Careers

IBM vs Blackberry?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 11th, 2018 10:38 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
946 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga

IBM vs Blackberry?

I am a third year CS student and I recently received an offer for a developer internship on the IBM cloud team. It will be my first internship, I also have an offer from Blackberry. Which company would you guys choose between the two? I am hoping it would be a good stepping stone to more opportunities in the software industry. For those of you interested in getting interviews at these companies you can just apply directly.
22 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
17124 posts
9862 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
It will depend on the environment that you work well in.

IBM is a long established tech company and as such will have a lot of red tape and processes/procedures to follow. It will probably have better opportunities to see different segments of the technology field as they are in a lot of different areas and may serve as a stepping stone to different areas of the industry that you aren't familiar with.

On the other hand, Blackberry is pretty much the opposite of IBM. It's currently focused on a few related lines and is doing relatively well considering how far back them came from. They probably have less red tape than IBM so there might be more freedom there. The opportunities will be fewer as they have fewer areas but the opportunities that are there will be more focused.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
946 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga
craftsman wrote: It will depend on the environment that you work well in.

IBM is a long established tech company and as such will have a lot of red tape and processes/procedures to follow. It will probably have better opportunities to see different segments of the technology field as they are in a lot of different areas and may serve as a stepping stone to different areas of the industry that you aren't familiar with.

On the other hand, Blackberry is pretty much the opposite of IBM. It's currently focused on a few related lines and is doing relatively well considering how far back them came from. They probably have less red tape than IBM so there might be more freedom there. The opportunities will be fewer as they have fewer areas but the opportunities that are there will be more focused.
Thanks, it is only a 4 month internship so which one do you think will open more doors for me going forward and look better on the resume?
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
17124 posts
9862 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
motime wrote: Thanks, it is only a 4 month internship so which one do you think will open more doors for me going forward and look better on the resume?
IBM will look better as it's better known for what it's doing right now. Blackberry. where you might learn more, is lesser known and may have name-brand recognition issues with other companies/hiring managers as they may still think of it as a failed phone company rather than a security software company.
Sr. Member
Dec 15, 2015
692 posts
504 upvotes
Toronto
Have you spoken to any peers who have worked internships at either company?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
946 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga
TheMaterial wrote: Have you spoken to any peers who have worked internships at either company?
Don't know anyone at Blackberry but IBM interns said the experience is highly team dependent.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33799 posts
7446 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
I think it will be the opposite. IBM is more structured and you will be isolated. IBM trains you to be a cyborg

BlackBerry is more open and you will be exposed to more. BlackBerry will encourage you to give input and make a contribution

For your first internship, I would go with BlackBerry just so you can see more.
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
155 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto ON
My recommendation is, first spend at least one full year in a start-up. They will teach you how to be a soldier and do the things the proper way (you will be more of a universal soldier to be precise), because start-ups are free and usually ride the lip of the wave of the new technologies, so very important - they will teach you how to innovate and think out of the box, especially because they will be more limited on hardware resources. Plus, you will make more friends in start-ups. Then you will probably want to make some names on the resume and some more money, so you will you go to the big names. However these are more procedure oriented, as the others before me wrote - they have strict procedures and processes and move slow like whales. If you know the comic "Dilbert" - this is made to illustrate an usual IT corporate environment. They usually won't let you innovate and you won't be able to overcome a manager decision. You will want to delete most of your incoming emails and sleep on most meetings, as big name meetings are 90% corporate bullshit, which is of interest of none but the higher management usually, while a start-up meeting will be held usually with no dress-code, free pizza/coke and lots of jokes.

I still miss the time when in the first company I worked (a start-up), we had Quake III tournaments and loud music every Friday after office hours. Sure, I was in my early 20s.

However, if you plan to get married and have kids sooner, maybe better go for the big names now.

