Dell - Huge company, all depends on the group you're in | Glassdoor
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"Huge company, all depends on the group you're in"

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  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Systems Senior Principal Engineer in Austin, TX
Current Employee - Systems Senior Principal Engineer in Austin, TX
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

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


Dell is a very large global company with "team members" in all regions. There are a number of small companies within Dell, some from way back, some from recent acquisitions. Each small company comes with its own very different methods, leadership styles and expectations. The resounding culture of Dell that slowly seeps into all business units is: laid back. This is the advantage of working for a company based out of Austin, TX. Austin is about as laid back as it gets and so are the people who live there. That said, it's all about the group you land in.

-WFH is great, I don't know how I'd go back to a regular office

-Pay and bonuses are at the higher end of industry standard, way above typical "operational IT".

-Time off is adequate and there is never a debate as to when or how long you can take at one time.

-When you do have to visit a Dell campus, dress is casual. Shorts, flip-flops if you want.

-Unless you work in IT, life balance is great. No calls after biz hours, no one bothers you on vacation, great balance.

-If you work in one of the Product Groups you contribute to a profit center, vs being a COST center in IT. Big difference.

-Culture of forgiveness and 2nd chances. For good or for bad, Dell is very forgiving, to a fault in many cases.

-Summer work hours = work ends at 2pm Friday 3 mos out of the year.


-Being such a large company, relationships can be complex. There are a ton of people in a ton of different orgs to deal with. This can be daunting and make getting what you need to get done more difficult if you hit roadblocks.

-Tons of old dead wood around. 10+ year Dell long timers who managed to stick around slow everything down and drive mediocrity through the roof. Lot's of "I'm too busy", "not my job", "I don't know, ask someone else" going on here.

-Processed to death. Dell lives and dies by its processes which are massive and require training. These are changing currently in an attempt to streamline but many of these processes inhibit creativity and innovation, not foster them.

-Working remote means harder to climb the career ladder. It's not impossible just much more difficult since you're just that voice on speaker phone vs guy we see every day.

-Internal IT services are a huge problem at Dell. BYOD consists of running the GOOD app on your smartphone to access email. Tons of services need to be extranetted. 256MB mailboxes are a JOKE in 2014, but sadly our standard. No access to anything but OWA unless you VPN in on a corporate laptop. Verrrry legacy IT model even tho we build solutions and products to support the BYOD movement.

-HR titles for positions are very confusing to a potential hire. Coming in the door you have no idea what level you're being brought in at relative to who your peers will be. Get brought in low and you will have to fight to get to the rung equal with your peers.

-Career paths work ok if you're fairly early in your career. For the 15+ year types, once you reach the director-level IC equivalent, it can be hard to move beyond it. Exec dirs and VPs are almost always hired from outside.

-Re-orgs are frequent and plentiful, on my team at least. 1 per year on average, the pot gets stirred in a pretty major way.

-Upward exposure depends ENTIRELY on which functional group you're in. Ironically, marketing/ planning gets the most exec exposure. Engineering gets almost zero. Guess who makes most of the decisions and actually makes things happen?

-Execs and VPs are businessmen, pure and simple, they follow the money. They are not leaders and provide severely limited guidance or direction.

Advice to Management

If you want to hire and RETAIN top talent, you have to pay us to do so. There is way too much competition in the hi-tech space to be cutting bonuses and delaying merit increases. Pay attention to your engineering groups! Not just the directors, figure out who actually matters and where the good ideas really come from!

Dell Response

Jul 25, 2014 – Candidate and Employee Experience Team

Thank you for your well thought-out, detailed and honest review! We know this took time for you to put all of your thoughts here and it is very much appreciated. We have a process that allows us the ... More

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