National Instruments Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
619 Reviews
3.7
619 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
480 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The people are friendly and you are encouraged to maintain a good work life balance (in 88 reviews)

  • The people are generally brilliant and the work environment is healthy (in 56 reviews)


Cons
  • Although the work/life balance was in general, sometimes the work could take over (in 15 reviews)

  • Organizational structure and consensus culture are huge roadblocks in the decision making process (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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

    Great opportunities to learn

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Pros

    Autonomy, ability to set own schedule, priorities

    Cons

    Consensus based culture, politics and internal structure

  2.  

    Overall a great place to work especially if you're ambitious.

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great corporate culture.
    Great work life balance.
    Great training and career development.
    If you're ambitious it's possible to create your own path.

    Cons

    Salaries are below average and new hires will suffer salary compression for several years.
    Upper management decision making is super slow. Managers are too concerned with what every other group in the company will think to make decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep salaries competitive, especially for employees that have been at NI for years, they are much more valuable than new hires (even experienced new hires).

    NI needs to figure out how to make decisions faster.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to work, very positive experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Group Manager  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Group Manager in Austin, TX

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    This is a great place to start and grow your career. Whatever your job function, there are always opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. I was able to find several great mentors, many of whom became personal friends. Very relaxed and fun work environment. I genuinely enjoyed going to work each day. NI as a company, and every direct manager I had, genuinely care about their employees as a person, you're not just a resource/number. Very nice campus and location in Austin. Very good overall benefits package.

    Cons

    Very consensus driven. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, everyone's feedback is gathered and considered, but on the other hand there tend be 'lurking approvers' who seem to have made a career out of torpedoing decisions at the last possible moment. Id expect this (and worse) at most workplaces, and it is fairly easily managed once you pick out the repeat offenders whose ego tends to make them quite predictable.

    Promotions beyond a certain level become more of a popularity contest, dependent on how much your manager 'cheer-leads' for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Metrics drive behavior. In some instances it seems only the goal is looked at (usually in some form of a $ goal: cost reduction, sales numbers, etc), rather than HOW it was achieved. A few of the more aggressive 'corporate climbers' have left a 'trail of bodies' in their wake, going seemingly unnoticed from above.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Overall, Long-term Great Employer

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

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

    Pros

    Challenging work environment with lots of energetic and smart employees. Company's products and customer applications are really cool. Work environment is great. Very stable employer. Management cares about employees and works to create meaningful job responsibilities and career paths.

    Cons

    Decision making is slow. Compensation is below average due to large ratio of employees to revenue and profit. Tools and processes are outdated and cumbersome. Difficult for experienced hires to integrate into the home grown culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great people and great learning experience

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Pros

    Very welcoming and kind
    No micromanagement
    Office has lots of amenities (gym, workout classes, sand volleyball)

    Cons

    Pay is not up to expectations

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very positive

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time

    Pros

    awesome people and funny environment

    Cons

    the salary is low compared to competitors

  8.  

    It was a very good place to work. Good people and company.

    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Austin, TX

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great place to work. Good people who really believe in the company and products. It was a very nice work environment, where I think most people really liked working together. There was also good cooperation between the various departments within the company.

    Cons

    Although the work/life balance was in general, sometimes the work could take over. There were a number of times that I had to stay late without any notice to help solve a problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall, I think they did a good of encouraging a good work environment, while also taking care of the company.

  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    It's not the company it used to be

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

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

    Pros

    It has a very laid back culture and is a good place to start your career. It has a good work/life balance and you have the freedom to pretty much set your own hours as long as you get in your minimum time.

    Cons

    Salaries are pitifully low when compared to the industry average. The only way to move up in the company is to have the right degree or be a major brown-noser. Management doesn't seem to care so much about experience but only if you have the right degree. The executive management philosophies have definitely changed, they truly used to care about the employees...now they only care about increasing their net worth. In other words they have become your stereo typical company execs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trying listening to people who may have a different degree than you but have years of experience in the industry. Some positions require degrees but you don't really need that degree to do the job. Experience means a heck of a lot more than a piece of paper.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good job out of college, but limited potential industry

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

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

    Pros

    I was hired to NI out of the internship program, which I completed the summer between my junior and senior year at college. NI is a great first company because the transition from college to professional life is fairly seamless. Work hours are flexible, dress code is whatever goes and co-workers are usually pretty laid back and easy to talk to. Since there are so many employees getting hired out of college, it is easy to make friends outside work at the company.

    The company likes to hold events to celebrate employees such as deck parties with beer and food (though both tend to run out quickly, now). They also used to rent out Six Flags Fiesta for a weekend for all employees and friends, which has now not happened for 2-3 years. When they're doing these activities, it is fun.

    Your experience will also go as far as your manager (more on this in the cons section). My first two managers at this company were awesome in that they weren't stubborn, pushy or micro-managers. My current manager is all three of these things.

    The company is extremely stable--they only recently are going through their first round of layoffs in Austin. Stock plans are good and, depending on your group, managers are fairly generous with restricted stock bonuses. They have a high deductible health plan which is useful if you're relatively healthy or have a known major expense, which both applied to me this year. They match 401(k) contributions up to 3% and charitable gifts up to some amount as well.

    This has changed since I started but they had a very good process in place to sponsor non-U.S. citizen employees and set up the employment-based green card process.

    Cons

    Salaries are way below average and the growth rate of salaries is also extremely low. It is strange that NI is okay with senior-level engineers departing regularly instead of keeping them in house and rewarding them appropriately. This churn is especially evident at the 5-year mark, where the first round of RSUs (awarded with the job offer) are completely vested.

    The low salary is fine if NI excelled in the other things--work/life balance, work hour flexibility, etc. However, this will completely depend on your manager. My new manager is not very open to work hour flexibility and as a result it doesn't make sense to be paid the amount you are and do the work you're expected to in a rigid work hour situation.

    Even the industry itself is not very interesting for CS graduates since the majority of clients are other engineers. The technology that NI works on is very cool for Electrical and Mechanical Engineers because that is their calling. As a software engineer with only a CS background, you're a glorified code monkey. This is not NI's fault, but it is also a reason they don't retain a lot of CS talent. They are a hardware company at the forefront, and that is fairly obvious.

    The short-term planning by the executives also leaves a lot to be desired. Management has flip-flopped between aggressively growing the company to staying even via attrition year-to-year. It seems they are not being as conservative as they were before in watching what the economy does (or modeling and predicting it accurately). What this means is that you end up with a lot of new hires during a recession with tenured employees having to be told that they'll be getting no bonuses and no raises.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You're parading around the notion of a "high-performance culture" a lot recently. If you want a high-performance culture, you have to pay appropriately. You have to keep senior engineers around so that they work efficiently. Are you really surprised that a bunch of new hires with $65K salaries can't push out products within your aggressive timelines?

    Keep current employees happy. You're having growing up issues. NI as a company appears to be going through adolescence--things are changing unpredictably and you don't know how to deal with it. Reward the employees who have been there with raises that at least match inflation and they'll continue to give you more and more efficient work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Highly competent colleagues

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time

    Pros

    The title is the main pro here. People are highly skilled and talented.

    Cons

    Increments are pretty low. Not a very people-friendly culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employee morale too low. Please do something to boost it!

    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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