Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 21 October 2014
Updated 21 October 2014
8,385 Reviews
3.8
8,385 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,100 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 820 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 964 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 537 reviews)

  • Review system that pushes people to look out for themselves instead of being team focused (in 395 reviews)

More Highlights

3,468 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 378 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  

    Exciting place for young professionals to build their 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - A lot of support for young college hires to gain experience and get your foot into the career
    - Culture is changing. Satya is really getting our culture direction is the right direction

    Cons

    - People don't believe in us.. frustrating to see it in the media
    - PMs...... too many of them doing mindless / useless features for their own job security
    - MSIT absolutely sucks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think management is going on the right direction - removing stupid "processes"

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

    Great compensation, fixing mistakes, in a culture where you can have a life outside work

    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people managers who understand how to give their employees excellent work-life balance. Challenging projects to work on that affect the lives of often tens, or even hundreds of millions of customers. Great changes in the last year to fix culture problems and crazy inefficiencies where the same thing would be built independently by different teams. A removal of leadership who led to the creation of poorly-received products. Incredible freedom to move between product groups to try new things with management that supports such moves.

    Cons

    Problematic PR which still flubs the message of otherwise-great products way too frequently, and a devices strategy that's taking way too long to produce great high-end phones. Love the Surface Pro 3 though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep moving in the direction of the last year. Listen to JoeB. But get rid of the ridiculous amount of middle-management in OSG.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Microsoft really cares about employees, growing them and setting them up for long term success. I spent over 8 years at Microsoft, worked with some of the smartest people I have met, had a lot of independence, and the work was really fulfilling. Hours were sometimes long but rarely crazy. Pay is excellent. Benefits are among the best in software companies (I would pick top notch health care, tuition reimbursement, prime discounts and legal plans over free dry cleaning and free food any day).

    Cons

    Different divisions at the company having different perspectives can be demotivating and disappointing for both customers and employees. It is hard to influence top level strategic decisions even if you're pretty senior. If there's one thing I'd change at Microsoft, it'd be to make it a requirement for different divisions to work collaboratively.
    In spite of being a great company that has transformed the world with its products and services and contributed to so many good causes, Microsoft was never perceived to be cool when I worked there and the press and the perception can sometimes make you feel bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please find a way to hire excellent people to Microsoft, especially experienced candidates. The company I joined seems to do a much better job of hiring and retaining experienced candidates. At Microsoft, I saw many people with years of industry experience really struggle to fit in with people who'd spent many years at the company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall great place to work

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There is a reason people come from all over the world to work for this company. Experiences vary widely depending on your group, boss and co-worker. Mine were always positive. And I LOVED that MS matched my giving to non-profits. The benefits and perks are beyond amazing.

    Cons

    Didn't love re-hashing goals every 6 months, reviews were tedious, and way too frequent reorgs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Evolution and People

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

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

    Pros

    It's a great place to learn and evolve your career. Plenty of opportunities to explore other areas. Also Microsoft is evolving... I'm starting to hear and see dramatic changes in some basics that I though I'd never see... it's pretty exciting to see and cheer along.

    Cons

    Microsoft is evolving, mean while the lay off's hit hard, and all the changes make things a little more unclear and uncertain...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Microsoft needs a win soon.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Internship at Microsoft Research

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

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    1. Place where you can find and talk to a lot of talented researchers and engineers. This place motivates and inspires a lot.
    2. Microsoft treats their interns really good. And in my opinion research interns have move benefits and better internship than university interns.
    3. Salary. One of the biggest salaries you can find as an intern. Plus you'll work on project related to your research.
    4. Area is great, a lot of places to see.

    Cons

    1. It's much harder to get a job at Microsoft Research after your internship comparing to university internship. MSR doesn't hire a lot, it's very hard to get there. This internship mostly gives you an opportunity to have new connections which you can use in your research.
    2. Weather in Seattle is not very good during winter, however this summer was one of the best summers. +30 Celsius, lot of sun, almost no rains.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good work/life balance allows you to enjoy time with the family.

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

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

    Pros

    Great teams, good work/life balance, intelligent employees, and nice benefits in a stable and mature tech company add up to a pleasant place to work. Ownership of the team you work with entrusts you with a lot of responsibility, as well as the autonomy to get things done.

    Cons

    Being such a large company can give the impression of feeling disjointed and sluggish. Plan on figuring out your job on your own with little guidance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    One of the best company to work for

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

    I have been working at Microsoft as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Microsoft is a great company to start your IT career and grow it. You have the chance to work with first class talents; the latest MS technology and tools and optimized working process. It has minimum office political environment.

    Cons

    A lot of time you may feel peer pressure because the company has attracted many talented workers around the world. It does have work stress and deadline to finish your work. You won't have much ramp up time when entering a new project, this could be a quite challenging when each project has its own process and using different technology.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    20+ year career, varied experiences, the company where I "grew up"

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Large company with large number of opportunities to gain experience, excellent compensation package, Challenging environment pushes you to produce good work.

    Cons

    Depending on the team, can be overly political and slow. Culture is very entrenched and slow to change. Performance model legacy leads to negative behavior

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Performance Model is the biggest negative for working at Microsoft. It discouraged teamwork, and was demoralizing for personality types that do not enjoy self-promotion. The new model is heading in the right direction, but implementation is unclear and it doesn't appear management is totally bought in.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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