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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated February 1, 2015
Updated February 1, 2015
160 Reviews
1.0
160 Reviews
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
160 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

160 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    They may no longer use stack ranking, but the people managers and the culture haven't changed

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

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

    Pros

    I was able to work on many different projects and many different teams using many different technologies, and I worked under many different managers. They offer a lot of ways to continue your education and foster ways of working on your career goals.

    Cons

    I found that the company does not know how to address politics and the associated conflicts with collaboration properly - especially managers. As a result you find yourself in situations where you simply cannot resolve these political issues and management cannot do anything. It becomes just a matter of time before it gets out of control, dysfunction sets in and it impacts the delivery of projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build trust with your employees by showing them that you take their political conflicts and concerns seriously and that you will follow up and resolve them. Doing this could be the single greatest way to unlock the potential productivity that seems to elude many teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't work here

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

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

    Pros

    None that I can think of, unless you consider being verbally assaulted and bullied by your Manager on a daily basis.

    Cons

    HR is faulty if you have an issue with your Manager they turn it around on you and make it your fault. Managers are horrible they are allowed to pretty much bully you until you decide to quit or have a mental break down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better work life balance, better MANAGERS, better HR system.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Program Manager II

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

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

    Pros

    Mostly good peers. Always something new to learn. Fast pace.

    Cons

    No mechanism to challenge a bad manager review. Top down management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the great people you hire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bad senior management team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    - Surrounded by smart people.
    - Great benefits.
    - Potential to learn something new everyday.

    Cons

    - Poor senior leadership team that does not listen. Head strong senior management that does not even listen to its immediate reports. Subtle retaliation if you speak up. Lack of transparency.
    - Poor quality of products due to reducing QA efforts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are the most valuable assets. Nourish and encourage them. Hold senior execs accountable to past failures. Do not encourage political behavior. Eg: Have legal scan for political behavioral patterns in terms of nominations during re-org. No "he is my guy" behavior.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    At first great, then became a nightmare

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

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

    Pros

    Amount of vacation was okay, medical benefits were decent (though not awesome as of late), salary okay

    Cons

    In my group, the only way to move up was to kiss up to the manager. I had many, many years of great performance, then reported to this clown. It was all downhill from there. As a woman, I found the culture very difficult and sexist.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Leave if you're there, don't come if you're not

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    There are no pros anymore.

    Cons

    Flattening of the organization without a real care for people who were previously managers. Gross management incompetence from the top down. Lack of accountability. Benefits on the decline. Review system hasn't changed (it's who you know like it's always been). This company has changed - for the worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure it out - you dragged your feet for more than a year with a re-organization that made no sense, then, when it came time to appoint people, the good-ol-boy network reared its ugly head once again. Gross incompetence all the way around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Turn10 - horrible place for a contract

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - 3D Track Artist in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - 3D Track Artist in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    Lots of talent and people to learn from, decent machines to work off of, working on Next Big Game can be exciting, well stocked kitchen, good parking.

    Cons

    From a contract point of view~ You're going to be disposable as a contract. The best thing to do about it is just accept it and do your work and not take anything personally. Don't get starry eyed about maybe going fulltime there, you will find at least a dozen contractors who have been going in and out for years and never gone fulltime (and many of them deserve it). Instead of hiring in, lots of jobs are being outsourced overseas. When your contract year is up, just take your 100 days off and hope you'll have work when your break is over. By the way, your "break" means unemployment, which means filing at the unemployment office and applying for jobs every week. This lifestyle as a contract will be forced upon you.

    Lots of closed door meetings won't include you. You won't have any say on what level you work on, if you're moved to another team, and won't be involved in finding solutions. Even if you don't have any say in the matter as a junior, there's a lot that can be learned simply by being a part of meetings.

    You'll be forced to use a contract vendor and they take a huge cut of your salary. There is no apply directly at Turn10 (this seems to be the Microsoft standard). You will end up working a ton of overtime into the evenings and weekends before deadlines. Don't be surprised if your lead gets to go home at a decent hour to have dinner because they have "family". You won't be given the same courtesy if you wish to stay valuable, whether or not you have a family of your own. If it's the holidays and you are forced to take time off due to studio closures, hope you saved up enough money so you don't take a big hit on your paycheck. Many contracts feel forced to work surrounding weekends so they can get a decent few days off for vacation. Any overtime hours must be pre-approved. Your lead sometimes will try to give you too much work for a 40 hour workweek and you'll be forced to work some unpaid hours to keep up with their demands or have to admit that this is more than 40 hours which makes you "slow" (work smart, not hard. But also recognize when the deadlines aren't feasible).