Good luck.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16613 posts
2318 upvotes
motime wrote: I am a third year CS student and I recently received an offer for a developer internship on the IBM cloud team. It will be my first internship, I also have an offer from Blackberry. Which company would you guys choose between the two?
IBM because they have a decent cloud offering ... you should see which particular product you're working on. No one uses Blackberry in the Enterprise anymore; it's becoming a faded memory of a once great Canadian company.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
946 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga
coolspot wrote: IBM because they have a decent cloud offering ... you should see which particular product you're working on. No one uses Blackberry in the Enterprise anymore; it's becoming a faded memory of a once great Canadian company.
Thanks, it will be to develop small applications that work on IBM cloud for other clients. I don't know if this is the same as cloud programming but they will definitely be using modern tech stacks to create the applications instead of having to deal with legacy code. Do you know if developing small apps for other clients would be just as useful as cloud programming? I don't know how to distinguish the two.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16613 posts
2318 upvotes
motime wrote: Thanks, it will be to develop small applications that work on IBM cloud for other clients. I don't know if this is the same as cloud programming but they will definitely be using modern tech stacks to create the applications instead of having to deal with legacy code. Do you know if developing small apps for other clients would be just as useful as cloud programming?
You should get more clarity on your position...

Sounds like you're going to be an application developer building sample applications and not working on the cloud platform itself? That's fine for a co-op term... likely you'll be building demo apps using IBM BlueMix or Watson Cloud.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
946 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga
ginoisselling wrote: My recommendation is, first spend at least one full year in a start-up. They will teach you how to be a soldier and do the things the proper way (you will be more of a universal soldier to be precise), because start-ups are free and usually ride the lip of the wave of the new technologies, so very important - they will teach you how to innovate and think out of the box, especially because they will be more limited on hardware resources. Plus, you will make more friends in start-ups. Then you will probably want to make some names on the resume and some more money, so you will you go to the big names. However these are more procedure oriented, as the others before me wrote - they have strict procedures and processes and move slow like whales. If you know the comic "Dilbert" - this is made to illustrate an usual IT corporate environment. They usually won't let you innovate and you won't be able to overcome a manager decision. You will want to delete most of your incoming emails and sleep on most meetings, as big name meetings are 90% corporate bullshit, which is of interest of none but the higher management usually, while a start-up meeting will be held usually with no dress-code, free pizza/coke and lots of jokes.

I still miss the time when in the first company I worked (a start-up), we had Quake III tournaments and loud music every Friday after office hours. Sure, I was in my early 20s.

However, if you plan to get married and have kids sooner, maybe better go for the big names now.

Good luck.
I see where you are coming from and a startup sounds great. Unfortunately I am a second degree student so I need to start working full-time fast. At most I will do 2 internships.
coolspot wrote: You should get more clarity on your position...

Sounds like you're going to be an application developer building sample applications and not working on the cloud platform itself? That's fine for a co-op term... likely you'll be building demo apps using IBM BlueMix or Watson Cloud.
Yes I think it will be mostly developing small applications that work on the cloud platform. I do want to work on more interesting projects later but I am thinking for my first internship it would help to get IBM on my resume and the work still seems somewhat interesting.
Penalty Box
Aug 10, 2010
781 posts
198 upvotes
Mars.
Both are jokes in the IT world. I work for in the FANG world.

IBM is cheap, and their culture is nothing short of BS.

BB - truth be told I don't know much about them, but would you date the last girl at a school dance? :p

Whoever says IBM has a decent cloud offering needs to put down the pipe. Seriously.
Don't be a cooch.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2008
946 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga
superangrypenguin wrote: Both are jokes in the IT world. I work for in the FANG world.

IBM is cheap, and their culture is nothing short of BS.

BB - truth be told I don't know much about them, but would you date the last girl at a school dance? :p

Whoever says IBM has a decent cloud offering needs to put down the pipe. Seriously.
IBM does have a bad rep and it is mostly deserved, however it is a huge company and some teams do interesting work. Quite a few students I know did use IBM to get interviews and offers at better companies.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16613 posts
2318 upvotes
superangrypenguin wrote: IBM is cheap, and their culture is nothing short of BS.

