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IBM Applications Developer Reviews

Updated February 21, 2018
521 reviews

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Applications Developer

3.5
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
232 Ratings

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (13)

    "BEST COMPANY in market"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in Hyderabad (India)
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in Hyderabad (India)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The working culture and environment is good here. Freedom to employees and facility of work from home.

    Cons

    Lagging in behind free services to employees.


  2. "Software Application Developer In C++"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Applications Developer In C++ in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Software Applications Developer In C++ in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work at! Never met a person that I didn't like!

    Cons

    Cut throat environment. Either you're pushing the innovation forward or you're fired!

    Advice to Management

    Stock buy backs hurt the middle class. You don't need those research grants...

  3. "Application Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Entry Level Applications Developer in Baton Rouge, LA
    Former Employee - Entry Level Applications Developer in Baton Rouge, LA

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

    Pros

    Good opportunity for new graduated looking for experience. A lot of training is provided such as Java courses.

    Cons

    Projects can change from Java project to Big Data and totally something completely different than what you were hired for. No complaining for me though since it game me good experience.

    Advice to Management

    There are many different projects going on in any time and it would be helpful if employers are considered for the projects they might be interested.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Application Developer Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Developer Specialist in Cumberland, MD
    Former Employee - Applications Developer Specialist in Cumberland, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This review is primarily for GBS in Rocket Center, WV. If you are considering joining IBM elsewhere, just know that in this sector, and this location, things are much different than the rest of the company.

    - If you either went to a smaller university or didn't do so great in school and want a big name on your resume to get you good job opportunities in the future, IBM is PERFECT for that. I'm going to get pretty heavy in the cons section, but just know that this point here was what made the experience for me so worth it!

    - This location is ~2 hours away from both Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, and...

    - If you want to travel, there are opportunities to travel. If you don't want to travel, you probably won't have to.

    - Health benefits are pretty decent

    - Most people get to work from home at least once per week

    - There is a pretty good chance that you will get the opportunities you need to advance within the company if you want to

    - If you want to become a good consultant, you will be working with a lot of good consultants.

    Cons

    - The location. Cumberland is a "city" with not much there. Most people that end up staying long term already have an invested interest in the area (nearby college, family, etc.)

    - Turnover is very high. New hires come in groups, and generally if you're still around by 6 months, you are either THE last or one of the last left in your group.

    - Turnover is high because when you are hired, you are put "on the bench". That means you have to come into work...but there is nothing to do. This time frame usually lasts between 4 weeks to over a year (it sounds nice to get paid to do nothing, but it gets old real fast).

    - If you come here for experience in x type of work (development, testing, functional analyst), you're definitely rolling the dice. The "staffing professionals" are not technical people, they're trained to look at requirements for projects and match them to resumes. Their job is to keep you billable, not get you the experience you need in your career. There is a pretty good chance you get placed in a project doing work that you don't want to be doing (they will tell you that it is easy to switch down the road...don't take the bait).

    - There is practically no technical screening (for developers). You have a technical interview and test, but you can get EVERY question wrong and still get an offer (this actually happened in my hiring group twice). So...this goes without saying...

    - If you're looking to work with great developers, you're digging for needles in haystacks. You probably won't find what you're looking for. IBM has a lot of new hires that don't know what they are doing, and a lot of people with a lot of experience, but just don't make the cut.

    - The pay is well below average. Not only that, but even if you are good at what you do and outperform everyone you work with, chances are a year down the road, new hires (on the bench) will be making more many than you. Management will say (this happened to me twice), "Oh that's not right, but there's nothing I can do". Raises happen at earliest every 9 months, and your performance generally doesn't play any significant role. Everyone gets the same raise.

    - The performance review process has currently undergone a change (from what I'm told is for the better). However, managers are very inconsistent as to what the requirements are, and if you happen to be caught in a re-organization, you may quickly find out that what you are doing that was considered acceptable for your old manager is unacceptable to your new manager.

    - You are told that after 2 years in this program that you can transfer out, and they will help you do so. This is true, you can, and they will...but corporate IBM will actively work against you on this. I never saw anyone get transferred out. Places like Rocket Center are where IBM actually makes their money because they can afford to pay you less for the same work that people in DC -> More winning bids on government contracts.

    Advice to Management

    I understand that in a big company, regulations need to be put in place so that managers can't easily abuse/favor employees, but you've made it very hard to reward (in a meaningful way) high performers. Actually try to keep high performers around to get better longevity out of your products (and other high performers). Hire staffing professionals that understand the fields that they are working in, and you won't have employees quit for being stuck in project positions that are detrimental to their career paths.

    Please please please actually put weight on the technical interviews.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "CIC Growing Pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in Baton Rouge, LA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Little to no oversight. Managers are willing to give you space.

    Cons

    Managers have no idea what I'm doing on a day to day basis though.
    Clients are able to walk all over us, and we're just expected to take it.
    Very difficult to change your career track once you're on one. Easier to just find a new job.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Maybe that will fix your high attrition rate...


  6. "It is what you make of it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Development Specialist in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - Applications Development Specialist in Baton Rouge, LA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    So many incredibly smart and driven colleagues. A lot of learning if you avail yourself of the opportunities. Discounts and investment options

    Cons

    Getting help with basic desktop troubleshooting can be daunting at times. A bit of red tape

    Advice to Management

    Please be there for your employees . Listen and be supportive. When they need a simple signature that only you can provide, please do that as soon as you reasonably can


  7. Helpful (2)

    "AppDev GBS (PubSec) - Some things were good, other weren't... harder to tolerate the bad things as time goes on."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - .NET Web Applications Developer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - .NET Web Applications Developer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Work from Home and Employees are encouraged to manage their own time for Work-Life balance (depending on assigned project and team).
    2. Learning resources are easily available (and company encourage learning - it's part of the annual employee evaluation).
    3. Partnership with Apple provide employees with selection of work related hardware (Mac, iPhone or IBM's Lenovo) and support.
    4. Plenty of Senior colleagues that can mentor and provide guidance.
    5. Standard Benefits Package: VAC/SIC (full from day 1), ESPP, 401k, Health Plan with HSA employer contributions (Medical, Drugs, Dental and Vision), Life Insurance, Disability, Employee discounts.

