Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated Jul 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 3,147 reviews

87% Approve of the CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

(233 ratings)

75% 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 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
132 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Steer Clear

    General Manager (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsGood benefits and stock opportunities. Health club and preventative care is important and supported. Looks good on your resume OUTSIDE of Washington. Locally it is viewed as negative due to the environment and culture.

    ConsNegative environment, success is viewed by your immediate manager, not your deliverables. If you are a female you are expected to behave and look like a man. Not an inclusive or diverse culture in behaviors.

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

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    negative environment, growth opportunities are slowing down

    Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    Proswork-life balance, benefits, stock options, challenging work environment

    ConsWorst place for a SDET
    All SDET's fear to eventually going to get fired / lay-off
    Dev's mostly are arrogant depending on team, and treat SDET's as 2nd class citizens
    The environment currently is extremely negative after Nadella started laying off people

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake care of employees, treat them well. and be honest about your vision.
    If employees are not happy, they can't be productive.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    A waste of time and effort.

    "Network Engineer" (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsBrilliant co-workers. I must enter five words.

    ConsI was encouraged to work off the clock, in fact everyone was.
    They exclude contractors and treat them like dirt.
    I was told my contract would be direct hire, then they told a manager indefinite and later told me contract for a year, and kept shortening the time for all the vendors.
    My manager said to me angrily the only reason he hired me was because I said I worked all the time.
    I was given well more work than 40 hours could complete.
    All of the vendor contracts suddenly went from contract to hire to contract only, I expressed concern over this and I was terminated. It would have saved you money to provide coaching and keep me with my valuable skills than terminate me because of sexism and ignorance.
    The new hire vendor paperwork I was required to do partly only worked on Chrome.
    Political battles extreme.
    No seating, my desk was on a bookshelf.
    Departmental parties held in the main lobby, I got pizza and later it was mentioned that I shouldn't have.
    Do you know one of your network engineers has a script ran on network devices called SecretStripper? How is that professional?

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet both sides of the story and stop wasting company funds with termination, do coaching and training. Treat your vendors like human beings. I was lied to since day 1. Treat your women better (stop excluding them from team lunches etc) and encourage diversity. Vendors are people too.

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Sick place.

    Programming Writer (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsSalary. Natural Beaty of surrounding area.

    ConsNo focus on quality of work, just politics.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMost of you should quit.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Very bad culture.

    Senior Software Development Engineer In Test (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsLots of very smart people. Some interesting technologies

    ConsTerrible managers. The message from management is always that you are not doing enough, other people are doing a better job, etc.etc. Promotions come from the in-crowd

    People from the outside with different ideas are viewed with suspicion. There is an overpowering atmosphere of "this is how we do it, now fall into place"

    No sense of teamwork

    Advice to Senior ManagementGreat benefits but you need to invest heavily in developing your managers as people managers.

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

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    Most consistently miserable job I ever had...bar none. I was not into the work, which was my main problem.

    Software Development Engineer II (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsMoney, benefits, exceptional software engineers, exceptional resources and knowledge base

    ConsIf you don't fit in or your boss doesn't like you, you're screwed

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit and replace yourselves with people who care about the consumer and the employee.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Regret I spent years of my life there

    Software Development Engineer II (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    Pros- To some people outside the "circle", they would respect you for being a Microsoft employee, especially in other countries.
    - H1B sponsorship
    - Smart, competitive people around you. A lot to learn from peers and managers

