Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 28 August, 2014
Updated 28 August, 2014
7,973 Reviews

3.8
7,973 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
810 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 688 reviews)

  • Tons of super smart people working for the right reasons - to make a difference (in 893 reviews)


Cons
  • And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance (in 476 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 369 reviews)

More Highlights

3,313 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 335 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    1. If you love tech, this is a great place. No doubt you'll talk tech (mostly the MSFT stack) from enterprise to consumer - from PCs to phones to Xboxes - from datacenter to desktop.

    2. What were GREAT benefits are now VERY GOOD (took a small step down) but still probably better than you'll find at 99% of large corporations. If you've got family - the value of the benefits is even higher. 401k match is nice.

    3. Even with it's struggles MSFT is still a cash printing machine. This means if you can keep your nose clean and do reasonable work, you can have a stable job, pay your bills, feed your family, and not worry (too much) about layoffs. The stock you own likely won't tank, but probably won't go up much either. You'll get a bonus each year and some stock. It's a decent life if you aren't looking to light the world on fire.

    Cons

    Brand on Your Resume: After many years of losing market share and struggling to be at the front end of innovation and the fact that there's 90,000 employees, don't think MSFT is necessarily going to be attractive on your resume to more agile and smaller companies.

    Managing Your Career: Make you say this out loud so it registers - 90,000 employees work there. Double that for vendors. It is VERY hard to "stand out" and move up in the company. Don't expect your manager to be much of an advocate or enabler to help you meet your career goals - they are basically trying to survive the stack rank every year too. Not familiar with the stack rank? Check out the 2012 Vanity Fair article called "Microsoft's Lost Decade".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'll type it here - but I don't they are listening...
    1. Help proven talent move laterally in the company for new opportunities.
    2. Kill/evolve the stack rank. Here's basically how it's viewed:. 30% of the company gets 1s and 2s - and they are happy. 50% get 3s and that basically feels like getting a "C" in school. This sucks for talented people when a multitude of UNCONTROLLABLE conditions keep you from getting into 1 or 2 range. The 20% getting anything below a 3 are walking dead. In summary, 70% of the company walk away from the review cycle feeling like crap. This is no good.

    After 10 years, I'm leaving - it's just a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. I need to find a company spends 90% of it's time building technology experiences, as opposed to 90% of its time building PowerPoints. And I expect to refuse the exit interview - because if you really cared what I thought, you wouldn't ask me after I decided to leave.

  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    I've been a software developer at Microsoft for 11 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    It is geek heaven. You work with people who are as passionate as yourself about software development. The benefits are top of the line. If you perform well, you are rewarded well.

    Cons

    The review process is draining and if your manager doesn't fight for you, you might not earn the recognition you deserve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be sure your direct reports understand what constitutes for success and then fight for them.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Really solid place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Program Manager  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fair work life balance.
    Great benefits and compensation.
    Office culture is healthy and usually fun.
    The Connector bus!
    Free bus pass!
    Environmentally conscience

    Cons

    Big company means plenty of red tape.
    Poor job of sharing, distributing and presenting good BI to employees. Hard to measure one's impact.
    Not metrics driven (or not enough)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Moving in the right direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Content Publishing Manager  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Content Publishing Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Pay is excellent. Work-life balance is what you make it; always been fine for me. Benefits quite good, but medical not as good as it used to be. Culture varies from group to group; my current group is excellent.

    Cons

    The company doesn't have quite the creative edge it once did. Sometimes it blunders big, yet manages to survive because of its sheer size and wealth. Management above a certain level tends to lose sight of reality, so can end up doing the wrong thing, like laying off and rewarding the wrong people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep driving the culture shift. Make the things Nadella says show up as truth for the ground troops, not just rhetoric from the CEO.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Challenging, broad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Software Design Engineer  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Principal Software Design Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    There are two things about Microsoft that make it top notch for software engineering.

    The first is the focus on the business. This may seem counterintuitive but the business focus is an excellent lens through which to look at software design and execution. I previously worked at a company which was arguably a better engineering company but the lack of business focus led to software projects not having longevity and ultimately to the collapse of the company.

