The 25 Best Tech Companies To Work For In 2012

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Google and Facebook get a whole lot of hype. But what are the real best tech companies to work for in the world?Does Google have the best benefits and job security? Which tech company has a jazz quartet during lunch hour?

With help from Glassdoor.com, we’ve put together a list of the 25 best tech companies to work for right now.

The reviews appear to account for culture, lifestyle and what you can learn while working there — not necessarily the upside for your career.

All reviews and ratings taken into account are from the past 12 months, and only companies with more than 25 total reviews were included.

25. Microsoft still affects millions of people and is a great place to work right out of college.

Company Rating: 3.5

CEO Approval: Steve Ballmer, 46%

Bottom Line: Once the top technology company in the world, Microsoft has made several missteps in its attempts to compete with Google and Apple. That being said, Microsoft employees still impact millions of people on a daily basis and there are a lot of resources for career development. And we're pretty sure having Microsoft on your resume looks great.

Employee feedback:

'Welfare is good. It also has 'benefit of scale'. I mean, if you change one feature or ship one new product, it has the chance of changing the lives of millions of people. That is what some small companies can't offer. They also have very rich resource for career development.'

'They provide grass route level of access to developers and multiple opportunities. It's easy to work under the certified trainers assigned throughout the technology evolution.'

'Due to recent changes in the review model, Microsoft is a less desirable place to work. The company has become excessively focused on metrics which detracts from focusing on the long term success of the company.'

24. Barracuda Networks is great if you're a young gun, but feels a bit clique-y.

Company Rating: 3.5

CEO Approval: Dean Drako, 68%

Bottom Line: Barracuda Networks is a great company for young professionals, but appears to have a bit of a clique-y environment and doesn't pay as well as other companies. It's a great place for learning how to become a better engineer.

Employee Feedback:

'Good team mates, nice atmosphere, lots of things to learn for someone who is new to networking or application side networking.'

'The pay is little compared to others in the industry with the same title. The staff can be very clicky and gossipy.'

'Its a point of pride with the managers they pay 15% below valley average. There is no feedback other than the yearly review which they nit pick anything you may have done wrong and do not allow you to explain yourself.'

23. Texas Instruments is run by sales-oriented people, but the work environment is great.

Company Rating: 3.5

CEO Approval: Rich Templeton, 73%

Bottom Line: Texas Instruments is a technical company managed by sales-oriented people, which means managers don't always know the ins and outs of what you're working on. This can also make it hard to move up into leadership positions as a tech person. The pay isn't as good, but the work environment is great.

Employee feedback:

'Relatively high work volume. Not the highest paying company but this is compensated by a better work environment.'

'Good opportunities or growth even for young people, good salary, reasonable work like balance.'

'Conservative and risk averse at large.'

22. NVIDIA employees love their CEO, and it's working on next-generation technology.

Company Rating: 3.5

CEO Approval: Jen-Hsun Huang, 86%

Bottom Line: The pay isn't as good as other technology companies, but NVIDIA employees are big fans of their CEO and the company's friendly work atmosphere. NVIDIA is also becoming more important thanks to the emergence of the 'system on a chip,' which is used in most smartphones -- so you're on the cutting edge.

Employee Feedback:

'Very progressive company, keeps pushing the front line of this industry. Comes up with new awesome products each year. I worked in Mobile department. The working hours were flexible and you can work at home. However, most people there work overtime.'

'Poor employee development options, as training opportunities are curtailed in the name of 'cost cutting.' Favoritism is rampant. Dumb people with a salesman tongue regularly have lunch with their managers.'

'Chance to learn about cutting edge technology. Exposure to games/graphics industry. Work/Life balance is great.'

21. Accenture is a huge company, but it's attacking a lot of interesting problems.

Company Rating: 3.6

CEO Approval: Pierre Nanterme, 90%

Bottom Line: A provider of IT and other technology services, Accenture is a massive company that tackles a lot of interesting problems and provides a lot of flexibility. But like most huge companies, it's growing slowly and your work isn't always noticed.

