Isilon, A Division of EMC Reviews in Seattle, WA | Glassdoor

Isilon, A Division of EMC Seattle Reviews

68 reviews

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Seattle, WA

3.1
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Isilon, A Division of EMC President Bill Richter
Bill Richter
12 Ratings

68 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • EMC is changing things, the EMC way, although as this company is growing fast, EMC does bring in structure that a big company needs (in 4 reviews)

  • Bad ideas forced down the throats of engineers from senior management (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "An extraordinary team"

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

    I have been working at Isilon, A Division of EMC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great team, insanely great product, no rank-and-yank type tendencies.
    The market positioning with the new Dell acquisition makes this a force majeure in the storage field. The technologies leveraged by the platform are insanely fun to work on, and the teams that build out tools for devs and techs are amazing.

    Cons

    Standard big company problems. The word from on high is disseminated gradually, but fully, by mgmt. The spirit of competition, while never rancorous, is strong.

    Certain players don't respect business hours.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Once great, but slipping fast"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Isilon, A Division of EMC full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work (and plenty of it)
    Great people
    Plenty of outings/celebrations

    Cons

    Bogged down in process
    Every decision is gated by 4 or 5 "favorites" who can apparently walk on water
    Limited career growth opportunities
    A handful of unqualified people in a few key positions really hurt morale and productivity
    Dell acquisition is slowly eroding benefits and job security - chasing out the good people

    Advice to Management

    Go back to older approaches to development - "do first, ask forgiveness later".
    Figure out how to make career growth a possibility

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Political"

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and a good location. Looks good on a resume. There are lots of really great people to work with.

    Cons

    As many people have already said, politics rule. If you are one of the good old boys you can do no wrong and continue getting promoted, even if HR acknowledges that you are a bad manager. Certain people get fired for no reason, while others continue to remain employed for no apparent reason. Management prefers to keep people in boxes rather than encourage growth, and actually discourage professional growth, believing that if you are ambitious you should just leave.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage professional development, reward those who deserve it and don't penalize ambition.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Weak leadership with outdated culture that only hire their friends"

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

    I have been working at Isilon, A Division of EMC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice building in a great location (Pioneer Square). Lots of talented individuals with a true passion for their work. Benefits used to be competitive but is changing for the worse after the recent acquisition by Dell. About 3 years ago they brought in good talent to modernize their development process and tooling and we saw improvements, but then they imposed "Governance" (EMC's version of throwing everything and everyone under the bus), and a year or so later they reorganized and killed that momentum. No improvements have been delivered since then.

    Cons

    Senior management struggling to keep anyone motivated, and their answer to the problem is to bring in more of their friends with the same antiquated mindset all of which continues to erode morale. This is driving talented individuals to go elsewhere so now we have a huge attrition problem. Managers are moving to individual contributor roles because they don't have any support as managers or to develop their teams. Add the eroding benefits after the Dell acquisition and you have a declining company and culture.
    New ideas are not welcomed unless they align with what was learned 10+ years ago at EMC. Innovation and improvements happen in isolation and as secrets to avoid having to work on power points for the weekly status reviews that do not add any value at all.
    As other reviewers have pointed out, politics, favoritism, nepotism, questionable ethics and a complete lack of honesty are the norm at Isilon.

    Advice to Management

    Hire good talent and develop the potential of your employees. Stop bringing in your friends and friends of your friends. "Loyalty" to you does not mean competence for the job, just as your "friend" or "long time with EMC" does not mean good for Isilon. Go back to letting things happen naturally and organically instead of slapping "Governance" as control mechanism (no contemporary company in the industry uses that format because it kills innovation and velocity.) If you have an urge to control everything, then find a productive and less bureaucratic mechanism to do it. Most importantly, set a direction and get out of the way!


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Complete lack of ethics & honesty."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Isilon, A Division of EMC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A good location is the downtown Seattle area, near the stadiums. Good food and drink options & a free Orca pass for commuting.

    Cons

    Lots of politics & depending on which side you are on, no vertical or horizontal movement allowed.
    Management once announced to a team that, "You should simply accept that this the level you will be at the rest of your career & stop seeking promotions."
    Promotion reviews are done behind closed doors, with no honest feedback.
    Many of the managers are not technical AT ALL & should not be assessing the performance of highly technical people.

    Advice to Management

    The culture of a great small engineering firm is completely destroyed. Stop claiming you still abide by the rules of the old Isilon culture, because everyone sees right through the facade.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Circling the drain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Located in Pioneer Square
    Free monthly orca pass

    Cons

    Highly political environment
    It is Seattle's newest haven for mediocrity
    Bad ideas forced down the throats of engineers from senior management


  7. "Good place to work, upper middle management needs to focus."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Isilon, A Division of EMC (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation, talent is recognized and rewarded. Fairly laid back, hours and location are flexible.

    Cons

    Management has very little direction outside of core engineering. Internal tools teams are fairly disjointed and lacking communication. Lots of duplicate work and lack of consistency.

  8. "Mixed internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Isilon, A Division of EMC as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The culture was relaxed and there were a lot of fun intern events. The work environment was really cool and there were a lot of fun incentives to stay late and brainstorm or just hang out.

    Cons

    During my internship, I felt essentially ignored most of the time. Due to space issues, the interns were all seated separately from the rest of their teams, which created a barrier to communication. My assigned mentor was on vacation for much of the summer, so this may have been a factor. Overall I received very little feedback or guidance, and even though I finished my project (to the satisfaction of the code reviews) and presented it, I didn't receive a full-time offer, which I only found out by having to actively ask recruiting coordinators.

    Advice to Management

    Try to actively include interns in the work itself. My experience was an odd mix of fun activities and being ignored.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Going downhill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Isilon, A Division of EMC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fast paced, interesting work. Location is great. Outstanding Christmas party ( a holdover from Isilon days)

    Cons

    EMC is dragging down the spirit of Isilon by continuous reorganizations and downsizing.

    Office environment is cubicle boring.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the people that are left are treated well and have a better working environment.


  10. "Senior Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Isilon, A Division of EMC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Challenging work on an established product. Forward thinking and a very profitable business segment of EMC.

    Cons

    Process can be slow to move towards modern dev technologies. Platform is evolving and attrition is natural but saddening.

    Advice to Management

    Increase salaries across the board. Leverage engineers to build great solutions.


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