Sun Microsystems

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Sun Microsystems Reviews

Updated 8 December 2014
Updated 8 December 2014
1,031 Reviews
4.0
1,031 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sun Microsystems CEO (Oracle) Lawrence J. Ellison
Lawrence J. Ellison
83 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible working conditions, ability to work from home (in 209 reviews)

  • Great technology, lots of smart people and a good work life balance (in 118 reviews)


Cons
  • Inexperienced senior management after Scott McNealy was no longer at the reins (in 76 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in London, England
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in London, England

    I worked at Sun Microsystems as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing compensation benefits and insurance

    Cons

    work pressure is not that well balanced

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    better resource management

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Probably the most amazing company I worked for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Camberley, England
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Camberley, England

    I worked at Sun Microsystems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Amazing 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.

    Cons

    When 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 ManagementAdvice

    Ah we'll it's all a bit too late now.

    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great Company untile the spreadsheet jockies moved in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Sales Manager in London, England

    I worked at Sun Microsystems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Passionate 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

    Cons

    Managers 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Manager in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Manager in Edinburgh, Scotland

    I worked at Sun Microsystems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people, good facility and good technology

    Cons

    Career progression was limited, salary could have been higher.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in City of London, England
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in City of London, England

    I have been working at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

    Very 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

    Cons

    Poor 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 ManagementAdvice

    If you get together to create another Sun, I am willing to join!

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    The Sun is setting

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Programmer Manager in Linlithgow, Scotland
    Former Employee - Programmer Manager in Linlithgow, Scotland

    I worked at Sun Microsystems

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Once great .....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

    Company 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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great shame to see a once proud company get taken over

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Support Services Manager
    Current Employee - Support Services Manager

    I have been working at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

    Still 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

    Cons

    Reputation 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 ManagementAdvice

    They'll be too busy looking after their own skins post acquisition.

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Linlithgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Linlithgow, Scotland

    I have been working at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    tough environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sun Microsystems

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please bear in mind, that every employees is a precious and intelligent individual, and not a dumb resource

    Approves of CEO

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