Employee Feedback:

'Lots of interesting projects in my industry and specialisation. Great pipeline of work. Most importantly, I feel that by working hard and smart, by networking, and through a little luck, the opportunity for advancement is high.'

'Great people in management and peer group. Flexible with part-time, full-time options. Compensation is good. Good review process for promotion process.'

'In Accenture even though its a good company the growth is slow. In addition sometimes your work doesn't get noticed by everyone.'

20. Intuit is about as solid as it gets, even if it's hard to get promoted.

Company Rating: 3.6

CEO Approval: Brad Smith, 84%

Bottom Line: Intuit is a pretty decent place to work. The compensation is fine, there are decent on-site services and there are plenty of opportunities to learn. That being said, it can be hard to move up in Intuit's hierarchy.

Employee Feedback

'No growth opportunity. All the senior open positions are given to friends of senior management and often inexperience and incompetent people are hired for open positions. Hence its hard to grow in Intuit IT.'

'Great people, great on-site services (there's a gym, a game room), extensive training initially and then additional training intermittently.'

'Good work life balance, decent compensation, good opportunities to learn, opportunities and forums for new ideas, good teams that are generally non political.'

Company Rating: 3.6

CEO Approval: Andrew Mason, 78%

Bottom Line: Groupon is a young company with a gigantic sales staff populated by 20-somethings, so it can feel extremely chaotic at times. The pace is comparable to a 'Kenyan sprint.' A great company for young, driven tech enthusiasts.

Employee Feedback:

'Groupon is a great company to work for, if you are young, extroverted, and thrive in an environment of high uncertainty. The job is perfect for the cliche self-starter who wants to have fun at work while putting in a high degree of effort.'

'Too much focus on the product while neglecting policy, back office and employee morale. Good policy and efficiency were killed with initiatives like 'Kill bureaucracy.''

'Awesome place to work as a developer. Engineering is still very small - they have some of the best people around. Work hours are still sane - not bad compare to other startups. A lot of exciting things to be built and a great opportunity to learn and grow.'

18. Intel has an open, collaborative environment and pays pretty well — but it's still hard to move.

Company Rating: 3.6

CEO Approval: Paul S. Otellini, 94%

Bottom Line: Intel is a solid company with a long, storied history of building great products. It's an open, collaborative work environment with decent compensation and benefits compared to other tech companies. Still, it's a big company -- so it can take some time for the company to execute on key decisions.

Employee Feedback:

'Lots of projects to work on and many brilliant minds open for collaboration. if you are motivated, you can make anything you put you mind to become a reality!'

'I've been there for over 7 years (right out of college). Great people and benefits. Compensation is good. Lots of work/life flexibility. I work from home 1 day a week and am able to take extended lunches or leave early so long as the work gets done. That being said, when it gets busy it gets busy and you can expect to work very long hours.'

'Overwhelming information. Slow decision making. Not very efficient processes. As a result people need to work hard to get things done.'

17. Morningstar makes sure its employees feel welcome and has a lot of room for upward mobility.

Company Rating: 3.6

CEO Approval: Joe Mansueto, 95%

Bottom Line: The financial data services company doesn't pay as well as other technology companies, but it's incredibly inclusive for its employees and there's a lot of room for upward mobility. Also: a casual dress code and free sodas.

Employee Feedback:

'Morningstar does not pay competitively. It's a great place, but the salary makes it hard to not look at positions outside the company.'

'Informal, university-like work culture, lots of collaboration and learning within teams.'

'Good and flexible working hours. A lot of time after work. Great benefits. CFA and Booth MBA are two things many people pursue at Morningstar. Flat working structure. Welcoming environment and good morale. People are helpful. One can excel and will be recognised if you put effort into it.'

16. Adobe has a lot of opportunities to try new things.

Company Rating: 3.7

CEO Approval: Shantanu Narayen, 67%

Bottom Line: Adobe produces a lot of software that most publishers use today, like Photoshop. It's also not a bad place to work either -- the work/life balance is great and there are plenty of opportunities to switch career path.

