Silver Spring Networks Inc.

  www.silverspringnet.com
  www.silverspringnet.com

Silver Spring Networks Inc. Reviews

Updated December 3, 2014
Updated December 3, 2014
57 Reviews
2.3
57 Reviews
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Silver Spring Networks Inc. CEO Scott Lang
Scott Lang
42 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free lunch four days a week and baristas at headquarters once a week (in 8 reviews)

  • It was first in the smart grid space and booked a lot of good clients (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Salaries below Director level are averagem not keeping up with Silicon Valley (in 4 reviews)

  • Silos implicitly supported by senior managers (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great People but Hard luck

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

    I have been working at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Some of the smart Tech folks I have ever work with. Innovative products. People works their butt off to get the job done. Really positive environment to work. Free food :) , Unlimited PTO with manager approval , free parking , flexible timing

    Cons

    Too many confusions about product which no body in the technical team understands fully. Everybody works on their part but when something goes wrong its kinda hard to determine the issue is in product or in implementation process.
    No cash bonus which is a great bummer. Lot of blame game is going around when there is an issue with customer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do not consider your employees robot. Customer is important to us for sure but the root cause analysis should be done to advice and improve the process so that mistakes doesn't happen again. It should not be a warning to managers and employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best intentions, but no leadership.

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

    I worked at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Low barrier to entry to get a job with few responsibilities and good pay. Personal development was suggested during manager reviews, but no real enforcement. It's easy to put in C+ to B- work and look like an A+. "Unlimited" time off, if your team supports it.

    Cons

    Easy to get settled in. The team I was working on had all been with the company 3+ years and spent most of their time complaining about their manager and browsing facebook. "Unlimited" time off means no PTO accrual, which can amount to a decent chunk of money when you leave the company. Also, if your team/role is even tangentially critical to business operations, good luck actually getting any of that unlimited time off.

    The stock price is tanking. The two year trend has been a smooth ramp toward nil. The CEO has been with the company 7+ years and has no real vision or defined plan for where to go from here. Recent layoffs got rid of a healthy chunk of development staff, new initiatives in the company are more directed at getting value out of what they already have rather than innovating.

    The software stack itself remained vastly unchanged the two years I was there, only minor improvements to the UI, and the most catastrophic of bugs were fixed. Sometimes customers were upgraded from reliable older versions to unstable new ones, which upset a few of them.

    The company has a very small set of core customers, and the constant worry of upsetting any of them and potentially losing them caused much stress for our org; people were written up for trivial mistakes/human error over non-issues, and morale was absolutely abysmal. The only reason people stayed was due to the pay rates offered, for the type of work we were doing the financial compensation was above average.

    The IPO was a fiasco; immediately prior to going public all stock grants/RSU/options were reduced by 4/5ths. Suddenly the 40k in stock options I had was valued at 10k. Less than half a year later (before we could sell anything) our stock was riding at ~33 a share due to expected business in the UK, except someone had the bright idea to partner with a German telco for the cellular solution, which the UK happily ignored and partnered with someone using a UK telecom. Our stock price dropped a third when that happened, and never recovered.

    Once I announced I was quitting, several teams tried to court me, however with the financial outlook of the company being what it was, it was an easy decision to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm glad Scott Lang finally announced that he was stepping down, but I'm worried it's too late for the company to recover.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Case Study in Missed Opportunities

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

    I worked at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It was fantastic to work on something so important to the environment and a change that's happening all over the world. The "green" angle is inspiring.

    Cons

    The company suffers from terrible leadership, constant re-arranging of the deck chairs with no real change, and a lack of new ideas. The same core team keeps cycling through the same agenda, and only one has any prior Silicon Valley background. For a company that was so pioneering, there's a shocking lack of vision. Plus, selling to utilities is just unbearably hard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get new leaders

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company changes the world, but don't try to change the company

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

    I have been working at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many exciting innovations to learn about
    Free lunches, snacks, and sometimes perks
    Great benefits and unlimited vacation
    Hard to get let fired

    Cons

    Difficult to engage with other teams (lots of "pass the buck" people)
    Many disparate products to learn that do not co-integrate in the code
    Sales makes impossible contracts (like, literally impossible. The product doesn't function in ways the contracts claims it can)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay less attention to your reputation and ego and more attention to making a better product and better experience
    Learn how to adequately train new employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Among the worst contracts I've performed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Silver Spring Networks Inc. as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    food served Monday through Thursday, Friday work from home, free beverages and snacks, convenient parking, free espresso on Thursdays, the QA members of my team were extremely skilled.

