IBM Reviews

Updated September 20, 2014
Updated September 20, 2014
11,618 Reviews
3.1
11,618 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,579 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Most managers are pretty flexible if you want to work from home a couple days a week (in 1228 reviews)

  • There are no unrealistic expectations causing work-life balance to be messed up (in 1189 reviews)


Cons
  • Though the company espouses work life balance there is no getting away from work (in 373 reviews)

  • Senior Management thinks that too many metrics are replacement for good management (in 202 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A lot of indoctrination and dishonesty

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cyber Security  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Cyber Security in Washington, DC

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    If you are coming, as a seasoned professional, do bargain and max out your offer and the sign-up bonus, You can get a very, very competitive offer when you just come aboard.

    If you play by the rules, don't drop any balls, and follow the crowd, you will have job security and peace of mind.

    Cons

    There is no any real raises after you are hired. There will be some symbolic raises and bonuses, but they are not worth mentioning.
    Be ready to work 44 hours a week or more, and get peanuts in return for extra hours.

    I have seen companies that really strive to develop their employees and facilitate educational endeavors. At IBM, you have to do it in your own personal time and at your own expense. No conference attendance.... No free access to even IBM-owned tools that you would love to master... After 10 years with IBM, you still won't know what Rational tools do, even if you really would love to know. Yeah, you can take an online course about Rational stuff, but you won't have access to any simulation environment or the actual tools!

    You will come in a professional expert in the latest technology and tools, and in 2-3 years you will have no knowledge of current stuff and won't even know about the latest tools...

    Also, they spend about 40% more time of various compliance mandatory educational courses that majority of employees don't really understand and are not interested in knowing.... In private, they despise of of "those non-sense courses".

    There will be constant drumbeat about integrity and honesty... They will offer a fairly low billable rate to the client, and then will saddle that client with a 44-hour base week, 20+ part-time support employees (that will cause headaches to PM and overruns to the project), and an over-bloated team of 20 guys for the job that can be done by 10. But.... who got ever fired for hiring IBM? ))

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read the Cons and consider.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Boston Area IBM Software Group

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

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I am a twelve year veteran of IBM who came to the company via an acquisition. I worked in the Boston area exclusively with occasional trips to New York and offices that were in Dublin. I was part of the company's software group and spent time as people manager and individual contributor.

     IBM offered a competitive salary initially and a very robust benefits package to employees. They also offered many opportunities for skills enhancement through various education offerings both in terms of internally offered courses or reimbursement. Movement within the company to new opportunities was another attractive feature, but not one that I personally used in my time there. Telecommuting was an option for many and I was able to take advantage of this policy 2 days per week which helped ease the sting of my 90 mile daily round trip commute.

    The company is mature, has many established systems, and a specific way of doing things. People used to working in an environment with a very defined set of responsibilities and processes would do well.

    Cons

    IBM desires a high performance culture and purports to pay for that performance. While one can do well initially on base salary, performance is by no means a guarantee of reward. A key factor in leaving the company was lack of reward (of any sort) despite very good to excellent performance reviews (as experienced personally and also experienced by my peers). At my time of employment stock awards were suspended as a means of rewarding our best employees leaving managers with little to work with other than a shrinking bonus pool to offer top employees. Often the result would be essentially telling the employee that despite the business unit doing well their reward for performance would simply be continued employment (this was something experienced prior to the recession).

    Financial pressures on IBM due to the cost of health care also had an effect on the total compensation package. With each year available healthcare plans changed resulting in often having to switch doctors, higher deductibles and less coverage. While the overall coverage offered was still generally better than many other companies, it became a challenge to manage the yearly changes required of moving to a new health care provider's network (transfer of records, finding new doctors in my area, ensuring I had the right coverage for my family, etc...). More than once I had to battle the company bureaucracy to pay for federally mandated coverage.