Employee Feedback:

'Great benefits... Really. I work for a company that everyone else is impressed with. It's good for the resume. Free software. In my position I get fun tech toys to play with. I work for a company that I respect.'

'Extreme RIFs nearly every November. High-level changes of corporate direction several times a year. Moving most programming to China and India.'

'Global company with tons of opportunities to grow, switch career paths, relocate, etc. Great work/life balance, a company core value.'

15. NetApp has a beloved executive, but it's a bit of an old company.

Company Rating: 3.7

CEO Approval: Tom Georgens, 100%

Bottom Line: NetApp has a killer executive team that values its employees, but the culture can feel a bit 'old' for 20-somethings looking for a fast-paced technology company.

Employee Feedback:

'I feel like this company would be an awesome place to work if I had a family and children that I wanted to be able to spend time with. However, as a nerdy workaholic in my low 20's, I want to find some work that I can be truly passionate about -- I want to *want* to spend all my time working, or with people from work.'

'Culture, highly collaborative, focus on customers, focus on growth. Company values are lived out across the organisation. Company is not afraid to take risks to advance with customers & grow.'

'Many long time NetApp people, therefore company suffers from lack of mid-level managerial talent and competence. Certain groups (Marketing, Professional Services, Management Software Product Group) are disorganized and dysfunctional.'

14. SAP America is driven by salespeople, and still feels like a German company.

Company Rating: 3.8

CEO Approval: Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, 85%

Bottom Line: A sales-driven company, the enterprise software provider has good work-life balance and you can work from pretty much anywhere in the world. But the company is still German centric.

Employee Feedback:

'SAP has passionate senior and executive leadership with lots of game changing innovation and an extremely loyal and dedicated customer base - great place to work and sell.'

'Sales driven company. Negative impact on communications and processing due to hierarchy.'

'Managers are supportive and fair; Very nice working environment, great people. Benefits are good and there is good sense of cooperation across silos.'

13. QUALCOMM loves its employees and gives them a solid work/life balance.

Company Rating: 3.8

CEO Approval: Paul E. Jacobs, 89%

Bottom Line: Qualcomm invests a lot of money in its employees, but if you aren't aggressive enough you might not be a lot of upward mobility. Qualcomm has an excellent work/life balance.

Employee Feedback:

'Overall a good working environment, technically challenging, employees helpful and friendly. Company invests in its people. Benefits are very good.'

'The way they hold work-life balance in a high regard, a flexible company that values its employees and treats them very well.'

Company Rating: 3.8

CEO Approval: Mark B. Templeton, 92%

Bottom Line: Citrix has a headquarters in Florida, which is seen as kind of a 'podunk' location. But if you can stand working remotely away from the headquarters, the perks are great and the company has a good work/life balance.

Employee Feedback:

'Headquartered in Florida sort of podunk mentality compared to other software companies I have worked for. People don't get back to you. Sense of urgency is low.'

'Mark Templeton, the CEO, has a charitable and good philosophy about life, and how to run a company.'

'Not much to get in the way of pure development, plenty of support, great attitude, amazing work environment, the feeling one can do anything is fostered. Simply put, the best place I've ever worked.'

11. Wayfair is a young, fast-moving company that's great — if you can keep up.

Company Rating: 3.8

CEO Approval: Niraj Shah, 96%

Bottom Line: A very fast-moving, young company, it's easy to get caught up in the number of things Wayfair is trying to do. But the company treats its employees well and still offers equity to its employees.

Employee Feedback:

'Short individual and interesting projects gives responsibility to take the project from the beginning to the end. Very open environment where people are willing to share information and help out.'

'The pay is low. It is right in Boston, so you are paying to commute or live in the city. The pay should be higher to reflect this, but it is something that they are working on.'

