SoftLayer Reviews

Updated August 21, 2014
Updated August 21, 2014
60 Reviews

3.2
60 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby
Lance Crosby
33 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • More free snacks than is probably healthy (in 10 reviews)

  • great benefits and compensation package (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Open door policy with upper management is not really open door (in 8 reviews)

  • HR tells employees right during new hire orientation that no raises will be given for tenure, and that increases are based on performance only (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to take your programming skills to the next level.

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

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great place to lear the proper way to do OOP PHP.

    Cons

    Code reviews, must code by their set of standards.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company to start in IT

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

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, nice coworkers, good learning experience, challenging work

    Cons

    it started to had bad management once they get bigger, you can not move up unless you are willing to relocate to the headquarter (Texas)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Low level employees need more motivation (other than free snacks and energy drinks). They need to feel that you care about them in order for them to work more efficiently

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Management doesn't care

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator, Managed Hosting  in  Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator, Managed Hosting in Houston, TX

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Stepping stone to better jobs
    Potential to learn a lot
    Decent benefits
    Free drinks
    Christmas party
    Not much else

    Cons

    NO Raises
    Average or below average pay
    Management (lower, middle, and upper) don't care about the employees; only shift leads do, and they have no influence
    They also don't care about their customers; although managed hosting tries to make it look like they at least do, none of them actually do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a lesson from Google and Rackspace and start treating your employees and customers like you actually care about them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    No formal training; must be an independent learner/worker

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II  in  Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Dallas, TX

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Got to learn a lot of new technologies on the job.
    Great break room(s).
    Good 401(k) matching.

    Cons

    Management is not "open-door".
    Hard to reach direct supervisor.
    Sub-par health benefits.
    Upper-management (VP's) always trying to best each other (personal war).
    The "founders" always upset that they aren't in charge.
    Allows eCig smoking the office.
    On Call 24x7

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to your employees. Don't give reviews showing that employees are meeting expectations and constantly improving on areas asked to, and then layoff employees for no reason.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Jack of all Datacenter trades

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

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great entry level job, can move fast if you are in the right location.

    Cons

    Low pay for most areas, very demanding work( con for some people)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    a great place to start your career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Center Technician  in  Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Data Center Technician in Houston, TX

    I have been working at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    great benefits and perks, friendly and positive environment in a growing and exciting industry

    Cons

    the pay is on the lower end of industry standard

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    the benefits package and morale boosting outings are awesome and very appreciated, but raising the overall employee pay would help us retain some of the better employees and make us a more competitive company overall

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Only Good for Entry Level Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Support Technician  in  Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Customer Support Technician in Houston, TX

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The technical knowledge gained can be useful in getting a position at another service provider.

    Cons

    The work environment is hostile, highly political, and not conducive to employee growth. Upward mobility is extremely difficult and only seems to occur thanks to attrition of long term employees. Training is almost non-existent. There seems to be a significant break down in the support organization's lines of communication between team and department managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your human resources are assets to be developed, not something to drain the life out of.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Horrible company to work at

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Center Technician  in  Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Data Center Technician in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I got a lot of work in. Sure most of the time I was doing unrelated stuff, like making coffee and cleaning the toilets, but they sure worked me hard.

    Cons

    They forced me to clean toilets and make coffee. I rarely got paid my full rate and they would make my hours disappear. One time I worked 95 hours in a week and I only got paid for 24 of them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shut the company down and open a daycare instead.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great on the outside; disappointing on the inside

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

    I worked at SoftLayer full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    * Very good benefits
    * Free snacks, beverages, scheduled lunches, and occasional on-site happy hours
    * Opportunity to work with sexy hardware in certain hands-on departments
    * Employees in business departments seem to enjoy their jobs
    * $200 bonus for writing articles for the employee blog
    * Yearly credit toward company-branded apparel and accessories
    * Relaxed Internet usage policy; fast connection (it is, after all, a datacenter)
    * Casual dress code for those who care
    * Holiday parties with open bar

    Cons

    * All technical personnel is required to subscribe to an infamous mailing list that receives hundreds of e-mails per day. Most of the traffic is irrelevant to the majority of the audience, with a large chunk of the messages coming from automated monitoring systems that are only of interest to one or two specific departments. Employees are prohibited from filtering or otherwise disregarding any of these alerts, but most people end up setting up filters under the table because—let's face it—it's the only way to get any work done.

    * All software engineers are given a cell phone that they're required to carry 24/7/365. Management usually tells interviewees about this upfront, which is good. What's not good is that people are often told they will only get calls if their own code fails, when in reality, their names may end up (sometimes without warning) on a list of "who to call at 3 AM if X breaks," where X is a random part of the system they may have absolutely nothing to do with.

    * Compensation is below average, and the company maintains a strict no-proactive-increases policy. HR tells employees right during new hire orientation that no raises will be given for tenure, and that increases are based on performance only. Seems fair, right? Well, after working at the company for a while, people usually realize that not even performance increases are given proactively, with many employees completing their yearly reviews with no mention of compensation by their managers—regardless of how highly they may have scored. Even promotions are many times given without salary increases, causing good employees to avoid promotions or return to the job market shortly after accepting one.

    * Micromanagement is prevalent in certain departments, with employees being required to (a) attend daily "stand-up" meetings (which end up becoming 30-minute, sit-down wastes of time), (b) putting together weekly reports, and (c) responding to Lumbergh-like walk-bys by managers who don't attend their own "stand-up" meetings or even read the weekly reports that their employees spend valuable time writing.

    * It's a PHP shop. While I'm not against PHP when used properly and in moderation, the codebase at SoftLayer has outgrown PHP and become very painful to maintain. SoftLayer leverages PHP's worst "features," with extensive use of magic methods and dynamic variables that no IDE is able to analyze. Developers have no choice but to turn off IDE inspections, and show-stopper bugs make it to production because somebody has mistyped the name of a method or variable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    SoftLayer has a great product that is sometimes developed at the expense of employees. My suggestions are to:

    * restrict the alert mailing list to relevant departments only,
    * relax or at least be upfront about the actual on-call policy,
    * improve compensation and be proactive about giving raises when deserved,
    * give at least minimal yearly increases (inflation exists),
    * lose some of the red tape, and
    * do something about the architecture of the system before it becomes unmanageable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Good job!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Systems Administrator  in  Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Systems Administrator in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at SoftLayer full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Decent benefits, and compensation package.
    Holiday Pay
    Shift Differential Pay
    Blog Bonus Pay
    Paid Time Off
    Relaxed Environment
    Open door policy to any manager and or executive. (They listen and respond to valid concerns)
    Quick 100% vesting on employer matched 401k contributions

    Cons

    Too many prior managers from the planet that seem to dislike that SoftLayer was chosen as the brand to survive post merger.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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