Rackspace

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Rackspace Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2012's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Culture is amazing and I've never had more a better work/life balance(in 25 reviews)

  • Great culture and endless opportunities (if you earn them)(in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Middle management is the worst I've seen in my career in most departments(in 30 reviews)

  • Work life balance can be a challenge - not nearly as bad as Amazon(in 10 reviews)

32 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Best place to work!

    Systems Engineer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsQuite possibly the best place you'd ever want to work! That of course depends on the department you work in, for as great as I have had it with my team, I have heard some less than great things from members of other teams.

    The culture is unmatched. You can't beat the Rackspace culture, and for the most part they live up to their core values. The Rackers are really what makes Rackspace a great place to work, and the CEO allows for that organic process to take place. On-site dodgeball tournaments, water slides, company parties, you name it.

    ConsThere has been a lot of senior level management hired from outside of the company (Yahoo). These execs do not live by the Rackspace core values of treating everyone likes Friends & Family and providing Full Transparency & Disclosure. Recently a very good friend and probably one of the best Rackers to ever grace the premises was terminated for a first and very minor infraction - a decision made by this leadership team who does not know what it means to be a Racker.

    If you work for Rackspace, you will love it. But take things with a grain of salt and don't ever take anything for granted.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a long hard look at your senior leaders and stop hiring from outside of the company. you are ruining the culture that defines Rackspace!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Excellent learning experience.

    (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    Pros1. Awesome people. Seriously. There are some crazy smart people working here.
    2. Cultural History. There is an extensive and well earned culture built around provided the best support in tech.
    3. Options/Stock grants appears to be getting better than they were 2 or 3 years ago.

    Mostly, though, it's the people. I loved the teams that I worked with.

    Cons1. Compensation. The grapevine is full of verifiable stories of techs (regardless of discipline) leaving the company and receiving 50-100% raises, large options/stock grants, large relocation packages, etc.
    2. Ineffective middle management. Everyone has their stories.
    3. Training is barely there to non-existent. What training that does exist isn't effectively managed.
    4. Silos. There are a LOT of silos. Cloud, for example, is often seen as a 'black box' - and feels like a separate company. Each of the support organizations feels as if they are in direct competition with each other.
    5. Less pride/ownership/whatever you want to call it in the work the support teams are doing, leading to mediocre solutions and rework as 'patchy' solutions fail later on.
    6. Work-life balance can be horrifyingly out of whack.
    7. Emphasis on "friends and family" can result in employees' real families feeling neglected.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFirst, continue to work on compensation packages. They HAVE gotten better over the past two years, but still are not quite where they need to be to be competing with Amazon, IBM and Google for RAX employees.
    Second, re-examine hiring and promotion practices. The Technical Architect track is awesome in keeping great Rackers engaged and on the payroll, however, for every Racker 'saved' by the program, how many others leave to similar positions with other companies? Expand scope, or otherwise come up with a solution to keep the senior people with the company, and hopefully bring some of those lost, back.
    Work-life balance can be -extremely- out of whack. It is not at all uncommon for senior technical resources to work 60-80 hour weeks due to on-call needs.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    I get to work with smart people on interesting problems.

    Software Developer III (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsI am able to work with a small group of very talented and smart people. We are able to create things that people use.

    ConsThe layers between line-level employees and senior management are filled with a vast layer of goopy middle management that tends to slow things down and is constantly in a state of churn. The consequence of the middle management churn is that decisions carry little to no responsibility for those who made them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Losing ground

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsRackspace offer great opportunities for technical training, and you can work with some of the smartest people you'll ever meet.

    ConsTheir much-vaunted culture is on a rapid decline, and Rackspace is quickly becoming a place to earn your stripes and progress to somewhere else for better pay and opportunity. Leadership is very disconnected from front-line staff and decisions are frequently made without regard to their impact outside of the bottom line. It's a great company to own stock in, and not such a great one to work for long term.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees. Foster an environment of openness. Steer away from the environment of fear that is currently present. Rackspace prides itself on "fanatical service", but employees are no longer empowered to provide that. There is a huge gulf between the message being broadcast by senior leadership and what Rackers see from their immediate managers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    A Great Place to Work with A Few Blemishes

    Systems Engineer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsJob:
    - Constant challenges and interesting problems to tackle
    - Autonomy to take ownership of issues without micromanagement
    - Real sense of purpose/satisfaction in a job well done
    - Great experience builder
    - Lots of opportunities for free education and certification (MCITP, RHCE, Cisco, CompTIA, PMI, etc)

    Culture:
    - Most people really want to be there and care deeply about customer service
    - Basically no dress code for technical folks
    - Values-based culture that places focus on getting things done the right way, both in terms of correctness and in terms of morality, you could say
    - Quarterly team outings

    Compensation:
    - Decent salary for certain positions (especially given San Antonio costs of living)
    - Good benefits (health, dental, vision, disability, stock purchase program, FSA/HSA, etc)
    - Good vacation time (17 days per year for new employees, 22 days per year for employees with 5 year tenure)
    - Flexible scheduling (no nickel-and-dime-ing of time off for doctors appts, etc)

