Sun Microsystems

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Sun Microsystems Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 1,007 reviews

55% Approve of the CEO

Sun Microsystems CEO (Oracle) Lawrence J. Ellison

Lawrence J. Ellison

(77 ratings)

60% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible working conditions, ability to work from home (in 210 reviews)

  • Great technology, lots of smart people and a good work life balance (in 116 reviews)


Cons
  • Inexperienced senior management after Scott McNealy was no longer at the reins (in 75 reviews)

  • Upper management didn't know how to monetize (in 49 reviews)

More Highlights
1,007 Employee Reviews
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    Excellent place to work

    Database Administrator (Former Employee) London, England

    ProsAmazing compensation benefits and insurance

    Conswork pressure is not that well balanced

    Advice to Senior Managementbetter resource management

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Probably the most amazing company I worked for

    Principal Engineer (Former Employee) Camberley, England

    ProsAmazing minds, cutting edge technology, ability and opportunities to learn. Quality training at least in the earlier years before the cutbacks kicked in.

    I had the great fortune to work for Sun whilst it was still in its ascendency and experienced an amazing place to be an engineer. So many clever people that were happy to help out, to share their knowledge and lead by example.
    Sun engineers strived to be the best, to solve problems and to provide fixes, in essence to do the right thing by the customer.

    There were also opportunities to travel. Sun had annual tech training for their entire engineering and support organisation. My first experience of this was Denver, followed by San Francisco and later I got to present to my peers in Las Vegas. Such incredible times, such amazing memories.
    Then there was the 2000 kick off event in Disneyland, Paris. Clearly Sun were doing very well at this point.

    Oh course in the early years there were beer busts every month, a professional but relaxed atmosphere and such a vibe as the company was growing so fast.
    Processes were there and for the most part made sense but management were open to feedback from engineers and often sought them out to solve problems.

    As a techie it was such a cool place to learn, grow and become a better engineer.

    ConsWhen the cuts really kicked in, the culture changed. Management dictated policy, processes and direction and the engineers began to be treated like children.
    Then there were the annual reductions in force (layoffs) that sapped morale and got everyone nervous.
    Training later suffered as the quality trainers we're let go and contractors were brought in, when you could get it (this was after years of no pay rises, so training was offered as alternatives until that got too expensive).

    Did I mention lack of pay rises?

    After a few years management knew they couldn't change anything, so didn't bother. Annual reviews became pointless, depressing and futile. There were quotas on how many top grades could be given out each year, so even if you'd over performed in the current year, if you'd had a grade 1 review the previous year, tough ... you'd get a lesser grade this year.
    This encouraged everyone to do the bare minimum and as such quality suffered.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAh we'll it's all a bit too late now.

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    Great Company untile the spreadsheet jockies moved in

    Sales Manager (Former Employee) London, England

    ProsPassionate product people, good reputation, majority of people strive to do the right thing for the customer, some great people and true friends can be made

    ConsManagers of spreadsheets not people, personal careers get more attention than revenue, head office mentality, if you are not there then you don't count. Bureaucracy is created that fulfils job roles, justifies peoples existience and strangled growth and the can do attitutude the company had when Scott McNealy was there

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    A good experience but frustrating at times due to strange decisions from senior management

    Manufacturing Manager (Former Employee) Edinburgh, Scotland

    ProsGood people, good facility and good technology

    ConsCareer progression was limited, salary could have been higher.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    It was great, it is a pity it is over!

    Marketing Manager (Current Employee) City of London, England

    ProsVery technology driven and innovative
    Innovation and R&D comes first
    People are individuals, not an army
    A lot of room for creativity and ideas generation, implementation

    ConsPoor operational alignment has made the company less profitable
    Flexible working hours have also impacted the overall success of the business
    As a result there is no more Sun Microsystems

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you get together to create another Sun, I am willing to join!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    The Sun is setting

    Programmer Manager (Former Employee) Linlithgow, Scotland

    Pros- Some great people to work with.
    - Good, competitive salaries.
    - Invest in their employees, good training oppurtunities.

    Cons- Too many Re-orgs, hinders productivity.
    - Fear culture, created by adopting employee rating practices similar to that of GE.
    - Politics between BU's.
    - Useless middle management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPick a direction and stick to it for a while, let everyone settle in and complete projects before deciding on another re-org.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Once great .....

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCompany is now imploding on itself
    Most Senior Management have completely disappeared
    Middle Management still trying to do their best
    Superb work/life balance
    Great colleagues

    ConsThe sadness that a once great company is soon to be no more
    The workload is getting heavier
    Job cuts being made in the wrong area and now affecting customer satisfaction

    Advice to Senior ManagementAt least make the effort to be visible....
    Hopefully the good ones will make the transition and the bad ones recognised and let go

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    Great people, great products, just too expensive for people to buy and lack of strategy from upper level management

    Program Manager (Current Employee) Linlithgow, Scotland

    ProsThe salary
    The people are mostly great
    The products are world class, but too expensive and things that customers don't value

    ConsThe senior leadership lack of strategy
    They don't know what customers value
    Wrong location for design
    Opex is running too high

    Advice to Senior ManagementHand over to someone else who knows what they are doing, move design to asia and close all USA operations to a minimum.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great shame to see a once proud company get taken over

    Support Services Manager (Current Employee)

    ProsStill an open culture, candid views are expressed and not squashed.
    Loose, some might say lax, day to day management of staff in the Field - you are essentially your own boss.
    Good benefits, even though salaries are lagging.
    Still proud to work for such an innovative company

    ConsReputation has taken such a knock in the market place.
    Uncertainty as to what will happen once assimilated into Oracle.
    Morale has taken endless battering over the years with layoffs and poor performance - no longer the same Fun@Sun.
    Poor senior management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThey'll be too busy looking after their own skins post acquisition.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    tough environment

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSun's still a very competitve environment in terms of knowledge transfer regarding modern IT trends. The people at Sun are

    ConsWorking for a company with a steady productivity increasy without an equivalent growth makes life hard

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease bear in mind, that every employees is a precious and intelligent individual, and not a dumb resource

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