Ciena Reviews | Glassdoor

Ciena Reviews

Updated July 17, 2017
476 reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Principal Test Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Test Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Test Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to learn new things

    Cons

    low salaries, no RSUs given only to few people.

    Advice to Management

    should identify real performing people and reward them. Internal candidates should be preferred for vacant positions before opening to external .


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Very positive so far."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, pay is good (top end for our area), and environment is generally healthy. The company has been very good at compensating top performers and hard workers. Lots of average employees whine because they don't get treated like royalty... this company's philosophy is simple: you work hard, you'll be rewarded accordingly. If you're an average producer, you'll see average compensation... and if you don't cut the mustard, you won't last. Simple as that.

    Can work from home if desired, and the work schedules are flexible.

    Cons

    Workloads are very heavy at times, and the technology is very complicated. Can be overwhelming. Need to hire more people to accomplish all the initiatives in the pipeline.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Micro managed and no room for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network Management Co-op in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Network Management Co-op in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Company does not promote from within. Does not try to develop and motivate employees. Moral is low. Compensation is low. Micro managed by management.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within. This motivates employees


  4. Helpful (3)

    "It has been a good company so far but change in management does impact the employees."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ciena (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance..
    Though it is not a startup, a starter gets a chance to dive deep into work and is given good credibility.

    Cons

    Traditional style of working ... management is not open minded .
    Ok benifits, not comparable to other companies in the area.
    Zero perks
    Zero Raises


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Meh."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company survives on the strength of its optical business, significantly arising from the recent acquisition of pieces of Nortel. It is significantly an Southern, East Coast company (top down management run by marketing), with particularly close relations with ATT.

    Cons

    Initiatives outside the main business have principally been a failure. Specifically, efforts to extend the carrier ethernet business from mobile base stations into backhaul has resulted in 4 consecutive failed platforms. The recent foray into SDN at the behest of ATT is being run like land-boom for the network management people.

    Advice to Management

    Spend the money to hire competent software architects. Building out features for marketing to parade on top of broken infrastructure is the cause of the problems, not the solution. Demanding extra hours from junior employees who are dazzled with the prospect of the responsibility is a recipe for disaster.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Hated working here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Linthicum, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Linthicum, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Only pro is that you had a job and the benefits were fine.

    Cons

    There was a lot of office politics, gossiping and favoritism and a lot of unprofessionalism. A couple ghetto employees too. If you didn't act ghetto and stayed to yourself or tell your entire personal life then they always thought you were up to something or hiding things. Management sucked big time. Nobody knew what they were doing just pretended to be then get on others that didn't know what they were doing either. My department was not that big and there were two employees that would actually sleep at their desk all the time. Manager didn't know very much so the manager would go to the office napper for advice and answer since she was there the longest. If you want to feel like just a worker and nothing more than its the job for you. There were no raises and the work that other departments didnt want to do that department had to do it. So we got the crap no one else wanted to do. The company didn't know how to say no to the customer so we also go stuck with doing a crap load of manual tedious repetitive bs work. I was hired hourly then a year or two into the job I guess they didnt want to pay us for the overtime that was mandatory so then made us salary. I think that is pretty fradulent and maybe illegal I don't know but I do know that I'm so glad I don't have to work there and here about the same boring no substance mediocre bs conversations anymore. Worst job ever!!!

    Advice to Management

    My only advice is to hire a manager that actually knows what they are doing and a manager that has a freaking backbone.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "From Good to Great, Back to Good, then Mediocre, Now Floundering"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Project Manager in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Project Manager in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    At its best, Ciena had the best technology, brilliant engineers and a true entrepreneurial spirit. They survived the dot-com bust better than many firms, though there were many layoffs along the way. Still, morale was strong and employees truly trusted the leadership team. Promotional opportunities were available even during tough financial periods. Though bonuses dried up, there was a good employee stock purchase plan and basic benefits were above industry averages. But that was all prior to 2010.

    Cons

    The downfall of Ciena began with the acquisition / merger with Nortel's MEN division. Seems like Ciena sold its soul to make the acquisition work, handing over way too much influence to the Nortel groups. As a result, morale went down immediately for the existing Ciena employees and technology development slowed to a crawl. A transition of the engineering team from a US base to Canada and India continued the deterioration of technology development. In the past couple of years it became clear that the Ciena "classic" leadership team (non-Nortel) had lost their edge and were simply collecting their paychecks (and bonuses and stock grants) and are now hanging in there until something better comes along - or until they are told to leave. Since the Nortel acquisition Ciena still cannot quite make much money, always hovering near break-even. This will likely continue as the stuck-in-their-ways Nortel groups gain greater control of the company and power shifts completely to Canada (look for an inversion by 2016). The HR function had not been stellar the past 5 or 6 years, but has become non-existent since 2013 with a new, UK-based leadership team. They seem to be running HR by reading 10-year old Dilbert comic strips, using every outdated cliché to manage the business. As a result, no one ever goes to HR for help with employee issues - you're own your own. Any job openings at Ciena Maryland's facilities are most likely to replace someone who just got fed up and left. If you are Canadian, then Ciena will be a good place to work: the salary and benefits will be competitive, you won't be expected to perform well, and you can probably stay employed for a very long time as the company disposes of their US resources during the next few years.

    Advice to Management

    It is well past time for a house cleaning. Probably too late to reverse the move of engineering to Canada and India, so you will suffer with poor technology for the foreseeable future. Operations teams are very over-staffed, especially field service teams. Gary Smith was a great guy and lead Ciena through some really difficult years, but it's time to find a replacement - someone from the outside, not a Nortel guy. The only way to get real profitable is to eliminate the dead wood, as without new products it will be tough to grow sales enough to really turn things around. And see if you can make HR a representative of the employees. Ciena once had a fantastic culture - Joe Chinnici once said it was the closest to Silicon Valley you could find outside of the west coast. See if you can get that culture back. Good luck to you all.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Slow and steady company, okay recognition"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Development in Hanover, MD
    Current Employee - Development in Hanover, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    leading edge product development. Small company so you have a chance to help it grow

    Cons

    Middle heavy, lots of dinosaurs. Small company but this stifles innovation.

    Advice to Management

    fire your middle managers that don't do anything. There are plenty


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good company. Chaotic merger"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great Engineers. Skilled and knowledgeable.

    Cons

    Under staffed in some areas.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Ciena was an okay career growth position"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Test Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Test Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Friendly co-workers and challenging product testing with L2-L4 protocols.

    Cons

    Demoralizing management strategy which includes threatening your job security if you can't meet deadlines.

    Advice to Management

    Respect and grow the talent you have beneath you.


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