Cisco Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated April 26, 2017
10,705 reviews

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10,705 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Best work life balance in the industry (in 1707 reviews)

  • You have flexibility to work from home or a remote Cisco location (in 847 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent engineering driven organization for a large size company. Excellent project/products with innovative and interesting work, where you get to see the entire work not partitioned work culture.

    Cons

    Undergoing transition now but will come out ahead.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on short term goals/transition while simultaneously keeping focus on company culture, values and engineering focus for the long term.


  2. "Descent place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Culture is great, work life balance can be maintained easily.

    Cons

    Sometimes the products are pretty old to work with.


  3. "Good with people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People that work here, people want to help and make a difference regardless of organization . New leadership at the top is good could use stronger middle management or thinner management layers

    Cons

    Overhead, many complex planning and decision making processes , many meetings, many VPs. See pros above for feedback. Standard large company challenges

    Advice to Management

    Cut the overhead


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  5. "Wireless Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent HR policy,Benefits,Carrier Opportunities,other benefits

    Cons

    Frequent Laid off.Upper management lots of politics


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Cisco is just so so"

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Super slow pace that you will have definitely enough time to stay with your family or any kind of personal business.

    Cons

    Hard to get good shape paychecks


  7. "Director Engineering"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very interesting company covering huge market and customer based. Very healthy and open culture with an emphasis on the employee and his/her family.
    Easy to move from one team to another and gain expertise in new areas, without the need of actually moving to a new company.

    Cons

    Sometimes big is slow. Very process oriented and heavy on overhead. Hard to capture and adopt new methods

    Advice to Management

    Patient is a must. Also make sure you spend time learning new technologies, to stay ahead of the game

    Cisco Systems Response

    Mar 31, 2017 – Social Media Manager

    Thanks for your input! I'd agree, the culture here is a huge draw. But you're also on point about the process. I believe the execs hear us when we say that, and some teams are even creating "tiger ... More


  8. Helpful (1)

    "working at cisco"

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

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

    Pros

    Great team , environment and customer centric

    Cons

    too many silos and slow to respond to newer technologies


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Had good experiences during internships, but full-time is a different story"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Cisco Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    + Internships were enjoyable because I got to work on small but interesting projects in an easygoing environment. That said, compensation is very much below average compared to other tech companies in Silicon Valley.

    + Work/life balance is good. Rarely is anyone ever expected to work more than 40 hours per week. This might depend on your group though.

    + They are making a good effort to update their offices in San Jose from the old cubicle farms to the newer open-floor setups with free amenities (coffee/tea/espresso, snacks, etc.).

    + They do not skimp on developer machines and peripherals like monitors, headphones, etc.

    Cons

    - Very bureaucratic, lots of reorgs and movement at the middle and upper levels (e.g. new directors, mid-level managers, upper-level managers).

    - The pay is below average in comparison to other tech companies in the Bay Area. Promotions/raises seem to be few and far between. It will soon be my third year here, and all of my developer peers have also complained about slow growth within the company.

    - Due to the bureaucratic nature of the company, communication among the many groups is slow and sporadic.

    - It may be different for other groups, but there seems to be a general lack of expertise when it comes to software development best practices:
    -- Everything is hacked together
    -- Quantity of features and speed of development > quality and stability
    -- There are no design/architecture discussions that include all of the developers ("design" of the product usually happens as informal conversations between mid-to-senior level developers, without including the newer/entry-level developers). These discussions are ad-hoc, informal, and often not even documented.
    -- No standards followed for releases/deployment
    -- Very little effort spent on documentation of anything
    -- We are one of the many groups that tries to follow Agile/Scrum, but since we don't follow a lot technical practices that actual make Agile work (e.g. unit tests, code reviews, decent documentation, reasonably-sized & well-defined user stories, etc.), it isn't working as it should. The end result is shoddy code and constantly accumulating technical debt.

    - People in non-technical roles (middle managers and product owners) push for features and user stories without really knowing what they want. User stories are often a terse title and an empty description (no behavioral/functional specifications, no summary, no consideration for inter-dependencies among other user stories).

    - Projects often lack clear direction. This point applies to my group and our project, but I think it might apply to other groups as well. There are many technical leaders in our group, but for our project, we lack a TRUE lead technical architect who:

    1) has a clear vision of what the product should be like
    2) plans architecture & development tasks for the group
    3) mentors less experienced developers
    4) maintains standards on code quality and development processes

    Bottom line: If you're looking for a place to hone your technical skills and grow as a developer, look elsewhere. Some of the other reviewers who mentioned a culture of complacency absolutely hit the nail on the head. I have observed first-hand many times where our group has accepted mediocre work or shortcuts without hesitation "if it gets the job done," creating more technical debt. When developers ask for time to address technical debt, we are rebuffed by managers who claim that it is "good enough" and that we should focus on pumping out more features. If you stay here too long, your skills as a software developer will only continue to rust.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your developers and encourage them to have high standards. Maintain those standards yourself, and don't ever let politics/pressure from above compromise the quality of your product.

    For each project, appoint a true technical leader that everyone can follow, and encourage senior developers to mentor less experienced developers.

    Cultivate a culture of software craftsmanship by respecting software development best practices. Raise the difficulty of the hiring bar, i.e. don't hire blindly based on a person's pedigree and evaluate each candidate based on their skills today, not what they accomplished many years ago.

    The companies that Cisco acquired are mostly successful ones with talented engineers and development processes that work (otherwise they wouldn't show up on Cisco's radar). We should be working more closely with them and learning from each other.


  10. "Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits are there. Nice

    Cons

    Low incriments. Very low single digit.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Cisco"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cisco is a good company to work for. They treat employees with respect and you have the ability to move throughout the company

    Cons

    Budget environment is tough and they are often cutting salary increases and RSU allocations.

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of existing employees. Existing employees are generally left behind the curve in comp ratios while new employees are amply compensated.


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