Microsoft

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3 people found this helpful  

Cog in the Wheel

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Technical Editor in Seattle, WA
Former Employee - Technical Editor in Seattle, WA

I worked at Microsoft as a contractor (more than 8 years)

Pros

- Availability of many jobs, locations, and projects
- Interesting colleagues
- Interesting technology
- Great cafeterias, nice grounds
- Perceived as a high-status company
- The company is not likely to go under
- Some projects are cutting-edge and exciting
- Flex hours and support of remote work

Cons

- Overuse of contracting dynamic
- Extreme hierarchy rift between contractors and perm employees
- Once a contractor, always a contractor
- Sexist; it's much harder for women to get jobs there than men, and they tend to be relegated to communications, support, and other "soft" areas; they tend to be contractors; they tend not to be offered perm positions; they make less than men in equivalent positions.
- Ageist: Employees tend to be young and shiny
- Salaries are lower than they should be, and IMO they have depressed salaries for the entire region. Great benefits used to be offered as a compensating factor for the low salaries, but the benefits are now on par with the average software company.
- Massive stress to maintain "star" performance. Perm employees live in dread of their annual reviews.
- Massive deadline and production stress
- Endless re-orgs keep people's day-to-day lives chaotic
- "Work/life balance" is a myth
- The company massively oversponsors H1B visas
- The biggest problem I have with Microsoft is that it used to be an exciting place to work, and now it is one of drudgery and enforced mediocrity, with employees viewed as expendable resources. I have even been referred to as "the resource" in meetings. And oh, the endless, endless meetings.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Regain a focus on product quality and innovation, and genuinely value your employees. They are not all interchangeable and replaceable. You've lost your reputation as an exciting, great place to work, and that's a shame. Microsoft in the early nineties was an exciting, vibrant place filled with fascinating people, and I met the best friends of my life there. We worked insane hours but at least felt like our work was rewarding. It's a shame for a place filled with the people possessing some of the best minds in the US to become a rat wheel.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

8764 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great benefits and people if you can find them

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - User Experience Design Intern in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - User Experience Design Intern in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Pay, stability, work/life balance (big corp, not held too accountable for much), Seattle-based, working with some tech legends

    Cons

    Lack of culture, feels stale, they're changing things up but there's only a few groups that have a great culture and you have to know what you want beforehand to get yourself there. Little impact, waterfall methods. Median age 40+

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Almost too big to find the right opportunity

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Fast paced. Smart people. Resources, resources, resources. A lot of opportunity. Always a new challenge to conquer. Amazing campus (Redmond), with more amenities than most 5-star resorts.

    Cons

    Too many contingent staff and churn. Although resources exist everywhere, knowing how to tap the resources is a challenge. Us vs. them mentality still an issue, although new leadership appears to understand this is an issue and a place to focus. Long hours, although not always equal across all teams. Impossible to identify the culture - work place norms differ substantially from group to group.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to simplify the mission of what the company wants to be and who we are - not just to consumers, but to employees. Culture differences are compounded by the transient workforce model. If you ask 50, 100, 1000 employees what Microsoft stands for, and what we're trying to be, how many different answers would you get? Improving the culture is not about a new corporate tag line or a marketing campaign, but about building a team that is committed to the same goal and shares the same values.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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