National Instruments Reviews

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National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
30 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company culture and an overall great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Intern in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great company culture; great people to work with; fun work environment

    Cons

    Sometimes interns are lost in the mix of things; email response times are slow


  2. Helpful (6)

    NI is a small company pretending to be a large company, with below-average compensation.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Co-Op in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Co-Op in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    NI has some bright people. They recruit at very good universities, especially UT Austin, and they focus more on technical interview questions than most other companies. This focus helps ensure that they hire people who can solve problems creatively, instead of just automatons with high GPAs who thrive within the school system. The campus is attractive, and located in the great city of Austin. The campus has its own gym and cafeteria. The cafeteria is run by Sodex, so the food quality and portion sizes are disappointing compared to the price, but it's still convenient sometimes.

    Cons

    NI is a big company trying to pretend it's still a small company. At 5200+ employees, it's not a small company anymore, and as such, it suffers from the increased bureaucracy, impeded communication, and longer work hours that usually goes along with having a bigger company. Although it's not really NI's fault that it suffers from problems that plague most larger companies, it IS NI's fault that it still tries to indoctrinate people that its unique company culture makes it a superior place to work, when in fact there are many other companies with a more laid-back culture and atmosphere. NI may have had a superior culture and work environment many years ago, but that is no longer true today. It's still probably a better environment than someplace like Dell, but that really isn't saying much. What's worse, NI uses that imaginary company culture to justify paying its employees below-average salaries. A quick look at Glassdoor's salary info suggests that NI's pay is lacking: an average software developer at Dell makes $84,427; an average software engineer at Cisco in Austin makes $102,600; but an average software engineer at NI makes only $61,679. You would have to have a *far* superior environment and work hours to justify that kind of difference in salary. The notion that throwing a few beer parties on the deck every year can compensate for a $20000+ difference in salary is ridiculous, and frankly, it's insulting to the employees' intelligence. It may be the case that the lower salaries at NI are partially due to a younger, more inexperienced workforce -- but then, one wonders why there aren't more older employees. This phenomenon may be because NI gives fewer promotions or pay raises given to more senior employees despite increased work hours and responsibility, and therefore, employees find greener pastures elsewhere after a few years of experience. Although interns and new grads usually work about 8 hours a day, I frequently saw more senior engineers putting in 10, 11, or even 12 hour days. However, it seems that this increased seniority didn't always lead to increased pay or promotions. Although I was a co-op and didn't experience this firsthand, other engineers often joked that the best way to get ahead at NI was to go work at Dell for a few years, and then get hired back at a higher position or pay rate.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending to be a small company, and stop using the "company culture" to justify paying below-average salaries. It's dishonest, and I believe it's causing older employees to seek employment elsewhere.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Need to fix compensation issues NOW if we're going to compete with other big employers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are lucky to work in a group with a good manager, working at NI can be wonderful. A good manager being defined as someone who understands work/life balance and is flexible with your work schedule where possible, someone who advocates for you, etc.

    Cons

    NI needs to fix issues with salary compensation. The average salary increase this year, after talking to some co-workers, seemed to be around 2-3%. If you were one of the lucky few to get an increase in the spring and fall, you probably got a total of 4-5% across the two adjustments. However, if you look at the last proxy statement (public on ni.com), the senior officers of NI saw an increase in salary and bonus compensation (not including stock) of between 31% and 50% from 2009 to 2010. That's just ridiculous. And lest you think the difference is that the average employee salary increases quoted above don't include bonuses - the average employee isn't receiving an extra 50% of their salary in a bonus - not by a long shot - but the senior officers are.

    Advice to Management

    Set up an ombudsman to accept employee feedback and mediate resolutions. The Human Resources department is not a substitute.


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  5. Great people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Finance in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Finance in Austin, TX
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed work environment, pro-employee, job security

    Cons

    very established and structured processes, not much opportunity for growth and advancement

    Advice to Management

    look for opportunities to challenge folks


  6. Great place to work if you can navigate well.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Employers invest in solid performers and provide growth opportunities

    Cons

    We are not paid fairly for how much we do

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in IT and our website structure


  7. Awesome place to be an intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern I in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Software Engineering Intern I in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive salary and benefits (for an intern, I hear pay's a little low for full time employees). Mature and well executed intern program with lots of intern events and such. Work that the company really cares about and wants to see done. It's easy to forget that you're an intern. You feel like a full time employee. Great city, although it gets very hot in the summer. On site cafeterias, fitness center, and medical clinic. They pulled a giant splinter out of my friend's foot and put him on antibiotics at no charge. Never asked to work overtime.

    Cons

    Sometimes I felt that my project was more experimental than an intern project should be. The parameters changed very often and I spent a lot of time discarding code and writing new code to keep up.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work. You have a winning internship program.


  8. Helpful (2)

    I would describe my experience as very positive.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You would want to work for this company because of the friendliness of the people, great work life balance, and opportunities for movement within the company.

    Cons

    As an intern working outside of engineering, the pay is not as high as it could be. The overall experience would be better if you felt you were properly compensated.

    Advice to Management

    I felt that the overall management was fine. As an intern you do not have the visibility that you would as a full time employee so it is hard to give a detailed and well informed answer.


  9. Grass Not Always Greener

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Too strcutured, lots of managment levels, low morale. I think they could do better by helping employees succed by training and grow.

    Cons

    There was n doen side. Be happy we had jobs with good pay booses theat care and a place to go everyday

    Advice to Management

    Too strcutured, lots of managment levels, low morale. I think they could do better by helping employees succed by training and grow.


  10. Satisfied

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very Technically oriented Good for new grads great culture

    Cons

    Unstructured low pay, top management is pompous

    Advice to Management

    Get new staff into management positions


  11. It was a great way to develop professional skills.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are very intelligent and great to be around.

    Cons

    I feel like there is little room for professional growth outside of engineering.



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