National Instruments

  www.ni.com
  www.ni.com

National Instruments Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2012's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
38 Reviews
3.8
38 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
31 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Relaxed working environment and good work/life balance; stable employment outlook (in 97 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Although the work/life balance was in general, sometimes the work could take over (in 14 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great place to work if you can navigate well.

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Pros

    Employers invest in solid performers and provide growth opportunities

    Cons

    We are not paid fairly for how much we do

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in IT and our website structure

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Co-Op in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Co-Op in Austin, TX

    I worked at National Instruments

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great company culture and an overall great place to work

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great people

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    Pros

    Relaxed work environment, pro-employee, job security

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    look for opportunities to challenge folks

    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    I would describe my experience as very positive.

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Awesome place to be an intern

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Grass Not Always Greener

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at National Instruments

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    It was a great way to develop professional skills.

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    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.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    A great learning experience for a person in college or for one beginning a career.

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    Pros

    They have a very friendly environment that allows someone to ask questions and learn from others. While some people don't have a great understanding, the management was aware of people's technical skills and gave them projects that they were capable of.

    Cons

    The pay is not as great as other companies. And for someone who would want to continue education, they only had three options to get your Masters which is very difficult to do (as in hard to do the school and work at the same time) from what I've heard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leadership at National Instruments is very smart. While some people say that only the bad stay and get promoted, I only experience good leadership around me that were able to meet my needs for the company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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