IBM Software Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

IBM Software Engineer Reviews

Updated April 23, 2017
2,083 reviews

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Software Engineer

3.4
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
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801 Ratings

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  1. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Miami, FL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible work time, advanced technology

    Cons

    behind on cloud, long product life cycle


  2. Helpful (36)

    "Short-sighted company does not value its employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The pay is not bad, nor are the benefits. IBM does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment at the workplace. For the most part, my first-line managers have been people-oriented and tried to look after their employees. The company works on a wide variety of things, and it is sometimes possible to move around to different areas if you want to try something new.

    Cons

    Working at IBM is something like an eternal game of Russian roulette, except with layoffs instead of bullets. I survived the layoffs for almost 20 years, but eventually my luck ran out (despite never receiving a bad rating). I am still with the company as of now, but my last day will be in the next 3 months. I have seen this happen to very talented employees many times during my years at the company. The layoffs are often determined by what project you happen to be working on at the time that the layoffs are done, rather than being determined by your skills or value to the company.

    Up until recently, IBM was very good about giving employees the flexibility to work from home or even to work purely remotely from other cities. Recently it was announced that this policy had ended and all employees were expected to be on site for all working hours. For some employees, there was no local IBM office where they could work. Those employees were told they would have to relocate closer to an IBM office or they would not be able to stay with the company. This was another case where very talented employees were essentially forced out of the company.

    For the past 10-15 years, it seems like the company tries to reinvent itself and entirely change directions every couple of years. But IBM never sees any of these strategies through. It tries them briefly, and if they do not pay immediate dividends, something new is attempted. On top of this, IBM has had a habit of always being late to the party. Only once cloud computing was well-established by IBM competitors did IBM start trying to get into the market, for example. It is very frustrating as a worker to feel like the company has no real direction or sense of strategy.

    It also often feels like the executives making the strategy decisions are too far removed from the reality of the business. IBM has many layers of management between the regular employees and the executives that make the decisions.

    Finally, and I imagine this is probably true of many large corporations, IBM treats its employees in a very schizophrenic manner. When a project is behind schedule or high priority, IBM management tells its employees that we are a family, a team, and we all should pull together, work extra hours, go the extra mile, etc, to see the project to completion. However, when IBM decides that they need to cut costs, they'll have one of their frequent layoffs (except they will only refer to them as "resource actions", the same way downsizing to them is "right-sizing"). And when the layoffs happen IBM management makes it clear that this is a business and these things happen. Wait, what happened to being a team and a family?

    Advice to Management

    First, realize that one of your greatest assets is your talented and knowledgeable employees. Treat them that way.
    Second, stop floundering when it comes to the company's strategy. Stick with an idea for longer than a couple of years.
    Third, rethink the misguided decision to forbid working remotely.
    Fourth, try to remove some of the layers of middle management.
    Fifth, don't try to have it both ways. If you expect your employees to feel like members of a family or a team, then treat them that way.


  3. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    awsome they were the best and best

    Cons

    none this place is so great

    Advice to Management

    none


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Nice place and motivated people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was in cloud development department.
    People are ready to help, thus good environment to grow up.
    Company with great legacy.
    excellent HR.

    Cons

    Sometimes stagnant work.
    Hiring problems for international candidates.

    Advice to Management

    Going great


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Be thankful you have a job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software QA Engineer in Costa Mesa, CA
    Current Employee - Software QA Engineer in Costa Mesa, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some employees are still able to work from home. Working for a company everyone and their grandmother recognizes. You can use a Mac at work. Very flexible work/life balance.

    Cons

    Heavy dog-fooding, using IBM products for everything. Very little innovation using cutting edge tools. Little to no salary increases or bonuses, be thankful you have a job. Heavy red-tape, politics, and bureaucracy. Always at risk to be laid off.

    Advice to Management

    Allow teams to work together collaboratively without worry to cost centers, divisions, groups. Stop cutting and demoralizing the workforce through layoffs.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "It pays the bills!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Rochester, MN
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Rochester, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People you work with, tales of the past

    Cons

    Stress, Constant Worry, Low Pay Increase

    Advice to Management

    Refocus on what gave IBM a great reputation, instead of trying to ride its old reputation until the customers finally wake up. Honestly.. with so much moral daily punishment from the company and with how many people are left throughout all the sites, it makes it seem like the executives are soon going to be pushing the servers around themselves since they laid off all the people that handled it before.

    IBM Response

    Mar 31, 2017 – Program Consultant - IBMer Engagement

    Thank you for your candid review and feedback, it helps us learn about specific areas of the work experience we can improve.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Terrible Management, low pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer 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

    Some nice people, good location

    Cons

    Inconsistent management, bad strategy, complete lack of "perks" / amenities on site

    Advice to Management

    Talk to the people you manage, understand their jobs. Lead, don't manage.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "A dream job gone bad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are great.

    Cons

    You have a pretty good chance of getting laid off if you are the newest employee on any project. Low end on the totem pole gets the shaft no matter how hard you work. 1st, 2nd and 3rd line Management does not care. Upper Execs do not care about the employees. IBM is not what it was and that is because of greed. You never see executives getting laid off and you will see the Execs or CEO getting huge bonuses and raises right after a mass layoff. IBM has shot themselves in the foot on getting rid of skilled and knowledgeable employees.

    Advice to Management

    Quit ruining people's lives over greed. You spend far more time and money on less skilled employees who you are obviously using. If you had kept the skilled, a few of your big investments, big projects would have succeeded instead of getting shelved. Who wants to work for a company that has the threat of lay offs looming over their heads constantly? I give those people a kudos for applying and working there.


  10. "Good place to start, but don't stay too long"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, good starting pay, friendly people, good starting vacation (4 weeks)

    Cons

    Too big, too many architects, too much red tape, still use very old software, not much room for career growth, too many meetings, teams are spread out across the globe, making it very difficult to coordinate. Match 5% 401k, and put in 1% no matter what, BUT this only takes affect ONE YEAR after you start AND they don't match until December 15th, so if you leave early you get nothing that year...


  11. "Working with IBM"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.