Sun Microsystems Reviews | Glassdoor

Sun Microsystems Reviews

Updated May 23, 2017
1,102 reviews

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3.7
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Sun Microsystems Co-CEO's Mark Hurd and Safra Catz
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz
27 Ratings

1,102 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • But Sun was novel in many areas such as company-wide work from home policies before it became trendy (in 212 reviews)

  • Employee friendly, great work life balance (in 124 reviews)

Cons
  • unclear how open source focus can grow a business (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Flexible environment, great working culture (people)."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Technically they work with the latest and best technology. They have great telecommuting as well as dropping stations that people can work at instead of coming into the office. There is also a shuttle service to take you to each builiding.

    Cons

    The stock prices are low and the compensation is low. There are some long hours and pressure when deadlines come.

    Advice to Management

    Do something about stock prices and give more raises.


  2. "Open & sharing community with lots of new technologies."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are many ways to learn new skills and knowledge if one is willing to seek out the info. They do offer formal training but most knowledge is learned from others when sought after.

    Cons

    Benefits are lower than others in the industry. Compensation is low, but one must be patient to reap the financial reward!

    Advice to Management

    Provide other software services or hosting options to generate new revenues.


  3. "Team environment, big office, no smells, can look out the window and see my car."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Super learning place, you can learn hands-on in any department that you want to learn...many opportunities to learn and grow.

    Cons

    You have to work a lot of hours....most people work 50-70 hours per week. So it's very demanding every day.

    Advice to Management

    Eat your own dog food....don't make decisions based on trade mags, get input from engineers who are using the technology.


  4. "Flexible work environment, people can work from home most of the day & come in when necessary. Lots of conference calls."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is a very technologically advanced company to work for, and they do value their employees quite a bit too.

    Cons

    Unfortunately the stock market is down, therefore our bonus will be low. But I guess that is not really a con about the company.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to make more profits.


  5. "It's a great place to work if you can get in, but you have to be able to tune some things out."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in Burlington, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Software Engineer in Burlington, MA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Sun has a great philosophy on working flex time and from home. Basically, as long as you meet your commitments, it doesn't matter if you are working from home or an office, and as long as you can attend meetings by phone, it doesn't matter when you work. Employees receive quarterly bonuses that are dependent mostly on financial results of the company, but in part based on individual performance. High performers are also eligible for restricted stock options (RSUs). For the most part, people work well together with respect for diversity on all levels, and if you have a great idea, you are allowed to run with it. 401k matching is 100% vested from day 1.

    Cons

    The biggest downside is the constant specter of layoffs, and general uncertainty regarding the long-term financial health of the company. Senior leadership is not interested in or concerned about morale, and is looking to keep turnover high. Layoffs are over-used as a cost-cutting tool. Our benefits package is complete, but becomes a little less competitive every year. That said, when people's jobs are eliminated, the exit package is very good, and includes outplacement training, office equipment and space for job searching, career counseling, and up to 6 months of pay. Employee's quarterly bonuses are negatively impacted by poor quarterly earnings.

    Advice to Management

    Stop acquiring other companies. Sun has a poor track record of making any software acquisitions successful, and only has slightly better results with acquiring hardware companies. For example, if you look at the recent acquisition of mySQL, the cost wasn't just in the Billion dollars Sun paid for the company, but in the one-time expenses related to the acquisition, and the ongoing expense of that added headcount. Sun would have broken even or even turned a profit last quarter had it not been for that acquisition.


  6. "Great place to work if family comes first in your life!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent work / life balance!

    Cons

    The company is dispersed - you often don't know what others are doing; as a result efforts can be unintentionally doubled.

    Advice to Management

    Work from home is the best benefit at Sun - encourage people to use it!


  7. "Work at Sun and be able to work from anywhere"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work place, including working from home, is a solid part of the culture. They fully support it. While other companies are trying to figure out ways of keeping their employees on campus with things like free meals or laundry, or...whatever else will remove any reason to leave campus, Sun understands about life/work balance.
    They fully support working from home now and again. I can go into the office, then leave later in the day to work from home, or work from home all day...no special permission needed. They provide direct tie-ins to the company's servers so that
    my desktop at home is exact;y like my desktop at work...because it is the same.
    While other's are slaves in the company ship, Sun has freed their employees of the bondage of the day to day office.
    I'll take that anday...I can do my own laundry and make my own lunch.

    Cons

    The stock movement isn't making anyone rich right now. The cafeteria doesn't have the best food, but when you can work so easily from home, that matters little. There are some who would say its a culture in transition, which I would agree with.
    If you're a fan of the old culture, which was more of a maverick type, "lets take on the world", you might miss that part of it.
    The newer culture is still highly motivated but less adversarial about competitors...a good thing in my opinion.
    Regardless, though, its little concern, to most who embrace the new culture.

    Advice to Management

    Don't fire me! I love it here!!


  8. "Sun is a warm, friendly, sunny place to work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Compensation Manager in Broomfield, CO
    Current Employee - Compensation Manager in Broomfield, CO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work environment allows you to work from anywhere, high level of trust, great communication from Senior Leadership. Embrace work/life balance and environment friendly products. Lots of recognition. Everyone is treated with fairness and respect.

    Cons

    Workload is frequently an overburden. Not enough time to get everything done.

    Advice to Management

    Continue with the CEO blogs and talk tracks and open communication.


  9. "Good people, sometimes hard to work without the structure"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting group of people to work with no matter where you are. Very innovative and interesting technology coming out of the company. They are very good about trying to help you in all parts of your life. They seem to also try to not stress out their employees too.

    Cons

    somewhat disorganized and not much of a clear business plan, at least one that can be seen from the lower levels in the company. It is very much a company of engineers, not business people. They go with a throw darts at a dartboard with projects plan. Some of them stick and make a little money and some of them don't but they can burn through some cash.

    Advice to Management

    Find a clear business plan and stop laying people off :)


  10. "Reinvest in your biggest asset, an experienced Sun worker. Reevaluate your technology offerings and priorities."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Broomfield, CO
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Broomfield, CO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    100% Work from Home + Flexible Office setup! Great technology, everything works the first time, everytime! Committed, Highly competent, co-workers! Great Benefits! Sun attracts the most intriguing, competent and motivated people.

    Cons

    Low market penetration of superior technology. Senior Management fumbling the football on getting technology in the right hands. Executive Staff unaware or unconcerned with productivity/morale issues with lay-off threat continually hanging over the heads of workers (do it, then announce that it's over). Senior Management fail to recognize the technology asset discarded in lay-offs and the learning curve that new employees require subsequent to a layoff.

    Advice to Management

    Spend some money on retaining employees rather than laying them off. Sun isn't Microsoft or just another Win-Dumb enterprise and the technology is unique. (ie; Just regular office procedures, unique internal tools for travel, office work, contacts, employee benefits, etc. ). Sun's unique technological environment makes layoffs more expensive than the CFO realizes or wants to acknowledge (or is being forced to ignore by the Board).
    Stop the layoffs, give confidence back to your workers (again, if a layoff has to happen, do it and then announce that it's over). Announce the lost assets (people laid off) so that if someone is dependent on a person for something they'll know before it's too late.
    Every layoff followed by new-hire renders Sun's technological quotient, cumulatively, lower leaving existing workers with more to do and less to do it with.
    Promote from within. Non-Sun experienced 'Outside talent' don't know the strengths (and weakness') of Sun technology and they take too long to bring up to speed just from a logistical perspective to be useful for sometime. I know, I've had to 'train' too many managers on just functioning.


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