National Instruments Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
625 Reviews
3.6
625 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The people are friendly and you are encouraged to maintain a good work life balance (in 91 reviews)

  • The people are generally brilliant and the work environment is healthy (in 66 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. 3 people found this helpful  

    They trained me too well. 3 years later everyone is willing to pay me more than NI.

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to learn and work with talented people. They invest heavily on your training. Management is friendly and smart. Decent site in Austin. NI week is very enjoyable for employees.

    Cons

    They claim to hire only the best an brigtest. They hire above average performers, but they pay below average salaries. NI invests very cautiosly, you'll never see growth higher than 20% YoY, bonus will be small. If you work harder than everyone you won't get any rewards. Half of the skills you learn are non transferable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay above average salaries. Let R&D work closer with customers. Stop worrying about stability and start investing more aggressively where it makes sense.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    National Instuments

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Nice environment
    balanced life
    enjoyment
    life is good

    Cons

    Perks are more than Cons
    pay is good

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at National Instruments

    Pros

    balance between life and work, good interpersonal relationship, not so much salary, in all I am satisfied with this company, it's a good place for people looking for stable life

    Cons

    Not so energetic, people working there seem very stable, not looking for more chance of changing work or venture for startup. It could be hardly a con, but for people who have a startup dream like me, I would prefer to another place

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  5.  

    Great working environment

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours, good work-life balance

    Cons

    relative less compensation compare to similar companies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Incredible company that very selectively compensates its employees

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time

    Pros

    NI's culture is second to none. Depending on your team, the flexibility offered is great for a work-life balance and people are friendly and willing to go the extra mile for you. The projects remain challenging for me even after all these years, and the benefits (non-salary) are still great. The stability and not having to worry about losing your job is always valuable.

    Cons

    Salary is universally the top complaint at NI. They simply do not compensate the masses well, or to performance. There are a select few, particularly management positions, that get paid above market. But everyone else, gets a pat on the back, and a "Good Job!", but no corresponding acknowledgement when it comes to compensation. It is frustrating to be told over and over and over again that you are doing a great job but as you're already paid relatively well compared to your peers, you won't receive a raise, or you will only receive a negligible amount. There are only so many time this can happen before people quit, and that is evident in the past few years where employees are starting to take flight. NI has lately become a great place to cut your teeth, gain valuable experience and then move on to top paying jobs elsewhere, instead of being a long term employer as it used to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that if someone is being continually passed over for a raise, but still receiving top performance reviews, that they will either stop performing at the level you need, or they will leave. If this is not something of concern to NI, then perhaps offshoring for cheaper talent, or hiring a more junior person who will work harder, not smarter, is the way to go. It's a pity as many at NI are brushing off their resumes and no longer view it as a long term employer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a great company, but bureaucracy and growth have changed the company from fun to just work.

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to work for new developers and senior developers within R&D. Lots to learn and do and amazing products. Marketing org and significantly improved over the years and sales has as well.

    Cons

    IT and manufacturing get the raw end of the deal. Often way under payed, over worked and poorly managed. In R&D, staff engineers are stuck in a little bit in purgatory. They have the knowledge to do more, but have no say in the decisions and aren't empowered. Group managers are the same way. Senior managers have to sign off on everything. In summary, NI hasn't handled growth well. Adding layers and not properly educating their management, but assuming they'll learn through growth from within.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 30 people found this helpful  

    Aspires to be the North Korea of Tech Companies. A previously admirable company in Decline.

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

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

    Pros

    Great environment for interns and new hires (at the expense of long term employees). It is expected that long term employees bend over backwards to scrape together good projects for you and cater to your every whim in hopes you join and help satisfy the churn of the 5 year treadmill. This works well; interns join until they slowly become disillusioned, and leave after having groomed an intern of their own who will take their place (departing Senior Level engineers are always replaced by fresh grads). The net experience level in this company is constant due to the 5 year treadmill and management seems to scratch their heads in the face of decreasing efficiency and increasing project development cycles when projects become more bloated and difficult while the experience level of the developers has flatlined. Put your five years in and then leave for one of the top tier consumer electronics companies where hard work is valued with compensation and true career growth.

