Rackspace Reviews

Updated April 19, 2015
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3.3
604 Reviews
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Taylor Rhodes
56 Ratings

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 31 reviews)

Cons
  • Middle management is the worst I've seen in my career in most departments (in 33 reviews)

  • Sometimes the work life balance can be difficult (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Manager

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

    I worked at Rackspace

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

    Pros

    Great Culture! Comfortable environment. Free sodas.

    Cons

    Low pay, Senior Leadership does not seem to care about their satellite offices. Good talent is leaving the company daily and no one seems to care.

    Advice to Management

    Develop your Mid to Sr. level leadership people more.

  2. Helpful (10)

    It's confirmed: No longer one of the best places to work

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

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Many front-line Rackers still embrace the qualities that made Rackspace great -- going above and beyond, humility, respect for others, and willingness to do the needful to take care of our customers.

    Cons

    Rackspace has a tenured history of being recognized by Fortune's Best Company's to work for list. This year it fell off the list completely from 29th last year. For four consecutive years, Rackspace has been recognized. That history of being recognized as a great place to work is over. For reference, Rackspace has continued to climb that list over the last four years.

    2014 - 29th
    2013 - 34th
    2012 - 74th
    2011 - 92nd
    2010 - not listed

    The amount of irreparable damage that has been inflicted, the number of highly skilled techs that have been allowed to leave, and the destruction of any semblance of a competitive strategy has been driven to the ground by a leader who can only talk about "record setting deals" or shiny objects like DevOps (which no one uses) or ObjectRocket (which he doesn't understand, is immaterial and highly unprofitable). This company has become so lost that it has had to resort to calling itself "#1, but by what measure is unclear.

    Services like DevOps don't make sense to the industry and if we had a real product leader in place, that would be understood. DevOps is a buzzword, pure and simple. It's certainly not something to be sold.

    Former leadership emphasized concepts like "policy purging" to get rid of ineffective and unnecessary complexity - the new guard rolls out new policies that do not add value and without explanation.

    The leadership here uses "new deals" as their sole measuring stick for how well the company is doing while there are only slightly more dollars coming in every month than are leaving due to churn. Customers are recognizing every day just how uncompetitive Rackspace is in the industry and at this point, the chance of differentiating and creating a create product and service is getting more and more challenging.

    The CEO's strategy is to be solely a sales and support company - there no longer is a product direction. The mantra is now to sell and support everything. Thats just not a *viable* strategy.

    As the market realizes that we are overvalued and as revenue growth continues to fall, the chickens will come home to roost. The stock is overvalued for a company reselling software and support services and because of the do everything approach, there is no chance of being able to do those things well.

    IF you are considering moving to San Antonio because of the Rackspace of years past, don't. Once you get here, there is nothing but small companies and banks in San Antonio. Moving your family so you can join Rackspace will be a major mistake for your family - there is no where else most people would want to go leaving you in a position to have to tolerate a bill of goods you weren't sold will be a major hassle.

    This company has a history of being recognized for the culture, commitment to greatness, and leadership it once had. That is no longer the company I work for.

    Instead of throwing individual contributors under the bus to try to raise profit margins, we should get rid of a few of the SVPs/VPs who are responsible for the poor decision making that caused shadow layoffs to occur. Despite what the CEO says, the social contract has been repeatedly broken time and time again. There is no longer any trust between front-line Rackers and leadership.

    Advice to Management

    It's time for the current CEO and most of the SVPs within the company to "retire". Bring a leader from the outside to run the company who is technical, understands the product/technology, and could at least login to a server.

  3. Helpful (11)

    Amateur hour

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Infrastructure Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lead Infrastructure Engineer in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Rackspace full-time (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    The only pros here are that there are a few good people in the organisation and it's because of them you will stay longer then you should.

    Cons

    Rackspace is just pure marketing - what you see in the media is not reality. There is a lack of transparency which also leads to the fact that core values are just paid lip service to, very few actually work by them. The company is so far behind it's competitors that it effectively has a Gartner Quadrant dedicated to it (managed cloud). I wouldn't let Rackspace manage my cloud as they have failed to actually build a cloud that can compete ( poorly designed, poorly managed) finance pulls the strings to the point it is now hindering the company from tech advancement.

    The company panders way to much to Wall Street Analysts which means it constantly shifts it's focus and direction - Number 1 managed hosting, The Open Cloud company, The Number One Managed Cloud company and I will bet they will re-brand to The Number One Services Company.

