National Instruments Reviews

Updated August 2, 2015
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3.4
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National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
531 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/life balance is encouraged (in 97 reviews)

  • The people are generally brilliant and the work environment is healthy (in 69 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance can be tough depending on what area you work in (in 14 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

724 Employee Reviews

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  1. Smart People, Company at a crossroads

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people there were very good. Smart, pragmatic, and they wanted to actually do things. Easy to work with for the most part and wanted the best idea to win.

    Cons

    Too collaborative. Management were not the best at ensuring a focused path. Many good people would leave because the salary or type of work were not what they could have at other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to leave good choices behind for one good choice done really well.


  2. Helpful (16)

    OK place to start your career

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    If you join straight out of college, you'll meet a lot of people your age and make friendships that will last a long time. They make it a very easy transition from college life to professional life. Drinking at your desk is fine, and overall the company supports a lot of alcohol related activities.

    Cons

    Benefits are awful. Salary sucks, healthcare is garbage, and raises and spot bonuses are a joke. They will constantly remind you how great NI is to work for, and how lucky you are to have a job, but the reality is that the fun culture they once had is gone. Additionally, 90% of the companies in Austin have an "Austin Culture", so there's nothing unique about working at NI. The brainwashing at NI is strong.

    Advice to Management

    So, you finally fell out of the top 100 places to work? How are you going to get people to stay with you now? You say employee retention is your priority, but you never do anything about it. Get your head out of your butt and give people the salary and benefits they deserve.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Senior Software Engineer

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work hours. Great people with various backgrounds (great place if you are a Maker). Good benefits. Great culture. The CEO is a real down-to-earth kind of guy. You'll see him parking next to you in the parking lot, and in line with you in the cafeteria.

    Cons

    NI has been below average in salaries. I don't like that they claim they above average when really they don't.

    Advice to Management

    Most managers are really down to earth. Naturally, some styles or management with work better for you than others. Try to align yourself with a manager that fits with your style of management. Transferring groups at NI is relatively painless.


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  5. Great company, but outgrowing its employee-focused culture

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than 3 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great people, wonderful culture. Company values are mostly inspiring, and the drive to make customers successful with NI products is so apparent in every corner of the business. Senior management has traditionally placed emphasis on employee success and development. Benefits are outstanding.

    Cons

    Salaries are generally disappointing. Work / life balance is a struggle -- there has been a recent trend of asking teams to do more with less, which translates to working longer hours. Basically, in growing into a large corporation, more and more focus has gone towards the bottom line and shareholder success, taking away from some of the employee-focused culture that has traditionally existed.


  6. Helpful (2)

    What used to be a great company on the decline

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Good atmosphere, still good camaraderie, some efforts from upper management to make the best of a very mediocre growth in the last few years.

    Cons

    Salary, salary, salary... My estimate is 20% below market. There are talks about improvements, but nobody really believes it. Lots of talented people have left as a consequence.

    Advice to Management

    There isn't enough accountability for mistakes made.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Great place

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great culture, chill workplace. Challenging work, smart people.

    Cons

    The pay seems low, and bonuses are very low.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Some work to be done...

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lovely people to work with and always on the edge of technology. The opportunities are never boring and there's a great reward helping other engineers solve problems.

    Cons

    The salaries and raises are not in line with the amount of praise given when you do your job well.

    Advice to Management

    Fix those salaries or you will lose your talent! It seems a shame to train your engineers in so many products and software skills only to see them become picked up by another company who can pay fairly for the skills they now hold.


  9. Helpful (16)

    Doing Fewer Things Better

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    - Friendly coworkers - Mentorship for new grads - R&D management have technical backgrounds - Low-pressure work environment (YMMV, as there have been teams in the past that were forced to work weekends to meet deadlines) - Annual tech conference where employees get to share new tech and ideas with each other. Shout out to the guy who ran python in the boot loader.

    Cons

    - Compensation and benefits are lackluster and don't seem to be improving. From the sound of it, NI has always lacked competitive compensation but Austin's recent growth is making this worse. - Lack of faith in upper management. NI has a bit of an attrition problem. Management first tried to write this off as due to the economy improving. But no one leaves because the economy gets better, they leave because there's something wrong. In May, management acknowledged that attrition was a problem and said they were going to address it. They formed a committee of employees (all VPs or Directors) and will propose ideas to Dr. T sometime in August. Compensation has been a know problem for years. Does management really need 3 months to figure that out? It seems like they're just buying time. Upper management is either incompetent or dishonest, I don't know which is worse. - Attrition. We're losing plenty of employees that have worked here 5, 10, even 15+ years. NI's compensation seems to be driving people away. Management thinks they can fix this by hiring new grads or overseas. Not only do we lose a lot of NI-specific expertise, but it's a blow to morale. NI is basically sending the message, "You are replaceable". Just ask our manufacturing division in Austin. - The amount of buzzwords. I really want to enjoy Weird Al's Mission Statement, but it's just too depressing.

    Advice to Management

    You still have some of the kindest, smartest people I've ever worked with left. God knows why they're still here. You claim you're a great employer, but you have tons of employees walking out the door. Either pay them what they're worth, or admit that you're just not that invested in being a good employer. Dr. T. you seem like a good person, but I haven't seen you addressing these issues. When you sent last year's email about the 0.3% annual bonus, it seemed like you were saying, "Sorry guys, but there's nothing I can do about." If anyone has the power to change things it's you, right? I'm beginning to think you're either losing control or you just don't care.


  10. Helpful (13)

    Low salary, management issues

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Advancement was only made by changing departments, 4 departments in 11 years. Some managers were good, some not so good. Proudly didn't have layoffs until ~2014., other than 'clearing deadwood'.

    Cons

    Laid-off from professional position after 11 years, by a manager who was forced out himself. Company lets known bad managers drive morale down and shape departments without doing objective evaluation. Older employees who are not engineers seem to be 'laid-off' in a higher percentage.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Great company culture!

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun company culture for interns and full-timers. A great company campus (volleyball court, basketball court, gym, grills, natural surroundings). My favorite piece of advice from my manager was to change up my work environment from time to time, so I would sometimes work outside on the patio for an hour or two or work outside my cube in one of the lounging areas.

    Cons

    In my 3 months as an intern, I only really saw the good side of the company. I really enjoyed my internship with NI and highly recommend students to apply!



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