Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 26 November 2014
Updated 26 November 2014
8,648 Reviews
3.7
8,648 Reviews
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,284 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 833 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 975 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 543 reviews)

  • Review system that pushes people to look out for themselves instead of being team focused (in 398 reviews)

More Highlights

3,556 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 408 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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fast paced corporation

    • 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 (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great career opportunities & flexibility to work in different areas. Very talented people & high diversity across teams. Team members generally quite collaborative.

    Cons

    Too many leadership & org changes over the last year; new HR rating system in place still need to be tested.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Development Manager in Office Division

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities to gain breadth and depth of experience in software engineering on industrial-strength applications like the Office suite. Breadth means you can move from desktop apps to mobile apps to server apps to web apps all within Office over several product cycles without having to change companies. Depth means really understanding a platform's "engine" by writing code that must meet high bars on performance, security, robustness, and stepping into many layers of code that isn't your own to track down problems. Learn all the best practices from working on long-lived industrial-strength apps, then do the start-up thing writing throwaway apps so when you take shortcuts to meet tight schedules and budgets, you do so knowing the trade-offs in maintainability, security, scalability, etc.

    Cons

    Insufficient "transparency" in work done by people in a group makes it hard at review time to know where you rank in terms of production and impact. As a manager, my hands were tied by privacy rules when I tell someone they produced less than the group average but could not identify their peers who did so much more than them, especially if their peers were folks in another team in the group.

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

    Good Pay, Good Co-workers, Talent everywhere

    • 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 10 years)

    Pros

    Working with the brightest and hard working people
    50% of the company is sales, marketing, operations; so you don't have to be an engineer to work at Microsoft
    Lots of resources to get your job done
    Life on campus is excellent, including a health clinic
    Women are paid equally
    The pay is better than many others

    Cons

    No talent management: Each group is an island. If your job is eliminated, HR doesn't look to see where in the company you might be able to find a similar job, they just say goodbye to you, and loose incredible talent, knowledge, and institutional knowledge. This should really bug stockholders that realize this churn is expensive. There is employee development, just no talent management.

    There is a bit of ageism. Not by factor of age, but by factor of tenure longevity. Supposedly there is a finance formula that creates targets of longevity, pay, grade, and other factors when a reduction is needed. In the recent job eliminations in 2014, this theme of more tenured, therefor older, employees are let go, and evident just looking at the people carrying out their boxes. It was just too obvious.

    Women seem to have much slower speed in advancement. Paid the same, but men move through the ranks quicker. It is easy to see, if 29% of the company is made up of women, then why aren't 29% of Midlevel to senior managers women? The company isn't a startup there are established people of both genders. The company has 50% sales, marketing, operations, these are not traditionally male centric roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work to keep employees moving into available jobs, versus paying severance etc. Only depart the poor performance employees. It is bad on morale to loose great employees. I hate seeing great talent not moved to other places that the company could benefit from their knowledge.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good work-life balance but too big a company

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

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

    Pros

    Compensation is at Industry standard, really care about their employees, good work-life balance across the organization, can move fairly easily within the company, great benefits,

    Cons

    Lot of politics, too many middle managers, personal growth depends on the manager, your perception is valued more than your actual work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Office perks, autonomy, great benefits

    Cons

    Current rounds of layoffs are blowing employee morale

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    good

    • 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

    1) a lot of smart colleagues, great oportunity to impove your skills
    2) salary && benefits - they really take care about employees

    Cons

    1) work-life balance
    2) no free lunches

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    continue to make this company more open, reduce bureaucracy, provide free meal on campus (like Google or Facebook do)

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

    Technical PM

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

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

    Pros

    Work along side smart, dedicated people.
    A tremendous fresh focus on customer experience and everyone can engage directly with customers for feature, design or other feedback.
    Flexibility (for the most part) on work schedule with core hours from 10-6pm.

    Cons

    Re-orgs happen a lot at MSFT where you find yourself with a new boss or part of another organization. That experience means your the expert in your area and having to educate, prove your worth to the new manager.
    In the services world, it's pretty much 24x7 with email constantly flowing and there are on call rotations for everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Working across teams to implement a feature takes more time to talk about it and get alignment than to write & test the code. Become more agile in decision making and reduce the amount of PPT decks that essentially create a 2 month planning cycle. Train all managers on diversity (not just cultural but also style).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Good experience

    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dynamic, perks, office culture, flexibility, training

    Cons

    Stack ranking, overworked, compensation, people putting in face-time

  11.  

    It was a great experience with extraordinary people!

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

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

    Pros

    -> professional people, passionate about their work
    -> relaxed working environment
    -> a culture based on the quality of the product more than a fast release

    Cons

    -> sometimes too slow
    -> bottlenecks may appear which keep you from smoothly develop your product

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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