IBM Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
Updated October 22, 2014
11,881 Reviews
3.1
11,881 Reviews
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,707 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work from home 2 days/week if you have to commute over 45 minutes to the office (in 1308 reviews)

  • Work life balance ( Work from home) & wider opportunity if you have good network (in 1281 reviews)


Cons
  • Though the company espouses work life balance there is no getting away from work (in 414 reviews)

  • Senior Management thinks that too many metrics are replacement for good management (in 208 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A good place to work overall.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    IBM has lots of resources, reach and opportunities for employees that are successful.

    Cons

    IBM can have a lot of heavy processes

    Approves of CEO
  2. 33 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. 3 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    I loved the opportunity to drive my work and career in almost any direction I desired.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Technical Specialist in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Client Technical Specialist in Glendale, CA

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

    Pros

    From a technical point of view, your learning opportunities are unbounded. Through training and job experience, even an "off" day can provide a chance to learn. With solutions focus, working on one product area will almost certainly lead to learning about some other area. People are great! People are helpful and have a willingness to mentor, or be mentored.

    Cons

    With mobile offices, you may be separated physically from a team, so be ready to use tools to feel connected. Still a huge bureaucracy, so getting through or following processes can be frustrating. The elephant is still learning how to dance. No longer is being good at your job a guarantee you will be able to keep that job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is very frustrating to see resource actions, followed relatively soon by hiring. Try to be more aware of moral in the field.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    I worked as a Senior Architect for Global Security Services which took all of my time, even weekends.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Security Architect in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Senior Security Architect in Las Vegas, NV

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

    Pros

    The best reasons to work here is that you are the tip of the spear when in comes to Information Security.

    Cons

    A work/life balance as with the traveling and administrative work it is a 7 days per week, which no time to make appointments as you do not know where you will be from week to week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Team building would be my number one goal, as well as ensuring the same message is put out. The Administrative side will not help you and send you in numerous directions costing time and money.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Training is great

    • 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

    Pros

    Mandatory training is excellent. Resources for doing a better job and knowing your competition are plentiful. Technical resources are also great at helping to put together an impressive win win customer strategy.

    Cons

    Finding many of these resources, tools and process instructions can be a real challenge. Be sure to get a manager that has the time, experience and knowledge on how to find these things to save you some long frustrating cycles. IBM doesn't really have a buddy system set up for new hires. So having a knowledgeable, point of contact who has the time to help will be a good thing for your first 3 months,

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Smart people, great product

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

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

    Pros

    Watson is an incredibly interesting and intellectually challenging product. As a result, working on the Watson team feels like an academic environment where you can learn enormous amounts from your peers while building a world class product.

    Cons

    The Watson team still has some of the pains of being a part of such a large company- difficult red tape to cut through, design decisions where a bad technology was chosen because it is developed in-house rather than using standard technologies, etc. That being said, much of the structure of the team and their approach is constantly changing for the better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Watson team should be more cohesive and independent of the larger IBM culture. If IBM wants to attract top talent for Watson, they need to take hints from how the rest of the modern software world operates which is very different from the larger IBM culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    Great company to work for!

    Cons

    too much stress working

    Recommends
  10.  

    Contract Consultant

    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager

    I have been working at IBM as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Ability to work from home on diversifed projects for a broad selection of differernt clients

    Cons

    More than ample checks & balaces and adminstrative process to deal with

    Recommends
  11.  

    Great long term experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President in Southbury, CT
    Current Employee - Vice President in Southbury, CT

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

    Pros

    Interesting jobs and assignments
    Great people

    Cons

    Too process oriented without building out the structures/people to implement the process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep streamlining the company quickly, bring in fresh new employees (but they need to feel part of the bigger picture quickly)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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