National Instruments
3.8 of 5 531 reviews
www.ni.com Austin, TX 5000+ Employees

National Instruments Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2012's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.

37 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Work/life balance, though honestly that depends on which group you're in"
    in 64 reviews
  • "The people are generally brilliant and the work environment is healthy"
    in 52 reviews
Cons:
  • "Intern pay is actually pretty good but I hear often that full-time pay is average at best"
    in 16 reviews
  • "They harp too much on work life balance"
    in 11 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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Great place to work if you can navigate well.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at National Instruments

ProsEmployers invest in solid performers and provide growth opportunities

ConsWe are not paid fairly for how much we do

Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more in IT and our website structure

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

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

Mechanical Engineering Co-op (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at National Instruments

ProsNI 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.

ConsNI 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 Senior ManagementStop 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great company culture and an overall great place to work

Intern (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at National Instruments

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

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

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

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

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at National Instruments

ProsIf 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.

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

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Great people

Finance (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at National Instruments

ProsRelaxed work environment, pro-employee, job security

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

Advice to Senior Managementlook for opportunities to challenge folks

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Awesome place to be an intern

Software Engineering Intern I (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at National Instruments

ProsCompetitive 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.

ConsSometimes 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 Senior ManagementKeep up the great work. You have a winning internship program.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Grass Not Always Greener

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at National Instruments

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

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

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

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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It was a great way to develop professional skills.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at National Instruments

ProsThe people are very intelligent and great to be around.

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

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Uplifting environment

Test Engineer (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at National Instruments

ProsSmart co-workers and technologically advanced products make a great combination for engineers to engage and learn. The company supports personal initiatives and encourages people's many interests, both work- and hobby-related.

ConsPay is OK. Many times one can find oneself working on products that are slight variations of existing products, which means that it's a bit of a repeat work.

Advice to Senior ManagementConsider better compensation for employees and aim for a more steady rate of growth, such that a good standard paygrade can be maintained.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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I would describe my experience as very positive.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at National Instruments

ProsYou 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.

ConsAs 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 Senior ManagementI 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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National Instruments – Why Work for Us?

NI employees enjoy a work environment framed more by guidelines rather than hard and fast rules; an outstanding, multifaceted compensation and benefits package; and access to tools and resources equipping them to drive… Full Overview

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