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3 people found this helpful  

Microsoft is a great company to work at, depending on what team you are on.

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

I worked at Microsoft

Pros

An opportunity to be a part of something big. (Not just in company size, but in the projects they take on.) MS has the resources to invest in cutting edge tech. And, chances are your project/product will impact millions of users.

The culture is pleasantly surreal compared to the rest of the corporate world: (Casual, private offices, diverse, free soda, MS software free for work use and cheap for personal, great buildings and cafeterias.) They make you so comfortable, the line between work and home get blurred.) In general, the people you will work with, regardless of team, are some of the smartest and most job-focused you will meet in your life. Going to any other company after MS will seem like stepping into Mayberry (simpler folk, moving slower).

The benefits package is awesome, I'd guess in the top 1% of all companies. And the non-tangible benefit is an aura of respect you get when outsiders know you as an MS employee (of course, you're thinking: "I'm one of 90,000; what's the big deal?")

Cons

Sometimes the politics at MS becomes over-whelming. Their emphasis on performance for compensation and promotion gives a lot of power to direct and up-line managers. One would hope the most committed employees and those that did the most for the product are rewarded. But in reality, it is the brownnosers and drinking buddies of the right people that move up the stack.

MS pays big lip-service to flexible/remote work arrangements but it is mostly talk. This is a company that expects you there in person most of the time. Combine that with the long work hours, and it is the ideal job for young single people and divorcees.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Fix the lethargic stock price, or accept it and find other SIGNIFICANT ways to share the wealth with your employees. Stop hiding from Apple and take them head-on in the coolness factor (not the majority factor). Shift your focus from rewarding individuals to rewarding teams, and it will be reflected in your stock price (because that is how wall street has been judging you since 2000.)

Implement a cohesive and mandatory flex-time program to address the traffic and work-life balance issues. If even archaic bureaucratic state governments can get their act together on this, you have no excuse. Lose your infatuation with type-A, "Red" employees. These are known historically for launching companies but not so much for successfully running them. Instead of promoting them to management, manage them out or over to sales, and your company will excel in its sector.

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8371 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work, but not if you want to transfer to other locations.

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    Amazing managers who really understood that their primary role within a company is not to make themselves look better, but to grow you as a person and as a worker. I had nothing but great experiences working at MS, and still feel a bit of regret in leaving.

    Cons

    It was difficult to reconcile my personal life and work with regards to transferring locations. Once you're in a location, you're pretty much set. It's not a huge drawback, but it was ultimately the reason I left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus more on quality of all products, and do a better job at influencing hardware development with your partners. Microsoft does not make much hardware, but when they do it's actually pretty good (Xbox360 red-ring aside). But the biggest problem is not in the software, but the fact that it has to run on such a multitude of hardware that MS does not make. If instead they influenced the hardware makers, or even made more products of their own, MS would have more of a chance to focus on quality.

    Oh, and do something about those stock prices. I'm still a shareholder.

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  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Product Manager

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    The culture is professional yet relaxed. Generally a strong work ethic. No "clocking in" type culture, more important that your job gets done well and not that you are sitting at your desk at 8.30am every day - if you want to do your job until the wee hours the offices are open 24.7 to you. Relaxed culture, challenging, innovative. Great benefits. Exciting projects - global environment - diversity

    Cons

    Ambiguity about projects. Lack of recognition of a job well done. "Ramp up" for new employees can be sketchy and overwhelming - this area could be improved upon greatly.
    Traveling more than 65% takes time out from family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More centric new employee "ramp up" process to include systems/sharepoints/groups/ etc.

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