    Cons

    1. Difficult to keep a work-life balance as management keeps pushing for increased utilization time (Ex. for 2016, my role was assigned a minimum 100% year-end utilization goal). A typical employee will exceed the goal as, depending on assigned project and role, workload is around 10-15 hours per day - including some weekends.
    2. Performance review is highly subjective. The team that review your performance (and therefore recommends your salary revisions and promotions) is not the same group that works with you on a daily basis. Even your manager (SAM) might not know the details about your work (the SAM might not even know who you are or even met you in person).
    3. Salary increases (revisions) and bonuses are never guaranteed even with excellent performance reviews (1=best, 3=worst). (Ex. I worked here for three years, was considered a "rock star" employee but never received a raise, last year bonus was $850 while having PBC ratings of 1 on all years and exceeding my utilization goals in 20%-30% above the mark).
    4. Combination of Health Plan Premium + Contributions + Commuting (non-reimbursable) expenses will take a big piece of each paycheck (depending on where you live+work) - all needed just to go to work.

    Advice to Management

    None - they are doing what is best for the company (not the employees).

  8. "Application Developer Intern, Summer of 2017"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Applications Developer in Southbury, CT
    Former Intern - Applications Developer in Southbury, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The environment is much more casual than I was expected - Almost nobody wears ties outside of the Corporate Headquarters. Even then, I only saw a few.

    They trust you with a Thinkpad(or Mac) from day one, and after first-time setup, you can work from almost anywhere(Although, in-office is preferred). The keyboards on the Thinkpads are phenomenal.

    The company as a whole is moving towards more Agile methodologies. I wasn't stuck in a cubicle, and my team all sat together.

    Everyone is reachable by Slack or Sametime. Many executives are willing to talk with you if they have the time.

    Lots of opportunities to learn. Think40 has plenty of free learning modules available, and workshops for different technologies are held.

    If you work well, and communicate with your managers, you can discuss continued-employment internships. Not guaranteed, but I know several of my coworkers negotiated this successfully.

    All of my coworkers were fantastic.

    Cons

    With my batch of interns, there was a bit of a mixup with people's titles and job responsibilities. I got the better end of the stick (hired as Tech Support, worked as a developer for Corporate Applications), but some of the people studying engineering in some capacity (Computer Science, Information Systems, IT Management) were doing more HR-related work like making PowerPoint presentations for other office's Workday transition.

    Some of the intern-focused events were a bit too spread out - Things like Design Thinking workshops, Agile group training, etc. Part of this is because of differing start dates, but I would have preferred these events to have been closer together.

    Some managers are better than others.

    Some of the technologies used are outdated, or on the way out. I doubt they'll replace Lotus Notes anytime soon, and Sametime Connect is being slowly phased out for Slack.

    Documentation on stuff like LotusScript and the equivalent operations in Serverside Javascript is very barebones, due to its internal nature.

    Advice to Management

    Be more consistent with, and better communicate work duties and job roles. Concentrate new-hire activities into waves.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "IBM GBS Baton Rouge is a very sad place to be..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Java Applications Developer in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - Java Applications Developer in Baton Rouge, LA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Training and only if you like video lectures.

    Cons

    - HR will tell you whatever you want to hear just to sign you in.
    - Pay range is a way below industry average for new and experienced hires. So if you have some skills go elsewhere.
    - Benefits are weak, just like the salary.
    - If you are a tech person or if you have coding skills this place is not for you. Majority of resources have Liberal Arts Degree and have nothing to do with tech. They are the reason why center is capable of keeping compensation to its employees so low. I have an App Developer in my team who has no dev skills and has a History Major and you will be expected to help him to do his job. Expect your work-life balance to struggle.
    - Favorite topic of 80% of people in the center is :"I can't wait to get out." which is sad, because it is IBM.
    - People don't stay too long, especially if it is a skilled individual.
    - You will be running around the center in search of the project. And yes, you have to find your own projects and this is not easy. It is like you have a job and your job is to find a job. Not easy because of the damaged reputation of the center among other IBM practices.
    -Traveling is expected to be 50% , in reality you will travel 100% and it is exhausting.
    - Ethics of the upper management is a very questionable subject.
    - Managers are not aware who they hired and what skills their people have, which is sad.

    Advice to Management

    You need a fresh blood with new vision to bring this place up. Otherwise it is just a matter of time before this center hits the ground, and it is on its way there. How long can a business survive on a "cheap resources for a premium price" model?


  10. "Great Place to start career and learn new skills, awesome benefits and good people to work around."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in Lansing, MI
    Current Employee - Applications Developer in Lansing, MI
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    IBM is a great place to work for IT professionals who are beginning their careers or looking for upper management. It has awesome benefits and dozens of learning opportunities. Great Collaboration and Good for beginning IT career
    Travel!

    Cons

    Although its great for ones who are beginning their careers, IBM is hard to grow from bottom to top unless you work there for 20 years plus. Also, career paths are unclear and if you dont have a nitch its had to advance

    Advice to Management

    Some management are different than others, should have more consistent rules.