    If you are experienced and value family life, you will find it here. You can "go out to pasture" after 5 years of proving yourself and coast by the rest of your career. This is the only economical and optimal reason to stay after 5 years unless your family can be sustained on nothing but kool aid.

    You obtain valuable skills and experience in the first five years here. If you happen to fall under the newly minted layoff axe, you shouldn't have any difficulty finding a higher compensation position elsewhere.

    You don't even need to shop your salary around; NI has hired a third party company to compare your salary to every podunk competitor with subpar workers and we've made sure to put you just slightly below the industry average because it's so awesome to just BE here! Everyone cheer for the goal of providing average wages for "The best and the brightest!"

    Cons

    NI (don't call it "National Instruments"!) spends an astronomical amount of time and money on sales and marketing (externally AND internally). Rather than improve employee compensation, the company will choose to kick the propaganda up a notch every time - this has been in overdrive in 2014 - "Think of the vision!" "We can do anything together!". It all converges in the cult of personality developed around Dr T and the executives. Do it for the dear leader, don't look outside the window to other companies, it's just as good or better here!

    NI relies on fear of change and lack of knowledge of outside companies to keep people around. Everybody at NI knows nothing BUT NI by design, the company only hires new grads in lieu of any experienced engineers. Thankfully, this company is easier to escape than it's model country as Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are happy to poach the cream of the 5 year crop after they've stagnated (and they will) at NI.

    The benefits of the rank and file are based on NI being a growth company but it is run like (and is) a value company. No risks, extremely high dividend that prevents investment in R&D (and goes straight into the pockets of the executives who still hold a very large amount of outstanding stock), and lack of good business leadership mean that experienced employees get the short end of the stick every quarter.

    NI is so incredibly cheap it is mind boggling. You will share hotel rooms with other (loudly snoring) grown men to save $100/night while you work 16 hour days recruiting, you will pay a hefty monthly penalty fee to provide benefits for your family if they have any other option of coverage (no matter how poor it is), you will take the longest and cheapest flights possible, your expense reports will be scrutinized to no end and every purchase req will demand that your life depends on it.

    No worthwhile career growth past the senior level. You can take on as much responsibility as you like and improve your skills but won't get anything for it in comparison to other top tier companies.

    The company benefits and morals are in constant decline. Higher premiums, worse coverage, worse relative compensation, (NEW!) layoffs, obscured communication, secret promotion freezes, skipped merit increases, layoffs (again! NI is now like every other business in the world - layoffs WILL happen if it makes business sense, even in Austin). The stock is doing fine and the dividends will predictably raise year after year while employee net compensation will fail to keep up with national modest inflation and much more aggressive Austin inflation.

    Your family will be in a worse position every year you stay with this company. You will get to see them nearly as much as you like, however.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees should be more than simple, fungible cogs in the machine of Dr T's legacy. Providing well for the families that sacrifice to enable that legacy should be on just as high a pedestal.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fun people, but company feels stagnant

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

    I worked at National Instruments as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great company culture, nice work-life balance

    Cons

    A lot of talk about employee development, but that wasn't true in my case

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Interact with lower teams more, understand the processes that you are deciding on

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not the company it used to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 8 years)

    Pros

    The people are smart, and about 80% of them are very nice and enjoyable to work with. There is lots of opportunity for growth and career advancement if you work for it.

    Cons

    Work/life balance is not what it used to be. My group has had mandatory weekend work very frequently over the past year or two, and it has been getting worse. People work extremely long hours. I frequently see people working late into the night and logging in from home on a regular basis. Outsourcing is also ramping up, and the foreign offices seem to be growing at a much faster rate than the US offices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lose the work/life balance and strong values/culture that made this a great company to work for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to start a career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    Pros

    Work-life balance. Shaded parking. Health facility on campus. NI sponsors non-work related activities like volleyball, basketball, tennis, and golf leagues. The training and mentoring for new engineers is top notch.

    Cons

    Compensation rate plateaus, even if contribution rate does not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Push back for more empowerment over salary budgets.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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