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Red Hat Reviews

Updated February 24, 2017
120 reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Open Source can tend to be on longer release cycles, and things may tend to move slowly (in 60 reviews)

  • More importantly at least for me: The amazing culture and work life balance more than made up for any doller that I might have been sacrificing (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Reality v. The Executive Pitch"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Red Hat full-time

    Pros

    Great technology and a lot of very smart people. Flexible and most teams are very open to working remote.

    Cons

    Reality does not line up with what executives will pitch. For example, using the Open Decision Framework - reality, not used often or as often as it should or by all teams. Executives will use the "ask for forgiveness rather than permission or input" approach instead of the ODF for decisions that may be unpopular. The concept of the Red Hat culture and openness seems to vary by team, managers in some groups struggle to communicate with their peers in other groups. The company wastes a ton of money on duplicate tools for the sake of appeasement.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach. When looking at reigning in costs be open to the painful truth and don't always take the word of the executive looking to protect himself.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Went from great to average in 8+ years"

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

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

    Pros

    - A pro that doesn't have a caveat is hard to come up with.
    - Remote friendly for the most part, but don't expect travel dollars.
    - Newly created ESPP (better late than never and the result of equity grants being eviscerated)
    - Benefits relatively standard. Nothing sticks out.
    - Opensource, although you can work in opensource in many companies
    - Lots of training available. If you are at a site, you can get all the training/certifications you want for free as long as the classroom has space. But there are no travel dollars for this. If you are remote, this is somewhat of a con. There is a fairly large amount of online training, but nothing that will lead to a cert.
    - Smart tech people, but there are smart people everywhere.
    - The shutdown days have been made into company holidays, so you don't have to burn PTO and essentially get 4 more days off. The con on this is that if you carry over PTO into the following year, you must use it by Feb 15th. If you don't use it, you lose it. Yeah, this is actually a con for many people.
    - Easy to get promoted up to senior level. Promotions are a dime a dozen at the lower levels. Everybody gets promoted. I've seen some people get promoted who really shouldn't be. Principal level is harder, but the domain you work in can make the principal promotion easier. For example you would have to almost be Torvald's deputy to get a principal promotion in kernel space. See cons.

    Cons

    - Equity grants practically non-existent now. No longer have a new hire grant. Retention grants may hit 1 out of 10 employees now and they are so small as to be about $2000 in stock per year. Likely the driver for the new ESPP program.
    - Many management new hires from large behemoth companies. They don't fit here and have created a management versus worker mentality rather than the previous one team mentality. It's ironic because they bring the stuff that didn't work from their old jobs and make Red Hat like the company they left. The "old-timers" who have been promoted to management still walk the talk, but are pressured by these new people and all the junk/process they bring with them.
    - Strange PTO policy. After 5 years you get 3 more days, 10 years another 3 more.
    - There is favoritism. Buddies get the promotions, the money, and the opportunities.
    - Low pay. No formal salary merit increase policy. Your salary used to be reviewed every June, but no more. Seems to be just whenever your manager feels like it. So if you have a cost cutting penny pincher new hire manager from one of those large companies, chances are you won't see an increase and are underpaid. I've heard it may be an 18 mo cycle now, but haven't seen evidence that it's in operation. Besides why 18 months versus a standard 12 month year?
    - There is talk that the bonus could go the way of the equity grants. Sounds like something Frank would want and since he is gone now, this may not materialize.
    - No promotion path after principal. Very few senior principals+ in engineering and non-existent in the support side of the house. The unfortunate result is there is no career path after principal. I've seen quite a few top level people (committers and the like) leave and this along with the other cons is why (particularly the culture change from the new managers).
    - Used to get the tools to do our jobs. No longer do development/tech employees get workstations. You used to get a laptop and a workstation, but no longer. You get a laptop. The result is people self fund their hardware. Likely the change was some great idea from one of the new managers.

    Advice to Management

    They no longer want to hear it. You need to keep your nose down in this environment nowday. "Troublemakers" don't get put on a list, but they won't get the promotions, the money, or the opportunities.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "A mixed bag (engineering perspective)"

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

    I have been working at Red Hat full-time

    Pros

    Rare opportunity to get paid to work on genuine open source projects. Some very smart people. Most customers are smarter than average too.

    Some technical staff are given huge latitude to pursue their own paths within open source communities.

    The bureaucracy is present, as at any large US company, but rarely gets worse than a bit of benevolent clumsiness.

    Cons

    The company is deeply divided and siloed between the traditional RHEL product and the myriad other product lines brought in via acquisitions. There are continual management initiatives to try and build bridges but they're usually of the "pointy haired" variety and go nowhere. Every 6 months there's a new "common framework for X" project, and another such project quietly dies.

    There is a culture of cheapness, from placing offices in lesser-known towns, to constantly delaying salary cycles, to even asking some staff to share hotel rooms.

    Groups that are supposed to span the silos, like docs and testing (which red hat insists on calling "QE") are weak -- the docs guys are good but too few in number, the testing guys are mostly junior hires who are given more work than they can reasonably be expected to handle.

