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

I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

Pros

Lots of perks still. Teaming seems to be coming back slowly since the change in the performance review system. Lots of work to do, so durations look strong going forward.

Cons

Like any company, there are always bad managers here and there. There are still senior some managers who enjoy their fiefdoms and act accordingly. I my case my manager created a hostile work place, violated several of Microsoft's codes of conduct and personally violated me at a Microsoft conference. HR is not your friend here if you are a Caucasian Male. 1 year later she was promoted and 3 years later she forced me out of the company.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

When you say "People are our greatest assets" please act as if you really mean what you say. To often this statement is thrown around and it just feels like fluff. Additionally, there a lot of well educated American born employees who do great work. Stop replacing them with H1B visas as a way to increase the bottom line. It is not doing the local economy any good and those you drive out, you also drive out their continued support of Microsoft as a consumer.

Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    It will take years to remove vestiges of the now-gone stack ranked HR bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Escalation Engineer  in  Irving, TX
    Current Employee - Escalation Engineer in Irving, TX

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Technological immersion - constant new technology. Stack ranking is now gone.

    Cons

    HR's idiotic and stifling stack ranking (or curve fitting) of employees is now _supposedly_ gone (as part of the "One Microsoft" reorganization). I fear the bureaucratic and myopic HR remains It will take years for HR's poison to be cleaned out of Microsoft. Due to stack ranking, there are now thousands of technically shallow and dispassionate managers tucked away.

    I must wonder whether HR employees were held responsible for their years of employee abuse (it appears not). Over the years, HR trained MS employees well: You were to climb on the backs of your fellow employees, you must avoid working with those who are "better", you were to work according to the metrics your manager imposed (which were frequently idiotic ones, not much better than a "lines of code" metric), and you were to transfer anywhere else, as quickly as possible (so that you stay 'fresh', in your manager's eye).

    Prior to the reorg, the head of Sales & Support required Sales training upon all, required no Support training, and completely misunderstood the purpose of Support (he apparently thought Support was suppose to make sales pitches). With Sales and Support now supposedly split up (per "One Microsoft"), perhaps such damaging behavior has been limited to just "one" of the many Microsoft divisions..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HR needs to be quartered. The money spent on glossy HR brochures and over-produced internal sales videos should be replaced with more morale events. Contracting and outsourcing need to be quartered - think more about employee & customer loyalty, and less about your stock holders' short term bottom line.

    Show and advertise to each country that you care about it, by ensuring each country is only supported by its citizens. Recognize individual employees by offering individual bonuses - ones that are not tied to any of the many "One Microsoft" performance metrics. Remember what Mark Twain wrote about statistics/metrics.

    Reduce the deepest levels of management by 50%. Foster more employee & customer feedback, through _fewer_ levels of management. Start listening more to the _variety_ of your customers. Recognize your marketS: What what youths want is not going to align with what a CIO wants, and individually tailor solutions. Remember that Windows started personal (and _then_ went corporate). Avoid the "one Microsoft size fits all Microsoft customers" gutter (e.g. Windows 8).

    Acknowledge by actions when (individual and) team metrics are not perfect, - e.g. selectively override some of the lower bonuses when they are due to one year's poor "metrics". Be far more terse in your emails: The higher up in Microsoft management one is, the longer the emails have been, but your employees become spammed (each manger is trying to outdo another in email length), jaded, or overwhelmed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Microsoft needs to re-invent itself to be the dream job of every SWE for during the first 5, 10, 15 years on.

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Software engineering at its best (Windows Division). Great place for learning in your first 5 years as a professional world-class SWE: from just by reading code to listening to its distinguished SWEs you'll learn the how to code effectively (tip: Find a motivated mentor to give your learning a boost).

    Cons

    Very competitive environment not designed to facilitate collaboration. Its performance evaluation process has created a dysfunctional work environment, starting on entry-level I.C.s, preventing collaboration to emergence of political plots with teams and divisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mid-management (leads): you are no longer the senior I.C. aspiring architect only. Refocus yourself, so your main job guide your team, as result your team as whole is bigger than the sum of the individual parts. E.g.: keep a clear communication about expectations with your directs. You should seek the bring understanding of the evaluation process to your team, so there is less of dysfunctional competition at early stages.

    Org-level management (eng. managers): you are a consolidation point of each division. So bring harmony and transparency on how opportunities-rewards are being shared within your org.

    Upper management (Directors-VP): Create an environment that facilitate innovation to bring new ideas to main products (e.g.: windows, office). Let the creativity thinking be pervasive, at least at limited times during the product life cycle, even if execution is below the standards, the concept is more important for product validation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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