SoftLayer Reviews | Glassdoor

SoftLayer Reviews

Updated July 14, 2017
36 reviews

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3.0
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SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby
Lance Crosby
10 Ratings

36 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free snacks and drinks are a plus (in 21 reviews)

  • Great company with great benefits (in 11 reviews)

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

  • years of direct experience in the Data Center world (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great people, good technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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)

    "To be the liaison between customers and the complany"

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

    I have been working at SoftLayer full-time

    Pros

    Pretty flexible schedule, free snack and drinks, great health care

    Cons

    Lack of processes, minimal positive change since acquisition.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Great team, poor oversight"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  5. Helpful (10)

    "An Amazing Clusterf-"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (5)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Server Build Technician III"

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

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

    Pros

    This is a good place to begin your a career in IT. It is what you make of it. They hire and promote with next to no experience. Admittedly most reviews bash the place (some with good reason) but realistically they don't put in the time, work, and effort. There is a lot of opportunity and space to grow, you have to make it through the tough times and stand your ground when confronting management about an issue. If have been an SBT for under 1.5 years and I have already received all the promotions they have avaliable. People will be people and every job has them. So focus, become dedicated and you will have little issues advancing. Ops are essential, meaning OT and job security.

    Cons

    Management, bottom line. The is still changes happening because of the IBM/softlayer merger, somethings are out of boss's hands accept it or find a new line of work. By far the best job I had, but management can sometimes drive you up the walls. With a high turnover rate, they are not always open to helping you advance, change shifts, or sites right away because every sbt is needed where they are currently.

    Advice to Management

    Communication communication communication! We are people before employees and we all have off days just as you do. Speak as a leader first and manager 2nd, people are more receptive when they fell you can relate to them.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Not a bad place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SoftLayer full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility, good work environment, diverse customer base, lots of opportunities to learn if you take the initiative.

    Cons

    Difficult to get a raise, even with good performance reviews. Very little training.

    Advice to Management

    Start valuing your people and maybe you'll stop bleeding talent to AWS.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Going downhill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer I in Addison, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer I in Addison, TX

    Pros

    Good time off policies. Gain experience in a hot industry. Lots of work === job security.

    Cons

    Given unreasonable deadlines. IBM destroying SoftLayer culture. Having to use IBM Notes as email client. Work atmosphere not as enjoyable as more and more employees become unhappy. Lack of raises.

    Advice to Management

    Give raises and keep the employees who are knowledgeable. Stop setting deadlines based on the announcements of when a product or capability will be released, instead, determine when a product/capability will be released based on when the task will be complete.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Ignorance would be bliss"

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

    I have been working at SoftLayer full-time

    Pros

    Can be a nice job if you have a lot of patience and can keep to yourself.

    Cons

    Most employee personalities are much larger than their work ethic.
    People in upper level positions that lack proper skill set / education.
    Human resources department and management are not helpful in addressing concerns, but somehow give useless employees every benefit of the doubt and multiple chances (Employees that are always late or sleep on the job are never fired).
    Wages are below national averages for comparable positions and wages don't adjust due to geographical location / local cost of living. (Unless you work at the Texas sites)

    Advice to Management

    Figure it out. Be willing to pay your good employees and let the bad ones go.


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