SoftLayer Reviews | Glassdoor

SoftLayer Reviews

Updated March 13, 2017
139 reviews

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2.9
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SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby
Lance Crosby
70 Ratings

139 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free snacks and drinks are a plus (in 18 reviews)

  • Great entry level position -- perfect for building a little experience to go somewhere else (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • When talking to upper management they will lie straight to your face just so that they don't have to deal with it (in 11 reviews)

  • There is/was a serious lack of training from the supervisors and management (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great people, good technology"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Center Technician in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Data Center Technician in Dallas, TX
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, good peole to work with and learn from

    Cons

    None i can think off. Its how you make it


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Technical Support"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Support Technician in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Support Technician in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SoftLayer (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are free chips and sodas. Sometimes cake.

    Cons

    No incentives to move up
    Lack of training

    Advice to Management

    Provide training and incentive additional learning.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Server Build Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Server Build Technician in Tukwila, WA
    Current Employee - Server Build Technician in Tukwila, WA

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

    Pros

    Good experience. Perfect as a entry level job.

    Cons

    Pay low compared to similar jobs in area


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Your talents are better spent elsewhere"

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

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

    Pros

    I really cant think of any. At one time there were many.

    Cons

    You are not valued here. IBM has brought in a culture of fear and "Not invented Here" mentality. They have a working product that they invested in ($3 Billion+) and dont seem to care as they constantly try to replace it with something made by IBM. They fail over and over again. Its really embarrassing. They chase fires rather than a vision. They will over work you and undervalue you. There are no opportunities anymore and you will constantly live under fear of the next company lay-off.

    Advice to Management

    Stop chasing your competitors. Have some vision.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Datacenter Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Datacenter Technician in Ashburn, VA
    Former Employee - Datacenter Technician in Ashburn, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of experience can come from this job. It involves infrastructure, networking, and scripting once you get to a certain point. Softlayer/IBM offers free drinks, free food and pizza.. which is nice.

    There are plenty of smart people and they are more then willing to teach others.

    If you know the right people, you can transfer to other departments NOC, SOC, IS, DEV, and more.

    Cons

    Management and Supervisors.. management is lousy. They constantly feel the need to belittle people under them. Management really doesn't want to get to know you. They come off as abrasive and snobby. Instead of actually correcting issues management and supervisors will simple tell you not to make the mistake again, without showing you how to prevent the mistake.

    Most managers tend to play the favorite game and be passive aggressive through emails. They tend to lock themselves in their offices and really don't have much of an open door policy.

    There is/was a serious lack of training from the supervisors and management. Which is why mistakes happen. People need to be trained properly.

    Personal time is personal time.. even if you are on call 24x7x365 if there is no issue, do not bother your techs over minor things. Its immature and annoying. Also, they will try to call you in on PTO/Sick days.

    Advice to Management

    My advise to management...
    1) Grow up
    2) Be professional
    3) Be open
    4) Get to know you teams
    5) Train your employees
    6) DO NOT bother you employees during their personal time
    7) Be approachable


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Great team, poor oversight"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great team of people!
    Houston has a great team atmosphere and the people who work there are all interested in learning the most recent technologies and development processes. Developers in this location are very team oriented and highly intelligent.

    Cons

    1) IBM is slowly destroying the SoftLayer development process: company mandated scrum (the wrong way)

    2) Using a contracting company with unqualified personnel
    - an amazing amount of time is spent training remote contractors

    3) Product managers are out of control: demanding faster results, not respecting personal time
    - poor planning and the infusion of waterfall development techniques cause occasional long hours and weekends

    4) Interactions with other internal teams are not handled well
    - developers sometimes feel ineffective as code they push is not implemented for long periods of time
    - communication between operations and development in some cases is inadequate or non-existent

    5) Developers are on call at all times, second line of defense for products
    - development is called before systems administrators

