Microsoft Reviews in Seattle, WA

Updated September 29, 2014
Updated September 29, 2014
8,174 Reviews
3.8
8,174 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
960 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 786 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 944 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 511 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 388 reviews)

More Highlights

1,533 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 355 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for 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  

    Corporate Reorganizations

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

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance, compensation, benefits, and potential bonus/stock based on performance.

    Cons

    Due to recent company wide reorganizations and layoffs there is big lack of job stability, questionable new leadership, and accountability in immediate management structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan ahead, do your homework on what accountability and actual structure means to all levels of the team or group. Be transparent of reviews to really reward star performers and hold management accountable on perceived "good ole boys" club mentality.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great company with plenty of opportunities

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Vast number of projects to work on in multiple countries. Pay is consistently in the top 75% percentile. Flexible work hours. For engineers, there's a vast number of levels to grow, which is far different than competitors like Amazon. IC's can potentially earn as much as a VP with the number of levels for growth. Overall, this is a great company for career growth. Pay is 100% performance based now, and favors collaboration over politics. Stack ranking is dead!

    Cons

    Aren't going to get the free perks like you see in competitors in silicon valley, but who really cares. You will most likely make more money at Microsoft and that's more important. Still growth favors type A people. If you aren't one that guides and leads the design and has major influence, your growth and performance awards will be much slower.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go flat org. Get rid of testers and go combined engineering role for 90% of product line. Keep the path and listen to customers. Listen to customers. Listen to customers!!!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Test manager

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great benefits and access to tons of resources.
    Engineering teams are brilliant and fun to work with.
    Diverse set of products to work on.

    Cons

    A lot of politics, at times you don't know why the decision was made.
    Some the teams have worse corporate culture.
    The company is lethargic at times reacting to customer needs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of change and the Lay-offs are making everyone nervous

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

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

    Pros

    Satya is bringing in lots of change and it's too soon to tell whether it's for better or worse. Benefits are still excellent, even for an hourly employee like me. It's still VERY DIFFICULT to move from an Admin/Hourly job to a non-hourly role. It can take years to get promoted and there is a definite glass ceiling if you start(ed) as an hourly employee.

    Cons

    Lay-offs are freaking everyone out. I get that we need to make changes, but it's causing a lot of churn as the folks who (thankfully!) still have jobs are being shifted around like assets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep being transparent, as much as possible.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great pay, lots of opportunities, difficult culture

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Benefits and take-home pay are amazing. I love that the company is so big with so many different products, that you can switch positions every few years and continue to learn and grow. There is no reason to get bored here.

    Cons

    Confrontational and aggressive people get ahead here. Even if you get all your work done and done well, you will get dinged on your reviews specifically for not being aggressive enough (this has happened to me on multiple teams). Teams complete with each other rather than working together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer incentives for employees and teams to work cooperatively, rather than competitively (other than the "it matters HOW you get stuff done" on the reviews). Recognize creativity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great Company, Smart Engineers

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing product, Smart colleagues, awesome compensation and benefits. Opportunity to learn and grow almost any software technology

    Cons

    Big company cons - does not move as fast as one would want to be. This is normal and no company of Microsoft can avoid this - period

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the current momentum

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Has High potential but needs to change its culture

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of great products to work on, Diversity in culture, high potential because of the smart people in there, great integration story possible

    Cons

    need to eliminate lots of people who are resting & vesting here, needs to learn to be agile, needs to be more nimble and give more power to the engineers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do NOT micro manage, provide directions and let the creativity flow. Please remove a lot of unnecessary principal ppl who are sitting idle or trying to create random work. Reduce Test Managers and leads and give power to engineers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    A place with many telants

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good benefits and training opportunities

    Cons

    Not a fast expanding company

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Treats employees well even as its reinventing itself

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

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

    Pros

    Microsoft has one of the best employee benefits and pay in the industry. The company is going through a transformation and moving towards open communications enabling effective cross team collaboration, reducing middle management, and bringing back strong customer focus.

    Cons

    Microsoft continually strives to keeps its workforce out of their comfort zones, always challenged and pushing their limits, even as many people have come to settle in the company for long term employment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Even as the new CEO is trying to get teams to have customer focus, many teams are unable to raise themselves to the challenge, especially the old school managers who have grown through the ranks riding on past company success. There is a fat partner band who don't embrace customer focus, and continue to employ politics for survival and growth, need to trimmed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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