Cisco Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated September 22, 2017
1,031 reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Company management needs a lot of improvement"

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

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

    Pros

    - Excellent sales team
    - Good work life balanace
    - Good gym
    - Good Health Plan

    Cons

    - People at the top are not accountable
    - Bad code quality
    - Almost no development time
    - Lack of Automation infra

    Advice to Management

    - Give engineers a decent development time
    - Management underestimates the effort estimate for projects
    - No steps taken to know if engineers are really happy and hence no steps to correct that


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not as good as they used to be."

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

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

    Pros

    Good ideas. Good niches. Good head start in a variety of areas. Support for volunteering. Support for continued education.

    Cons

    Poor execution. Rushing things. The management chain is more interested in making themselves look good than doing what it right for the customer. They are cutting staff to make things look more profitable, which is a failing long term strategy.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of rushing things to market, do them right. Customers don't care about bells and whistles, they want reliable solutions that work every time. Don't cut staff to be more profitable when it impacts customer sat, and employee moral.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Not a Place for Age 50+"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Marketing Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Marketing Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Interesting work and many very bright colleagues. If you are in the right organization, the fast-paced leading edge work can be very energizing. Many opportunities to learn and keep skills and knowledge current.

    Cons

    The culture has shifted tremendously over the last 5 or 6 years and politics is rampant. There is a systematic effort to get rid of older employees despite their qualifications. Although there are some very good managers, there is an equal number of poor managers. Too many shoot from the hip decisions being made.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Global Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Telework, customers, partners, global ops

    Cons

    Internal politics, constant re-orgs and layoffs, passive aggressive corporate behavior

    Advice to Management

    Stop telling you experienced employees to leave the company, because we will go and join startups and you will need to pay us much more in the acquisition model than to retain good people with knowledge skills and expertise


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Good While it Lasts...It Won't"

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Cisco pays pretty well and offers good flexibility and some perks, and some of the administrative things work surprisingly well for such a giant corporation. Cisco does a lot of good work in the community and encourages staff to give back to various charities, etc. and does a good job of promoting mobility across job functions, etc.

    Cons

    There is a constant threat of a "Limited Restructuring" - nearly every year, you will lose some colleagues if not your own job, which absolutely kills morale. They make a lot of noise about how great their culture is - which if you have to say it so often, means it is likely not the case. They can be completely tone-deaf, for example, scheduling all-hands, AMA-type town-hall meetings with execs on the same days they're laying off hundreds of people, making "The People Deal" complete BS.

    Advice to Management

    The effort to re-cast itself as a SW company is sensible, but it will require a better understanding of how that industry works. Cisco got huge by selling technology everyone needed as the internet age grew, but that approach will not work now.


  6. "Silos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Jose, CA
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fantastic coworkers working around some deadwood. Contractors are treated like perms in terms of job scope and responsibility.

    Cons

    Management is very top-heavy, more layers than a lasagne leaving few ICs, with the rest of the work handled by red-badges. Conversion to direct hire is very BU specific: some are fast, some can never get it together.

    Advice to Management

    Kill stack ranking, from what I've observed it's a popularity contest.


  7. "Perm Contractors"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Project Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Contractor - Project Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work from home, nice team

    Cons

    Use contractors to avoid giving benefits, some had been in the same role for 10 years as a temp- and still are there

    Advice to Management

    No vacation or sick time, and no health care is bad for everyone. Don't use the temp classification to cheat employees

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Talented People Lost in Political Quagmire"

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, decent pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Very siloed positions, most people are under-employed since very talented people are hired into job silos that limit the full expression or development of their skills. There are constant layoffs, accompanied by all of the unhealthy cultural by-products that come with layoffs: paranoia, lack of motivation, managers pitching smoke-and-mirror programs since you will never be held accountable to deliver based on the constant reorganizations and priority shifts, lack of trust. Very talented senior leaders who have the confidence to speak the truth, name the dysfunction for what it is, and try to be agents for change are always the ones to announce they are 'pursuing other opportunities' (aka, forced out), leaving the sub-par leaders to run the ship.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Out with the old, in with the new..."

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Good for young inexperienced employees to get experience and a resume entry.

    Cons

    Little respect for employees, especially those there for some time.
    Regular culling of employees

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that two new inexperienced juniors can't replace one experienced long-time employee. You loose contacts, experience, knowledge, and success. You get 2 x juniors that both lack all the above, and may never reach the standards of the established employee.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Wish I could be more optimistic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Focus on culture and adapting to a changing, challenging environment

    Cons

    Not changing fast enough to survive and prosper.

    Advice to Management

    Cisco is becoming a cloud company, as it should. And I admire them for treating veteran employees pretty well. But some are simply hanging on until they retire. Some need to be retired and new ideas brought in to adapt to the new cloud world. The approaches and tools of the 1990s are no longer working.


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