    Due to the realism of the games, everything will be made off of strict supply of reference. This can be cool, but if you are an artist that likes to create orcs and dragons etc from an artistic vision rather than a realistic one, this job will be just that - a job. Don't get your hopes up about making anything for your portfolio either, all the cool stuff will most likely be outsourced. Not to mention there's so much overlap in the levels that nothing will really be your own to claim. Don't be surprised if someone takes the bulk of your work like a model, applies a texture that Tech Art made, and plops it in their portfolio claiming it as their own.

    If you're not really interested in racecars or motorsports in general, pretend that you do. Learn how to act excited even when you're really not to better fit in with the studio. Don't bring up any interests you have that will make you seem weird or not part of the team. See if you can get an invitation to "Guys Night" on Tuesdays to get beer with your male-only coworkers (yes, this was a thing). Never mind the fact that most of the studio is male and that this is excluding the minority.

    Upper management doesn't care about you personally. They care if you get stuff done on time and done well so don't get involved and thinking you're making friends with anyone (it's best to just accept this early on in order to function). Fulltime employees are too busy watching out for themselves within the Microsoft foodchain and don't care to mingle with contracts much.

    People do get sabotaged in to losing their jobs here. Some leads will hold you back from allowing you to doing your job with conflicting and false instructions, impossible deadlines (not just difficult ones, impossible), create bugs and shift the blame to the contract etc. Upper management, HR, whoever, they don't want to hear about it or deal with it if you're contract. If the lead says you won't jump high enough, you're out no matter how much evidence you have of the lead being inadequate.

    I've never been happier to end a contract. Out of the few jobs I've had in the game industry this was the worst of the lot. I would not recommend this to any one planning on going in as contract unless they really need the work. If you end up at Turn10 as contract never stop looking for other work in the industry. Don't commit to a job that will never commit to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating your contracts like garbage. They have a lot of potential to really do well in the company and make up most of your workforce and deserve more respect. There's no way your company would be able to ship Forza without them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    FIRE THE CEO and other horrible Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Fellow in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Technical Fellow in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Nothing really at all; hoping the board finally fires SN

    Cons

    Leadership = No vision and promote based on popularity and not on real contribution
    Success = who has the most brown on their noses
    Incompetence = MSFT Management
    Lazy and no motivation = MSFT Culture
    Company dismal and failing outlook = Sataya N.
    Waste of time = useless 2hour and 4hour meetings debating terminology with seasoned professionals. (No wonders Google and Apple is kicking this companies butt and handing MST's butt back for lunch

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    FIRE the CEO

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Microsoft

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - 0ffice 355 Team in Redmond, WA
    Former Contractor - 0ffice 355 Team in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The salary. The pay great even for contracts.

    Cons

    The people that work there. There are very attuned to Microsoft software and technology, but they think these are the only technology and software that anyone use. It is very strange and I don;t understand it.....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please learn some people and social skills.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 10 people found this helpful  

    Unethical practices

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

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

    Pros

    Zero good points; please read the Con. Also, I encourage potential candidates to look at the ratings that are low scores. I have noticed that when a honest feedback is given; Microsoft cronies often bombard the feedback site with high ratings to cover up the truth about their company. So, please do yourself a favor and look at the bad ratings for the truth.

    Cons

    Managers play favorites based on personalities versus results, managers love flashy shining things versus content or substance, managers share personal information of their employees with the employee's peers, managers are often threaten by employees who know more than they do, and managers often do not have the background and experience to perform their roles and are often very defensive as a result.

    Culturally, Microsoft has a challenge of too much in fighting, too many people worried about show casing sales type slides in PowerPoint versus the content shared being real or providing value to the company because managers do not understand what they should be looking at, no emphasis on results and more about marketing (mostly vaporware), too many arguments of a word or term such as one that remembered "what is a application versus a platform?" (I thought Microsoft should have known this by now); and the culture is one that no one can truly advance without stepping on others as a regular practice and declaring their work as your work.

    Politically - this environment is the most politically charged environment that I have worked in. Of course there is politics in every company and very bad people in every company. However, not at this magnitude. Even Human Resources has told me in the past they see the bad behaviors and are working on it. So, I waited 8 years and still no improvements. Things have simply became worse than ever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do everyone a favor an quit or step down and allow more qualified external leaders take over and show you how it is done correctly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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