National Instruments Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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420 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (6)

    Good resume builder for new graduates

    • 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 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good work/life balance, young culture, excellent job security
    Great place to work if you are ok having a "comfortable" salary and care only about work/life balance and job security (aka not career-driven)
    lots of experience/responsibility quickly, so you build lots of good experience in a short time frame; great for resume builder
    fun/friendly employee culture

    Cons

    below average salary and benefits; raises/bonuses are typically very small (<inflation) if given at all.
    excessive mid-level management, many of whom are unqualified and inexperienced
    lots of corporate kool-aid and lip service; constantly under going some new initiative or lofty goal that quickly fizzles away and is forgotten - it gets tiring trying to keep up with it all
    in middle of rough transition from small, start-up style company to major corporation; growing pains
    upper level management always talking about record quarters, record sales, record orders; yet when it comes time for raises/bonuses "times are tough, but we will focus and next year it will be better"

    Advice to Management

    increase salaries to match Austin area employers. Austin has had a huge influx of well-paying tech companies along with a quickly rising cost of living. NI salary/bonus structure is just plain not competitive and the "culture" no longer makes up the difference. I fear the health of the company depends on it as top employees continue to leave for better pay

  2. Helpful (13)

    NI is more concerned to be known as a Great Employer than actually being one

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

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

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

    Pros

    - Employees are smart, knowledgeable, and approachable;
    - Benefits include 401(k) matching, health care, dental care, medical prescriptions, and most of the minimum expected benefits in the industry.

    Cons

    - Under-par compensation
    - Lack of recognition in teams working on less known National Instruments product
    - Diminishing health benefits
    - Very few opportunities to grow
    - Books not as open as they claim to be

    Advice to Management

    Spend less resources trying to be on a Best Employer list and more in being one a retaining, what you call, the best and the brightest.

  3. Helpful (6)

    A good place to start as a software developer

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    * Established, stable company
    * Lots of smart people
    * Customers do amazing things with NI products
    * Learn basics of software development

    NI was a great place to start a career. I learned a ton and worked with very smart coworkers.

    Cons

    NI was once a fast growth tech company with lots of innovation and excitement. Now it has matured and hit a plateau, becoming a medium sized company where it's hard to be more than a cog in the machine.

    A handful of senior technical people are the gatekeepers to what and how things are done. Those ways are not usually industry standard or industry leading, but somewhat home-grown, "we do things differently because we are different from other software development companies", and so you will not get exposed to better concepts because these senior tech gatekeepers will disallow them. Also, the range of technologies you will work on is narrow: primarily desktop software, not web or mobile.

    Without having been at NI for ten to twenty years, you will not get to become one of these gatekeepers. NI has long prized hiring from college, promoting from within, and even people who have been at the company five years are considered relatively new. This is a strength and a weakness. There ends up being an in-bred tunnel vision on improving things because everyone at NI thinks they are an exception to the rule that is proven to work in the industry.

    Advice to Management

    Challenge the senior technical gatekeepers. Give other developers a larger voice so that new ideas can come in. Hire senior tech people from other companies who bring better ideas. Adopt software development best practices and quit thinking you are different than other software development houses.

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  5. Helpful (15)

    Talk a big game about employees, but doesn't match reality

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting work and you can learn a lot. It's a good place to start a career. They have covered parking and an on-site doctor and gym. The pay is decent, unless you consider how much overtime you have to work, and then it's really not so great.

    Cons

    Work/life balance is very poor. Regular overtime is expected. My manager calls me on a regular basis on weekends and asks me to work. We frequently have weekends where the entire team is expected to work saturday and sunday. This can happen for multiple weeks in a row. Emails frequently go out on friday afternoons telling people they need to get extra work done over the weekend. People are constantly checking emails from home, and you will see emails going from 12pm at night and then again at 7am in the morning. While I find the pay satisfactory in general, it's quite a bit less than other companies that work you to the bone like this.

