NetApp Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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3.5
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NetApp President & CEO Tom Georgens
Tom Georgens
754 Ratings

Pros
  • Decent work life balance for certain roles (in 154 reviews)

  • NetApp has been on the Fortune magazine's "great place to work" list for 12 years in a row (in 78 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance gets out of balance a bit too much (in 27 reviews)

  • Has its share of jerks in middle management that can make your life Hell (in 41 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

1,346 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    NetApp transitions

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC

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

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

    Pros

    New CEO George Kurian is awesome, well- liked & respected, very warm & inspiring. We have an enviable product line, GREAT engineering & development, customers that love NetApp & want to see us succeed. Culture & values are strong and powerful force for good, people really LOVE this company & the respectful approach to business

    Cons

    CEO Tom Georgens recently asked to step down by board, FAR too many layoffs in recent years- we lose REALLY great people. Morale is taking a hit & we have some in leadership roles that don't mirror the company culture & values...not cool

    Advice to Management

    Employee listening survey- pay attention to that & utilizing the top talent you've attracted. Don't encourage or reward 'leadership' that manages UP or isn't as inclusive, collaborative as we're meant to be.


  2. Good and Bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at NetApp full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good people, fair pay, great community involvement, wonderful benefits and bonus week off for volunteering.

    Cons

    Promotion rate is slow, often over worked and bottom levels over looked, especially with layoffs as workload doubled, company is so large you often feel like you are woking in a silo.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your people, give them opportunities to advance. Bonuses and raises needed for lower levels to help them rise. Hold VPs accountable for behavior and treatment.


  3. Employees treated well, but constrained work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at NetApp (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Benefits really are amazing. Health coverage is fantastic. Rarely work extra hours and pay is excellent compared to other companies.

    Cons

    While there's a lot of encouragement for innovation, the actual work is severely hampered by reactionary inefficient processes designed to overly protect NetApp's intellectual property. It just sucks to have to develop and test all code on virtual machines that are 100% cut off from the outside world all in the name of keeping the source code safe. It's a real PITA and sullies what was once a much better company to work for.

    Advice to Management

    Simplify the open source identification process and get rid of the engineering wall.


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  5. HR Professional

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Fun culture, great people, good pay and benefits programs

    Cons

    Recent struggles with retaining top talent, several reorgs and restructurings

    Advice to Management

    Listen to what the customers say they want rather than trying to sell them what you think they need.


  6. MTS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Quality Engineer in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Software Quality Engineer in Wichita, KS

    I worked at NetApp full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, work life balance

    Cons

    too many layers of managers , and way too many first line managers


  7. Software Engineer

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

    I have been working at NetApp full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Work life balance
    - decent technology stack
    - good team members
    - good company culture

    Cons

    - the management has been a little lost and the strategies hasn't been working in the last 2 years
    - the middle management needs improvement
    - the upper management need a fresher outlook and understand that "Change is the constant thing" for growth
    - bureaucracy


  8. Engineering

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA/Automation Engineer (III Years), Development Engineer (IV V Years) in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - QA/Automation Engineer (III Years), Development Engineer (IV V Years) in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I worked at NetApp full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Very good company, well run with many nice people and good benefits, stock options, etc.

    Cons

    No real cons.. occasionally teams get moved around, but that's hard to avoid with a company of this size.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Great company past its prime.

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

    I worked at NetApp full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They are super nice people and they try to treat the employees well.

    Cons

    I got caught in the last round of layoffs, but I am not negative towards them for that. I liked working there; I liked the people, but I was looking around anyhow, so it worked out well for me. The reason I was looking around is I do not see how it is possible for the company to survive without changing their business a lot. The change will require massive layoff. They have had them on a regular basis, but I suspect (I have no knowledge of this) that they will increase.
    What I am saying is nothing you can't read in the trade publications. Storage companies like NetApp face competition from the cloud. Even if they do well selling to cloud providers, there will be fewer data centers than if every company had their own and, thus, less need for NetApp's products.

    Another is that they made an enormous commitment to clustered Data ONTAP, and I think the technology is outdated. I have many friends in Silicon Valley outside the company that work in businesses that have massive amounts of data, and many of them are shifting to commodity solutions (or started out that way). For instance, Facebook has used (and helped invent) Gluster, hdfs is used under Hadoop, which now being used by banks and other enterprise customers that are the kind of customer that NetApp serves. These commodity solutions stripe data across a large number of inexpensive Linux systems and use block level replication for performance and data protection. Though this requires more physical discs because the storage is not as compact as RAID, especially with deduplication, reconstructing failed discs is much faster, and it provides performance benefits. You can buy Linux systems for $9.

