Its changed a lot, and has lost much of itself due to which.
Support from management
Direct management was always useful and very helpful. Higher management, to the point where their names became unknown, has created frequent problems for the chain of underlings that was ill supported or poorly executed. Still probably the best you'll find around.
Inside Softlayer, teamwork is fantastic. Situations where no one knows how to escalate inside of ibm is a large scale problem I don't foresee being resolved.
Freedom to work independently
In most of the company, people are trusted to work by themselves and resolve issues on project or deadlines basis. However, lower levels are expected to follow wiki articles possibly written over 8 years ago to which no one knows its there from the way they can search, only by knowing the fixes or having someone tell them the places to search.
To some level this worked, however this is arguably one of the biggest issues plaguing ibm as a whole.
Overall compensation for your work
While I feel I got compensated fairly, there is a number of issues around this claim. Largely, the people thinking they are compensated fairly are those who have alternative reasons to stay than money.
Most lower management is willing to work directly between employees and hr to get work-life situations resolved.
Not anymore. I have no helpful words here. I wish i did. I truly do. I am proud of the work I do, but to be a part of the company is not a feature to which I feel capable of being proud of.
Lower level jobs such as SBTs are in constant fear of their jobs, while higher jobs like the networking folks or administrators can fail without this fear. This too has became more stable since ibm, however there is still a large sense of disdain throughout the company regarding this.
While I'm not handicap, I do keep a close monitor to these issues. There is several ways this becomes incapable independently such as SBT roles in certain situations; however overall this is vastly more conscious about these issues than many places throughout dallas.
Suggestions for improvement
- Understand what job your underlings really do. Not what you assume they do. If someone says something or reports something but automation can't give you the same report, it's probably wrong, or the automation is inadequate for the reporting task. Spend 5 minutes, learn the tasks currently employed; then spend 5 minutes to learn what affects the new actions would have on their productivity as well as their ability to continue supporting the infrastructure. You shouldn't have to have yearly hiring freezes, you shouldn't have to have continued restructuring just to stay applicable. These are things that should be valid only when things are on top. instead, you do this at the worst times. These founding principles the company has long maintained are the only reason I have any intention towards leaving softlayer. Please, play a few rounds of chess. Battle ship even. learn what you're doing before enacting it. Not during the recovery phase from each situation.
What I like about the company
I enjoy many things about softlayer, most of which being the depth of automation, the technical skills available, and the direct management.
What I dislike about the company
The entire time employed, and most can find the same, there remains this air of inability to resolve the basic issues. By basic, I mean issues stemming from people unwilling or unable to communicate with the people most affected by a new product or service or action required by them. Instead it's dropped on them like a ball, everyone freaks out and rushes, and exposes great weaknesses to the company every time this happens. This is a daily issue throughout ibm and a (approx) bi-monthly issue on softlayer's individual side. This is a catastrophic downfall that I had hoped to point out to them one day.