IBM - Which side of IBM do you work for? | Glassdoor
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"Which side of IBM do you work for?"

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  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Contractor - UNIX Administrator in Dubuque, IA
Current Contractor - UNIX Administrator in Dubuque, IA
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

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

Pros

Lots of work to do, I have a good manager and he has a pretty good manager and he has a pretty good manager and he has an OK manager, and they all recognize someone who is good at their job.

Cons

You notice I mentioned there are four layers of management noticeably interacting with the technical team? Also one of the downsides of such a big company is you might not get a job one of the good managers. From that, it's almost like working for a different company. HR is a big iron wall that nobody seems to be able to move one way or the other.

Advice to Management

Unfortunately, I can't think of a better way to do it. It sucks to work at a company that regularly fires and then hires thousands of people at a time, but that might be the only way to turn out the problem employees, but it's not like congregating with ex-employees is encouraged.

Other Employee Reviews for IBM

  1. Helpful (7)

    "GBS: Great at first, Not a healthy long term fit"

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

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

    Pros

    People - I have really enjoyed most of the people I worked with at IBM. That being said, most of the young ones who were great moved on to other companies. There were some really great employees who had been there longer and were just sticking around because their project was a good fit.

    Projects – There are a lot of projects that will give you exposure to all sorts of different clients and industries. However, if you aren’t staffed on a project you only have a certain amount of time (30-60 days) before you’ll be let go. There are a good number of projects but if you can’t find one in your location you’ll have to look across the country so be prepared to travel anywhere in the US if you aren’t staffed locally. Some practice areas are more particular than others that you work on a project in THAT practice area which can make finding a project even more difficult.

    Health/Vision/Dental – pretty standard, you have good options to choose from each year.

    401K – IBM does have a good 401K match percentage (up to 6%) but they don’t match until the very END of the year so if you leave anytime before 12/31 you won’t get your match. Something to consider before ever leaving IBM.

    Cons

    The experience at IBM varies WIDELY depending on which department and practice of IBM you join, as well as the project you are assigned to. For IBM GBS, like the other major consulting companies, there talent model is to hire the best talent they can, overwork them so their profit margins are high, and only promote those that contribute the most; they expect the rest to leave voluntarily after they’ve had too much.

    For those that stick around, the responsibilities continue to pile up the further up the chain you go. Having a good work/life balance isn’t realistic if you plan to move up, unless you want to stay at the same level on the same project for as long as you can. I know several people who are doing this and will quit if they have to move to another project. On top of regular project work, employees are expected to help out with recruiting events, assist with bids and proposals (B&P), contribute to their practices areas in various ways, and have at least 40 hours of training every year. Consider that a full plate? I've also heard that most of the very high-ups don't even have time to take their own vacation. Sad.

    Performance Reviews – everybody is given a rating (1, 2+, 2, 3). Mostly everyone is given a 2 if they meet their goals. People have to work a LOT more to get a 1, something in the 150% utilization range and lots of “giveback”. All that work and the bonuses aren’t even that much. Not worth it in my opinion.

    Managers – In three years I only spent 3 minutes face to face with my personal manager and we never worked on the same project. The quality of managers varies widely across GBS and each practice area. I knew another IBM manager on one project who was thankfully quite frank about things since he's near retirement age. He described the upper management of GBS with terms such as 'shady', 'selfish', 'backstabbing', and 'dishonest'.

    Promotions – employees have to fill out a promotion application and submit it for review. The process can take 6 months or longer and the application itself is quite extensive, mine came out to 30 some pages in Microsoft Word. There is no visibility in to how they actually decide (other than that you have good utilization).

    New Hires - I also found out that GBS was offering new hires $10K more than my current salary, and a $7K signing bonus. I was hired during the recession in 2010 when salaries were lower, but even still I was pretty angry there was such a large difference. After I got promoted I was still making ~$3/4K less than what they were offered. Unbelievable if you ask me.

    Advice to Management

    Where to begin?


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Not the Same IBM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Staff Member in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Staff Member in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company is determined to increase shareholder value by reaching their 2015 goal.

    Cons

    They will do whatever it takes to get there. So much for respect for the individual as a basic belief.

    I joined IBM 29 years ago as an engineer. At that time engineers were recognized as the core of the company. Now engineers are a seen as necessary, but are largely ignored by upper management. Management is now focused on vague marketing slogans like cloud computing and smarter planet. Engineers are cut when the aggressive division goals are not met.

    Advice to Management

    Value your engineers. Appoint management who understands engineering principles. Focus on solutions and products. Not just solution. Bring back respect for the individual. Release power given to financial guys.

There are newer employer reviews for IBM
There are newer employer reviews for IBM

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