National Instruments Reviews

Updated August 29, 2014
Updated August 29, 2014
610 Reviews

3.7
610 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
479 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The people are friendly and you are encouraged to maintain a good work life balance (in 83 reviews)

  • The people are generally brilliant and the work environment is healthy (in 51 reviews)


Cons
  • below average compensation, below average work-life balance for managers, leadership lack perspective (in 13 reviews)

  • Organizational structure and consensus culture are huge roadblocks in the decision making process (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Pros and Cons

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good place to get started straight out of school.

    Cons

    Mobility is limited and learning opportunities are limited.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good work-life balance, poor personal growth

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - relaxed culture
    - good work-life balance
    - flexible work hours
    - at work doctor's office
    - good cafeteria food

    Cons

    - stagnant career progression
    - low pay and fewer pay raises compared to market
    - not challenging
    - unskilled management and leadership
    - more hiring abroad than local
    - promotions without pay raises is common

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - low expectations leads to sub-par worker performance
    - unobtainable goals are not motivators to anyone

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Good work life balance
    -Friendly co-workers

    Cons

    -lower pay
    -not a lot of room for growth

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    In the business of hiring young and cheap, no loyalty to years of hard work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - District Sales Manager
    Former Employee - District Sales Manager

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    * Great place to meet young energetic people
    * Great place to challenge yourself
    * Easy to communicate groups for specialized support

    Cons

    *Too many products to sell, not enough time
    *Sales mgmt is a joke - a bunch of self centric folks who think their way of doing technical sales is the best and is a religion
    *Promotions are hard to come by and mgmt discourages learning new things

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    *Reduce product offerings and complexity of the sale
    *Grow territories by offering more than just products
    *Reevaluate management especially in sales
    *Compensation is low- fix it so retention is better. Do not just go for the cheapest and youngest.. Do not underestimate experience on the job

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    It's time to pivot

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    1. A great place to start your career.
    2. Immense learning from peers who are ever willing to help
    3. Tons of opportunities to learn from other teams

    Cons

    1. Compensation
    2. Recognition
    3. Trust

    I am surprised at the downward progression of a company I used to love and possibly idolize. It's a well known fact that NI pays average salaries for the market. Initially, it was OK given the overall benefits package but as the years progressed even that wasn't cutting it. The company definitely worked its way through the downturn without any layoffs. However, a lack of growth deemed as a direct correlation on the bottom line for employee compensation isn't fair on them when executives are being pumped with higher bonuses. Employer communication has gotten worse and there is definite lack of trust in management.

    Honestly, I feel bad about where things are after a decade of my association with NI.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time to re-think strategies.

    1. Consolidate your product streams and cut the fat. Look at Yahoo! and Apple.
    2. Cut the low performers
    3. Make the hard decisions - spin off divisions
    4. Increase your raises and overall compensation. You will not be able to compete with the hot Austin market at this rate. Not providing raises for 2 years is insane in a growing economy.
    5. LabVIEW as a platform for engineers is a great concept for the end consumer. However, software engineers working on related products within the company are not going to remain marketable with that. Mix things up or you are going to lose all the great talent that you keep boasting about.
    6. Finally, Dr. T. It might be time to let go and let some fresh non-NI energetic talent in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    culture is not a career

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I went the AE-PSE path that technical new hires usually take. I did well in both, won some awards and ended up staff level before I took off.

    I chose NI out of college for a few reasons I think are still valid:

    1) Austin is a fun place to be the first years out of college. This isn't related to career at all but I think it provides a good way to come out of your engineering shell and establish a work life balance by finding people and things you like and can engage in while driving a career. No one should be the 35yo engineering stereotype.

    2) The exposure to different engineering disciplines and companies in AE is unmatched by anything but a marketing or sales role.

    3) NI technology is valuable and innovative.

    Some reasons I think I over-weighted are:

    1)Stability. If you can get into NI, you have other options anyway, but you will have to try to get fired. While this acts like insurance while you get your feet under you to be industry competitive, you just don't need it.

    2) Great place to work. Form your own opinion on this. No statistic will ever say what culture you personally will enjoy.

    3) ELP. ELP is a "marketing construct" (the guy who started the program's words, not mine), not a job reality.

    Cons

    I left the company after three years for a few different reasons:

    1) Management overhead. It is ridiculous how many managers there are in R&D and how poorly they function at developing talent.

    2) Inability to take risks to provide opportunities, on both an individual and product level.

    3) Lack of performance on an individual and product level. This has officially been recognized within NI as critical issue causing growth problems. My opinion is that it is heavily tied into the first two issues

    To a new hire I think the bottom line is that this is a learning opportunity, not a career company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have to pay people more - you really just do. I believe an accurate statement of current NI pay structure within R&D is "we reward long term loyalty by paying senior level people individually determined salaries raises and have much smaller, inflation based raises for people at lower levels." However, every senior level person I know is dissatisfied with their pay and the people you want in those positions don't feel the need to wait around for ~5yrs to start getting raises.

    Improve the transition between and within roles. I will only be satisfied when I am sure my career is limited only by my abilities and determination, not predefined paths, "informal relationships required to progress" (section manager's words, not mine) or tenure rules. In practice I think this means expecting more of people and enabling them to do it. Especially within R&D, this wasn't my experience.

    Fire or actively reallocate some people, including managers. You can't process away a bad work ethic and I don't think you can afford to try.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    My NI Experience

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great co-workers, Great products! Great campus. Great work life balance!

    Cons

    Poor management: my managers change once ever year on average preventing me from advancing in my career. Also, the general quality of managers is poor. It's been my experience that they don't really know how to grow people.
    Poor salaries.
    There are too many internal systems and procedures. As a result productivity is greatly slowed down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about your people more and really invest in their careers. Don't jump from group to group.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Very good

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

    I have been working at National Instruments full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great family and work balance. A ton of opportunities to grow.

    Cons

    Too much consensus to reach a decision. Salaries could be a bit better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    It was a great place to work.

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The best reasons to work there are because of the job , and the coworkers.

    Cons

    No cons to mention for me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company was just fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Hardware Engineer

    • 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

    Pros

    good work-life balance, work hard, play hard.

    Cons

    Moving up can be really competitive. Salary is good but not great.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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