IBM Staff Development Engineer Reviews | Glassdoor

IBM Staff Development Engineer Reviews

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Staff Development Engineer

3.4
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Pros
Cons
  • "At times work life balance gets challenging" (in 1112 reviews)

  • "Low Salary growth in comparison" (in 537 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Staff software enginner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexibility. great place to work

    Cons

    slow growth and need to continuously pursue with higher management for promotions.


  2. "Okay place to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Supportive management
    * Very little micromanagement
    * Competitive Salary
    * Excellent Benefits

    Cons

    * Not too many extra perks such as outings or meals or gym memberships or extra vacation days
    * If things go wrong, it can take some time to get them fixed.
    * Work culture is okay. Split into various micro groups.
    * 401K match contribution only happens at the end of the year. If you leave before year end, you forfeit the company's contribution.
    * Not much support for personal growth except for what is offered by company itself.
    * Monthly employee recognition process makes no sense.
    * Finally, the company has implemented a new way to evaluate performance based on input from employees. Have to wait till the end of the year to see how it works out.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the Cons listed and try to rectify all of them.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Good team, bad company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Tons of opportunity to learn new things, my team is great and very helpful, my manager is the most technically knowledgeable boss I've ever had and the area is great. Just got moved to the new agile workspace and it's nice and clean and open. Work from home and a decent amount of company credit to get things like monitors and the like.

    Cons

    Hard to get promotions, raises suck, bonuses suck compared to last job, benefits have been cut hard even in the year I've been here. To the higher ups, you are just another cog in the wheel and they don't care.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good Engineers, Bad Upper Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Tucson, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The culture amongst IBM's engineers is one of collaboration and cooperation. I really liked that primary communication was done through chat, not email, and that engineers were generally immediately helpful in getting others unblocked. Combine that with the fact that the engineering core is highly competent, very driven, and run a broad range of experience levels, and you have a very efficient and effective work environment.

    Cons

    IBM's executives have been gutting the company to keep an earnings-per-share promise from a decade ago. US workers continue to be laid off in big chunks, replaced with cheaper labor in China and India. Furloughs have also become commonplace, meaning that their otherwise middle-of-the-road compensation is actually below market averages. Their intent to unburden themselves of their hardware holdings is quite clear despite their clumsy attempts at veiling that "secret", which means that the remaining loyal workers are facing an uncertain future.

    Advice to Management

    Get out while the getting's good. Earnings-per-share can only be propped up for so long by having the company eat itself. Eventually the remaining senior engineers will pack it in and take their institutional knowledge with them, the cheaper labor force will not be able to cope much less maintain high production standards, programs will falter, schedules will slip, and earnings-per-share will take a dive. The share price will drop like a rock when investors recognize the free lunch is over, and in a panic the executives will start dumping entire programs overboard starting as it always does with middle-management.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "IBM how bad does it suck"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Hardware Engineer In Development in Essex Junction, VT
    Current Employee - Staff Hardware Engineer In Development in Essex Junction, VT
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I can work in Vermont. There are opportunities elsewhere in and out of country should I agree to move. They continue to employ me.

    Cons

    Poor working environment, low compensation, unfair treatment, no management leadership or responsibility of accountability. No clear path for advancement, not a place for a career. It's a job, and pays the bills, and that appears to be all it will ever be.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate HONESTLY to your employees. We are generally not stupid people and can decipher the smoke and mirrors which keep getting used to try to placate us into liking the changes made to our compensation and benefits which offer NO benefits to us as employees. Stop lying, or make it so that your lies about fairness and compensation are in fact true.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "The Good and the Bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Development Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Staff Development Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The Work/Life Balance is usually pretty good. Our prescription plan is excellent. When you find the right area to work in, you can have a really good time at work every day and be proud of what you have accomplished. I hear a lot of people from different divisions say that they have GREAT people to work with. People respect you as an IBMer and know that you aren't going to mislead them. There are generations of trust behind you. Generally speaking, first line managers are pretty good and are kind of in the same boat as regular employees.

    Cons

    Our performance rating system is a ridiculous leftover from when IBM needed to cut the fat. The fat is all gone, believe me! In general, this is a hard time for engineers at any company. At IBM, bonuses and raises are often pretty bad, even when the company does well.... even when you get promoted. When people leave the company, it's rare to back fill their position. In our area, we sometimes don't even back fill with an offshore job.

    Advice to Management

    Across the board, if true pay for performance doesn't start, I'm afraid we'll lose our best and brightest. The old rating system needs to go and be replaced with something that gives us true metrics to be judged by. Budgets for raises and bonuses need to increase. Employees should then be rewarded for two things: when the company does well and when they have done their part to make the company succeed. If both happen, the rewards should be quite handsome. If just one happens, then maybe they could be closer to what they are like now.


  7. "Staff Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico)
    Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Its a good place to work with talented people. One of the best places to work in GDL. Additionally, the lab gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom, you just need to deliver as an employee.

    Cons

    The offices are really far, commute is awful. Theres not much to see near the office. Growth within the company is sometimes hard, since not all managers care about merit. They gave a lot of value to perceived leadership (not always real leadership) which makes people leave for better opportunities outside.

    Advice to Management

    See the cons part. They really need to value their employees. All of them, not just the ones who talk the most, which everybody knows are almost always the ones who know the least.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Flexibility but ... there are downsides"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - A lot of flexibility, you really have the possibility to work at your own pace.
    - Really really good life/work balance
    - Possibility to change teams inside the company (if your manager agrees)
    - Nobody tracks how many hours you do, as long as you do your job you are fine
    - Possibility to work from home
    - Company is starting to adopt Agile methodologies (but it still is a ongoing process)

    Cons

    - Less benefits compared to other IT giants
    - In most of the teams very ancient tools and technology
    - Dending on the team, if you do more than what they expect this could not be recognized
    - Programers are viewed as numbers, projects can be shut down and you reallocate in few weeks
    - Possibility to learn doing normal work is 0, most of time is matter to maintain or fix legacy code
    - In Ireland there is almost zero possibility to have an impact and emerge
    - In Ireland your manager will almost never know what you do. USA teams are in control of everything

    Advice to Management

    Stop collecting whatever the USA teams do not want and start to fight in order to get real development in Ireland. Do not let band8 and higher to be recognitions only for Team Leaders and Managers. Try to give the right importance to developers trying to make them grow beyond band7.
    Stop thinking that developers are just developers, the quality matters especially if we want to delivery products that last.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "mixed bag"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of talented co-workers
    Large choice of products to work on (that's my experience in Software Group)
    Reasonable pay

    Cons

    For every talented worker, there are several mediocrities
    Lots of talk about culture change, but there's soooooo much inertia
    Ratings system often pits people against each other
    Bonuses? Meager, if they make an appearance at all...

    Advice to Management

    Try to value teamwork more in your ratings--you really don't provide us with any incentive to help our peers out.
    Find ways to help the innovators carry change forward.

    IBM Response

    Feb 15, 2016 – Corporate Communications

    Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. Given IBM's transformation and what we've heard from you and so many other IBMers, we’ve kicked off a brand new approach to performance management... More


  10. "Staff Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer (Band 7 Software Developer) in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Home office/remote
    Benefits
    Access to awesome technologies
    IBM is changing, catching up and becoming better

    Cons

    Old and hard to change structure, policies and mindset
    If you ever find a good manager, stick to him.
    Some extremely low tech skill colleagues either new or old
    Awful, weak laptop hardware given to employees (Brazil)

    Advice to Management

    Embrace the change (you can always undo later)