National Instruments Reviews

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3.7
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National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
47 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

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great company to work for. Average Salaries, Good benefits. Very interesting work on really cool products.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    National Instruments is a great place to start a career. Intern and young engineers are given interesting, challenging and even key projects that they may not be given somewhere else. The mentoring is great and help young people learn and grow in their career. National Instruments is committed to a superior employee communication. There is a great leadership team. As long as you're ethical and do your job correctly, you shouldn't be afraid of being laid off, even in an economic downturn.

    Cons

    The pay is average compared to other companies. Great expectations for little reward, even when you perform well. Don't expect bonuses unless you really, really, really go above and beyond your daily job and come up with something innovative. It is sometimes hard to balance work and family time. It seems harder to move up the hierarchy on the technical track. There are more opportunities on the management track.

    Advice to Management

    I think the senior management does a great job. The leadeship team is great, especially the CFO.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Great place to grow and develop

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Coordinator in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Web Coordinator in Austin, TX

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The laid back environment, the individual autonomy, stability, family-orientedness, and working around such smart people. Lots of good friends, and an expectation that everyone will do their part.

    Cons

    Its a huge organization and things move slowly, so be prepared for a bit of corporate beauracracy. And, beause most employees are the cream of the crop, the company is slow to deal with the very few that aren't.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the loss of talent due to salary.


  3. A great place to work where you'll feel challenged and respected

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great environment and company culture. Many opportunities to learn and grow technically. National Instruments is a technology pioneer and industry leader in virtual instrumentation, delivering today’s most advanced technologies for test, control, and design. Your work allows engineers and scientists in hundreds of industries to use flexible, high-performance products to create reliable, user-defined systems. With graphical programming software and modular, open hardware, NI has redefined how engineers work. NI has been named to Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for 9 consecutive years, a testament to the laid-back but 'get it done' culture.

    Cons

    A bit of growing pains when it comes to documentation and processes.

    Advice to Management

    Standardize and enforce documentation and processes.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Great people, company mission may appeal only to select few.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of smart and good, nice people. The company has a policy of working with people's strengths instead of forcing them into a mold or comparing to those considered "best." In my experience, the policy is actually implemented by management, and I tremendously value being appreciated for what I have to offer.

    Cons

    Well, does "measurements" give you goosebumps? If not, the company's mission may not be so exciting to you.

    Advice to Management

    The strengths approach to employees is an enlightened approach to management -- and a winner for all. Keep emphasizing it.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Learn as much as you can, enjoy your time, then move on to a better company

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Learn a lot quickly -Given a lot of responsibility early on -Get lots of help and good feedback on your performance -Friendly company culture -Develop good relationships with co-workers

    Cons

    -Compensation generally lower compare to industry

    Advice to Management

    Keep on providing for your empoyees. Maybe pay them a little more.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Wonderful to work for, difficult to leave.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Every day I get to go to work and deal with different issues. The group that I work with is very dynamic, understanding, supportive, and fun. I enjoy the products I support, and find that whenever I have questions, more senior employees are very willing to help. My role allows for very diverse iterations, between other R&D groups, customers, and many other departments. I know that NI has never layed off an employee due to ecomic reasons, so I feel very secure. My manager is supportive, both in my day-to-day work, and helping me build my career.

    Cons

    Coming from a non-EE/ECE/CS background, I find it difficult to break into R&D development, because my lack of credentials is a drawback even though I have gained experience on the job. The major downside is that although I have a fair bit of experience dealing with NI products, my job experience does not carry over well if I wanted to go to another company. Unfortunately, this restricts my job mobility to working for NI, or working for an NI-affiliate. Although I have very few complaints about management, I hear from some of my work friends that this does not hold true across all departments/groups.

    Advice to Management

    The course you've charted seems to be appropriate and bearing fruit. Keep going.


  8. Helpful (3)

    The NI Way

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cool products, good benefits, generally a positive enthusiastic attitude, very few people at the company don't "tow the line"

    Cons

    Poor work/life balance, mediocre salary, senior management isn't well diversified

    Advice to Management

    Improve salary and benefits--fair compensation


  9. Helpful (1)

    A challenging and rewarding work place - but the challenges involve work/live balance

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are a ton of challenges at NI. You never stop learning, from the day you set foot on the campus. There are a ton of brilliant people around to ensure this. Job stability has never been a problem; even in tough economic times I consider myself safe. NI has real growth prospects for the future.

    Cons

    Immediate management is immature and underdeveloped. There are inconsistencies in messaging about what takes priority and what is important - most often, "everything" is important, depending on the "need of the day." Sometimes promotions go to the people who don't deserve them and are based purely on politics. Salaries don't feel like they're competitive for similar work; people just joining the company seem to make the same or more than those who have been around for a year.

    Advice to Management

    A little bit of transparency about career growth would be nice (i.e., where will the opportunities be in the next year?)


  10. Helpful (2)

    National Instruments is a reliable employer and offers good growth environment for engineering talent.

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Management very seasoned and has high integrity; management communicates very openly with employees; NI has an outstanding and affordable health benefits plan; people who perform well are rewarded well in recognition, bonuses, and compensation. Talented and hardworking engineers have many career paths to follow. NI is diversified in customers and industries and is managed conservatively; these two things make NI able to weather a tough global economic environment.

    Cons

    as a high tech company, very high demands on most employees to output work product. In order to be perceived as performing well, one must sacrifice the work-life balance scale in favor of work. Managers/officers do not always seem to truly understand personal sacrifices employees make to be rated as above average or exceeds expectations. However, this is not unique to NI or even to the high tech industry.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to what is not being said. Listen to those working at lower levels in the organization not just to your peers. Be more open to new ideas and to change. Be as critical of a manager's and an officer's performance as you are of regular employees.


  11. Helpful (5)

    NI is a good place to start, but be looking for better opportunities elsewhere

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of smart, hard-working young people who generate a lot of energy/passion. Thousands of customers and thousands of products make the company stable and financially robust, and bring lots of interesting use cases. Exposure to customers and technologies help build marketable skills--NI is a great place to start.

    Cons

    Senior management is largely content to spend their time synthesizing buzz words, so new major initiatives are very rare, meaning that as a developer, you would likely spend most of your time tweeking old products, ad nauseum. New features/products, when initiated, are typically conceived low in the management hierarchy via "NI Vision", which means, "without conventional marketing due diligence", making the process political, chaotic, and unfocused, especially for software. Take a close look at an NI print ad in a trade publication to gauge NI's outbound marketing sophistication. NI hires straight out of school, which fosters in-bred, unconventional management philosophies that originate from pop psychology books. Seasoned managers hired from outside to 'fix' dysfunctional groups typically fail. You would likely experience severe culture shock in moving from NI to any other company. There are many long-time employees that are Dilbert-esque "Wallys", who chronically under-perform, but not bad enough to be fired. Since NI has never had a layoff, they just accumulate. If you start at NI, you really need to find the self discipline to move on, once you have learned enough to make yourself valuable elsewhere. Just be sure to look at any management skills you have learned at NI in the proper light. If you find yourself whining about compensation, management, boring assignments, lack of opportunities for advancement, or clueless marketing, it's time to go.

    Advice to Management

    .



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