Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 17 December, 2014
Updated 17 December, 2014
8,771 Reviews
3.7
8,771 Reviews
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,339 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 859 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 991 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 552 reviews)

  • Performance review system basically encourage competition inside the team (in 400 reviews)

More Highlights

3,590 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 424 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 (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. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fasten Seatbelt for Change

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, security, but experience 100 percent dependent on your manager and workgroup. There is no such thing as One Microsoft from a personal experience perspective. If you don't like your group, move. It's a well resourced company with a lot of smart people and some of the world's most interesting challenges to work on. Good opportunity to work globally and learn a ton about business if in the right role.

    Cons

    Massive change at mid-senior management level right now. Very little direction can make it hard to see big picture at the functional and workgroup level. All old systems seem to be scrapped and tagged "bad" without anything to replace them which can be touch with such a large beast to maneuver, new CEO, lots of new people in charge. Will take another year for changes to net out to really evaluate what it's like as a place to work. Disappointing to see last round of layoffs - lots of great people and not a lot of explanation. Morale at risk in many groups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lock your org charts for awhile. Teach new managers how to manage AND lead. Get more granular than current vision. Value people.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Program Manager, MACH

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

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

    Pros

    Got to experience multiple roles and work in multiple teams as part of the MACH rotational program. Its a valuable experience in gaining skills in different roles quickly and learning how various teams work. It also allowed me to understand the breadth of Microsoft.

    Satisfaction of working on projects that eventually do impact many people. You can find great mentors and smart colleagues here to learn from and work with. The culture is very respectful and completely non-discrimanatory.

    Cons

    Political bureaucracy holds ups projects, everything moves slow because the company is too big and cannot move things fast enough, not through through decisions like removing FTE testers and PMs only to replace them with vendor testers and PMs because their teams were not prepared to switch to the new model of just developer and few PMs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In a company of 1:4 ratio of women:men, its important to focus on the behavioral tendencies of women and men. Its hard for women to deal with the sometimes aggressive way men talk in meetings and how managers wrongly perceive females to be performing not as well as males because women are not as out-spoken.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company to start your career

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    * It's a more senior company. So you have a much higher chance working with people much older than you. I personally feel I learn quite a lot from those people. They are more patient, and not pretentious.
    * Come on. You are working at once the best software company in the world (and maybe still is)! There are a lot of reasons why this company stands here for as long as 30 years and still moves fast.
    * Great culture. People are genuinely willing to help you when you ask them. Don't believe too much about politics inside Microsoft. It's the same across any big companies.

    Cons

    * No free food.
    * The software is big so it takes a lot of time to compile and run tests.
    * Minimal training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to new hire and get them at least one month or two training before they jump into the code base. This will make them much more productive and they can make more friends here too.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    great place to work

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    great benefits and flexible times

    Cons

    Have to fit into the corporate model.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Great place to work, but doesn't necessarily create a clear career path for the future

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    Always challenging projects to work on, expansive scope of business, large revenue and potential revenue opportunity, pockets of great people, flexibility of work hours and location

    Cons

    Lack of long and short term vision that is realistic given the competitive environment, leadership out of touch with individual contributors, lack of clear career path, weak mid-level leadership, requires long work hours into nights and weekends

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a clear long and short term vision that is realistic to execute, invest in leadership development, take a stake in career development for the people

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Company under transition

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent reputation. Lots of smart and motivated people to work with. The new CEO is really driving cultural change and increased focus on customers in the mobile and services world.

    Cons

    IT department is lagging behind the rest of the organization regarding customer focus and innovation. The new review process is still a work in process, as such not consistent across the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too many levels of management leading to the peter principle. If many of the "managers" would move to individual contributors the company could really take back talent.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Lots of potential

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Things are moving fast. There are obviously parts of the company trying to change for the better (customers, employees, stockholders, etc.)

    Cons

    It seems like management is incredibly, cripplingly political. Without some turbulence at that level, there will be stagnation. Getting rid of the "process enforcers" and low-value add employees was a good idea, but there didn't seem to be a lot of attention focused on management structures that aren't productive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Careful that with the increased speed that quality isn't thrown away and engineering time isn't wasted with shifting scope.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Good company to work for, balancing work and life is the employees responsibility.

    • 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 (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good job perks, good benefits, good global working experience. New CEO is going in a positive direction.

    Cons

    Once you reach a certain level there is little opportunity for growth. It appears that those whom are most successful don't have a fair work-life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company to learn, grow with, develop career, contribute to real change, and hone your negotiation skills

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Reputation for excitement, innovation, big challenges and rewards

    Cons

    Infighting, duplicity, bureaucracy, silos, self serving behaviors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on driving for change in culture, inspiring and incenting innovation while holding leaders and employees accountable for outcomes, not for activities and bottom lines only.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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