    Cons

    The quality of Enterprise Software (as opposed to the low level embedded development done within other groups) is very poor; there were ceiling high piles of steamy spaghetti code within every code repository. There is no software architecture here. Poor communication in my team. Managers don't know much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are some extremely good people at SSN and there are others. SSN's portfolio of Enterprise Software is very poor. It is a simple problem of hiring great people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Future-oriented green industry, but company is strategically and organizationally challenged

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

    I worked at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Highly competent and well-meaning people

    Cons

    Obscure & confusing organizational roles and responsibilites, muddy strategy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate strategy more clearly, and especially how the specific short-term goals align with strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 11 people found this helpful  

    Challenging future, terrible CEO

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

    I worked at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you worked at the company in 2005 - 2010, it was a wonderful, highly focused time of accelerated innovation, comparatively little politics, and a great mission statement of changing the world. It was a small company that was just starting to see some success.

    The company has since deployed game changing technology at large scale and largely fulfilled its early promise.

    On the other hand, selling to utilities is hard, the hardware business is tough, and margins are low. Most CEOs and founding teams want to run a stand alone company, but few can actually do it. A more lucrative sale to Siemens or Cisco could have been in the cards, but the investors and management team were enthralled by an IPO and misjudged the medium term value prospects of the company.

    There is some really great technology that has been developed over time, but further developing it and extracting the most value from it will likely require a change in leadership.

    Cons

    There are many negative reviews because, I think, ultimately the company's share price was unable to meet the expectations and aspirations of the people it recruited and hired. And being in Silicon Valley, it's difficult to not compare.

    During one year, revenue grew from $10 million to $100 million, and the natural expectations were that the hockey stick of growth would continue. Didn't happen.

    The CEO has been and always will be a sales guy with very few leadership instincts that are appropriate for a Silicon Valley technology company.

    From a "get it" point of view, you should know that when Scott, the CEO, first joined the company, someone needed to teach him how to use Google. We had a CFO that had his emails and calendar printed out for him, and the CEO put a contractor who happened to be his neighbor in charge of one of the few growth areas of the company. If I had to guess, I would guess that our CEO doesn't know the difference between a resistor and a capacitor, but he could spend an hour talking about his golf game and another hour about how he's a visionary.

    If the stock price was way higher, I think people would complain less. But a slow moving industry, a CEO who expects others to lead without knowing how to lead himself, and ho-hum growth prospects contribute to significant employee dissatisfaction combined with a talent drain that has been well under way for the past year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Great Place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA

    I have been working at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good food, great team, low stress, good opportunity to work in great projects.

    Cons

    Low pay, low stock grants, company is not doing too well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people better.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Hoping for the best, but not confident this company will be around in 5 years

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

    I worked at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great staff, terrific opportunity to implement a greener solution. Work life balance good, as long as you get your work done, you are golden.

    Cons

    Zero communication to employees. Touchy feely "town halls" are a joke. There is a lot of "dead wood" employees here that need to leave or should be fired. HR is useless. Promises are not kept. Many managers should not be managing people! Salaries below Director level are averagem not keeping up with Silicon Valley.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time for change. Need someone to LEAD this company, providing clear and consistent direction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Needs leadership refresh

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

    I have been working at Silver Spring Networks Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Technology holds great promise!
    Lot of potential to continue to be the market leader
    Free food...

    Cons

    Leadership is clueless on how to move the company forward
    Poor communication across the board
    Too political to get anything accomplished

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you have been with the company for more than 7 years, please look for a change. It is good for the company, good for the employees and I am sure it will be good for you too. Most of the exec team has been around since the initial days and should be commended for the success story of SSN. However, it is unable to take it to the next level, please make way for the next set of leaders to take this forward.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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