Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 7,564 reviews

88% Approve of the CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

(605 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber(in 675 reviews)

  • Tons of super smart people working for the right reasons - to make a difference(in 886 reviews)


Cons
  • And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance(in 474 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist(in 367 reviews)

819 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Don't Value Employees

    Marketing Manager (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsSome interesting technology. Lots of money. Many people still get their own office and the campus is nice.

    ConsThe stack ranking system destroyed all collaboration. The company is terrible for infighting. They can't get out of their own way and actually innovate any more. I refused to go full time for this exact reason.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of stack ranking once and for all, don't just play lip service to a change. Train your managers to develop people. Stay focused on innovation and give technology time to ripen before you demand profitability.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    A Behemoth with a LOT to Learn

    Solution Sales Professional (Former Employee) Atlanta, GA

    ProsGreat training opportunities that will serve you well.

    ConsLeadership that you can not trust.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the new CEO, and drop the ways of Ballmer

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

     

    Not my favorite culture, but it could be worse. FTE's live the good life, contracts are second class citizens.

    Marketing Assistant (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsLots of free drinks, and lots of resources as far as learning about the company and possibly your role.

    ConsVery few things are officially documented. Most of the manuals are out of date so you have to read multiple manuals to get the whole idea, or task. Not one of the greatest cultures surrounding contract work, but one of the better places to get experience.

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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Secure, frustrating, ultimately uninteresting

    Data Scientiist (Former Employee) Bellevue, WA

    ProsCompensation was good. Job security. Data at large scale means there's potential to do some interesting work.

    ConsDifficult to impossible to do meaningful interesting work. Physical and process infrastructure is so slow and so much contention for the few interesting projects that it's all about positioning, rarely about doing good work. In my area (software engineering as applied to big data problems) not being able to use open-source technologies means your skill set will quickly become obsolete.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Not the place it once was.

    Principal Architect (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsOpportunity to work with some amazing technologies and very smart people. Huge variety of work to choose from across a large organization. Life as a Senior engineer can be great with lots of interesting work and you can focus on engineering not meetings and politics. Lots of chances to interact with customers if you make time for it, even when its not part of your role. Microsoft has huge resources and can afford to invest heavily in research and development for the long term, there are only a few places you can work that are really able to do this. If you want to work on massive software projects that have a huge impact then Microsoft has a lot to offer.

    Lots of opportunities to take on new challenges and learn new things provided your manager is supportive and your group is growing. There are some great managers at Microsoft and they make all the difference. Find a good one and work for them, follow them around if need be. Life at Microsoft is far better when someone has your back, especially at review time.

    The salary and benefits package are still competitive but not as good as they were a few years back. Campus is being modernized and the working environment is good and getting better. For a large company the day-to-day work is pretty low friction in terms of needless rules, engineers have Admin access to their workstations etc.

    ConsBig variability in culture and working conditions between groups. Some parts of the company are great places to work run by people who respect their reports and coworkers. Where people are encouraged to work as a team and do their best work. Other groups are perpetual death marches run by self-serving management. It's very hard to see the difference until after being hired. Once hired you are stuck in that position for 12-16 months. This is long enough to get a poor review which will make it harder to move.

    Competitive culture encourages individuals to show themselves in the best light, even if it means making co-workers look bad or doing things that are not in the group or company's long term interests. The stack rank culture is engrained in the company, don't expect a different review system run by the same people who ran the old system to change things any time soon.

    Decisions are often driven by politics and personalities. At the Principal level politics becomes more important. If you are the sort of person who says what they think, even if it is likely to be unpopular this may be your downfall. Being subsequently shown to be right will not help. The end result can be a a lot of smart people collectively making seemingly dumb decisions and building the wrong things. The Peter principle applies and often the politically savvy get promoted for all the wrong reasons. You come across quite a lot of senior people who are clearly just waiting to vest their next stock grants.

    Over resourcing results in large teams and empire building. Often teams will vote to (re)build existing functionality "we built our own DB because (we thought) SQL Server didn't meet our needs". Lack of willingness to use open source and LCA's slow responses also promotes this problem. Sometimes this is due to valid IP taint issues but a lot of the time it's not. Smaller teams can often move faster because they are forced to make smarter decisions by their limited resources.

    In general Microsoft has been slow to adopt the latest engineering practices. There are good reasons for this on some of their largest products, like SQL and Windows, but in many other cases it is simply a case of "not invented here" and "we're Microsoft, we're different". The fight to get newer (agile) process and engineering practices adopted on several of my teams was a long and painful one. If you want to work on smaller projects using the latest practices then choose your team carefully.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDitch the old culture, it is no longer attracting the best people and in today's (hot) job market new hires and current employees have a lot of other options. There's a noticeable exodus to other employers (management knows this but do not seem to stem the tide). Overall the company is very inward looking, most employees have a very skewed view of the rest of the technology landscape. This skewed vision drives product decisions and fails to delight customers.

    Decide on the company's direction and stick with it. Stop trying to be in every market segment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    thoughts after 3 years

    Senior Research Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    Pros1. Good if you want job security;
    2. single office; enough private space.

    Cons1. politics;
    2. low salary;
    3. high pressure;
    4. work not get reward.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Steady but boring.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSalary is pretty high, travel to places you wouldn't normally get to, work from home can be flexible depending on the department.

    ConsCulture is non existent. Incredibly boring with an old school feel (like watching the movie Office Space. Tons of red tape to get through to get things done.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Maximum politics, Minimum capability

    Program Manager I (Current Employee) Sunnyvale, CA

    ProsGood work-life balance if you insist. Probably not good for your performance review.

    Cons- Too many unqualified employees. This detracts from any useful work.
    - Everybody is here for the political gameplay. The idea is to seem like you're doing useful work so as to get to the next step. Doesn't matter who you trample along the way.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Financial Analyst

    Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Bellevue, WA

    Proslearned a lot about modeling and excel. Some smart people were working there as well. Senior management was pretty sharp.

    Constons of work with little reward even though I progressed up the ladder.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEither cut back the amount of work for employees or improve the salary. Otherwise you'll continue to lose top talent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    A stagnant company - More focused on its "diversity" than results

    Principal Consultant (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsCompany name recognition - If you say you work at Microsoft, people know who the company is. Free access to Microsoft software.

    ConsThis is a company in a cultural free-fall.

    Microsoft used to be its own worst critic - it helped improve its software by internally having high expectations. Now it is full of non-technologists (many are women who "don't understand technology, but are good at communicating, or "big picture people". So concerned about its image and its diversity - if you aren't gay or a particular race with some complaint, you're a minority.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe MACH (college) hires aren't working out. You brought in new blood with no direction. Giving them a Web site and telling them to "learn SharePoint" isn't mentoring.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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