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Anyone here ever work at HP?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Chopped, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Chopped

    Chopped Member

    Mar 28, 2006
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    How is it? I hear all these horror stories regarding HP and I have an interview tomorrow for an Engineering position. If you don't work there but have heard positives/negatives feel free to chime in.
  2. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

    Oct 27, 1999
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    Don't let anyone mess with your head before your interview. This question is for when they give you an offer.

    And for our next conversation after you get offered the job, I might need you to ,,, yeah, go ahead, and yeah get "Office Space" in your hotflix queue now. And then, yeah, I'm going to have to ask you go ahead and watch it this Saturday. umkay. thx

    And "IT Crowd" for Sunday.
  3. huypham

    huypham Contributing Member

    Aug 15, 2001
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    It largely depends on where you work. The Server department is a well-ran business, and it generates good margin. The PC department lacks direction and its margins are quickly eroding.

    Put it this way. I jumped ship 2 months into working at a well-paid position at HP.

    I don't have faith that Meg can turn it around. Shoot me an email for more details.

    [Edit: I agree with heypartner on this one - Get the job first.]
  4. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

    Mar 31, 2000
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    I have previously worked at HP. I worked there for about 8 years in both Finance and IT functions.

    It is not the same company that it used to be and the famous corporate culture that they were known for (the HP way) from the 60s through the 90s is LONG gone.

    Their stock price is terrible, and unless they turn things around it might remain that way (although they had a good run from when they were in the toilet around 2002 up until about 2008, so maybe you can get in on some good buys).

    401K matching is kind of lame...last I heard it was only 3%. All their pensions are gone too.

    The company itself has one of the worst boards on corporate America and they seem to go through CEOs about as much as the Raiders go through head coaches.

    With all of those negatives out of the way. Here are the positives:

    HP pays very well for incoming people "off the open market". Get what you can up front because promotion and merit increases are not very good. Be prepared to work at your starting salary, or within 3-5% of that salary for a while. If they want you and you negotiate hard, you can nail down a good salary and even a signing bonus. Don't take HR's word that they'll make up things later on salary...negotiate high up front.

    The people in the middle ranks and those that have survived the various mergers and layoffs tend to be top notch. They still have a lot of people there from when they were a very innovative company and you can learn quite a bit. Because of that...

    HP still is considered one of the best companies in the world to have on your resume. They still have the reputation of having a strong workforce, so having HP on your resume still means something. They are known for a place where other companies pick off top talent.

    They have very good insurance.

    Their vacation structure gives you an additional day every year you work there (if you are an experienced hire, negotiate well on this too). Rather than make you wait 5 years for 5 additional vacation days, they give you one extra every year, so you net a lot more vacation days over time.

    If you work at their 249 location, its an easy place to live close by and not have a bad commute in some nice neighborhoods (that are well priced).

    Overall, I'd still take a job at HP if I needed one, especially if I could get in a technical group and learn a lot. I wouldn't think its a long term career option, but for some of the reasons above (good starting salary, good experience, good resume builder) it might be worth taking a shot.

    One other thing about HP:

    There is a very large gap between "executives" and "employees" in terms of salary and benefits. Even Junior Directors make huge salaries/total comp compared to the senior managers that report to them. At that magical gap between the rank and file "M" job grades and the "E" job grades, salaries go through the roof.

    Example: An M26 (master level) to M27 (manager level) both have giant pay ranges. M26 might be from 100K to 150K and M27 might be 120K to 170K. (I don't know...made up numbers.) They try to get everyone to the mid point, so the average difference between an M26 and M27 might be 10-15K for a level up. An M29, however (Senior Manager) to E3 (Junior Director) might go from $160K to $400K in total compensation...and huge bumps up from there.

    So the moral of the story...its good to be an "executive" (probably the top 5,000 managers) at HP...one of the highest paid exec workforces around.

    At O&G firms, the difference don't actually get that big until you are talking the C level jobs (CEO, CIO, CFO). They are more flat.
  5. ogretrunks

    ogretrunks Member

    Jun 3, 2011
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    Just to share my experience, I just actually joined HP as a Technology Consultant.
    I have been with them since the end of August and I'm offsite/based in a client.

    Although the stocks are down and its way past the HP way glory days, the positive points I can share are:

    1. Its still a fortune 500 company.
    2. Benefits are top notch if not world class.
    3. You can haggle for a 20% increase from you previous salary and a sign on bonus.
    4. Flexible hours and output oriented instead of being a clock in clock out system.

    Good luck!
  6. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

    Feb 22, 2002
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    I was originally a Compaq employee working for the ProLiant server business (ISS). That company was extraordinary... fast-paced, folks were well-compensated and rewarded for success. There were concerns and stresses about the competition (IBM from above, Dell from below) which helped lead to the acquisition by HP. I was asked to participate in the "clean room" where integration was planned and executed, so I saw early on what the major differences between HP and Compaq. ISS (ProLiant) was seen as an "adopt and go" business so our integration was minimal (HP's own competing server business was much smaller and way behind, hence the decision to mostly allow the ISS business to continue with minimal change).

    Unfortunately, there were significant cultural differences (Compaq was "shoot from the hip" while HP was slowed by "decision by consensus"). HP didn't even have the concept of "agility" in their business plan. Also, HP employees hadn't had raises in years, so Compaq employees often found themselves at the top of salary bands and were faced with future salary challenges. There were also issues and controversy about whether such a large IT merger could succeed, including in-fighting among the HP Board. the transition from Capellas (a well-liked, approachable, and respected CEO) to Carly (an incompetent, aloof and disliked CEO) and the frustrations caused by the new culture led to many of the Compaq people's departures (including my own).

    Then the economic downturn hit, along with numerous bad decisions by HP, including really bad CEO decisions (Carly was a fiasco, Hurd was sharp and money-focused but at the cost of R&D and then his affair ended his stint, then Leo was another horrible hire (he was a fail at SAP, and rumor has it that the Board never met with him in person prior to hiring him; and now Meg... with no experience running an enterprise IT company). Major acquisitions that were questioned (EDS, Palm, Autonomy). Flip-flopping on their PC business. R&D collapses (amazing from a company whose logo is "HP Invent").
    A string of layoffs, coupled with wage freezes and even a few temporary wage cuts. The Houston campus (housing ProLiant, BladeSystem, and the PC businesses) has been shrunk down to a fraction of its former size.

    That all said... it is a company with too much technology, too much history, and too many sharp people to fail. And challenges create opportunity. Add to that what has been said previously... it really all depends on the business unit and the department you work for, and who your manager and team members are. When I worked for ISS and later when I helped kick off the BladeSystem business, there was no better place to work and I would go back there in a heartbeat if the opportunity arose.
  7. Luckkky

    Luckkky Member

    Feb 17, 2009
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    I worked there for about a year and it was my first IT job as a Systems Analyst.

    I was part of the the laptop group working on the "Longhorn" project which was the initial launch of Window's Vista.

    Only thing was, I was an "Orange" badge and the only important people there are the ones with the "White" badge.

    Overrall it was a very laid back environment to work in back then with alot of gaming and testing and moving watching for test purpose ofcourse.

    The only real problem with the place was people got laid off left and right and new people comes in all the time. You barely get comfortable in one spot and then you're moved to another.

    Good luck on your new position.
  8. JeopardE

    JeopardE Contributing Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    ONE extra day per year? My company (also a very large Fortune 500 tech company) already gives me 14+ hours vacation time per month and this is my 8th year. I take 3-4 weeks of time off every year. Thanks for reminding me just how awesome my company is.

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