IBM Reviews in San Jose, CA | Glassdoor

IBM San Jose Reviews

Updated July 9, 2018
506 reviews

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San Jose, CA Area

3.4
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
178 Ratings

506 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "At times difficult work life balance" (in 1011 reviews)

  • "Long Hours suck sometimes but not too bad" (in 474 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Computer Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Lead Developer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Contractor - Lead Developer in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent Work, Technology & Colleagues

    Cons

    None that I could think of!

    Advice to Management

    Think out of the box more!


  2. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - great work environment, wfh too

    Cons

    - large company, difficult to move up

  3. Helpful (1)

    "IBM a great starting company to work for after graduation"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent work life balance and team!

    Cons

    Innovation is slow. Development is not fast enough.


  4. "Technical Project Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Work from home, Watson group

    Cons

    Everything else is a con. salary is the biggest downside

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good Place to Start and Learn but not a Great Place to Stay Long-Term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Strategy/Product Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Business Strategy/Product Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good place to get your start and learn about technology. You will get to understand the dynamics of different business models(i.e. SaaS/PaaS/Hardware/On-Prem Software) and learn about new technologies (i.e. blockchain, AI, Quantum). Option to work from home which lets you avoid the commute.

    Cons

    Compensation is below market; my base pay was comparable to average pay according to Glassdoor but the bonus was basically non-existent. I literally got ~$700 after tax for the bonus! Many underfunded products/projects and long lead times to get things done lead to subpar products that aren't competitive. No ability to retain good talent; see good people who can leave defect to other tech companies (i.e. Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Startups, etc.) all the time. Lack of opportunity to grow in the company. Since IBM is shrinking, there are almost no attractive opportunities to switch roles and get promoted. IBM is getting it's butt kicked by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft in IaaS/SaaS/PaaS and AI and it is unlikely IBM will be able to reverse this market trend anytime soon. Senior Management is too secure in their positions. IBM has underperformed vs. peers for a decade yet most of the Senior Management team have retained their positions.

    Advice to Management

    IBM has too many mediocre products...better to do a few things well and be a leader in those markets than doing a lot of things that are mediocre. Overall tech talent is poor....if you want to compete with tech companies for talent you need to match compensation and other benefits such as free food.


  6. "Great place to work when you aren't worried about lay offs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Account Executive in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to build a strong foundation in tech.

    Cons

    Seemingly annual re-org, which often leads to huge lay offs over recent years.


  7. "Meh.."

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time

    Pros

    It's slow paced and a lot of managers aren't really involved. They just do their own thing.

    Cons

    Most people here have been here a while and most without engineering degrees since they didn't exist back then. They do things here their own way and these life time employees are the team leads and management.This makes it really hard for new grads in engineering to come in and learn. It's also incredibly difficult to bring in new tools, get acceptance for new tools and to get the team to automate things. It's also difficult to do object oriented on legacy systems and one has to follow the teams coding style right down to the comments so you end up being a depressed underpaid code monkey.

    Advice to Management

    Although guidelines exist for a reason, new engineers need to be enabled not disabled. This needs to happen from management and team leads. Nobody wants to be a code monkey. So don't expect bright engineers to stay. High performing employees need to get at least paid.

  8. "Great people to work with"

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

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

    Pros

    - Wide variety of opportunities
    - Mentoring programs
    - Caring People
    - Work flexibility - work from home etc

    Cons

    - Too big
    - Pay package is kind of middle of the road
    - Some business units always fear layoff
    - Disconnect between leadership and employee some times

    Advice to Management

    - Improve pay
    - Improve culture by being more transparent
    - Recognize teams and not individuals


  9. "Lots of potential, way too much red tape"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    IBM has tremendous potential for its employees and customers. The breadth of products and roles that a person can hold makes the company incredibly attractive.

    Cons

    The red tape is ridiculous. After you get your manager's approval, you can place a request for pre-approval. You may need to go back and forth with the pre-approval group several times to get that part completed. Assuming your pre-approval is "approved", you can then place your request. Then you repeat your pre-approval experience. Assuming you make it through that stage, you then proceed with the expense. Once the invoice comes in, it goes through yet another round of approvals before being paid. Assuming that the process is "relatively straight forward" it may take months before you can submit your purchase. IBM's processes are out of whack. They're overly complicated. They've also forgotten that the people are the company's asset. They've gone through many RA's (euphemism for layoffs). The people left over after "surviving" the RA's feel disheartened. They no longer wonder IF they'll be laid off; they wonder WHEN they'll be laid off. Favoritism definitely plays a part of the RA process as well.

    Advice to Management

    IBM does have many talented people in management. They also have too many people in roles they are not qualified for. That doesn't mean they're bad people/employees; it means they either lack the skills or capacity for some roles. Quit making the ranks suffer through bad management in an attempt to mold someone without guidance. Either watch what happens to the area they're assigned to more closely and provide better mentors or just stop putting people in positions they just are not qualified to have.

    IBM could definitely stand to take a closer look at the tenets of the culture and make sure they are applied evenly all the way to the bottom of the organization.


  10. "Anonymous"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Production management very knowledgeable. Did those things (LEAN) that made sense without making the ideas flavor of the month.

    Cons

    Old equipment. No money for investing in new equipment or new ideas.
    Owners were largely caretakers with no vision for future growth and expansion (ans subsequent growth for employees).

    Advice to Management

    Missed opportunity to make something great.


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