    Basically, it's a place you can carve out a very comfortable and interesting niche if you want, but to do so you have to be able to tune out the sound of all the chaos and waste around you.

    Advice to Management

    Pay market salaries. Create positions that drive people to jump from Google/Apple/Facebook to Red Hat, and not the other way around.


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  5. "Depends on what you want to do"

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

    I worked at Red Hat full-time

    Pros

    Smart people, good products, innovative outlook, largest open source software company.

    Cons

    Poor understanding of what individuals are doing, poor organization, do not watch your back. Some of the sites where I worked and the criticism I received a year later was not valid at all.

    Advice to Management

    Get some management that actually manages. They stress all their people are technical. Many act like techies but need to understand people and management better.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Was once really great, losing its luster"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good Benefits, Autonomy, Tech breadth, Smart co-workers, Challenging

    Cons

    Sometimes daft management, fairly low salary for the industry, really poor advancement paths.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on your employees growth more. Raise the salaries.


  7. Helpful (23)

    "Once a model of greatness - but no longer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with diverse cultures and good hearted, brilliant people daily. Equity rewards (RSU) program was very good. Work required creative problem solving and the best solutions for the company came from meritocracy. Despite its large size, the old Red Hat was a family that cared about its employees.

    Cons

    The Frank Caleroni era will go down as the most destructive period in the company's history. Over a mere 18 months, many of the company's brightest leaders were driven out of the organization and replaced by big company groupthinkers who tried to apply a huge company bureaucracy to a thriving, unique mid-sized company in growth phase. In addition, this leadership has actively eliminated US jobs and shipped the work to India. Predictably Red Hat is now facing operational problems that other large companies experienced 10 years ago with this strategy. The once thriving culture has degraded from "I work someplace special" to "this is just another job at a faceless big corporate company."

    Advice to Management

    Calderoni disrupted a culture and operational model that needed fine tuning by tearing the company apart. And what does he have to show for this other than the loss of 20% of Red Hat's market value during his tenure, the loss of Red Hat's brightest leaders at all levels, and the destruction of an amazing and unique culture. $15.4m in 2016 compensation for himself. The advice of the earlier poster who warned Glassdoor to "review CFO actions" because the effects of Frank's decisions would haunt the company soon was proven right on Dec 21, 2016. Management must reject consultant-based groupthink ideas and apply the right solutions to the company as it is now so that we can transition to a $5b company without destroying our operational continuity. Just putting box box solutions in place at this point in time does not guarantee big company results.


  8. "interesting work but pretty disorganized"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Software Engineer Intern in Westford, MA
    Former Intern - Software Engineer Intern in Westford, MA

    I worked at Red Hat as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Did pretty interesting work, with cutting edge technology/languages
    - Flexibility in work hours
    - Free coffee

    Cons

    - Have to actively seek out the interesting work. If you don't, you could be stuck doing stuff that felt like "cleanup" work
    - Management felt very loose, no structured/scheduled meetings to update on feedback

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes they can be a bit presumptuous about what people are and aren't capable of. It was difficult to ramp up on some work as just an intern, and at the same time a lot of expectations were made.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Outstanding colleges, disapointing benifiits."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will work with the best of the best. Red Hat employs THE though leaders in Open Source and you won't find a group of more talented people anywhere else. If you want to work with the best this is where they are.

    Also, ethics are a priority from top down. Every company meeting I've attended where some other company did something questionable in the last quarter it was a priority of top management in the meeting to drive home the point that similar mistakes will not be tolerated and ethics must be foremost in all actions.

    Cons

    Benefits. They are clearly structured to be just good enough to keep people from leaving. This is surprising considering Red Hat's primary (only?) asset is the intelligence, skill and ability of the employees. To my mind benefits should be a priority for the company but come out to be barely average. This sadly seems to be by design because they understand the main motivation for new employees is to work with the most talented individuals in the industry.

    Before joining the company I personally sponsored may Red Hat employees to join my previous employer because the benefits were among the best in the industry.

    Advice to Management

    Improve benefits to accurately reflect the importance and contribution of associates to the companies success.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Again - Great company, but losing its culture and direction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Alliance Manager in Hillsborough, NC
    Former Employee - Alliance Manager in Hillsborough, NC
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It was a great place to hang my hat for ten years, and I have many happy memories of the people and friendships. It is still a good place to work, but no longer great.

    Cons

    No longer a meritocracy, at least in the circles I traveled in. Many management positions are being filled with people from opposing cultures and proprietary companies. This is driving away the passionate and squashing meritocracy.

    No longer terribly transparent, lots of decisions behind closed doors because of the point mentioned above.

    Advice to Management

    Understand what the company is sacrificing to get to the revenue goals for share holders.


  11. Helpful (8)

    "Great place to work overall but some true cons as well."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Red Hat (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people and the culture.

    Cons

    Managers get little direction from the VPs and CLT and it impacts everyone negatively.
    New CFO has brought about changes (like outsourcing to India) that are most unwelcomed

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your biggest assets and have gotten you this far. Don't outsource them for cheaper labor. Give great benefits in order to compete with others in the industry.



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