    Their hybrid flash solutions are excellent, well designed and reliable (like everything they do) but, you can buy hybrid drives at Best Buy. It is not the same thing but, they are high-performance and when used in conjunction with the kind of filesystems I mention above can give blazing performance. They could go into this market because better administration tools are needed, the deduplication problem has not been solved and much is needed but, it is a commodity market, which is much different than their current business.

    They are also competing in the flash market. They have no choice here but to be competitive on price. I can't imagine how they could maintain their margins if they have to do that so, again, they would have to go into a commodity business.

    I want to reiterate that I have absolutely no idea of what they plan to do and I am just telling you the logic that had me looking elsewhere. The way it looked to me is that their high-end market was going to get eaten away by lower priced commodity solutions. It happened to IBM, it happened to DEC, it happened to Sun -- IBM was big enough to survive but the other two are gone. HP successfully switched to a commodity business but not without carnage in the workforce.

    Finally, it is looking more and more like memristors are going to work. They are being manufactured. They can be manufactured in current fab facilities with some modification. Flash memory requires specially build fabs. Also, flash has a short lifespan. You can only write to it a small number of times, and it stops working where the writes have happened. For that reason, the software that manages the flash has to be relatively complicated. It needs to keep track of where writes have happened and choose the parts of the memory that have been written to the least.

    Memristors are so fast that they can be used both as long-term storage and as system memory. That means there won't be any external memory. Since they can be manufactured in ordinary fabs, the price should become quite cheap. They use 1/100th the amount of power, and a terabyte can fit in an area the size of a postage stamp, a petabyte in the volume of a sugar cube. That means even if the initial price is higher the cost of owning them is much lower. Besides all that, they can do millions of writes where flash can do thousands.

    It will be several years until memristors are ready for prime time, but they are being manufactured now.

    NetApp has a long history of being adaptable, and I would not be surprised at all if they made the changes necessary to survive in the changing environment. Unfortunately, I can't see how that could happen without a massive reduction in force. I started learning the new technology in preparation for moving on, and I did not even have to apply for a job. I took some time off to do some projects I had been putting off and after I decided to get serious about finding a new job I had one in days.

    Think about it. NetApp is laying people off and, logically, they will have to lay off more. The new industries that are replacing them are gobbling up people as fast as they can.

    You can learn there, it is a great place to work, the people are nice and it might be worthwhile. The tech industry is always changing but, be prepared for this to be a place that will be shrinking, not growing.

    After a while, that gets depressing.

    Advice to Management

    You need to face the fact that cDOT is going to go the way of the Vax and Sparc. "Enterprise customers won't go for commodity solutions, they prefer the support and trust a big, well-established organization" is like a death rattle. It has never happened in the history of computing. I know you are part of OpenStack, but it is just a small part of the changes that are going on in the storage business. CERN is using CEPH now. Every time that happens you have lost a sale. When Sun finally realized they were not going to compete with the PC and made an x86 based version of Solaris, it was too late. You may well be aware of this and planning action but, you need to communicate this because slowly but surely employees are starting to realize what is happening. It makes it difficult to trust you because either you are clueless or you are hiding big changes that will have a significant impact on them.


  10. Senior QA Manager

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at NetApp full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Well established corporation with opportunity to learn and grow. Leader in Data management software, systems and services.

    Cons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. With CEO leaving, there is a lot of uncertainty around the future.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Bureaucracy time!

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

    I have been working at NetApp full-time

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

    Pros

    Generally low stress. Company pays attention to corporate culture. For senior/longer term employees incentive plan is pretty good. Good intern program which is fun for the junior employees.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic nightmare developing after several weak quarters. Development and release cycle is much longer than rest of industry. Company is falling behind in innovation, engineering staff has lost faith in the vision of this company. Upper management is playing musical chairs and seems more interested in cost cutting than in moving the company forward. Company is totally driven by quarterly results and has little interest in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Get as much value as possible by selling/merging with a larger company. There is very little chance to grow with the engineering organization you have created. All the value in this company is in the customers, professional services and sales organization. Another company will be able to make the decisions you are unable to make that will maximize the value of this company for the investors.



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