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Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated October 17, 2017
455 reviews

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Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins
Chuck Robbins
100 Ratings

455 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Stop the Indian nepotism"

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When engineering was more diverse before round after round after round of 're-structuring' work/life balance used to be decent.

    Cons

    In Engineering, if you are not part of the 'in crowd' (aka Indian) you will quickly notice the politics around you. There are issues with upward mobility, projects you are given, and if you refuse to work nights and weekends you are seen as "not doing enough".

    Also, you can tell by working with others that many people got their jobs simply from being being connected to another Indian.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at the hiring practices of H1B's, stop hiring from overseas for lower wages to displace American workers. Why is the majority of the Engineering org not diverse? Stop the nepotism, but maybe its too late... from the lower tiers all the way up, zero diversity.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Going down the drain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They have a great work from home policy which I really appreciate. Work life balance is also fairly good.

    Cons

    Ancient tools, slowing moving giant. They love to talk about the buzzwords in technology but have no clue how to proceed. Management is filled with layers and layers of yes-men who are caught up in a cycle of incrementally modernizing their bloated products.

    To "innovate", they purchase other companies - often started by Cisco employees themselves frustrated at the rate of change within Cisco. Then they layoffs start, and people are told they don't have the skills Cisco is looking for, when in reality it's the management which doesn't have the skills to lead.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the huge middle and upper management layer. Why have so many VPs and Directors? Most of them just parrot buzzwords and carefully tread the company line instead of working on something customers really want.

    Cisco Systems Response

    Oct 16, 2017 – HR Representative

    Thank you for the your review and more than three years with Cisco. Rest assured your feedback has been heard. We have a team dedicated to internal and external listening. I hope you see a difference... More

  3. Helpful (1)

    "No Diversity in Engineering"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, great set of products and services. Compensation is ok, could be improved in some of the engineering roles. Can’t think of many other pros, trying to hit the 20 word minimum limit to be honest.

    Cons

    No diversity in engineering. It’s operated as a compete sweatshop. Nights and weekends are normal working hours for some BUs. No advancement if you are not part of the same ethnic group.. You are replaced by someone who can work the extra hours and has the yes sir attitude. Contractors are flown in over a span of two days and stuffed into apartments with others to do sub par work for sub par pay.

    Advice to Management

    HR needs to review each of the candidates and make sure there is diversity in engineering. A lot of unethical hiring practices have gone unnoticed and it continues to happen. Hiring managers are paid under the table to bring in talent from contracting companies which are brining in the same ethnic group. There needs to be diversity and not the same shade of color across 95% of your engineering team.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Poor decisions at Director to VP levels lead to layoffs"

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Used to be a good culture. In a good niche.

    Cons

    Layoffs every year for the last 5 years just to meet quotas to reduce expenses. Then they give two full time jobs to one person. It doesn't matter if your job is important, they just want to reduce head count.

    Went from bi-annual performance / career development reviews to "continuous" which really meant never.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on core businesses and grow from there. Don't jump on the latest hot trends that doesn't make any money just because some start up is getting publicity for it. Focus on quality rather than cutting expenses and the revenue will come.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "booorred"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Network Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    if you want to be lazy work here

    Cons

    nothing to do. everybody was bored all the time

    Advice to Management

    don't hire people and then give them no work


  6. "Looking for a place where you are valued and not treated like crap? Then look elsewhere!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Unfortunately, there are not any pros or positive remarks that come to mind for Cisco. Certainly. The best I can say is the horrible culture and work environment masses other companies look so much better.

    Cons

    Terrible environment due to very egotistical , insecure and self interested management. Although the "message" from Senior Management is "we want you to take risks, think outside the box and be innovative,.", the actions of the typical managers/directors constantly invalidate this message by either refusing to acknowledge their team"s efforts, or, and most often the case, take full credit for something they had no part of. Not surprising there are so many people fleeing.

    Advice to Management

    Please stop ignoring the counter productive, and even abusiveness of many managers. Also, please pay attention to, and address the toxic environment where "red badge" people are talented, and humans and should not be treated like scum-of-the earth, second class Cisco citizens. John and Chuck, you take great effort in portraying Cisco as an Organization that cares, does not discriminate and values people. May I suggest there is one category you are overlooking -- the blue-badge superiority complex and the wide spread distain toward any and all red badges.


  7. "Toxic environment"

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems as a contractor

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn new skills; working with great, talented people.

    Cons

    Contractors are treated like outcast citizens. Favoritism and discrimination is prevalent.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be a prerequisite for middle management to attend leadership and managerial training.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Slow moving ship going nowhere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible working hours. Free parking. Free lunch every other Thursday.

    Cons

    Non-technical software development managers listen to and favor only senior engineers. Extremely hard to get a raise or promotion even though with proven hard work. Fake performance review. Ranking was determined in an hour long meeting regardless of what you input in the self assessment.

    Advice to Management

    Retire yourselves.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Not a meritocracy"

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

    Pros

    Lots of training and plenty of opportunities to brush up on existing technologies and gain a better understanding on new ones.

    Cons

    Other than the Cisco brand which is losing it's luster, there is nothing outstanding about the company. The culture has devolved into who you know and how good you are at BS.
     Cisco is focused on retaining market share so it attracts talent that will do it's bidding even with substandard products and software.

    Advice to Management

    I would say go back to its roots.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Director"

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Decent pay, bonus, stock, 401k

    Cons

    Upper management favors inner circle. Talented knowledgeable people do the work management takes credit. Experienced hard workers are not appreciated. You feel you have a target on you if you don't kiss up to management.

    Advice to Management

    Treat hard workers as you do your buddies.


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