    Cons- There is a lot of tribal/institutional knowledge that is not centralized (common problem with rapid-growth companies)
    - A few too many middle managers that don't seem to contribute much besides sitting in meetings
    - Lack of solid process controls, over-reliance on hero employees to fill the gaps left by poor planning/implementation
    - Some positions are under-compensated in terms of salary. However pay seems to start low and ramp up, for example I make almost 80% more now than when I started a couple years ago.
    - Not enough focus on holding individuals accountable for their performance. It's a great environment for self-motivated, high performing individuals to get the job done without micromanagement, but lazy/inept folks can fly under the radar for far too long.
    - Not enough focus on retaining top experienced people, however based on recent evidence this seems to have been fixed quite a bit in the last few months.

    Advice to Senior Management- Pick a consistent vision and stick with it.
    - Seriously evaluate the quality of middle management and rethink the manager count (one manager for every 4-6 people in some departments is FAR too many).
    - Make sure there is sufficient staffing and training to support new initiatives and products.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Great building and perks, incompetent managers, great co-workers, position lock-in, inaccurate recruitment promises.

    Windows Systems Administrator II (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsThe fellow administrators (Rackers) are amazing people and the company does a lot to foster that family feeling. The building has a lot of perks and makes it somewhat comfortable place to be. If you happen to work first shift, there are lots of opportunities to train and such. And of course you have a lot of freedom in how you dress, etc.

    ConsStaffing levels are so tight you can not take time off without burdening your team. Due the heavy emphasis on "family" in the company, that translates to looking down on even taking sick time when needed as you are putting more pressure on an already stressed out team. Managers are taking the attitude of flinging poo at the wall and seeing what sticks as far as ideas on maintaining growth. The infrastructure, including tools you will use daily to do your job, are unreliable and poorly maintained, and there is little effort or emphasis on fixing that. Senior leadership is spending a lot of time out of the company touring the press, etc.

    Also, it appears that this company has forgotten who butters the bread. Non-technical staff are inconsiderate of the support staff by entering the building loudly, acting as if they are not walking by admins on the phone with customers, etc.

    It appears to that there is a massive PR campaign in progress to position Rackspace as an acquistion.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's simple: When the best and brightest leave, and they all leave for the same reason perhaps you should take notice and do something about that. While you may have been a leader in the past, you will get nowhere unless you have the strong support of your administrators ... in case you've forgotten, and it appears you have, those are the people who make Rackspace great: Not your marketing people, not your managers, not billing. Rackspace appears to have completely lost it's way.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great people, great company

    Director (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsRackers have autonomy over their work and there is ample room for career progression. It's great to work with so many smart, engaged people. It makes being at work fun :).

    ConsFast growth creates all kinds of challenges. Not all bad, but it can be frustrating, depending on the person. Change is a constant at Rackspace. Changing teams, projects, seating etc. If you're not flexible and adaptable, you'll be frustrated.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWith so much growth and change, communication is always a challenge. Finding the right medium and frequency to ensure everyone has the same information has to remain a priority.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great... but not sure if its a keeper

    Systems Engineer (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsGood culture, extremely laid back - but your best is expected. There are people in every team who hold their teammates accountable for quality work. Management tries to promote from within, so for the most part they are connected with what the needs of the team are.

    Conscompensation, compensation, compensation. Raises are a joke, small bumps are insulting - if there isn't enough money in the pot for a decent raise, then shell out stock and a hefty bonus.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI understand when the company was smaller, it was cheaper to let a heavyweight go and train up a new person. Now that the company is getting bigger $1B revenue means this is now the big leagues. You need to pay better to keep your top people, who else is going to keep your culture alive? If the average senior sysad or Engineer is only staying 3-4 years, you are losing culture and valuable experience when they move along to a competitor. 9 out of 10 rackers will tell you they LOVE this company, but at the end of the day people are going to go where the money is. Right now its a good time to be an experienced IT professional, step up or lose out.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Challenging, unique experiences you won't find anywhere else

    Linux Systems Administrator III (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsExposure to a multitude of unique problems and situations. You will have to wade through an obscene amount of email tickets, but you will have those gems that stick out. You have opportunities to get industry certifications (RHCE, CMDBA, MSCE, CCNA, etc.) that will help you down the road.

    ConsI feel the culture diminished significantly when the company went public, though some irresponsible employees helped. If you're not working days, your workload will be significantly higher, despite the cited breakdown of servers per employee.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Formerly a great company. Vision lost in the shuffle

    Business Development Consultant (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsGood money. Decent benefits. Great resume builder. Industry leader. Well known name. Brilliant executive leadership. Culture still remains within few segments.

    ConsManagement is far below industry standard. People have not earned spots such as VP titles. Very little pride on the sales side of the business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake more time to focus on all segments of the business. An organization boasting of their culture should have this vision throughout.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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