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Great if you are in Seattle, but engineering in the bay area is not the place to be

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

I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

Smart people, good benefits, stability. There is a fair amount of variety in the bay area but nothing like what there is in Seattle of course.

Cons

In my experience, teams are all very interdependent which means everyone has to agree to get anything done. Not super nimble. More talking than doing.

Advice to Management

Stop hiring in partners in the bay area and grow the people that are there. It feels like there is no future down here. Pretty much all Bay Area partners were hired in.

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  1. Once great, now declining

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Includes a stay fit program, you get $800 to spend every year on health activities
    Global company enables to build relationships around the world
    Good salary

    Cons

    Culture is changing from creative go get it to what does my boss think
    If you are outside of Redmond and your team is there, it is hard to evolve in your career.

    Advice to Management

    Too many re-orgs affect career development, too many managers, poor manager-employee relationship when you are remote.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Great benefits; Bad middle managers

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits - PTO (3-5 weeks), 2 weeks Sick Leave, 4 weeks Paternity/12 weeks maternity leave PTO, very good health plan with HSA (employee has to pay out-of-pocket until a deductible is met, company contributes too; Plan was great till end of 2012), individual office with lots of privacy - this is a great plus if you are coming from a cubicle culture, flexible hours, great infrastructure, lots of smart engineers, good pay compared to others in the Seattle area. If you can shut yourself off of the middle management incompetency and maintain a good relationship with everyone, you'll get a steady growth. Work-life balance in general is very good with 40-50 hours though it depends on the team where you may have to put in 60+ hours and weekends. Consider working for a core team if you want to be around smart engineers.

    Cons

    Managers push busy work. Generally incompetent middle managers - tons of politics. It's not what you contribute that counts - it is your relationship with your lead and his/her manager that weighs heavily in your reviews. Most middle managers cannot get a job outside of Microsoft - even if they did, they cannot get the benefits that Microsoft offers so they stick on. Getting things done can be a pain. Most non-core teams have incompetent team members at almost all levels. There are frequent re-organizations across the company. It is common to go through 7-10 managers in a period of 5-6 years and it affects growth badly even if you are very smart. Most managers lack the maturity to be managers.

    Advice to Management

    Consolidate the divisions. Please re-align business and get rid of the incompetent middle managers in the senior and principal bands. Re-evaluate competencies and calibrate the engineers and managers. Microsoft is a great place to work and it can be made made better by getting more efficient.

There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
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