    Advice to Management

    1) determine who is responsible for a domain and empower them to make the changes they deem necessary to meet goals
    2) respect personal time of employees, do not allow poor planning or executive demands to lower moral
    3) pay competitive wages, don't make employees beg for raises or look for jobs elsewhere to prove their worth
    4) listen to engineers and don't let politics drive customer experience


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Absolutely the worst place I've ever worked"

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

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

    Pros

    Stocked kitchen with drinks and snacks
    Ample parking in underground parking garage

    Cons

    Open floor plan
    Most "managers" are unqualified and are only managers because they are a technical lead
    Poor compensation
    Most people are handed desktops and some high level of approval is needed for a subpar laptop
    Passive agressive culture

    Advice to Management

    All managers should have some actual people and leadership skills. A company full of bitter managers protecting their kingdoms makes work un-fun and difficult. Treat people like adults and not children


  9. Helpful (8)

    "An Amazing Clusterf-"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Datacenter Technician in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Datacenter Technician in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Top notch health insurance
    Excellent PTO, if you can find time to take any of it
    Getting to put IBM on your resume
    Free snacks (although you will get tired of Rice Krispy Treats and Cheez-its after awhile)

    Cons

    Pay is $10/hr below industry average
    Hiring process is drawn way, way out (up to 6 months or more)
    Turnover happens faster than hiring, leading to sorely understaffed sites
    And the staff that does stick around have no business being in the IT industry (we have hired people who literally don't know how to turn on a computer)
    DC Ops management really seems to not care
    Fellow employees will throw you under the bus in an instant, if they think it will help them at all
    Work-life balance sucks. Even at slow sites, you'll end up putting in more overtime than you'll have opportunities to take all that PTO they give you, because you just don't have enough manpower to take any time off.
    They stopped sending US staff on go-lives, so there goes the oft-mentioned travel opportunity

    Advice to Management

    Morale is a lot lower than you think, and a lot more important than you give it credit for. When it takes 6 months to hire new people, and the best you can do are a bunch of people with no IT credentials, who refuse to apply themselves, you do a lot to damage morale. When other departments dump everything on DC ops staff, and you do nothing about it, you do a lot to damage morale. When your staff keep quitting to go work for Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Datapipe, Peak Hosting, Facebook, and Google, because all of those companies pay significantly better wages, and you fail to even recognize the problem, you damage morale. When the few staff who do stay on are the lazy ones, and you write angry emails to senior techs asking why they're not trained, you just demonstrate a complete lack of awareness of what's going on.

    A company runs on its people, and while you stand around in your ivory towers having meetings, discussing who knows what, with absolutely no transparency or accountability to your subordinates, your people are suffering and leaving. And if you don't do something about that, you'll cease to be a leader in the industry, regardless of how you think IBM feels about the division. They will spit you out and replace you with their own. We've already seen it happen in other parts of Softlayer.

    And to IBM management, we get it, this is a big ship with a lot of momentum. But all of this blue-tape bureaucracy is killing us, at a time when we need to be more fluid than ever. Seriously listen to what your people in the lowest levels of the company have to say, because we're the ones who deal with all of our clients on a daily basis. We're more familiar with the needs of those clients, and the needs of the company to serve them, than any of you having your conference calls all day. And when you do occasionally have your meetings with your ground level staff, take the time to understand what we have to say, and implement our suggestions in a meaningful way.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "A great place to cut your teeth in the Datacenter field."

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

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

    Pros

    Decent Pay (recently changed)

    Decent Benefits

    Plenty of Vacation

    Lots of opportunity to learn.

    Nearly impossible to get fired (You can be late daily, sleep on the job, or not even show up if you want!)

    Cons

    Not easy to move up.

    Company expects high turnover (only expects about 18 months out of technicians) so doesn't invest much in employees.

    Good employees are rarely noticed/recognized.

    Management is afraid to fire bad employees because it takes an extremely long time to hire new ones and turnover is high.


  11. "GREAT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Windows Systems Engineer in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Windows Systems Engineer in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    GREAT overall nice balance for me anyways

    Cons

    none for me i enjoyed my time im sure others have made their grievances known



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