Microsoft

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Spent a third of my life working there, enjoyed the first ten years

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Mountain View, CA
Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Mountain View, CA

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

Pros

When I started there it was a company full of wickedly smart people who all worked tirelessly, and sometimes isolated, to move the company forward. It was always a meritocracy and I was ok with that as you got to work on cutting edge technologies. The career development there was stellar and I was presented with multiple international opportunities that allowed me to make my home in the USA with stints in Europe and Asia to round out my experience.

Cons

Over the last few years the changes to the review model killed collaboration, you became pitched lock step in battle with your peers fighting for a review score that you could apply a dollar amount to. I understand that has gone now and that is the only reason why I give it three stars now as there is a chance that the changes will fix this.

The company has too much middle management and a lot of it is mediocre. Sadly I became one of those mediocre middle managers because I could not connect the work that my 80+ person team was doing with the success of the company and my game face wasn't good enough to help motivate my team. So I got out and haven't looked back since. I just learned my team is about to get cut by 75% as they are being 'merged' with another one.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

With the new CEO at the helm there is a big opportunity for change. He needs to kill as much of the tired, hapless middle management as possible and restructure the company so teams are rewarded for their progress and failing teams are penalized appropriately. Keep it a meritocracy but reward the high performing TEAMS not individuals.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

9035 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Maximum politics, Minimum capability

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

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance if you insist. Probably not good for your performance review.

    Cons

    - Too many unqualified employees. This detracts from any useful work.
    - Everybody is here for the political gameplay. The idea is to seem like you're doing useful work so as to get to the next step. Doesn't matter who you trample along the way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 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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