IBM Reviews

Updated October 29, 2014
Updated October 29, 2014
11,955 Reviews
3.1
11,955 Reviews
Rating Trends

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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,751 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work from home 2 days/week if you have to commute over 45 minutes to the office (in 1321 reviews)

  • Work life balance ( Work from home) & wider opportunity if you have good network (in 1289 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life/balance depends entirely on the management of your individual projects (in 416 reviews)

  • Senior Management thinks that too many metrics are replacement for good management (in 209 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A good stepping stone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior I/T Specialist in Lake Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Senior I/T Specialist in Lake Dallas, TX

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    Exposure to large projects and early exposure to new products and technologies. The pay is industry average, and the entire experience can be heavily influenced on your immediate management; this is good and bad. Having experience at IBM may be viewed as desireable by future employers. There are lots of opportunities for professional and personal networking.

    Cons

    Little personal attention given to skills development. Preoccupation with Billable utilization over other important commitments. Getting answers to client questions could be difficult at times, with the client sometimes getting 2 different directions from 2 separate Service areas within GS.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve retention of top talent and promote effective leaders.

  2. 36 people found this helpful  

    Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM

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

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

    Pros

    Disclaimer: A lot of what I'm writing below of course depends on the work area and management chain. But I found this to be fairly pervasive policies in IBM in my 9+ years with the company.
    1. IBM's policies and management are very flexible when it comes to working remotely or accommodating various life situations (sick days, doctor visits, etc.). Management is encouraged to measure an employee by their work and impact, and not by hours spent at their office.
    2. Great colleagues! Though unfortunately, many have been leaving due to the instability of IBM's HW development business.
    3. At least in my area, there's a high level of flexibility on which projects should I undertake based on my and my management assessment of business impact.

    Cons

    1. Unfortunately, IBM still uses the "normal distribution" rating system, where at the end of the year each employee is ranked as a top contributor (5%), above average contributor (15%), average contributor (~75%), and bottom contributor (5%). This curve is difficult to apply in the R&D world, where you may have many members of the team working long and hard hours, and end up being "average contributors" at the end of the year, because there just isn't room for all to be top contributors.

    2. The above may not be so disturbing, if only IBM didn't practically cancelled all raises, performance bonuses and incentive for the non top-performers. I've had a consistent "above average" rating in the last 4-5 years, and my raise and performance bonus were ridiculous mere 1.5-2% of my salary. Were I rated "average contributor" I would have gotten NOTHING. So you can imagine that people can go year after year without any raise to their salary.

    From talking to manager friend, this is IBM's way to eliminate the non-top-performers without having to fire them, as part of its direction of reducing US manpower.

    3. Hiring freeze in many areas - again, as part of IBM's attempt to reduce its workforce across North America and Europe we see many jobs move to the India and Far East markets. This is of course upsetting to see local teams shrink and disappear, especially when many great local IBM colleagues and experts begin to drop out. From my experience thus far working with India SW teams - they are still very far away from the standards I would have expected from US and Europe based teams.

    4. Poor top down communication about company's and divisions' future. Employees learn from rumors and news websites what's about to come...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management must keep in mind that it today's world, which is saturated with brilliant companies that hire top talent, IBM must remain competitive to attract great talent and hold on to it. In the meanwhile, we're seeing the opposite trend, where great people leave IBM for other companies, be it because of a more competitive package, dropping morale and many other reasons.

    Neutral Outlook
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Overall a good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Sales Specialist in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best reasons to work for IBM are the flexibility and ability to move around within the company. Most reps that you work with are great to team with and more often than not, management is pretty generous with allowing you to be flexible with your time.

    Cons

    Pay is barely average for the industry. Sr Management is still under the impression that being IBM is worth more than it really is. It takes a lot more than having the name to get in the door to our customers. The company has become too maniacally focused on metrics, and very un-meaningful metrics, rather than results. You can hit your quota and still get hammered for several menial tasks that have nothing to do with doing your job well. Sometimes being a large company can mean things take 3 times as long as they should.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be a path for employees who came in at a low salary to get a bump up to their market value without leaving the company and coming back. It is widely known that the best way to get a raise is to go work somewhere else for a year then come back and make what you are worth. Typically the person they hire to backfill you will end up making more than you requested to begin with.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Overwhelmingly Positive Experience with IBM Watson Group

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

    I have been working at IBM full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Background: I've been with IBM for 2 years: one year with GBS S&T Consulting and one year with Watson Group. Prior to IBM, I worked at a start-up company. I will tailor this review to my experience with the Watson Group only.

