Ciena
3.3 of 5 118 reviews
www.ciena.com Hanover, MD 1000 to 5000 Employees

Ciena Reviews

Updated Apr 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 118 reviews

                             

72% Approve of the CEO

Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith

Gary B. Smith

(68 ratings)

71% of employees recommend this company to a friend
118 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "This allows employees to have a great work-life balance"
    in 17 reviews
  • "Flexible work schedule and good work environment"
    in 11 reviews
Cons:
  • "No career growth plan for employees"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Senior Management inherited from the Nortel Era in Montreal"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Not a place to build a career

Engineer (Former Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I worked at Ciena full-time

Pros- Some people are very knowledgeable in their area
- Good technology if you're actually let to work on it
- Good place to go after school if you don't have a better offer, develop some marketable skills, then look for a better job where you can build a career

Cons- Terrible compensation
- Bonuses are a joke
- No career development especially for new grads
- Not enough room for new grads to prosper
- Too many layoffs (2 or 3 times per year at times) - if you're a new grad they will try to make you think that you are safe from layoffs and that they're trying to make the company younger, but the truth is they have a deal with the government of Ontario to hire new grads (it's basically free for them) then if you're not a top performer or even if you're a top performer but your manager hasn't developed you and given you ownership then they will lay you off. As a new grad you may even get laid off in less than 6 months! Beware!!
- Very team dependent. Your team may be really good or it may be terrible - In general, if they haven't been able to tell you what your role is clearly before they give you an offer, then chances are they don't even know what your role is. You don't want to be in that situation.

Advice to Senior ManagementChange the management.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Focused company with competent people

Component Engineer (Current Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I have been working at Ciena full-time for more than a year

ProsDecent health benefits.
Stock option terms almost guarantee 15%+ profit every 6 months
Great teamwork corporate culture

ConsLow operating margin due to telecom market. Promotion, raise, and bonus are hard to come by.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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some hints...

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I have been working at Ciena full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat life work balance.
Long term commitment.
Friendly helpful colleagues.
The sector is stably going up in general in the next few years, so the work stablility is good.
Personal workload depends on the team you work for and the importance of your role.

Consproject lifecycle is usually 1 year per major release.
The working environemnt is not very aggressive, so if seeking good resume in short time, this is not the place.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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OK, not great

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I have been working at Ciena full-time

Pros- Good people, helpful and smart
- Interesting work
- Decent gym (free), good coffee, and very good cafeteria food (note this is in Kanata, not Carling Lab 10)
- Stock purchase plan

Cons- RRSP matching plan is sub-standard compared to others in Ottawa
- Management constantly over-commits to customers, then expects the rank and file to work evenings and weekends to meet these deadlines. Employees who don't meet these deadlines are punished via layoffs and/or poor performance reviews.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire more people or set more realistic deadlines.

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2 people found this helpful  

Good place to start your career with. Very closed culture especially from the Former Nortel employees. Avoid Montreal

Engineering (Former Employee)
Montreal, QC

I worked at Ciena

ProsLocal Gym
Good location if you are in Ville Saint Laurent
Good startup for engineers eager to work closely with Low Cost Manufacturing
Health and Dental benefits are reasonable.

ConsSenior Management inherited from the Nortel Era in Montreal.
Very dysfunctional at the level of cross organizational activities.
Very short-sighted middle managers and no long term vision
No formal training. A lot of self preservationist attitude that make you sick to your stomach.

In brief, the management at Montreal Ciena is the wash off from the bankrupt Nortel days. Unfortunately the flagship products are that of the Ciena Ottawa/Montreal which makes the long term vision very bleak if head office in Linthicum, MD does not do anything about it.
Very "clicky" and very hard to break into the ranks for the established "hierarchies". A lot of arrogance and attitude. Zero chance for progress and promotion.

Overall, a place to start with your career but not beyond 3 years maximum. If you are ambitious and looking for new challenges then it will be a hard place to stay in for very long unless you get accepted in the established clicks. You could be the most educated person of the bunch and yet managers will only think of their service impact on the short term rather than benefiting the company with the expertise of the talented and educated professionals.

Advice to Senior ManagementTo Gary Smith, the time has come to shuffle the middle and senior managers and directors of Montreal office. This is the only way to save the company. New blood and new culture need to develop in Montreal to align with the established vision of the headquarters in Maryland.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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MEN division still has Nortel culture hangover

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I have been working at Ciena

Prosflexibility for family
somewhat interesting work

Cons(specific to MEN division)
'Nortel' culture and old boy system still exists.
little opportunity for advancement in career. Too many old Nortel hands hanging on.
Outdated views of development.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate professional advancement opportunities To be fair they have tried via some internal certifications and courses.

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Ciena Review

Lead Engineer P&T (Former Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I worked at Ciena

ProsGreat people, interesting projects, great place to learn new technology. Salaries are competitive. Regular information sessions held to give a report on the state of the company.

ConsAt par with all other industries as far as no taking company loyalty into consideration when implementing a work force reduction.

Advice to Senior ManagementI don't really have any advice for management. Communication to the employees is good. All forms of technology are used.

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Working at Ciena

Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Ottawa, ON

I worked at Ciena

ProsGood environment and challenging technology
Good lab environment, tools and licenses
Good location
Good compensation and benefits versus working hours

ConsToo much politics, projects allocated on nepotism

Advice to Senior ManagementSpend more time listening to employees

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Easy

Intern (Former Employee)
Kanata, ON

I worked at Ciena

ProsGreat environment for professional development
High Pay compensation relative to work experience
Lots of opportunity for growth
Area specialization: communications

ConsA little bit disorganized, the groups weren't set in stone, one month you could be working for 1 guy, the next week for a different person.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide solid group or team outlines
Make sure everyone knows their role in the company
Provide more feedback to employees

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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PLM

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Ciena full-time for more than 5 years

ProsA lot of smart people to work with.

ConsProduct direction changes a lot.

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Ciena reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Ciena CEO Gary B. Smith. All 118 reviews are posted anonymously by Ciena employees.