    Work-life balance became a work-life blend. While policies like telecommuting were in place at the end of my tenure at IBM, executives were actively redefining what work-life meant at IBM. The end result was more of a blending of work and life rather than maintaining any separation. The option to telecommute became more restrictive with the building of a new campus and an expectation of being connected to work, even when on paid time off, became the norm.

    As a mature and large company IBM is process driven to a fault. Innovation and creativity are stifled leading IBM to often fail in recognizing a business opportunity or industry trend (need an example? then consider their delayed entry to cloud computing).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The conflict between claiming to have pro work-life balance policies and what was actually happening ultimately led to my decision to leave. The lack of any award system for high performers was also discouraging especially in quarters where the company and business unit did well. Executive face time with employees is insufficient. I can honestly say that my last two general managers are unmemorable and I can not even recall their names. The only thing I can remember is that they wanted their offices remodeled to reflect their status.

    If asked about a career at IBM I would say it's good for a 5-7 year run. After that you are better off taking your experience elsewhere.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    past its prime

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

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

    Pros

    great people, great ideal values

    Cons

    bureaucracy, way to slow, does not value innovation anymore

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    do away with 2015 roadmap

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Used to be 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Great colleagues, for the most part
    Great brand and history of innovation
    Flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Layoffs are constant. Everyone is constantly concerned about job security. Most people are afraid and stressed. Many people have one foot out the door and are evaluating other opportunities. This does not lead to innovation or effective work product.

    You cannot move within IBM... even laterally. It was always difficult, but it has become nearly impossible. This is especially true across divisions. Everything is currently frozen. Transfers are blocked.

    Salary is generally below market rate. You may start at market rate, but salaries rarely go up.

    Financial model and EPS goals are preventing sufficient investment in future innovations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IBM used to be a great place to work in which people were pleased to go the extra mile. Restore employee confidence. Respect the individual. How your employees feel will eventually be how your customers feel... how your customers feel will eventually be how your investors feel.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Not innovating within the software divisions.

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

    I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work life balance was manageable

    Cons

    Job was highly political. There was more work internally selling than actually executing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire some lawyers and eliminate a layer or two of management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great company to start your career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant  in  Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Herndon, VA

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

    Pros

    Lots of resources to learn. Great people. Flexible hours, depending on your project. Exposure to different projects and experiences.

    Cons

    Hard to move up in a big company. No raises at all.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    It's what you make it, and it's a fight to make it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Compared to other IT consulting companies, the culture is pragmatic and focused on delivering the right thing for the client. IBM is obviously huge, so it is what you make it. You'll work with very diverse teams. Some teams will be great, others will be poor. If you are willing to put in 60-70 hour weeks doing 40+ of client delivery and 20+ of business development and figuring out how to navigate the internal processes, you'll do great and get promotions and advance. If you want to work 40-44 hours a week just doing client work, you'll have a secure job, but don't expect a raise no matter how stellar your performance is at the client site.

    Cons

    Business development and proposal process is a mess, and you seemingly reinvent the wheel every time.
    It's easier to get a new job than get on a new project (this is really just for Public Sector GBS).
    You have to fight to make your own career happen, no one else is actually looking out for you. It's your job to write your own project performance evaluations, write the case to apply for a promotion and at the end of the day there are really just 2 numbers that matter most: billable utilization %, and dollars of sales wins.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The bottom few layers of managers are being consistently stripped of any power to actually make changes or make their own decisions in the interest of helping out their employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Nice Experience

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

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    Good Brand Name
    Resource Knowledge Base

    Cons

    Lack of Visibility in the organization

  10.  

    Solid company

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance, exposure to many different technologies, reasonable people to work with

    Cons

    Behind the times when it comes to attracting and keeping talent

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Tough company to work for

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    Great health benefits, 401k plan and loyal employees.

    Cons

    Upper management was under so much pressure to cut the bottom line that no one was happy, every one was over worked and when jobs were sent offshore, quality no longer mattered

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Worry about your employees. Treat them like people, not just numbers.

Worked for IBM? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.