Rackspace Reviews

Updated March 29, 2015
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  1. Great company...great culture...great people!

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

    I worked at Rackspace

    Pros

    Work hard/play hard environment, the people who work there are fantastic, quirky, and super smart, Core Values resonate with most employees, casual work environment, open-collaborative work environment.

    Cons

    Changes in the market, competition, etc., require swift change and pivots in strategy and vision. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there is always lots of change and it's not always easy to get people on board in order to execute quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall leadership is solid, however way too many decisions are made based on anecdotal feedback, managers, etc., from employees vs. making solid data driven decisions. This leads to a lot of knee jerk decsions that aren't often well thought out.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Definite Shift in cuiture (not necessarily in a bad way)

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

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The work environment is relaxed, with a focus on trying to support our customers. This was lost for a while, but has resurged within the past 6 months.

    Cons

    The company is becoming one that is focusing much more on controlling costs and meeting external (stock market) targets. While these are important, the use of austerity measures that seem to be in place are impacting the business tremendously as it attempts to get its costs manageable. The middle management layer is too thick, especially at the director/vp layer. There are many directors/vp's with few (if any) direct reports, and this is onlly helping to spur on austerity measures as these individuals are left in place, but front line positions are cut.

    Also, there is still a massive gap in communicating strategy from top down and aligning tactics from bottom up. While each organization at the front line attempts to align as best they can, this gets muddled in the middle. Aligning front line tactics to top line strategies with no connection to middle line business units becomes problematic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-evaluate your middle management layer. flatten the organization and remove management positions that are unnecessary. Don't cut front line resources.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 9 people found this helpful

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. Great Company Culture, Challenging Market Conditions

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

    I worked at Rackspace

    Pros

    Rackspace cares about their people and has built a very special culture where "Rackers" are very dedicated to the cause. They are fighting hard against stiff competition from AWS, Microsoft, Google, and lots of others.

    Cons

    There are too many layers of middle management and a lack of product vision. Rackspace is a services company , so don't think you are going to work for an innovator.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of all of the layers of management, and empower people.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful

    Overall great place to work

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

    I worked at Rackspace

    Pros

    Very smart people to work with

    Cons

    The culture often times tends to be very supportive of extroverts. Not for everyone.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Great culture with lots of opportunity

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

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

    Pros

    Rackspace has hired some great managers; those that really care about who you are, what you're doing, what's engaging you, what obstacles you have, what you need to succeed, etc. The list goes on. There's lots of opportunity to grow from entry level positions. Training opportunities are abound. Some neat projects are being built. No shortage of servers. Stock price has been going up thanks to new direction and new CEO. The Fanatical Support message is being driven home -- a good thing, since it's Rackspace's bread and butter. Profit sharing bonuses are awesome, when they pay. Stock options are getting more meager due to stock buyback program. Benefits are better than everywhere else, but since benefits suck everywhere that's not saying much.

    Cons

    The longer I spend at Rackspace the more red tape and bureaucracy I find. My team had the vision and the ability to to execute on some really new, desperately needed products that never made it due to inter-office/inter-department politics. Some organizations are fighting for MRR leading to misalignment of projects to the appropriate department. Rackspace is easily out-engineered by other companies and projects take an eternity to complete. Our ties to OpenStack are almost burdensome; the foundation is like the UN: infighting and politics are everywhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less bureaucracy, more progress. Do not let ass-covering, political-game playing managers stand in the way of progress.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 6 people found this helpful

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Be transparent for once.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 10 people found this helpful

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 8 people found this helpful

    Great stepping stone but it's going downhill.

    • 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 part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, work-life balance can be good depending on your role. If you don't have experience in IT, you can get a paid education here.

    Cons

    SLT isn't qualified for the positions they are in. You have VP's and Director's who don't even know the product. Our support has gone downhill. Hard to trust some people because politics are very important here and everyone here will throw you under the bus in order to save themselves. Departments don't work well together because everyone is out to make themselves look good. I have seen them promote people to middle management just because they were terrible at their current job but they were friends with the right people. Also, the culture is non existent. Transparency is an absolute farce. It's a shame. Shareholders rule this company now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a long look at your longtime Rackers in Senior Management. From Senior Managers on up. Some of them are great but many of them wouldn't get a job at Burger King.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 12 people found this helpful

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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