National Instruments Reviews

Updated 10 February, 2016
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3.6
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National Instruments Chairman, President, and CEO James J. Truchard
James J. Truchard
604 Ratings

Pros
  • The work-life balance is fantastic (in 152 reviews)

  • They really hire the best and brightest, which makes it a great work environment (in 97 reviews)

Cons
  • Pressure on work life balance while working with mostly young, energetic colleagues (in 25 reviews)

  • 1 per year salary is trumpeted as a noble sacrifice) during a year where many employees didn't get even a cost of living increase (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

845 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting work, average pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ottawa, ON
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Instruments (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fair amount of autonomy, interesting and innovative products to sell. Generally good culture of people. Management is genuinely interested in creating a great place to work.

    Cons

    The progression in sales career doesn't tend to follow the expected pay increase, mostly changes in the pay structure.

    Advice to Management

    Most people who leave NI leave not because they don't enjoy the culture or the work is not interesting; it's more often due to the pay not reflecting the work. For sales individuals, as we take more focused sales roles, that is more important than ever to retain top talent. Also there is a pretty low emphasis on continuous learning, particularly when it comes to sponsoring tuition, etc.


  2. "Good career opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Toronto, ON
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best company I have worked for. It is a place that strikes a good balance between your needs and the needs of other stakeholders.

    Cons

    Longer term career opportunities (7+ years experience) are more challenging, but I believe the company is actively trying to address the issues.


  3. "not bad"

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

    Pros

    big desk and large space

    Cons

    nerd too many that do not talk


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  5. "Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good company to work for

    Cons

    Nothing I can't think about

    Advice to Management

    Good


  6. "Great Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    -Work life balance -Employee focused environment

    Cons

    -change doesn't always happen at the fastest rate


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place to Settle In"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    * The work-life balance is fantastic. * There is a youthful, active energy about the place (lots of fitness programs, sport clubs, etc.) * Everyone is very friendly. * The job is very secure - no layoffs, the company's growth is slow and steady. * Since the company has started, there have only been 3 years where revenue did not grow. * There is a focus on your personal career development - they are willing to help you achieve your career goals. * Austin is a fantastic place to live. It's a really awesome place to work if you're looking for somewhere that's going to be a very safe and secure job. The atmosphere is laid back. There are a lot of people working there that are settling down and starting a family. There are also a ton of young people that are just a few years out of college. All in all, it's a really great place to work.

    Cons

    * The pay is lower than average for a software engineer (Disclaimer: they have said that this is a problem they are working on addressing.) * There is a bit of a retention problem. NI recruits HEAVILY from college campus, proudly boasting that something like 85% of their hires are new-grads. The thing is, these new-grads do not stay for long, because many young people aren't looking to settle in so early. There are many young people who join up hearing how great it is to work there, but get restless when they hear stories from their friends in Silicon Valley making double their salary and working on more exciting projects.

    Advice to Management

    I think you guys are doing a great job. Transparency has never been an issue, and I've always had a pretty good idea of what the company's overall goals are. I'm excited to see what changes are coming in the near future. I suppose if I had to say one thing, it's that I wish I didn't feel so far removed from those scientists and engineers that we are empowering. We hear about all the exciting applications that people are using our equipment on, but sometimes it seems more appealing to just go work on those exciting applications directly.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Very good company for a real Techie"

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

    I worked at National Instruments full-time

    Pros

    I worked in NI Bangalore. If you are into development, you will really love the job.

    Cons

    if you are into testing. you will be doing same boring job everyday. Nothing much to learn, except your involvement in innovation activities.

    Advice to Management

    As people become managers at very early stage of careers, they dont know how to tackle situations, lacks People management skills


  9. "Looking up!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX (US)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Mgt team is getting much better at expectations, reading the pulse of the workforce and setting / explaining direction. - Mgt team is actively addressing issues the workforce has brought up. - More Work/Life Balance than anywhere else I've worked - Doctor onsite and very affordable Healthcare - Location is good (I live Downtown), but the domain is across the street. - Gym and Cafeteria are onsite (both are ok, if you want to save money alot of people use them). However it is not a Gold's Gym or Pure Austin Gym. - Benefits overall are great and will meet alot of needs. They have the standards like (401K w/ match, ESPP, HC) But NI also has Paternity leave for fathers, adoption assistance, etc. - If I wrote this review 12 months ago, I would have given NI maybe 2 stars. I also was about to start looking somewhere else. However I feel things have changed alot, so I give alot of credit to the Mgt team for swallowing the truth, accepting it, and then taking action.

    Cons

    - Building is old. Cube layouts are like from an old business in the 1980s. - No real collaboration areas like other companies. Conf rooms are never available. - Onboarding new employees is horrible. They mostly walk around lost for 3 months. - Total Pay is probably 10% lower. No real bonus either. - There is some lack of discipline within the ICs created by hands off management styles. - Culture is very hard to adapt too if you come from any other company. It is a nurturing type of culture where you cannot take off with an idea yourself, you must bring everyone else with you (which slows it down). - CEO is brilliant no doubt, he founded the company afterall. However CEOs need to inspire. I used to love listening to the CEOs at other companies while I was there because they were motivational, inspirational and very much people oriented. NI's CEO is an engineer, not a speaker.

    Advice to Management

    - Continue working on the issues from the workforce. - Continue working on the benefits review. - Have a better onboarding plan for new employees. - More career advancement areas.


  10. "Great job, poor pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Planner in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Planner in Austin, TX (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Instruments (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent management and team atmosphere

    Cons

    Salary is low compared to other high tech companies. The "culture" is used as a reason low pay is okay.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "No compelling reason to stay anymore. McAverage company."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Austin, TX (US)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits are great. Typical bigger company benefits like 401k, better medical plans, etc. Some parts of the organization are healthier than others, most of it is determined by the VP in charge and how mature s/he is as a leader and visionary. VP spots are tenured, so plan to actively work to move to another if you find yourself under a dud. Coworkers are smart and nice on the whole. The company encourages friendships and this is easily done at happy hours and other events.

    Cons

    Senior management has become out of touch with the lower ranks, most notably Dr T. All the vice presidents are actually "yes men" (okay there are *finally* multiple women vice presidents as of 2015...only 40 years in since the company's inception; can you say good Ole boys club?) For US based employees it is doubtful there will ever be any more glory days. Plan to watch more and more jobs go overseas. You'll be waking up early to work with European countries and staying up late to work with Asian countries. Work life balance that supposed to be amazing only exists if you are in engineering. Any other part of the organization you can expect to work a typical 50 to 60 HR week. Finally, know that if you have worked at NI longer than 5 years your salaries are compressed. This used to be compensated by the incentive stock options, but now that they have changed to restricted stock options much fewer people are given any reason to stay.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out an exit strategy for Dr T to go. We spent decades preparing for his exit. It's time to execute. Consider returning to ISOs instead of RSUs. More can participate and should slowdown turnover.



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