    Pros:
    1. GREAT colleagues. Most of my colleagues are actually external hires. I think it's a pointed decision in order to fundamentally bring in new perspectives into this new business unit. I can't say enough about how great they are, as not only are they a pleasure to work with, but I can find some professional qualities that I sincerely admire in each and every one of them.

    2. Trust and Ownership. Each of us own a specific industry vertical on the team. There's inherent trust from our senior executives in our ability to deliver on our targets/goals. This gives us a great deal of freedom in making our own decisions on what we think is most valuable/right to pursue. Since we're aligned to a specific industry, we have complete ownership over the results we bring in and the team members collaborate well to help each other out such that we exceed our expectations as a group.

    3. Sense of Pride & Passion. We talk to CXOs of organizations big and small on a daily basis on their strategic view and how Watson will fit into this picture. We share great ideas, push the boundaries, and push for the "art of the possible". Let's face it. Getting paid well to talk to people about ideas is a pretty darn good deal.
    4. Compensation. Great compensation. More than competitive. Frankly, this is probably the last thing I'd boast about this experience.

    5. NO PERFORMANCE REVIEWS. Finally. The Watson Group GETS IT. I remember having to spend many hours over the weekend writing up paragraphs to justify why I deserve a "good rating", along with an endless list of "evidences" to support my claims. If you've gone through this crucible, you know what I mean. If you haven't, well, let's hope you never have to.

    Cons

    Cons:
    1. Outdated Tools. The technology we use internally for much of the work we do is extremely outdated or insufficient. Now, the funny thing is, this is one of the biggest areas that our director identified as an "improvement" area. Took us forever to get a good CRM system up and running. I guess this is the old IBM processes haunting us.

    2. Lack of Continuity in Group-level Communications. It's incredibly hard for us to keep track of the "big picture" - all of the cool things that Research is working on, for example; what's in the pipeline; etc. This is a valid problem that is typical for a team that is growing so quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having been in GBS and now Watson, I can feel the STARK contrast in everything about these two business units in IBM. Please keep doing whatever you're doing to nurture the Watson spirit. Changing an existing culture is hard, but it'd be incredible to see changes across other business units based on the success in implanting a different type of vibe in the Watson Group. It is worth noting, however, that the fundamental IBM value and culture remains uniform and is observed by all IBMers (one of them being - clients first).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    It depends where you are

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

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

    Pros

    IBM is a big company. I have worked in a few different areas, and each is like a different company, with its own culture, and people. If you don't like where you are, and you're capable, there are lots of opportunities, lots of products, lots of places to try.

    Cons

    Top management has a focus on shareholders first, then clients, then employees. Once you recognize and accept that the word "customers" usually refers to shareholders, much of what upper management says makes more sense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people who leave are usually the best people. Not enough is done to keep top talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great company

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

    I worked at IBM (more than an year)

    Pros

    Solid company to work for. Cool employees. Good management. I had a great time working here and personally I thought working at IBM is what you made of it.

    Cons

    Certain emplyoees were very rude and brash. But they were few and far between, made it easy and simple to work and enjoyable to come into work everyday. I just tried to steer clear of those certain rude people.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great Company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Designer in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Web Designer in Detroit, MI

    I have been working at IBM part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Many intelligent employees with amazing skills in the art of computer programming and web design.

    Cons

    Lots of miscommunication between client and IBM team

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Thought I was an expert until I worked with a smarter workforce

    • 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 full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    IBM challenges me every day to be a problem solver. Really enjoy working with my team and love my boss!

    Cons

    A lot of folks want their problems solves immediately. Sometimes those answers don't happen in a nanosecond. Meeting their expectations could be challenging at times.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company to work for

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

    I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Culture, ethics, employee benefits, worklife balance and career growth

    Cons

    Pay, organization structure, and lack of fostering new ideas and innovation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow employees to take on risk, foster more entrepreneurial work environment

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    IBM Extreme Blue is Top Notch

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Extreme Blue Intern in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Extreme Blue Intern in Austin, TX

    I have been working at IBM as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Present to the CEO
    - Submit Patents
    - High Pay
    - Housing was covered 100%
    - Full-time benefits (e.g. Airfare discounts and car rental discounts)
    - Austin, TX is nice

    Cons

    - Texas is hot I guess
    - People bash on building 45, and they're right, it is a bit ugly
    - The play feels empty
    - Workers are honest about IBM almost even to a fault (I kind of like this though)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Work on getting more people to come on campus to work--too many people working from home, makes the place feel empty. Although ~7,000 people work at IBM Austin, it only ever feels like 2,000 of them are on campus.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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