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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

8371 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    I like the company and its product but have a very bad manager experience

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good products, good perks, good salary.

    Cons

    Promotes very young employees as people managers who do not understand what managing people means. I have had two very bad managers and two very good managers. The good ones encouraged my strengths and gave room to improve the skills that I lacked. The two worst ones that I encountered only concentrated on the skills that I lacked without acknowledging the work I accomplished. As a result they pushed my career back by about 4 to 5 years. I left the company now and do not wish to join it anytime soon. The only reason I stuck with the company for so long was because I like MS products and their pay was good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Kindly do not promote <35 year olds to manage people. Often times they manage people who are much older than they are and have a very biased and arrogant view of people reporting to them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves 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 (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
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