National Instruments Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
617 Reviews
3.7
617 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
481 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. 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 for 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
  2.  

    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
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic company to grow skill sets and launch your professional career.

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

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

    Pros

    I was a seven year employee of NI and had numerous promotions during that time. There is a pointed focus on developing employee skill sets. A lot of in-house promotions, too. Great onsite amenities, such as multiple cafeterias, gym, health clinic (sooo convenient), volleyball courts, and more. Easy access off of Mopac, and right across the street from the Domain. The ESPP program is fantastic - free money to those that take advantage of it. The culture is very strong in this company, it really shows. This is the only company I worked for that spent a significant amount of time correctly managing employees, from timely praise and attentive listening, to performance management when necessary. That's probably the one thing I miss most about working at NI.

    Cons

    Compensation policies. The bottom line is, fight hard for your starting salary. After that, you'll be subjected to an annual raise policy that, when they're given (some years not), are small bumps (2-6% on average). There is no level-setting of salaries once you are promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You clearly hire the best and the brightest, but retention should be a stronger focus. I get the business case for your raise policy, but you're bleeding star performers who quickly eclipse their modest starting pay. Until you revisit this, you'll be stuck in a cycle of launching careers and not capitalizing on your development investments.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bask in the Ignorance Boys

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time

    Pros

    Senior management does not have a clue as to what's actually happening in the trenches so you're pretty much not accountable for anything. NI's awesome at sweeping things under the rug and redefining success. Blow $100k in NRE, spin the story, and you can still look like a hero!

    Cons

    Really not a place you want to be if you want to follow a career in technology. Case in point - the leadership will tout NI as having the greatest engineers in the industry. I find it ironic that there is one and only one straight up technical fellow in the company, the only one appointed in 2006. The rest of the "fellows" are really "business fellows" - guys that look good in a suit and long ago forgot how to do an integral.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend 1 day/week with the grunts in the company and try to understand the industry you're attempting to run. The kids with 1 year of experience in the trenches really know more about the industry than you do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Rapidly Fracturing Identity

    • 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

    Pros

    National Instruments is a very stable company. I think the executives are brilliant, and their overarching strategy is remarkable. They are fiscally conservative, and generally pretty transparent and communicative with employees.

    They're also a very stable employer. There have never been mass layoffs, and the staff that they've let go generally seem to part on good terms. They have a mostly relaxed style of management. They provide a lot of resources to their employees such a health center, fitness center, and social groups.

    Most policy is common-sense based. Hours are usually flexible. Feedback is typically prompt and direct.

    Cons

    I have worked with several different groups, and they've all been very different. Some managers are there because they get enjoyment out of helping employees develop. Some are there because they feel they need to tick a box on a checklist to progress their career. It's unclear if they do, as while there is a lot of transparency in career progression, NI operates on a broad, conceptual level; people will interpret the same guidelines very differently. With a fair amount of autonomy and good but vague guidance, a lot of groups have drifted very far apart. The right hand often doesn't know what the left is doing, tilling the fertile soil of misunderstanding for a bumper crop of contradiction.
    The stated expectation of a balanced 40 hour week is vocally contradicted by a manager who says 50 would be barely enough. The egalitarian advancement policy buckles under the weight of employees who are hand-picked for high-visibility opportunities. Some employees are coaxed into new roles because they feel turning down the opportunity would look bad.
    Information percolates slowly, which can lead to the spinning of wheels. It's hard to know how to bring something to the attention of the right people sometimes, and it may be too late by the time it gets there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to re-balance the proportions of autonomy and guidance more often and more vigorously. Being happy at NI requires having clear expectations about the workplace, and as groups grow further apart, it becomes harder to know what to expect.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Genius of the AND

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

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

    Pros

    Slow and steady culture, CEO the anchoring figure.

    Cons

    Growth slowing, executive compensation increasing; genius of the AND. Average compensation for most others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lack of accountability in leadership and decision making

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great culture and work environment but compensation is on the low-end.

    • 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

    Pros

    Great work environment, company is engaged in the community. NI creates software and hardware that contribute to achieving great things in the world (in terms of health, technology, education, etc.), so you definitely feel like you contribute to something useful. Folks at NI are bright and you definitely learn a lot.

    Cons

    Salaries are on the low-end. Company bonus was insignificant this year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think more global.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    NI - A good place to work...if you have the patience

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

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

    Pros

    Work environment, smart people, challenging work

    Cons

    Lack of strong leadership to get problems solved, break through old mindsets. Lots of roadblocks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management should be better listeners and stronger problem solvers at times while balancing the voice of the individual employees and middle management. I would like to see true Lean Leadership as described by people like Jim Womack.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to jumpstart your career

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

    I worked at National Instruments

    Pros

    Great company culture, innovative, in-house marketing department

    Cons

    Horizontal company, limited budget per department

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Coordinator at National Instruments

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

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

    Pros

    Training, work like balance, consistency, security

    Cons

    personal growth due to lack of promotion within, promotions are hard to come by, raises are minimal

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider discussing promotions and personal growth and making these things happen throughout the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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