    Upper management is ultra conservative and constantly paranoid. They are in a constant state of panic about the company performing poorly, even though the stock seems to be doing pretty well. As a result, there are many salary freezes and promotion freezes. And you are constantly told you have to work lots of overtime to help out because the company is in such big trouble. You will be inundated with pep talks about how the company is going to go bankrupt if you don't work constantly at a very high intensity.

    Health benefits are slashed more and more every year while the out of pocket expenses go up. Vacation time and 401k matching are sub-par compared to other companies.

    They recently laid off all manufacturing in Austin, and I'm seeing engineering being outsourced as well. R&D hiring is rapid in foreign countries, while Austin is in an almost continual state of hiring freeze. They recently cancelled plans to build a new building for Austin employees, so it seems they are not foreseeing much expansion in Austin anytime soon.

    Bottom line is they talk a lot about how it's such a great place to work and how the culture is so great and you have great work/life balance, but I find few of those things to be true in reality. Everyone is constantly fed the company line that it's a great place to work, and many people take it at face value and never realize that it's much better elsewhere. Most employees are hired straight from school, so they're just excited about having their first job and really don't know any better and assume everything there is as great as they're told it is.

    Advice to Management

    Management is beholden to shareholders. Cutting costs is the bottom line. I could offer advice about treating employees better and not working them so hard that they are in a constant state of burnout, but unless I'm a wealthy shareholder you're really not going to listen.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Culture driven workplace

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

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

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

    Pros

    I worked there for 21 years, and they are definitely focused on making sure the work environment caters to the employee. They believe in the work/life balance, and offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to hours of work. Their benefits offering is very impressive.

    Cons

    The salaries for mid level management positions are not as competitive as what I have seen based on my research of similar positions in the market. They do balance that very well with an impressive benefits offering.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Overall good company to work for

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Work is rewarding, especially if you work on a high visibility projects.
    - Flexible schedule, but expect to work long hours to meet deadlines.
    - Relatively decent medical benefits, although they've been declining over the years.
    - Relatively stable employer.

    Cons

    - Poor work/life balance
    - Not many career opportunities available unless you start as an application engineer. Promotion beyond senior depends on whether you have the opportunity to work on high visibility projects.
    - Substandard pay. Don't expect bonuses even if you do good work, except for the profit sharing that everyone gets.

    Advice to Management

    Reward your employees better when they perform well.

  8. Helpful (6)

    Very good culture for the first 12 years, now it is run by the books to increase profits over saving the culture.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Stable company if you are in R&D. If you are in Manufacturing it is a gamble.

    Cons

    Lower pay, and a very young workforce with limited knowledge.

    Advice to Management

    stick with the culture and don't sacrifice headcount for higher gross margins.

  9. Great place to work

    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Intern - Software Engineer in Austin, TX

    I have been working at National Instruments as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The internship program at National Instruments is well organized and there is a good support system in place for interns. The project that I was given to work on was meaningful and I was able to voice my opinions to shape the feature I developed over the course of my internship. The atmosphere of the company is also very good and integrating into the full-time team went smoothly.

    Cons

    The salary that I was offered was lower than that of other companies, although I chose to work here because I felt like my values matched very well with that of the company.

  10. Great place to work!

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

    I have been working at National Instruments as an intern (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    - The campus is beautiful and offers a full sized basketball court and two sand volleyball courts.
    - Lots of summer activities for interns.
    - Projects are meaningful and fun.
    - Great place to work, the culture is awesome and the CEO is very visible.

    The thing about National Instruments is that it is a company of engineers run by engineers. The CEO Dr. T is an EE major from the University of Texas. And his competency trickles down to the senior management. There is no micromanaging of any kind here. Everyone in the company is very approachable.

    Cons

    - Some of the workflow processes are old.
    - Pay is moderate.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Good Company

    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern I in Austin, TX
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Intern I in Austin, TX

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are great to work with. My project was a bit open ended, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Cons

    It was a little monotonous. It's a classic 9am to 5pm job. I wasn't allowed to put in any overtime. I got tired of working on the same project day in, day out - I could have used a little variation.

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