Rackspace Reviews

Updated April 17, 2015
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  1. 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.

  2. So far so good with some bumps in the road.

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Team atmosphere, Competitive, CORE values

    Cons

    Constant growing pains, Constant change

  3. 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.

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  5. 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.

  6. Helpful (10)

    Slightly above average, but getting better

    • 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 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This part really depends on your age and your previous work experience. The atmosphere here is pretty laid back. The offices are geared towards openness and fun, meaning there are no 'offices', only cubicles, mostly with low walls between so you can see over them. Fun in that there are things like funky themed meeting rooms, slides from one floor to the other, video game machines, etc., to keep the employees entertained.

    As far as benefits, Rackspace has very nice ones. They've finally got a very good, competitive health care provider with a nice array of options. There's an ESSP and stock options program. And I find that the PTO program is very competitive. I've been here almost 8 years and I get 6 1/2 weeks off a year.

    Cons

    The thing I most dislike about Rackspace is the management structure. I've personally seen over 20 people promoted to management that should never in anyone's wildest dreams be managing anything, much less people. You can get promoted here based on who you know more than what you can do or what your experience is. That drives me crazy. Also, too many people are still hanging on to the 'startup' mentality, even though there are now over 6000 employees here working in mutliple countries. The days of just winging it should be long over. Unfortunately, too many people, a lot of them the exact managers I'm complaining about, just do things based on whatever sounds good to them. If you're looking for things like agile, look elsewhere. Project management here is a joke.

  7. 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.

  8. Helpful (9)

    Volatile growth = incompetent mid-management

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

    I worked 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

    Fun environment, successful (growing) company, opportunity for advancement, opportunity to expand knowledge and skills, decent pay, casual atmosphere (when not client-facing).

    Cons

    Rackspace's volatile revenue growth has led to the promotion of many unqualified mid-managers, either for lack of other options or because they are promoted by friends. The teams beneath these poor managers suffer as a result. The company has a very "in club" environment that looks out for each other rather than the best interests of the company or all employees.

    Support staff is considered on call 24/7, which can be upsetting when you're trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance with family, friends, hobbies, and sleep.

    Much of the company's financial success can be attributed to good real estate wins (Dallas DC & San Antonio HQ) and are not indicative of a successful business model via products and services. Long-term gains may not be as lucrative as the company's early years.

    Advice to Management

    Get a handle on the low-level management running your teams. Poor managers poison the employees who are on the front lines with your customers.

  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 (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.

  11. Helpful (16)

    Going through a mass exodus of talent

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

    I have been working 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

    - Awesome Co-Workers
    - Plenty of Training Opportunities
    - Challenging work
    - Work/Life Balance
    - Generally Positive Atmosphere

    Cons

    - Low Compensation
    - Perpetually understaffed
    - Lack of clear direction
    - Expected to exceed expectations
    - Lack of organization in support structure

    A lot of the cons are due to recent changes after the new CEO was put in place. The company has driven away a lot of senior talent by forcing more work on these employees and taking away certain benefits .. all without providing any additional compensation. Was actually told in a meeting that the "awesome" company culture of Rackspace does not apply to Network Security employees due to the amount of work and lack of headcount.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the shift in culture that is currently happening and provide a clear direction that the company is going down. Don't ostracize any of your business units and offer competitive compensation, rather than saying "lawlzz, we you should be lucky to even work at Rackspace, so take your low pay". The culture is dying due to the change in senior leadership and those "benefits" have disappeared which has a lot of people leaving because if you're going to deal with a crappy job, you might as well get paid more for it.

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