Ciena Reviews | Glassdoor

Ciena Reviews

Updated June 2, 2017
190 reviews

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4.0
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Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith
Gary B. Smith
117 Ratings

190 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Ciena is a great place to grow as an engineer."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Linthicum, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Linthicum, MD
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The exposure to new technology in telecom and fiber optics is unmatched. The engineers are brilliant and very good at teaching younger engineers about the tricks of the trade. There is a great sense of cameraderie and people will go out of their way to help out others.

    Cons

    There is an awful lot of red tape. Engineers are constantly hampered by paperwork requirements, which obviously results in less time designing and testing. There is a sort of struggle between departments, even when working towards the same goals. For example, there is a constant struggle between software and hardware engineers to accomplish their respective goals if toes are getting stepped on.

    Advice to Management

    Let engineers spend more time in the lab and designing new products, rather than constantly doing status updates.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Was a great place to work, but now questionnable due to Nortel acquisition"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Quality Engineer in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Quality Engineer in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Ciena had a great work/life balance with perks such as telecommuting plans, flexible work hours, health club reimbursements, and company wellness plans. The benefits package was quite lucrative, and the salaries were on par with other companies in the telecommunications industry. Management had an open door policy, and employees were empowered to work autonomously to achieve their assignments. The people are great to work with and sincerely want to help you when you ask - there truly is a sense of being a huge family.

    Cons

    Ciena is still an organization where it is important as to who you know rather than what you know in order to advance. The internal systems are very archaic and disjoined, and a silo mentality exists within certain groups. Gary Smith and upper management really sold out Ciena during the Nortel acquisition - who purchased who? Most Nortel management remained while Ciena management will most likely soon be shown the door. Many employees were very loyal to Ciena, and put forth a tremendous amount of effort to build the organization over the years. However, now they anxiously wait for severance packages.

    Advice to Management

    You had a very strong team who sacrificed to make Ciena the successful telco it is today; however, you have just lost the most important resource to any organization since the trust factor has now disintegrated. Even though the Nortel acquisition supposedly launched Ciena 2-3 years into the future, what indirect price is Ciena going to pay? Gary used to stand up to Wall Street and not worry about what was thought or said about Ciena with respect to shorter term performace. Why did he not do it this time? Slower with much planning and thought is what drove Ciena to what is is today, but the Nortel deal was rapid and hasty.

  3. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Ciena (then Wavesmith) had some interesting projects going on. Overall I was very impressed with the quality of my team members.

    Cons

    I have to say there weren't too many downsides. Management had their act together, and I had a great boss. I was pushed when deadlines approached, but otherwise was left to my own devices.

    Advice to Management

    I can't really think of any advice I would give anyone at Ciene. They are a world class organization and I was happy to be an employee there.


  4. "Quality People"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in Linthicum, MD
    Current Employee - Sales in Linthicum, MD
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Ciena has quality people who care about their company and their jobs. They have flexible work arrangements and compensation is fair.

    Cons

    As compared to other companies I have worked in Ciena has few "con's". As I have to say something I would say those typical of a technical company.

    Advice to Management

    I choose not to answer this question as I can't presume to know the best way to run a company.


  5. "Great place to work but mediocre pay & advancement opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Linthicum, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Linthicum, MD
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work environment (relationship with immediate manager is key)
    Highly intelligent and productive people; peers & managers included
    Plenty of responsibility, task diversity, high level of influence
    No tolerance for poor performance or bad interpersonal skills

    Cons

    Mature management & staff; (few opportunities for role advancement)
    At or below market salary (you'll want to negotiate everything going in)
    Limited pay increase potential (annual raises are not very common)

    Advice to Management

    Keep up pay for performance initiatives;
    Hire new grads to get new perspectives and long term growth


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Overall, not bad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule
    Some VERY smart people work here - learn a lot
    Everyone does strive to resolve issues and lots of laughter on most conference calls

    Cons

    Long hour days
    Too many meetings and "cooks in the kitchen" at times
    Struggle with the tight budgets given to build products
    Too many acquisitions and opinions on how to do things
    Forward progress is frustrating to achieve, nothing happens fast
    95% communication via email

    Advice to Management

    Please don't procedure us to death - what used to take a day now takes a week.


  7. "Flexible, fulfilling, but still acts like a start-up which is sometimes not a good thing."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Linthicum, MD
    Current Employee - Director in Linthicum, MD
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible, good salary, ok benefits, nice offices in Linthicum MD,

    Cons

    Lack of processes/systems cause many manual and therefore time-consuming, error-prone activities. Lots of non-value add work due to lack of investment in infrastructure/processes. Lack of financial analysis. Accounting refuses to provide financial analysis to management.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in IT/infrastructure and FP&A. Mandate policies. Man-up.

  8. "Lead Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in Alpharetta, GA
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in Alpharetta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very good place to work

    Cons

    Lately there has been some layoffs


  9. "Overall good experience."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in Alpharetta, GA
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in Alpharetta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule and good work environment. People respect each other. We all have friends at work place.

    Cons

    Company does not provide a lot of work related trainings. Also there have been too many layoffs due to the big environment.


  10. "Lead engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer in Baltimore, MD

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very dedicated and talented people, flexible workplace, challenging environment

    Cons

    Going through lot of reorg, uncertainty! Ok benefits


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