National Instruments Reviews

Updated October 10, 2014
Updated October 10, 2014
624 Reviews
3.6
624 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The people are friendly and you are encouraged to maintain a good work life balance (in 91 reviews)

  • The people are generally brilliant and the work environment is healthy (in 66 reviews)


Cons
  • Although the work/life balance was in general, sometimes the work could take over (in 15 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Things are ok here

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

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

    Pros

    Easy work hours and very nice peope

    Cons

    Compensation and leadership is confused about what to do next

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Truly be a "high performance culture"

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people 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 (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
  3. 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 (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
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  5.  

    Great Place To Work

    • 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 full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Products and Vision
    Great Culture -- work-life balance, values driven, collaborative environment

    Cons

    Slower to value the operational side of the business

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great internship experience

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

    I worked at National Instruments as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    They really treat their interns well at NI. We were given meaningful work, and they had a few activities throughout the summer specifically for interns. I heartily enjoyed working here last summer and I'm planning to return this year.

    Cons

    I have no complaints regarding working at National Instruments.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great atmosphere, bad salary

    • 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 (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great culture, friendly colleagues and environment, continuously rewarded as one of the best place to work for (honestly).

    Cons

    Salary that cannot follow inflation and the increasing cost of living in Austin.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Falling behind other technology companies...

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

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

    Pros

    Starting salary was better than I expected. I was offered about the average of what a mechanical engineer at my university made coming out of school, which is really good considering many of my peers went to work in the oil and gas industry where salaries are very high. The Applications Engineering department was a very fun place to work when I was there (2008-2010) - my peers were mostly high performers and young so we had lots of fun. My first sales manager was the best manager I've ever had. NI also makes some awesome products.

    Cons

    AE management is a joke. Your "manager" is someone as tenured as you, which means they are about 24 years old and are supposed to be in charge of your career development despite the fact they haven't developed their own career yet.
    NI stands for "no income". Salary is nowhere near competitive over time. The worse part about this is management and HR know this and continue to spew corporate crap about how it's in line with the rest of the measurement/automation industry and our "whole package" is great. The problem is, even the "whole package" isn't great. The health benefits have been decimated and aren't as good as they are with my new company.
    I doubled my income when I left NI!
    NI talks a lot about corporate culture and how it's a great place to work, and 10 years ago it was probably the best place to work in Austin. However, Austin has exploded in the last few years with silicon valley giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Evernote moving into town. Austin has become "Silicon Hills", and there are a lot of great places to work in Austin now. The culture at other companies in town is as good or better than NI, so many talented NI people have realized that they can make more money and not sacrifice culture and still work in Austin. The best people are leaving in droves. Although there are still many top performers at NI, there are a lot of average and low performing people still there because they don't have anywhere else to go.
    NI is a great place to work - if you are an average or low performing person. It sucks if you're a high performer and want to be rewarded for your merits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become a performance driven culture. The bottom 10% of people have to go. Stop worshiping at the altar of the "Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For" and start becoming a truly great place to work for the best people and you'll get back to the culture that was at NI in 1990s.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Corporate Culture, But Lower Pay than Peers

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

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

    Pros

    NI has a great work culture at the Austin, TX HQ. The work-life balance is top-notch! The Applications Engineering / Engineering Leadership Program is truly a great place to begin a professional career - there are many opportunities for advanced projects and learning new skills if you take advantage of them.

    Cons

    NI does pay less than comparable companies for the equivalent job. This is somewhat offset by the exceptional culture at NI Austin. Overall NI is a great company!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    NI must remember to reward performers monetarily (company bonuses / raises, which have been weak for the past year) to retain top talent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great for new hires, difficult and frustrating for experienced employees

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

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

    Pros

    The unique and laid-back culture lures new-hires in. It's a fun place to be, and many times the work can be exciting and engaging. Work-home balance is good, and it's easy to make friends to hang out with outside of work as well.

    Cons

    NI tries to hire the best and brightest, but pay is less than average, and the company tries to avoid the issue by saying it uses a 3rd party industry comparison to ensure salaries in line and bring up the "total package" argument as well as highly-discourages sharing your salary amount with anyone else. Health care isn't as good as it used to be years ago. Once you start achieving a higher rank it's still hard to feel valued or that your opinions matter. You spend more time arguing for resources you need to get your job done than what it would cost to just go buy what you need. Praise, bonuses, or any other positive encouragement is very infrequent. Lots of inefficiency and delay caused by consensus-driven decision making, and management changing their mind about where focus should be or changing their mind about critical decisions during the design process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you hire the best and brightest and pay average (or less than average) salaries expect the very best and brightest to move on. It might work for a couple years out of college, but people will only take so much until they realize they are undervalued.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Out of National Instruments, NI as it is referred to means' no income '

    • 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

    Great challenging work, smart people,

    Cons

    Understaffed, under payed, not much room for growth, does not really work well with experienced hire, internal click

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    pay attention

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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