National Instruments Reviews in Texas

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 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

375 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Fun projects, great people

    • 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)

    Pros

    From the corporate culture to the breadth of projects available, nearly every aspect of life at NI is exciting. I have yet to meet or work with anyone who isn't passionate about their work and team. In the R&D group, the engineers are always in constant communication with management, and the work atmosphere makes it so no one is ever afraid to voice opinions or provide constructive feedback.
    Also, in the 30+ years of NI's history, it has yet to go through any round of layoffs.

    Cons

    The lack of layoffs does mean NI has to tighten the belt elsewhere when things get financially tough - specifically employee salaries. NI's been known to come in lower on salaries than other companies, but their outlook is that they want to attract employees who are committed to working in a stable environment. While admirable, that's the one point keeping me from rating NI as 5 stars.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep moving on the 100 year vision.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Casual and fun workplace

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

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

    Pros

    Good work culture. The work life balance is good. The jobs seem interesting. Employees are very friendly

    Cons

    I've heard the salary is low. Training is boring.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    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 (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
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  5.  

    Great, open company

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone works hard and plays hard. The work environment is very fun, and everyone is very active outside of work. Everyone is also willing to help you, too. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in projects with the team you want to eventually work with. A lot of transparency with management, with open forum meetings to discuss office issues. Offices are in North Austin, so it is usually a much easier commute.

    Cons

    Moving up can be really competitive, depending on the department you want to transfer to after AE. Salary is good but not great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    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 (more than an 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
  7. 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
  8. 5 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 (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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11.  

    Great company with a great heart

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    People really care about you as a person. Good work-life balance. Willing to give people a chance to move around and do different things. Leadership really tries to communicate changes and challenges openly and clearly.

    Cons

    Lack of structure to most things. You can't get a standard answer on most questions, as everyone does things a little differently. Very conservative approach to everything, which can sometimes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on employee retention and top performers. In the long run, losing these individuals will cost you more money than if you just took care of them in the first place.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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