There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

1 person found this helpful  

Some groups are very political; non-technical people run the show; job-doers are sidelined in favor of networkers.

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

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

Pros

It is a big company. I am sure there are other teams with better work atmosphere. Make sure you know the GM is a sound guy. Work culture in group trickles down from top.

Cons

Some groups like mine are very bad places to be. The leaders and their lackeys are all about making their fiefdoms and promoting their careers at the cost of honest workers, and hence the company. Backstabbing is common.
If you rub your manager the wrong way, nothing can save you. Managers have absolute powers. HR exists only to help the managers keep their directs under check.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

You cannot change company culture by retaining the same old management. The people in senior leadership positions are there because they know how to play the politics and navigate the system. Bring in new people if you really want to change company culture.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

8179 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1.  

    Regret I spent years of my life there

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

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

    Pros

    - To some people outside the "circle", they would respect you for being a Microsoft employee, especially in other countries.
    - H1B sponsorship
    - Smart, competitive people around you. A lot to learn from peers and managers

    Cons

    - A company past its creativity curve. Only tiny portion of the projects are interesting, and people will fight for you. If you newly join the company, you will spend quite some time doing the out-dated technologies.
    - "Factory", "assembly line" style process: this company is smart enough to "streamline-lize" its software development into something similar to Ford's assembly line. Working in that procedure gives you a strong feeling that you are one replaceable piece on it.
    - Management tries to get "most mileage" out of you: the management will try to make you work hard, overtime (while not explicitly say so to leave "evidence". One time I saw the manager explicitly wrote "do more with less", meaning getting more done with less people, in his commitment. Another time I heard the management using "get enough mileage out of people". They would make aggressive planning, use progress tracking software, status report meetings to force you into work over time. Not only that, during work it's highly intense, I had to make sure the previous scheduled tasks are made progress, and timely respond to boss' emails of ad-hoc tasks. Sometimes I need to switch between 5 desktop servers to run different tasks to get my assignments done. Looking back, every year there made me age 3-4 years.
    - Selfish culture. It boosted a culture that everybody try to strive to get what's within his own boundary done. And the company values the winner from internal competition (as the company is so big, upper management doesn't have time to judge who's right, so the simplest way I guess, is to see who's won out). From lower level, that means the peers just don't collaborate, but undermine each other. From bigger teams perspective, it's the fight between partners, and result in endless re-orgs.
    - Information control. The mid-management gives exactly information that you need to work on your piece of work. You don't know next reorg, you don't know the direction of the project.
    - "Precision Question Answering". There's this poisonous "communication tool" within Microsoft called "Precision Question Answering", it essentially trains people into using robotic-style conversations, so that the management can get the important information in the fastest way, and peers can challenge each other to fix logic errors in the details, at the cost of enjoying human-like collaboration between colleagues.
    - Compensation is terribly below the industry average level.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Love/Hate relationship (disclaimer: "Cons" circa 2010)

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

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

    Pros

    - Access to entirely new work/product areas when you get antsy for a change
    - Fair pay
    - Talented workforce
    - Access to anything you need to be successful (work machines, tools, expensive market research, training, legal, etc.)

    Cons

    - By 2010, 40% of time was spent trying to better clarify roles and responsibilities across teams, and sometimes even within teams (side effect of competitive work environment)
    - Related, way too much time focused on internal competition (constant angling for budgets, reviews, pay, promotions) vs. the real, external competition; Teams or even entire projects enjoyed watching each other fail; not only wouldn't offer help, would take steps to cement others' failures; led to very distrustful work environment, even among peers (what should be your everyday friends); people or teams steal each other's ideas without credit being given; etc.
    - GM & VP level leaders don't admit when they see their project failing, don't want to risk losing their budgets and influence, will ride the failed project to its death knowing they will avoid being held accountable (these are the expensive projects that sometimes go public, crash and embarrassingly burn ... most of the people on the project saw it coming all along ...)
    - Clever policy to weed out older people (too many years of service at same salary grade red flags you from getting average or better than average reviews; also red flags you for job transfers within the company ... good things don't come of this; I'm not making this up, they were transparent about this). Newer people may be ok with this ... but someday they will be coming for you (if they don't change this) ! :)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Spend more time managing down vs. up
    - Foster culture that REALLY has focus on external competition vs. internal (assignments, work approaches and review actions speak louder than words (there's never a shortage of words on this)
    - Recognize (with real review $ and when applicable, promotions) the people who are team players and care more about the success of MS vs. seeking out personal glory/pay/advancement
    - I'd say fix the review policy, but know changes have been made (good to see an attempt has been made ... hope it works better!)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

Worked for Microsoft? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.