IBM Reviews in Foster City, CA | Glassdoor

IBM Foster City Reviews

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Foster City, CA

3.0
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
13 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • You have to manage your work life balance or you'll end up doing the work of 2 or more people (in 916 reviews)

  • Long hours like everwhere elses (in 436 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Compnay is going downhill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexability with work schedule, smart people to work with

    Cons

    To many processes, Upper management does not provide clear objectives


  2. "Working with IBM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in Foster City, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Sky is the limit, if you are in the right place.

    Cons

    That's the problem. I come through a merger, the honeymoon has ended. Leadership knows jack, non technical, paper pushing career Managers and Senior "Directors" are going crazy. They are easily hijacked, their accountability to top management is nil, people who screw up projects worth millions of dollars are promoted and moved all the way up.

    Advice to Management

    Don't promote people who mess up projects and make them Directors and Chief Architects, if you know what I am saying.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Bloated company that doesn't know how software works there days"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Solid pay
    - Awesome odd benefits like cheap rental cars, awesome for traveling
    - Work from home allowed (though I hear they are ending this soon)
    - There are smart people here who are great to work with

    Cons

    Working at IBM was the most confusing and horrifying experience of my professional life. I joined after the start up I was working for was acquired by them. At first I thought this would be an amazing opportunity and a place I could build my career at. I honestly went into this thanking the universe for such an amazing turn of luck. As time went on this feeling was replaced with more a sense of "it could be worse" to "At least I have golden hand cuffs" to "This place is insane and makes me hate my work life, IBM is making me lazy and stupid"

    Some of the worst parts of the job center around how the company organizes itself and the general bloat in employees and management. There are countless people working at the company that have a vested interest in nothing changing as their skills have stagnated over the last 10-20 years. This place and their job are literally all they know. A few examples of this:

    - for a company that prides itself on technology it is embarrassing they still widely use Notes as the primary email client. Some job duties have no other option but to use Notes as the tool even as email has shifted to a web client. The software is unstable, slow, and non-intuitive

    - In my department we used a database that was initially written in 1968. That's not a joke. When the idea of men walking on the moon was science fiction IBM created the database that is widely used for ticketing in critical needs roles at IBM

    - the interface for said DB is again a plugin for a notes client

    - Efforts to create a new interface that was web based and levels easier to use were actively thwarted by management that didn't want to change the way things were.

    - efforts to change the way we communicate to even just allow us to talk with our colleagues more easily were actively prevented.

    The direct manager I had was also verbally abusive and took to screaming at me during a meeting while a colleague was in the room. The event was so bad I had to involve several upper level managers to get him to stop screaming at me and mentioning my personal life outside the office in a negative context. He didn't understand the product we were on as he took over parts of the team after acquisition. He would tell us completely wrong information and ban us from performing actions he felt were bad in his gut. A key example of this was telling us not to suggest to customer to upgrade versions of their software because he felt it "Caused more problems than it solved". This led to a lengthy talk about how the software we used was actually built using technology that is designed to be upgraded easily and often. I even confirmed this with the engineering lead and lead release engineer who had horrified looks on their face when I told them this.

    That same call also involved a 30 minute debate about whether agile or waterfall was the best way to build software today. My manager wanted to go back to the way things were and just release software once a year when all the bugs were worked out. I kept trying to calmly explain no one does that today. He countered with how frustrating it was to have a new release every 2 months. I tried to tell him many companies have new releases several times a day. IN any event it was a pointless conversation as I had no power to change the release cycle and neither did he. The software was built and released as it was but he refused to support it that way.

    For an easy example during start up days the time to solve a Sev 1 support issue would be measures in hours to days at the most. At IBM this was more like weeks to months. By the time a fix ever came around the customer had usually forgotten about it or moved on to other projects or products.

    IBM is not innovative enough anymore to create new things itself in the software realm. Instead they are acquiring companies to jusy buy the tech as they transition to a software model of business. The problem is they are trying to force software start ups into their very old business model when they should be changing themselves to the new way of doing business.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to staff roles and get rid of managers that don't know what they are doing and who have openly said they don't like their jobs (this happened too).


  4. "OK place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Support Quoter in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Support Quoter in Foster City, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    latest tech being developed by enthusiastic employees & teams
    decent benefits

    Cons

    weak first line & middle Mgt
    11 [or more?] straight quarters with weak resukts
    fair-to-poor pay
    classicly ageist when it comes to layoffs

    Advice to Management

    pay more


  5. "Staff Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Foster City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    Good place to work. excellent team

    Cons

    Joining bonus could be better

    Advice to Management

    Nothing much. keep up the good work

    IBM Response

    Jan 4, 2017 – Program Consultant - IBMer Engagement

    Thank you for the review. We are delighted to hear about your experience working with excellent team members at IBM.


  6. "Great work, disappointing compensation and benefits."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work is great, fast paced (contrary to belief). Modern open office, helps in collaboration. Use of open source technologies is encouraged.

    Cons

    Company is so big, sometimes multiple teams work on similar projects. And in the end your work may get scraped. Compensation is very low, compared to others Silicon Valley companies. Benefits aren't great. No team building activities or team outings.

    Advice to Management

    You can't expect engineers to work hard for below par wages. Engineering is just as important as Sales!


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Proud of the Company's Health Care Accomplishments"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Foster City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    IBM's Watson Health Care Division is creating technology that saves lives. IBM is all about making a difference in the world. People who work here are dedicated, driven and inspiring. I am proud to work for a great company like IBM>

    Cons

    People work long hours for IBM. It is an employee's choice because we enjoy what we do.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing the research and investing to make this place a positive place to work and a major contributor to making the world a better place.

  8. "Not a silicon valley tech company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are some great reasons to work for IBM. Flexible hours, flexible WFH schedule, lots of different career path options, and a good amount of job stability.

    Cons

    Don't have the best people in all areas of the company and don't pay competitive wages in bay area tech. They like to do outsourcing which really reduces the quality of engineering output.


  9. "Boring, average company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Big company, lots of different kinds of opportunities, could make a career there

    Cons

    Very few divisions are doing innovative exciting work. Definitely not a Silicon Valley company.

    Advice to Management

    If you want the best silicon valley talent you'll have to seriously step up what you're offering in terms of work, environment, structure, and comp.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Slow moving company"

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

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

    Pros

    Enough time to look for next job

    Cons

    horrible management/process. No focus on innovation , no technical leadership


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