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1 person found this helpful  

Cutting edge work for some, great & caring company for all

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

I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

Pros

Context: Engineering Discipline, been with the company for a little over 2 years

- You feel like the company actually cares. The CPO Lisa Brummel often engages with employees in public ways and has a phenomenal attitude. Giving programs, health benefits, fitness incentives, continuing education, structured career conversations -- lots of things point to the company taking a genuine interest in your personal and professional well being (of course not without its own motives).

- Lots of room for growth at the lower levels, things start to become bottle-necked around the "Manager of managers" level

- Company is constantly reinventing itself. It can be a dinosaur in many ways (especially legacy code bases and antiquated engineering styles), but everyday we get closer to modernizing the entire company from the bottom up. This can also be a source of frustration, but is much more exciting.

- Product portfolio is second to none. This is the only company in the world where I can work on a PC OS, tablet hardware, machine learning algorithm, design a popular coding language, work on embedded technology, build a productivity suite, develop a game console -- and still be under the same corporate roof with no relocation necessary.

Cons

- Company at times doesn't appear designed to retain top-tier talent. Elimination of the stack system, while widely praised, wasn't replaced by any incentives for the top 5% to stay. This is a symptom of a company which, while inventing itself in many ways, can still at times be a monolithic bureaucracy

- Product group and corporate culture can be Russian Roulette. There are teams at the company working on breakthrough products filled to the brim with absolute rockstars. There are other teams working on maintaining antiquated contractually ordained technology with people who reek of sadness and despair. Thankfully horizontal mobility is super common at the company, so if you get dealt a bad hand you're not locked in forever.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Continue to invest in programs which communicate genuine care for employees. As we push into retail, things like corporate discounts and "VIP" programs give a sense of preferential treatment which translates into corporate pride. Remodeling the cafeterias on campus is a great initiative and should continue. Continue to brand the campus. Everyday Microsoft employees face a public community which has stopped believing we can innovate -- we've become the underdog. Some extra-ordinary thinking is called for to make sure employees feel a sense of belongingness and pride, two things that help motivate and excite.

Additionally, invest in "fast-track" programs for those who exhibit top tier talent. Previously being ranked in that top tier equated to additional compensation, which helped offset the sometimes artificially stagnant promotion cadence. In the brave new world there needs to exist programs which communicate loud and clear why staying with Microsoft is in the best interests of one's career. As much love as some may have for the company, it's hard to justify staying when bigger bonuses and better titles exist in external opportunities.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

8472 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    My experience at Microsoft has been very good.

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Microsoft offer some really good perks. The base salary is good and the ESPP(employee stock purchase plan) is well designed. The health benefits were very good in past but they are not as good as they used to be.
    You get to work on some really challenging projects. You have to keep learning and updating yourself at your job. This is not something that you do in your off time. You have to learn new technologies to perform your day-to-day work.
    Some of the people here are very talented. They are scary intelligent and you have a hard time to gauge their potential. A wide range of employees are average but average for Microsoft may be extra ordinary for some other companies.

    Cons

    The work-life balance is very off. We have frequent releases and every release brings long hours at office.
    Sometimes, we don't have enough time to fix a problem at the very core. We are racing against time and we have to provide a workable solution to the problem as soon as possible.
    There are very few team morale events.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give freedom to employees to work on their own project (like Google does).
    Some of the decisions taken by higher-management seems random at best and disastrous at worst.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunities, so keep moving

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    A challenging, interesting, mostly enjoyable place to work.
    Great work-live balance
    Tons of resources to enable you to do what you need to do for your business
    Can make positive impact on people's lives through citizenship programs
    BUT:
    You must manage your career - no one else will
    Don't stay in one place too long, or you lose relevance
    Treat each job like a project, and move on once you've achieved your goals in role

    Cons

    Wasteful spending and lack of accountability
    Many projects seem to be career enhancing as opposed to adding company value
    Competitive review system doesn't promote collaboration or long term thinking

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward the right behaviors - work that results in long term value for the company.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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