    The support setup is beyond a joke, the teams are inadequately staffed, there are no processes in place, there is no governance so it makes you think what the Enterprise Architects in the US are actually doing. All product development and strategy takes place in the US so if you are outside the US expect to get very frustrated, it is a US organisation with international presence and not an International Organisation.

    When there is an issue which normally would be resolved by processes being in place the answer seems to be to create new senior management positions to try and resolve them.

    They have SLA's which they can't measure due to lack of tools and those tools won't be built in the operation centres that need them which lie outside of the US but are developed in the US so when the product is released it is always woefully inadequate, buggy and incomplete which just adds more crap for the account teams to deal with.

    The place now resembles a fast food outlet as the employee turnover is like McDonalds they have to constantly recruit as so many leave - no ones seems to question why or even attempt to fix the issues driving employees out.

    The UK operates around Cliques and if you aren't in one expect to get over looked for training, advancement, pay rises, and projects. Account pairs get blamed for accounts which churn even if the reasons cited by the customers are around poor tech, costs and woeful support from the support teams, this in turn means when it comes to your reviews it is held against you.

    It's easier for you to leave Rackspace to another company to get a senior role and a pay rise then it is at Rackspace due to the ridiculous leveling process they have which really borders on a very grey area.

    Advice to Management

    There is really no point as it will never get acted on.

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  5. Helpful (8)

    When is doubt, say it's company culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development Consultant in Hayes, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Business Development Consultant in Hayes, England (UK)

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    You will get in depth training on hosting and different areas and a very casual approach to work

    Cons

    If you work in sales you will have an an account base that is saturated, unclear processes, goal posts are moved and the excuse is that they are a big start-up and it's a culture thing. The leadership (especially middle management) have usually no qualification in management or skills in effectively managing people and sales cycles.

    Advice to Management

    Get managers in that are qualified to be managers, take a proactive approach as apposed to a reactive one. The "put a bandage over it" approach and hold people accountable for good and bad.

  6. Helpful (6)

    The death of once a great company

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

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Some great front line workers who do care about their customers. Free soda, food trucks, etc.

    Cons

    Once a core value, transparency, it is an insult now. This company does not disclose to the floor staff what is going on. No direction and now layoffs are happening in 2 of our biggest departments. There is only so much we can do to save money before this company starts losing money big time or doing mass layoffs. The VP's and above don't care since they have golden parachutes. It's the average tech worker I am concerned about since we are just pawns in this giant game. Time to look for a better job...

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent for once.

  7. Helpful (10)

    I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    A few senior rackers who actually know how the product works and how to improve it, there are still great resources left in this company, learn from them while they are still around.

    Cons

    Horrible management, top to bottom. It is not uncommon to find managers who ignore how our core products work at a high level and have no association between stakeholders and developers. How are you supposed to have a vision when you do not know our products and offerings? How are you supposed to manage a project if you do not know the end goal? How are you supposed to manage a team if you do not know the skills and challenges necessary to develop or improve such products? You can't, so in return you have a group of unqualified people trying to stay in their position through opportunism and political trash while the team pays for years of technical debt with no room for actual improvement.

    There is a career path and necessary skills outlined in order to being promoted, the problem is that it is not actually honored. Again, it is not uncommon to find rackers performing at a greater level than what they are currently set, but at review time managers don't "feel" that you are qualified for a promotion, even though by all established metrics you actually are. I can only wish this rigorous system was also applied to management and project planning. My only advice here is to watch for organizations with 95+ percent of L1 and L2 developers, that means they either are not being honest in their career path offerings or they legitimately have no senior technical members to guide through their current projects, either way it is a disaster.

    It seems to be the rackspace way to try to remedy all of the above is through re-organizations. Surely, if we stir the pot enough maybe our product, offering and projects will improve. Surprisingly it doesn't and that is how you end up having years of technical debt, re-organize and repeat.

    Finally, there is not enough transparency when it comes to bonus adjustment and it certainly seems like an accounting black box in terms of the actual factors involved in determine it. You will hear the word "adjustment" without further explanation. Compensation of course is not competitive as others have mentioned.

    Advice to Management

    Be more rigorous in your management hiring process. The training provided to managers is insufficient, it is the equivalent to send someone without development background to a 2 hour programming class and expect him to write a complete project afterwards. Because of recurrent re-organizations you have no qualified senior leadership and this shows in every manager under them. Look into organizations with a high churn rate, standardize your internal processes.

