Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Seattle, WA

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 3,690 reviews

86% Approve of the CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

(273 ratings)

76% 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)

1,404 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    316 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    Pros1. 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.

    ConsBrand 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 Senior ManagementI'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.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Huge challenges, scope and scale

    Principal Program Manager (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsSmart passionate people. Among the best HR/benefits and comp packages out there. Ease of mobility between roles. Puget Sound work environments are excellent - campus is top notch.

    ConsIt's become a VERY big place with a lot of fiefdoms. Advancing ideas requires willingness to not only make a case but in some cases extreme political gamesmanship. Too many eggs in one basket in terms of revenue generating products.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Unparalleled - If you have a chance to work there, take it

    Group Manager (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsSmart people
    Big goals
    Tremendous opportunity to grow
    Products have huge impact on the market and on people's lives
    Great compensation package
    Opportunity to learn in one of the most successful companies ever

    ConsMany employees have been there so long that they may have lost some context about the real world. In Office, for example, they were unwilling to incorporate mobile devices as a 1st experience until way too late - despite multiple voices calling for it. And you can see a similar delay with Office apps for IOS. This self-centeredness also extends to management. When someone is doing well, that person is golden. When someone isn't doing well, there's no safety net. It's extremely Ayn Randian. I was there nearly 20 years - I started as an individual contributor contractor, and worked my way up to group manager (managing managers). I believed in the review system and the company for at least 15 of those years - complainers just couldn't hack it, I thought. But I honestly realize now that there is a blind spot with regard to human performance. People can still be great performers and contributors even after they've failed to deliver in a particular circumstance. Perhaps Satya will impact that for the better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe next time you need to deal with a poor-performer, really ask yourself if you've "flipped the bit" internally too soon. Try imagining this person as your star performer and consider how you would be treating them. If it's different, remember that our expectations are a huge predictor of others' success.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    "One Microsoft" challenges employees to work together, but doesn't outline "One Vision".

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

    ProsWith a scope like Microsoft's there are many very interesting problems to work on. The teams are very energized and passionate about what they do. Employees are mostly smart, dedicated and interested in doing the right thing.

    There are many great work benefits available such as training, internal conferences, and cross-company discussion groups on any imaginable topic.

    Excellent health benefits and work schedule flexibility help provide for a good work-life balance most of the time.

    There is a strong company value in making life better or easier for people. Most engineers think of the users. At other companies I saw more focus on managers, executives, or businesses as customers.

    The engineering focus is on building things for the long term, and on enabling scale to huge numbers of users.

    ConsThere is a tradition of open discussion, and your ideas can get heard - no matter what your position in the organization. The other side of this is the debate never stops, so decisions are rarely explicit, and often not completely followed. This causes a good deal of chaos for employees and for customers.

    People are willing to collaborate when invited, but there's not a great culture of inviting collaboration. Many times I found engineers view reinventing on their own as easier alternative to finding the right people to collaborate with and starting a dialog. Similarly, people have their own ideas about priorities, and aren't always willing to listen or collaborate on aligning priorities.

    Often teams build what they want to build rather than figure out what customers need and how to work with other teams to deliver that.

    There is a culture of only solving problems by programming. I saw problems that were non-programming problems get ignored, or addressed as if they were programming problems.

    Many of the leaders are engineers who understand the engineering and processes very well, but are less effective as leaders of people.

    There is often an arrogant attitude that we know this business and what's needed better than our competitors or users.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake the culture explicit. Name the change we are leading for the world.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great learning and personal growth

    Principal Enterprise Strategist (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    Proslove of technology
    wide career options

    Constoo large and now a bureaucracy.

    Advice to Senior Managementfire 50% of middle management

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Challenging work, work/life balance achievable depending on your team and function

    Legal Support (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsOpportunity to exand you knowledge and skills. Great amenities like free soda, transportation assistance, including private Connector busline. Flexible work schedule. Technology to support mobility (i.e., conference calls, work from home, business travel, etc.) Autonomy. Great people and lots of diversity.

    ConsSilos within work groups. Average pay. Politics and no transparancy in reviews. Some areas are not amenable to upward mobility. The company is so big that it has lost its agility to respond quickly to the changing technology landscape.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore transparancy in review process. Truly LISTEN to employee feedback! Get a great marketing team!!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Great place to start

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsLots of smart people, lots of work to go around.

    ConsBig, so your results may vary.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good company, treats employees well, tough turnaround situation

    Senior Program Manager (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsGreat work-life balance, excellent pay and benefits, smart people, it is best to work in a core business (Azure, Office, Windows)

    ConsFrustrating politics and indecisive management can make things rough. Lots of work left to do to change the engineering culture to modern standards, but I think Satya is up to the challenge.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good Co. to work with

    Group Finance Manager (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsGood Work Life Balance, respectful

    ConsBureaucratic, too many people, slow

    Advice to Senior Managementdecrease layers and increase accountability

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great people, great benefits, good company

    Program Manager (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    Pros-Lots of great people to work with.
    -Many opportunities available.
    -Typically great work/life balance.
    -Many amazing benefits.

    Cons-Constant restructuring and shuffling employees around office buildings.
    -Many redundancies exist within the company making it difficult to do your job at times.
    -For a technology company they don't put enough focus and time into their internal tools.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore consistency is needed. Too often employees are brought onto a project only to find out that Senior Leadership has decided to not focus on that project anymore and layoffs then occur.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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