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2 people found this helpful  

What it's like to work for Microsoft, outside Redmond.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Marketing Communications Manager  in  Mountain View, CA
Current Employee - Marketing Communications Manager in Mountain View, CA

I have been working at Microsoft

Pros

Microsoft takes great care of its employees. I feel that they invest a lot in their employees, from training to funding/empowering your projects, and they have set up frameworks to make sure your manager supports your career development. The 100% free health care/dental/vision benefits completely remove stress from that area of your life.

Cons

The biggest downside of working for Microsoft, but outside Redmond headquarters, is the poor brand reputation among everyone outside Microsoft, especially in Silicon Valley. They are not known for creating great consumer services, so they are not well liked when compared to other consumer-centric companies. That cuts into the pride I have in working for Microsoft - only the employees inside learn what a great company it is. That might be fine when you live in the Seattle area where Microsoft dominates, but it's pretty hard in the field when everyone favors your competitors.
Because Microsoft is such a large company, you may feel that you don't have as much control of your projects as you would have in a smaller company. They have a team and a framework or template for everything, so sometimes it feels like you can just turn off your brain and use all the resources they have set up.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

If you're going to do consumer services, do them right - stop releasing junk that just erodes Microsoft brand value. Don't pat yourself on the back for how many users you got just by coasting on the Microsoft/MSN brands. Go for the smart silicon valley users by actually building a superior consumer service (based on consumer needs, not feature lists) - this will take a complete reinvention of the services from the ground up, instead of tacking on new features to old code bases, frankenstein-style.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for Microsoft

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Microsoft is still a great place to work, especially if you are looking for career growth!

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    The best reasons to work at Microsoft are that you get to work with a group of exceptionally talented and motivated people, you have almost limitless career growth, and you will always be working with the latest and greatest technology that is available. Senior management is very competent and will give you feedback on a regular basis that you can use for personal as well as professional development. The people you meet in the hallway usually seem happy to be there (minus the guys that are late to their meetings and coding on their laptops while trying to hit the right elevator buttons) and you can almost always strike up a good conversation with someone interesting at lunch (we're not all antisocial nerds, well at least not all the time =P)
    If you are a fresher like myself, I have found the environment to be very nurturing yet at the same time there is plenty of challenge so you will feel proud of your work when you are done. At my previous company when management said I did a good job on a project I just shrugged it off, but when someone says you're doing a good job at Microsoft it is really something to be proud of!!

    Cons

    The downsides are that sometimes you will put in long hours if you are close to release in the software development lifecycle. Occasionally I hear about people having incompetent middle manager/leads which I believe is partly due to the "if you can code, you can manage" philosophy. If this happens be diplomatic about it, give feedback to your leads and senior managers and remember that sometimes they are still learning too. Also, as a downside to having high career growth you can be put in a situation where they will give you more responsibility than you asked for. This is great for experience but it can be stressful if you are not used to it. The way I see it, that is just part of the training and what is life without a little challenge anyway?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Theres a lot of back scratching going on in here! Also, morale events really do boost morale, lets have more of those =P

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Only good for parents' bumper stickers "My child works for Microsoft"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Microsoft is this world's largest software development company, this looks good to future employeers. Employees receive discounts when purchasing normally overpriced software.

    Cons

    You have to pay for food and snacks. Not a comfortable work environment, they discourage peaceful and collaborative working. They do not promote based on quality of work instead they promote based on popularity and their review system. Hard work is NEVER rewarded here, instead employees are promoted when they do less work and leave early. At Microsoft, if one person in management, regardless of their direct connection to you, doesn't like you, your next review will be damaged. I've received only one 0.5% raise in nearly 5 years of service. Microsoft has horrible retention of long term employees. Management is free to ridicule employees. They 'claim' raises and promotions can happen any time but I have never seen anyone recieve a promotion or raise outside of once a year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to the survey feedback provided by employees, not just the management feedback. Attempt to correct salary and level mistakes as soon as possible. I have seen many highly talented people leave Microsoft after a couple years because Microsoft fails to appreciate employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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