Microsoft

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5 people found this helpful  

Not a place to grow your career

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Cambridge, MA
Former Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Cambridge, MA

I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Good pay/benefits
Good brand name
Ability to work on cutting edge consumer products before they are released in the market

Cons

Highly political work environment. After working for over an year, you will realize that brilliance alone won't get you through going on to the next level.

Managers highly advocate the concept of independent work rather than team work. I've had one manager asking other team members to not help me in my work so that I start working independently (really ??).

Bad performance review system - Stack ranking is fine. But there is a concept of being visible across teams. Doing well and exceeding expectations in your team isn't enough. You need to be able to impress managers in other teams to get a better rating / promotions during annual performance calibrations.

Very high turnover (in this office specifically) - Mainly due to the internal politics and the review system. The other thing is management will make you work those extra hours when people leave or when other teams lose resources. But don't expect to get rewarded for working those extra hours. Those activities do not fall in the category of being visible across other teams.

Work/life balance - Management keeps discussing about this every year during the MS Polls if the results are bad. I haven't seen any concrete steps in this direction, atleast till i worked there.

Skill set development - If you are working as an SDET, it might be a bit difficult to develop skill sets which are marketable outside. Most of the tools/technologies used are internal to microsoft and hardly any are used outside microsoft, except C# / .NET

Underskilled managers - MS needs to do some work on hiring good managers. Some of them are just there based on the amount of years spent in the company and may not be good at coaching ICs. If you get a good manager, you might be in luck and may have a better experience working here.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Put a new review system in place
Allow more easier movement across teams
Hire good managers. Teach them what team work is.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

9050 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great place to work. Big jobs, great resources, up-to-date technology, encourages risk-taking

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

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

    Pros

    access to great tech and wicked smart people. lots of budget and resources to actually get things done

    Cons

    tough and very competitive performance model.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Solid coding in a varied but silo'd environment

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

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

    Pros

    Tons of within-company opportunities, lots of data to work with, you can find great people, your work affects millions and millions of people.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic, engineering practices lag industry standards in many teams, the organization is anything but lean, there are plenty of leeches.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way, any way, to get rid of the bottom 20% without hurting morale. Stop growing if that's what's causing lax hiring? Communicate shareholder value goals all the way down to the base, and encourage quantitative thinking about scenarios instead of fuzzy story-telling.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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