  8. Helpful (12)

    No what I had hoped.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior QA Engineer in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Senior QA Engineer in San Antonio, TX

    I worked at Rackspace full-time (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Graham Weston and Lanham Napier (the CEO when I was there) blew me away when they spoke at our orientation. They had a vision and Graham Weston, rightly so, was a huge advocate of Strengths Finder. We all had our top five strengths on cards in front of us for everyone to see at orientation and everyone had them on there desks. I thought, "This is a place that values its people." Continued in the cons ....

    Cons

    Well, ends up the vision from the top did not make it down to the rats on the floor. No one ever looked at my strengths and the disfunction between groups was huge. They said they practiced Agile but that only meant they had a 15 minute stand-up everyday and then blame was assigned to protect the guilty. I took a $10,000 a year pay cut because I liked the vision Rackspace projected for itself. I left in six months when I realized it was a facade. One thing that struck me as interesting is their mantra "fanatical support." I think they really do have that and they built a huge support team and trained them to be fanatical. But, it seems to me that if you need to focus so much on support you have a bigger problem ... your product.

    Advice to Management

    1) Truly buy into Strengths Finder. Don't just have it be a card on the desk that no one looks at. It is powerful.
    2) Focus more on building a great product that doesn't need fanatical support.
    3) Truly buy into Agile and get teams working together.

  9. Helpful (12)

    Was sold on the hype, worst decision I made

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

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    Free soda, relaxed dress code, nice people, new problems everyday to troubleshoot

    Cons

    I was sold that this is a great place for your next journey in IT. I come here and find out it is great if you like to play politics. I left a good job and got screwed. I have found nothing but horrible, inexperienced managers. The training is very generic and there is only so much openstack hype they have to run on. Reorg's every quarter and shrinking employee perks. Benefits stink and raises are do not happen. San Antonio is not the best tech hub and wish I would of hit Austin before relocating down here. Potential new hires, please make sure you do your homework on this company. It is not what it use to be and is changing very rapidly for the worse. A lot of techs are looking for other jobs, so expect another mass exodus.

    Advice to Management

    I have nothing to say because SLT does not listen to IC's.

  10. Helpful (20)

    Sad to say it was nothing like they promised

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

    I worked at Rackspace full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    ** Good on your resume (for now at least)

    Cons

    It looked so good from the outside but "Racker culture" if it ever existed is long gone. RS likes to quote it's harder to get into Princeton than Rackspace but many employees are underskilled and not weeded out by simple interview process.

    ** Worst politics of any corporation I've seen.
    ** Very little accountability.
    ** Chains of management doing nothing. One dev works for one manager who works for another manager and another... 1.7 workers per manager on average.
    ** No hope of promotion. No transparency of how to get promoted unless you're friends with the right people.
    ** Super bureaucratic. Can't get expenses signed off. Can't travel. Can't move internally without all the boxes checked.
    ** Shifting strategy and changes in direction all the time.
    ** Overqualified people doing simple tasks for underqualified managers.
    ** Pay is below par for the market. First thing manager said to me when I joined was to never expect a raise (2-3% for the superstars, he said). Wow, so motivational.
    ** Technology is fairly weak and ability to plan/implement/execute is very poor. Always missing delivery dates.
    ** Layoffs happening while company still hiring 40-50 people a week (look at the listings on LinkedIn!)
    ** Training is weak-to-nonexistent
    ** More of sales/marketing company than a tech company. Employees expecting tech will be disappointed.
    ** Rampant waste - agencies and vendors everywhere doing basic tasks.
    ** Cross-functional silos and constant reorg'ing mean slackers can hide and never get fired or called out.

    RS needs to get bought or sold instead of being run by amateurs like a $1 billion mom and pop shop. I wasted two years here but knew it was a dead end after 3 months.

    Advice to Management

    "SLT" as it's called here is bloated and full of ineffective managers or Graham's sycophants. Need to clear house and fire 75% of director-and-above.

  11. Helpful (15)

    Senior Program Manager

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

    I worked at Rackspace

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

    Pros

    Dress Code, Work/Life Balance, Free Gym.

    Cons

    Politics that make the Game of Thrones look tame. Promotion is based on popularity. Rackers aren't given the tools they need to take care of their customers.

    Advice to Management

    Take a hard look at your managers (VPs, Dir, Sr Mgrs, Mgrs). Don't just look at their engagement scores, but look at the effectiveness of their teams. Get rid of your directors with no direct reports.

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