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IBM Reviews

Updated September 23, 2017
20,208 reviews

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3.6
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
7,634 Ratings

20,208 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 896 reviews)

  • Long hours required during peak work periods (in 432 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (476)

    "Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisory Engineer in Hopewell Junction, NY
    Current Employee - Advisory Engineer in Hopewell Junction, NY
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Disclaimer: A lot of what I'm writing below of course depends on the work area and management chain. But I found this to be fairly pervasive policies in IBM in my 9+ years with the company.
    1. IBM's policies and management are very flexible when it comes to working remotely or accommodating various life situations (sick days, doctor visits, etc.). Management is encouraged to measure an employee by their work and impact, and not by hours spent at their office.
    2. Great colleagues! Though unfortunately, many have been leaving due to the instability of IBM's HW development business.
    3. At least in my area, there's a high level of flexibility on which projects should I undertake based on my and my management assessment of business impact.

    Cons

    1. Unfortunately, IBM still uses the "normal distribution" rating system, where at the end of the year each employee is ranked as a top contributor (5%), above average contributor (15%), average contributor (~75%), and bottom contributor (5%). This curve is difficult to apply in the R&D world, where you may have many members of the team working long and hard hours, and end up being "average contributors" at the end of the year, because there just isn't room for all to be top contributors.

    2. The above may not be so disturbing, if only IBM didn't practically cancelled all raises, performance bonuses and incentive for the non top-performers. I've had a consistent "above average" rating in the last 4-5 years, and my raise and performance bonus were ridiculous mere 1.5-2% of my salary. Were I rated "average contributor" I would have gotten NOTHING. So you can imagine that people can go year after year without any raise to their salary.

    From talking to manager friend, this is IBM's way to eliminate the non-top-performers without having to fire them, as part of its direction of reducing US manpower.

    3. Hiring freeze in many areas - again, as part of IBM's attempt to reduce its workforce across North America and Europe we see many jobs move to the India and Far East markets. This is of course upsetting to see local teams shrink and disappear, especially when many great local IBM colleagues and experts begin to drop out. From my experience thus far working with India SW teams - they are still very far away from the standards I would have expected from US and Europe based teams.

    4. Poor top down communication about company's and divisions' future. Employees learn from rumors and news websites what's about to come...

    Advice to Management

    Management must keep in mind that it today's world, which is saturated with brilliant companies that hire top talent, IBM must remain competitive to attract great talent and hold on to it. In the meanwhile, we're seeing the opposite trend, where great people leave IBM for other companies, be it because of a more competitive package, dropping morale and many other reasons.

    IBM Response

    Feb 12, 2016 – VP Human Resources

    Thanks for sharing your experience, and we're glad that you've had a positive experience working with talented colleagues and taking advantage of IBM's programs. IBM is in the midst of a major... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "IBM is actively trying to be cooler, still gets picked second to last for kickball though"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    Despite co-location, most managers do honor and encourage a work life balance. In addition, significant investment is being made in Agile spaces (tech friendly, cutting edge work environments).

    A lot of social opportunity with extra curricular activities sponsored by IBM and managers. Mac books - an over looked perk in my opinion. Nice to have a new machine every three years worth $2k+. Relaxed dress code at most locations - you will see everything from full suit to star wars t shirts and flip flops (depending which department you are walk ng through).

    Healthcare is very affordable and has comprehensive options (vision, dental, etc.). There is employee stock purchase plan to buy at discount of 5 points, counsel from Fidelity wealth consultants are included and can be called to speak on all aspects of your portfolio, IBM provides 5% match on 401k.

    It is encouraged to change roles every 2-3 years. You will likely not be stuck doing the same thing year over year. There is plenty of room to develop a broad set of experiences over a tenure. This is possible with a strong network.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic. IBM is a large ecosystem. It is VERY political here. You need to plant your relationships carefully and be knowledgeable of the spider web of management and interactions. If you are good at playing the game, you will be fine. If you think you do not need to play the game, you are mistaken. Tons of energy is wasted by navigating the internal politics.

    Raises. Incremental at best. The bonus at the end of the year might get you groceries for the week. It is embarrassing. Promotions are not as common as they used to be with attempts to flatten the org. Just because you are a top performer, do not expect to be recognized monetarily for it.

    Senior and Middle Management is married to IBM. Weekend emails and late working nights are common - but usually not necessary. Boils back down to political stigma - always testing your commitment.

    Death by meetings. Despite trying to be more agile, calendars fill up with interlocks, stand ups, status calls, 1:1s, brainstorming sessions, etc. Forcing people to get real work done outside of work hours. "What did you do today? 3 hours of email and messaging, 6 hours of meetings, about to start on my projects now."

    Advice to Management

    Award top performers. Do not give special privilege to individuals because their dad works here or because they are in the same BRG as you. Promote people that are making a difference - your true top talent. Otherwise - do not be surprised when your top talent goes down the street because Lenovo or Cisco will pay them 10% more for the same job.

  3. "Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    Great first job, and amazing learning opportunities.

    Cons

    Not much direction out the gate, but you find your way


  4. "IT Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Brazil, KY
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Brazil, KY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible working conditions and good learning opportunities

    Cons

    Lot's of bureaucracy. No work-life balance


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Don't Forget It's a Large Company"

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

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

    Pros

    A lot of people like to make the blanket statement that just because one's experience at a company was bad, then the company itself is bad. Yes, there have been horror stories about layoffs/RAs and out-of-date tech and annoying in-house software, but just remember that with how many teams and employees IBM has, your (potential) experience won't be like that of others.

    For example, I have:
    -seniors and managers who care deeply about my professional development
    -a modern tech stack, where almost nothing is internal (I'm looking at you, IBM Verse)
    -amazing work flexibility so I can balance my personal life and my work.

    For my priorities, my position at IBM is exactly what I needed for who I am and where I am in my life right now.

    Cons

    -Everyone has a lingering worry that they're going to get laid off, which isn't healthy for the morale or our work ethic.

    Advice to Management

    As a whole, the company's morale and image would benefit from being more transparent about their future intentions of their workforce, not just their products.


  6. "Software Tester"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM as an intern

    Pros

    Great experience so far, working with very knowledgeable people and great to learn from. Have gotten really good training since first starting out.

    Cons

    There is no cons right now.


  7. "Managing Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    As a remote worker, I'm totally on my own most of the time, you get the best flexible work environment in the world.

    Cons

    The consulting operation is very decentralized, you don't have a typical corporate office, or traditional team.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wide area of technology to explore while remaining in the same company where your internal network can become quite robust. Comprehensive skills development courses and opportunities.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be challenging. Constant cycles of reductions make for a high stress environment as a manager.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp the archaic layoff system to something that is more friendly. The strategy to move everyone to the office has led to reductions of critical and mature skills.


  9. "Best Environment to work in"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    The diverse culture and work experience is parallel to none.

    Cons

    Sometimes it takes very long to find the right person


  10. "IBM Appriciates Data Scientists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I enjoy teaching data science to other IBMers in IBM

    Cons

    Data Scientists are not paid competitive rates

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the amazing data scientists you have working for you


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