'Great coworkers, young community. The company tries to provide group building activities by giving cash ever month to go out with your group. Generally a good attitude around the office, except it is a tolling position when you're getting yelled at so there is definite negativity as well.'

10 National Instruments has a lot of office perks, but doesn't pay as well.

Company Rating: 3.8

CEO Approval: James T. Truchard, 100%

Bottom Line: National Instruments has all the perks of a big tech company -- on site cafeterias, fitness centres and other things to make the office awesome. But some employees complained that the compensation was not as competitive as other companies.

Employee Feedback:

'NI has some bright people. They recruit at very good universities, especially UT Austin, and they focus more on technical interview questions than most other companies. This focus helps ensure that they hire people who can solve problems creatively, instead of just automatons with high GPAs who thrive within the school system.'

'NI is a big company trying to pretend it's still a small company. At 5200+ employees, it's not a small company anymore, and as such, it suffers from the increased bureaucracy, impeded communication, and longer work hours that usually goes along with having a bigger company.'

'If you are lucky to work in a group with a good manager, working at NI can be wonderful. A good manager being defined as someone who understands work/life balance and is flexible with your work schedule where possible, someone who advocates for you, etc.'

Company Rating: 3.9

CEO Approval: Marc Benioff, 88%

Bottom Line: After basically jump-starting the cloud computing revolution, Marc Benioff has spent his time building a fast-paced company that hires aggressively. Jerks are 'not allowed' at Salesforce.com.

Employee Feedback:

'The people are smart, genuinely happy, get their work done and do it well. I'd do anything to help my teammates and my manager out, and know they'd do the same for me. People are respectful, fair, honest.'

'Very demanding. Be prepared to work hard and sometimes long hours. A lot of Management reviews and presentations.'

'Good company overall, but not sure if senior management are all good and able to keep up with the growth of the company. Management can 'talk' but can't 'deliver' -- meaning they can present and show a very good deck in front of audience, but in actuality, their deliverable and overall execution are so so or even very bad.'

Company Rating: 3.9

CEO Approval: A. Lanham Napier, 84%

Bottom Line: Rackspace has hired up a bunch of outside management that doesn't exactly know the culture yet. But the company is still dominated by 'Rackers': engineers and employees that pride themselves on a relaxed, family-friendly office culture.

Employee Feedback:

'The culture is unmatched. You can't beat the Rackspace culture, and for the most part they live up to their core values. The Rackers are really what makes Rackspace a great place to work, and the CEO allows for that organic process to take place. On-site dodgeball tournaments, water slides, company parties, you name it.'

'The grapevine is full of verifiable stories of techs (regardless of discipline) leaving the company and receiving 50-100% raises, large options/stock grants, large relocation packages, etc.'

'The fellow administrators (Rackers) are amazing people and the company does a lot to foster that family feeling. The building has a lot of perks and makes it somewhat comfortable place to be. If you happen to work first shift, there are lots of opportunities to train and such. And of course you have a lot of freedom in how you dress, etc.'

7. Apple still makes some of the best products in the world, if you can handle the competitive culture.

Company Rating: 3.9

CEO Approval: Tim Cook, 96%

Bottom Line: There isn't a lot of upward mobility at the company and the culture is incredibly competitive at Apple. But don't let that stop you -- at Apple, you're working with some of the most talented individuals in the world on products that millions of people use every day.

Employee Feedback:

'Exciting work that impacts a LOT of people. Operates more like a (collection of) startups rather than a big company.'

'There is no room for mediocrity at Apple. If you're not an 'A' performer, it will become apparent all too soon and you'll be down the road at Google.'

'It's Apple. Great technology, great products.'

6. CareerBuilder is still a fun job, and you can finish up your degree.

Company Rating: 4.0

CEO Approval: Matt Ferguson, 97%

Bottom Line: A great place to grow your career, CareerBuilder will pay to help you finish up your education while you're employed. But the salaries aren't as competitive as other technology companies.

Employee Feedback:

'Many career opportunities and trainings for professional development. Offer great tuition reimbursement program and health and wellness program.'

