National Instruments Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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These reviews contributed towards 2014's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
3.7
495 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
390 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)

    Be careful, we are losing more people...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very relaxed work environment. Team building exercises and outings are a regular to help get to know people. For the last 15 years, up until this one, NI made the top 100 best places to work list. Each building has it's own kitchen and serves great food, so you don't have to leave to property to get breakfast or lunch.

    Cons

    Ni is not known for their monetary compensation. The benefits are great, and affordable, but when it comes down to pay, they lose a lot of folks to higher (sometimes 40% and more) salaries.

    Advice to Management

    NI has a dream. I believe they could achieve this much easier, if they would better compensate their people. Stop losing great, key, and talented people to other places over a monetary wall.

  2. Very open comany with good people

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, capable upper management

    Cons

    Not competitive compensation, riddled with methodical-thinking people all around, was an "NI family", now a big corporate losing the original agility. Terrible talent retention, definition of "key employees" doesn't go below VP level.

    Advice to Management

    Improve retention policy, drive a structural change to gain back the once existing agility.

  3. Great place to work

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Positive working environment focused on continuous improvement
    - Loyal workforce that try to do what's right for the Company
    - Good training programs
    - 100 year plan keeps the focus on longer (rather than shorter) term strategies and success

    Cons

    - Some employees can find higher compensation outside the company
    - Tendency to do things in-house rather than hire consultant experts to assist

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to stay focused on the 100-year plan
    - As the Company grows, consider whether the current compensation plans fit the growth of the company and competitive marketplace (specifically in Austin)

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  5. Project Engineer

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work / life balance and culture.
    Great place to make and keep friends.
    Great place to start a career

    Cons

    Less pay than other comparable companies.
    Politics can play a role in decisions.
    Difficult to make decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more.

  6. Group Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work-life balance
    Career Growth opportunities
    Great Benefits
    Great opportunities in Test and Measurement

    Cons

    Company Bonus lower every year
    Raises have not been prioritized
    Internal Tools are going through necessary changes, but growing pains exist.

    Advice to Management

    Prioritize top performers and make sure they stay.
    Develop training to cultivate stronger managers
    Focus on retaining top sales talent

  7. Stimulating and Rewarding

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Intelligent people helping intelligent customers do amazing things. Lots of growth opportunities for company, product groups, markets and individuals.

    Cons

    Continuous growth for many years means a small company start-up way of working is still applied in a big company multinational which can be challenging for those who join the company later in their careers. Many colleagues have only worked at National Instruments so they haven't been exposed to other ways of doing things.

    Advice to Management

    Being a grown up company does not mean we cannot be innovative so embrace maturity as an opportunity otherwise we look naive.

  8. Helpful (3)

    Sr 3 Technical Sales Representative

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great company to work for. Great people, culture, Benefits. Everyone on campus, except sales, seems to walk around happy. Sales used to be that way.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, there were too many drastic changes over the last couple of years. The old core values of quality vs. quantity seemed to evaporate like vaporware.

    Advice to Management

    Many Sales people that helped the company grow to what it is today have already left, been pushed out, or making plans to leave. The company is great as a whole, but stay away from the Sales Department. The "Good Ol' Boy" club has taken over. It's not about how much you know or contribute anymore, it's more about "Who" you know. This is a great company,however, I will rate the rest of the review based on my experience in the Inside Sales Department only.

  9. Helpful (11)

    Relatively healthy company culture and great place to build a career, but with below average compensation and benefits.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    NI is a pretty great place to work. The people are smart and for the most part engaged in what they do. Management is relatively transparent and does a decent job of communicating company goals and results modulo the standard medium-to-big company stuff that everyone else does. New grads, it's worth remembering that NI is a pretty conservative engineering organization overall, so don't expect a downtown startup-like atmosphere or attitudes despite how young many of your fellow coworkers will be, but it's not totally sterile or button-down either.

    Cons

    Cheap. Compensation and benefits compare poorly to similar positions in Austin and don't seem to be keeping up even to the rising cost of living in the area, and Austin's not a cheap place to live anymore. Until recently, NI has argued fiscal austerity measures as the reason for the lack of salary increases and cutbacks in benefits; the relatively high attrition rate of experienced employees (especially the staff software engineers) and the competitive market for CS/EEs recently has kind of woken up management to the fact that they're going to have pay more to keep good people around. But this is a company that is thrifty to a fault, and expect penny pinching at every turn.

    Advice to Management

    Ease up on the purse strings. I get that expense control is important, and being frugal has helped the company through the lean years. But the economy has rebounded now and competition is fierce--you're not going to get the talent you need or keep the experienced tech leadership that has taken the company to this point without seriously upping the compensation and benefits, and not penny pinching at every turn. The vacation accrual rate after 15 years is shockingly pathetic, just embarrassing. Fix that. If you're going to lowball salaries, at least throw a bone of a few more days of vacation a year at your employees. Keep that people that got you where you are. Treat them well.

  10. Helpful (3)

    Starting to just here people complaining an searching for other jobs.

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

    I have been working at National Instruments

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Normally very relaxed work environment.
    People is really helpful and you can learn a lot, smart people.
    Space to grow (*That would depend on the group)

    Cons

    Poor compensation
    Management would delay your promotion so they can keep you working for same salary for 8 months.

    Advice to Management

    Do not wait for good people to have other offers to increase their salaries.

  11. Helpful (3)

    Good people

    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Austin, TX

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people at NI are great. This is the main reason to work here. The people are smart, kind and fun to work with.

    Cons

    The culture is changing. More and more politics. Lower salaries are becoming a problem with the changing culture.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to move the company to a performance culture, you have to pay the salaries that match.

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