    The second is the people. It's said that if you are a jazz musician and you're the best in your band, you need to change bands. There is very little danger of topping out in Microsoft. There are always excellent skilled engineers to challenge you.

    Cons

    Microsoft leadership stalled for a decade or so where more focus was paid to just business rather than a balance of business and engineering. The top echelons of compensation are epic; competition is fierce and winning is defined by profitability which has led to thinning of the product herd to only the most obviously profitable (or necessary) investments. Satya's leadership has hope of changing this but when you see references to Microsoft's environment being "toxic" this is the root cause with the old stack ranking system in a supporting role.

    Work life balance is clearly your problem. If you are ambitious and/or energetic there is always benefit to trading the work/life balance for work but it can eat you alive. Do not look for your organization to guard your own work/life balance, it's up to you (as it should be but be cautioned).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the focus on profit even if it has negative ramifications on stock price. Use a lower stock price to reacquire ownership of the company in a stock buy back. The competition is growth and share focused, not profit focused.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    SDE II

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) II  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer (SDE) II in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Microsoft cares for you and wants you to be successful

    Cons

    Sometimes your peers are better at doing politics vs programming which is unfortunate but I guess any place with this many number of people is bound to have this.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Many amazing growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    At Microsoft you're expected to be a self-starter and in charge of directing your own career. You drive you career as aggressively or slow-paced as you prefer. Work-life balance does exists, but it really depends again on how aggressively you want to drive your career here. If you have a great idea, you are encouraged to pursue it. Management is supportive of coming up with new and creative ways of doing this. People managers are more like coaches than "bosses" and generally follow sound management principles.

    If you can "navigate" in this matrixed organization and can deal with not having all the answers but still being expected to try you best to come up with a solution then you will be happy here!

    The people here are brilliant. Super smart and really friendly. They are genuinely interested in helping you move your career forward and will help you in any way that they can. You can easily find mentors and make connections here.

    The Benefits are great! Free gym membership, premium healthcare insurance, and a lot more.

    Cons

    Not for the feint of heart. Microsoft is increasingly complex and you have to be able to put all the pieces together and understand how you fit into the grand scheme of things. Sometimes you really can feel you're not even a "blip" on the radar here. It's really important to build a good network if you want visibility and a good promotional trajectory.

    Promotional velocity can be a bit slow with too much of a focus on the dreaded "length in level". On the other hand, people get promoted to very senior positions without the role necessarily requiring it as a means to retain that person. Usually this doesn't end well.

    Unstable Organizations- with so many merging and splitting and reconfiguring of teams and structures one can feel as though stability is lacking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While experience counts, you have to also recognize that you have brilliant talent here, many of whom have a high intellectual capacity and are able to grow and scale quickly. Many could be start-up entrepreneurs down in Silicon Valley. It's important to not have earlier-in-career talent feel stuck.

    Continue to focus on building simplicity into everything you do: from how you structure your organizations, to how you stratify your management team, to how you align support resources, etc. It's so easy to over-complicate things and even if finding the easiest way to do things means not doing everything, it's fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Top heavy but an amazing company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Optical Engineer  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Optical Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexibility in your schedule is simply amazing. Great pay and benefits. There are opportunities to take your career to any direction you desire.

    Cons

    way too many managers and poor communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    flatten organization. Promote communication between groups

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Pays decently with nice benefit/perks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Finance Manager  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Finance Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Salary is good compared to other companies in the area. Medical benefit is still one of the best and provide nice perks.

    Cons

    work/life balance can be little better.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Good place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET)  in  Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Some very smart people work here. Breadth of things you can work on is almost infinite.

    Cons

    Too much politics. People spend more time trying to gain "visibility" than doing actual work. Managers hold too much power over their reports ad can destroy their career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of the employees. Pay them well and listen to their grievances. Stop trying to do everything and instead focus on core products

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Worked for Microsoft? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.