Microsoft

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3 people found this helpful  

Learn good software engineering practices, and then rethink about your career.

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

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

Pros

You will be working with some of the smartest people if you are in the right group here. You will have an opportunity to learn so much about software engineering. Good facilities and perks.

Cons

Too big a company and too many re-orgs. It hampers an individual contributor's growth. You will be learning Microsoft technologies a lot. These doesn't help if you look for opportunities outside Microsoft. You will basically be a person who knows only about Microsoft technologies and nothing about open source technology stack. A Microsoft engineer might not be that highly regarded in other big companies simply because of the technologies learnt while in Microsoft.
Another issue is that you will be as good as your lead projects you in front of everyone else. So if your lead doesn't like you, you are screwed. This lead might not be the one who interviewed you and hired you because of re-org. So basically it is something like you interviewed for team A, but when you join, because of re-orgs you end up working for team B and totally different person who you did not meet during the interview time.
Another thing is SDET career is not good at all. Anyone who joins as SDET is just wasting career here.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Less re-orgs please. Review the management.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

9300 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    I didn't make anything for the first year and a half. Just fixed bugs. Not fun.

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

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

    Pros

    Great work-life balance. Great bosses. Great colleagues that you can rely on. Private or shared offices (team size/facilities permitting; expect a three-plus year wait or management for privacy in my experience). Good facilities. Pretty good equipment. Lots of cafeterias with varying kinds of food. Company name recognition and respect. Free sodas and juices.

    Cons

    A not-invented-here mentality. The company is split into fiefdoms that look out for themselves first. The CEO, Steve Ballmer, is a clown with no vision, inspiration, or appeal. No cool perks like at Google: no free food, no massages, no campus bicycles, no 20% time, etc. There's a stink of stagnation and irrelevance. You have to use Windows and Microsoft tools (no UNIX terminal or programs). Huge wastes of time: dependencies are often constructed in parallel, and the stuff you need just isn't there yet (contrast this to an iterative approach). Most tools are home grown and not supported very well. No Git or other decentralized version control; it's like CVS or SVN, but a worse Microsoft version. Terrible Sharepoint wiki software used for internal wikis. Often times, some internal tool doesn't work, and you have no idea who to talk to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire Ballmer. Great products over great profits. Focus on consumer products, and customers will pressure their workplaces to let them use those products, as with Apple products. Eliminate 20/70/10 employee performance ratings (and the required no-bonus for at least one employee per team). Pay a higher base salary in the Seattle area. Break up the product fiefdoms into functional organizations: software, hardware, services, or whatever, not Office, Windows, Bing, etc. Ditch not-invented-here. Iterate, don't parallelize. Stop slapping the Windows brand on things that don't have windows. Figure out how to be cool again, or you're going to have trouble recruiting the fresh college graduates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Targets set to 130% of what is reasonable.

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pick your manager, the good ones will excuse the things you don't get to. Network with other groups, pick a winning product, don't get tied down with a losing product. Benefits and perks are great, they are giving all sort of windows 8 goodies to the FTEs - while they are cutting medical coverage - go figure.

    Cons

    Work life balance is a joke unless you are very tight with your manager. Manage your own career, Microsoft will not love you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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