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Helpful (3)

forced curve stack ranking is brutal for regular employees. Cushy ride for managers

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

I have been working at Microsoft

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

good name recognition in your resume. get an idea of the scale of work in a big company.
If you are a manager it is cushy ride. If you are an employee very difficult for a developer due to constant deadlines and demands, OK for program manager and testers

Cons

too much process and bureaucratic. constant change in direction is normal. Common to reset the project direction every few months and start from scratch. Stack ranking (where employees are compared to each other in their level every few months and forced into a curve distribution) is brutal. If you are a developer here, you don't feel like you are competing with the other companies to deliver a better product , instead you are competing with your coworker. Coworkers will not help each other, instead will backstab each other so that they finish higher in the curve. It is a bit easier if you are a program manager, because you don't have any real deadlines. Developers have a deadline almost daily and put in crazy hours in most teams. Also easier if you are a lead, since you typically would delegate all work to reports, get credit for all successes but are typically not blamed for project failures,

Manager has to fill up a slot between 1 to 5 (performance grade) in their team by force. This is called stack ranking and is very political. About 2 months of the year, managers just spend time doing that. Typically they pick least favorite employees for 4 or 5 . And by HR rule , they have to contantly tell them they are underperforming so that those employees leave soon. Also internal transfers are only possible for people who get 1 or 2 rating. The other employees are ignored during internal applications.

There are also many ethnic cabals inside there.
There is also an official internal effort to force out older employees and replace they with younger employees. For managers though, there is no such effort. Managers are treated as gods by the company.

Advice to Management

abolish forced curve rating. Have an simple performance rating based on "did he meet all his deadlines and deliverable" . Also make managers more accountable.

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great place to work if you thrive playing dirty political games...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staffing/Talent Acquisition in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Staffing/Talent Acquisition in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits
    World class organization
    Great facilities and campus

    Cons

    Not recognized for excellence doing the work you are hired for, because you didn't also brown nose and play politics. Performance focused heavily on being a "team player" and "soft" aspects of your role that align with working within the sewing circle, than on actually your core skills and responsibilities.
    Established old girl's management team that operates like the police force, protects their own, and controls the environment in ways that benefit themselves.
    Poor communication, surprise attacks during review time, despite the mantra that everyone should know that their review might be tough ahead of time to allow opportunities for course correction.
    If you don't play the game inside the political framework, it doesn't matter how good your work is.

    Advice to Management

    Staffing / Talent Acquisition ng will change while you are there. Clearly, bigger picture of this systemic management flaw can be seen in the companies demise. Slowly but surely Microsoft has become a dodo and its just a matter of time before it disintegrates.
    Out with the old and in with the new was never more relevant.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Great to learn SDLC, growth is limited

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Stability, work-life balance, builds solid products

    Cons

    Plays catchup with new technology


There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

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