    Cons- A company past its creativity curve. Only tiny portion of the projects are interesting, and people will fight for you. If you newly join the company, you will spend quite some time doing the out-dated technologies.
    - "Factory", "assembly line" style process: this company is smart enough to "streamline-lize" its software development into something similar to Ford's assembly line. Working in that procedure gives you a strong feeling that you are one replaceable piece on it.
    - Management tries to get "most mileage" out of you: the management will try to make you work hard, overtime (while not explicitly say so to leave "evidence". One time I saw the manager explicitly wrote "do more with less", meaning getting more done with less people, in his commitment. Another time I heard the management using "get enough mileage out of people". They would make aggressive planning, use progress tracking software, status report meetings to force you into work over time. Not only that, during work it's highly intense, I had to make sure the previous scheduled tasks are made progress, and timely respond to boss' emails of ad-hoc tasks. Sometimes I need to switch between 5 desktop servers to run different tasks to get my assignments done. Looking back, every year there made me age 3-4 years.
    - Selfish culture. It boosted a culture that everybody try to strive to get what's within his own boundary done. And the company values the winner from internal competition (as the company is so big, upper management doesn't have time to judge who's right, so the simplest way I guess, is to see who's won out). From lower level, that means the peers just don't collaborate, but undermine each other. From bigger teams perspective, it's the fight between partners, and result in endless re-orgs.
    - Information control. The mid-management gives exactly information that you need to work on your piece of work. You don't know next reorg, you don't know the direction of the project.
    - "Precision Question Answering". There's this poisonous "communication tool" within Microsoft called "Precision Question Answering", it essentially trains people into using robotic-style conversations, so that the management can get the important information in the fastest way, and peers can challenge each other to fix logic errors in the details, at the cost of enjoying human-like collaboration between colleagues.
    - Compensation is terribly below the industry average level.

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

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    Incredibly smart people poisoned by back stabbing review system

    User Experience Designer II (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsDecent pay and very good benefits (great health insurance, discount gym membership, free bus pass, showers/locker rooms and locked bike storage, etc.)
    Flexible hours - just get your work done on time and meet deadlines
    Informal culture
    Tons of different projects and teams
    Free internal training programs, many of which are quite good
    Largest privately held free-communing/shuttle system in the country (MS Connector)
    Incredibly smart, driven people - not a lot of "dead weight" here

    ConsReview system pits colleagues against each other for promotions, pay raises, bonuses and stock awards. If you aren't moving up, you're moving out. Collaboration is encouraged, but absolutely not rewarded due to the review system. I know they have recently stopped the stack ranking process, but the culture around it has been in place for decades and will not be easy to change.

    Also, because of this culture of "me first", and a history/culture centered on technology/code to solve problems, Microsoft doesn't really care or know how to care about its customers. They have top-notch researchers with PhDs who don't know how and don't have the time to conduct proper user research. The few that do aren't valued. As a result, the focus is on features, code and getting promotions, not understanding real-world customer needs and collaborating as a team to solve them. I found this frustrating and prevented me from getting excited about the projects on which I worked because I knew they weren't going to really help solve the users' problems.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInterestingly, management seems to know that they have a cultural problem and they want to change it, they just aren't sure how. This is at least a promising sign that Microsoft has the potential to turn itself around and realize its full potential. My advice would be to focus on understanding customers' needs and wants. Invest in user research, specifically ethnography and social anthropology studies, not surveys, site visits and usability studies (although they have their place as well). Next, do whatever it takes to build a culture that rewards collaboration rather than stifling it. I truly wish you all the best of luck. If Microsoft can address these two issues, I believe their potential will be amazing. Time will tell if Satya Nadella can get his management teams to make these changes a reality.

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

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    Lot of politics, re-org and very little innovation

    Senior Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    Pros- Good benefits overall
    - There are still lot of smart people around
    - Freedom to move within the company every two years

    Cons- Politics and more politics, decisions are made based on how good you build your relationship with upper management rather than how smart you are
    - Work itself will not get recognized
    - Re-org, I have never seen a company having a massive re-org every year, vision keeps changing, goals are reset. It is very bad overall for the product
    - Agile product development is missing
    - Still using old and stale technology for product development like for source control, bug management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI think managers need to start thinking differently. The reasons which made Microsoft such a successful company are no longer valid. It is a very competitive world out there and everyone has to change. Also there is a need to embrace third party/open source tools. Support innovation.

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

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    OK place to work...you could learn a lot becuase there are tons of stuff to learn...but highly stressful work atmosphere

    Senior Program Manager (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsLot to learn in terms of technology, products, you can experiment with new ideas and technology..you can also hop groups to leaen multiple products, processes..

    ConsPoor culture, they need big help, no one works for Microsoft but they work for themselves...pathetic culture...people are passioante about keeping job, not about products..or innovation...they have no standards in selecting managers...so very poor quality managers...

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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