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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 (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

8472 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  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 (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.  

    Great Learning Experience

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

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

    Pros

    Technical growth opportunities are limitless.

    Cons

    Your career depends on your relationship with your direct manager

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Skip managers need to be involved with individual morale

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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