Whoever says IBM has a decent cloud offering needs to put down the pipe. Seriously.
IBM isn't Big Blue of the past, but they're still entrenched in many large Enterprises - they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

When it comes to cloud platforms, it's Amazon, Google, Microsoft ... then pretty much IBM. So yeah, they have a decent offering. Watson is still the Kleenex of AI even though it doesn't work too well... so yeah, for the first co-op term, IBM is fine.
Penalty Box
Aug 10, 2010
781 posts
198 upvotes
Mars.
coolspot wrote: IBM isn't Big Blue of the past, but they're still entrenched in many large Enterprises - they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

When it comes to cloud platforms, it's Amazon, Google, Microsoft ... then pretty much IBM. So yeah, they have a decent offering. Watson is still the Kleenex of AI even though it doesn't work too well... so yeah, for the first co-op term, IBM is fine.
Having IBM on your resume, is a killer. Might as well have Dell, HPE, etc. I know of several that can't leave IBM because they've worked there. Now, to your point, yes, it's an internship, so he/she may be fine, but as a FTE job, avoid IBM like the plague. They gave me an offer once, at a third of what I make now. I laughed and told them to take a hike, especially since during the interview, I asked about training opportunities, and the two people on my panel, laughed, and said "IBM is cheap. You won't get any".

And please, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc, have all done very well, earnings wise, profit wise, stock wise. IBM has missed EPS for what, 22/24 quarters? Make no bones about it, IBM is a dying company.
Don't be a cooch.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16613 posts
2318 upvotes
superangrypenguin wrote: Having IBM on your resume, is a killer. Might as well have Dell, HPE, etc. I know of several that can't leave IBM because they've worked there.
IBM may not be as sexy as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. but it is by no means a resume killer. What you posted shows your lack of experience in Enterprise. IBM is fully entrenched in the Enterprise - far more so than Amazon and especially Google. For those that can't leave IBM, its the person and not the company.
Penalty Box
Aug 10, 2010
781 posts
198 upvotes
Mars.
coolspot wrote: IBM may not be as sexy as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. but it is by no means a resume killer. What you posted shows your lack of experience in Enterprise. IBM is fully entrenched in the Enterprise - far more so than Amazon and especially Google. For those that can't leave IBM, its the person and not the company.
This is the funniest post I think I have ever read. IBM Global Services is generally hated by customers and is only around due to some organizations refusing to invest in new software (I'm looking at you Air Canada). :p

And if you're also referencing IBM hardware, I'll just laugh, right now.
Don't be a cooch.
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
155 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto ON
superangrypenguin wrote: Both are jokes in the IT world. I work for in the FANG world.

IBM is cheap, and their culture is nothing short of BS.

BB - truth be told I don't know much about them, but would you date the last girl at a school dance? :p

Whoever says IBM has a decent cloud offering needs to put down the pipe. Seriously.
Yes and no. Let's not forget he is about to start a career. Whatever is the actual company, if it is a big name is good for him, since big names lure recruiters, so he will get more offers later and won't care who he worked for.
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2015
519 posts
159 upvotes
BlackBerry used to have a very good reputation on their Internship/coop programs. In the recent declining years, I'm not sure how well they still stand, however, I would expect that their coop-culture will probably still be a much better environment than that of IBM since a lot of employees at Blackberry came up from the coop-route are used to having students around (again this is a few years back). IBM is known (reputation wise) as a corporate slog, work hard/long hours. IMO, neither will be disadvantageous on your resume, big companies are big companies, its not a "Tier 1" tech company, so I would focus on the role as well, "what will you learn/get out of it" as the primary focus. If you do end up at IBM (or BB), and you have to slog it thru long hours, etc... but you pick up really good skills, it may not be the worst thing in the world. After All, its only 4 months, its not a permanent position per say so you have that flexibility (learning to develop thick skin and being challenged) during your time there.

Top