'The only thing I can see as a draw back is that from what I have heard you do not get paid as much as other companies.'

'From a great work environment to being able to come into the office in jeans and a t-shirt this workplace is great. From what I hear you don't get paid as much as some other places but the atmosphere and other benefits greatly outweigh the salary aspect.'

5. Google is, well... Google.

Company Rating: 4.0

CEO Approval: Larry Page, 92%

Bottom Line: Google is still one of the best places to work in the world -- it has the best perks, some of the best offices and employs some of the most talented people in the world. But as it grows larger, it's encountering more scaling problems, leading to increased bureaucracy and less upward mobility.

Employee Feedback:

'Really smart people, great benefits, amazing level of transparency and access, people -especially at the top are really committed to 'getting it right'.'

'For more senior people, odds are, you're going to be waiting a long time for any kind of promotion. You will also be way older than most of the people you work with, and your manager may or may not understand family commitments.'

'Everybody who's paying attention knows how great the perks are. Between on-site gyms, massage, a wide selection of health benefits, 401k and stock grants, competitive salary, and of course the free, gourmet meals, it's one of the cushiest jobs in Silicon Valley.'

4. MITRE handles a lot of exciting, next-generation science projects.

3. LinkedIn is starting to feel like a big company, but it's still the most transparent and fun place out there.

Company Rating: 4.1

CEO Approval: Jeff Weiner, 92%

Bottom Line: LinkedIn was one of the most successful initial public offerings of 2011. So while the chance to make a ton of money has probably passed, here's what's left: one of the most transparent and open workplaces in technology. It's a company that still places a ton of value on individual ideas and talent, and does its best to keep its employees happy.

Employee Feedback:

'Big ideas welcome, easy to get leadership support for projects/ideas. Solid executive team focused on long term vision of the company.'

'If you like process, structure, and careful decision making you'll be disappointed. Also, we are no longer as agile as we used to be, but we try to be. It is a public company, but it doesn't yet feel that way. It will get there eventually though.'

'I have a rewarding and challenging role for an innovative, dynamic and fast paced company. The recognition of individuals success and aptitude is a fundamental aspect within LinkedIn. The motivational culture and values make this company a genuine pleasure and inspirational place to work!'

2. Facebook is impacting a seventh of the world's population, and it has fantastic culture.

Company Rating: 4.3

CEO Approval: Mark Zuckerberg, 89%

Bottom Line: The youngest of the top tech companies in Silicon Valley, Facebook is ruthlessly efficient in hiring the best engineers and keeping them happy. Its Menlo Park campus is a hacker's heaven, and employees are working on a product that's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Employee Feedback:

'My coworkers are the smartest people I have ever worked with. They love their jobs and they work hard. But they keep a balance in their lives.'

'I've worked at 5 different companies before here, from investment banking, CPGs, to 3 other tech companies and nothing beats this. People are amazing not to mention wicked smart. You'll be surrounded by the most talented people in the world all with a mission to change the world.'

'The ability to take an idea and turn it into a reality without the need for level after level of approval. Only really massive changes require any significant oversight at all.'

1. Guidewire gives its employees a ton of responsibility — and support.

Company Rating: 4.4

CEO Approval: Marcus Ryu, 98%

Bottom Line: Guidewire is chock full of talented and incredibly smart engineers that work alongside upper management, enabling 'super-quick' upward job mobility.The company has a solid cash flow, and while the compensation is about average, it offers stock options to new hires.

Employee feedback:

'Lots of responsibility and accountability. Company is constantly attempting to improve it's product lines and to provide tools to make projects go faster and easier.'

'The best part of working at Guidewire is that its corporate values are embraced at all levels, even all the way to the highest levels of executive management. Also, Guidewire is a very egalitarian company. The company truly values all contributors.'

'Guidewire was a very cordial place to work. They seem to genuinely care about input from the employees. Still has a bit of a start-up feel.'

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