourages collaboration with academia and it's a good way to get interns to come and work for you while staying on the cutting edge and relevant in the broader research community.

    Cons

    Lots of older IBMers don't get the way the world works today, and that's alarming. The notion that everything open source is winning and everyone wants everything "as a service" is a fairly new concept that hasn't entirely been accepted by all within research. With the research organization being so large there are people who just don't get how to do impactful research anymore. They're so focused on supporting the current busniess that they spend years without any significant publications and lose sight of what are the important problems that will prepare IBM to compete. There's almost a unethical drive to get more patents -- even for stuff we'll never build. In effect, IBM Research is the biggest patent troll there is. Also, the bonuses are *tiny* (around 1% for average performance and <10% for the best of the best performers). I don't know what it used to be like at IBM Research but it's obvious why the best people arrive, love the freedom, and then realize top-notch research will not be rewarded unless it makes it into products within a year. To make up for longer-term results, you have to write patents, since at least that does generate revenue for the division.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on research. Perhaps even break up the research division into 2. One that focuses on more R than D and the other that focuses on more D than R. That would at least make the goals clearer and the incentives better defined.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great research institute but great job uncertainty

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

    I worked at IBM Research

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great resources, very smart people, great opportunities.

    Cons

    Fear of lay-offs interferes with job enjoyment.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce focus on pleasing development partners. A Research division provides best longterm value when it has the freedom to explore new ideas without worrying about whether a current development manager will fund the work.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Things have changed a lot

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

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    1. most people are here for the "right" reasons, to pursue science and technology an 2. we have some very top-notch people

    Cons

    1. a good amount of favoritism and some very horrible managers 2. lack of transparency from executive branch on very important restructurings, we don't hear about it until it has already happened


  10. Helpful (1)

    It was great until my whole project moved to China.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Management Professional Advisory in Hawthorne, NY
    Current Employee - Systems Management Professional Advisory in Hawthorne, NY

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice work environment and good package.

    Cons

    Jobs are not secure. No Future. Hawthorne location is now closed and many IT jobs have gone to China.

    Advice to Management

    Near-shore projects and keep the money in the US.


  11. Positive Experience

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

    I worked at IBM Research full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent experience at the company where I learned quite a bit.

    Cons

    Large structure of management in a shrinking organization leaves few opportunities.



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