Microsoft Reviews in Mountain View, CA

Updated August 16, 2014
Updated August 16, 2014
7,932 Reviews

3.8
7,932 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
781 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 688 reviews)

  • Tons of super smart people working for the right reasons - to make a difference (in 893 reviews)


Cons
  • And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance (in 476 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 369 reviews)

More Highlights

154 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Still a great company, but desperately needs to be leaner and more efficient

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

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

    Pros

    Work with some of the smartest people daily. I frequently have opportunity to brainstorm with smart minds about ideas, software designs, and implementation. It's actually a good place to improve your own knowledge while making impact to millions of users if not more.

    Cons

    Well, it's a huge company. Inefficiency and bureaucracy are very easy to spot. There are easily about 30% people, if not more, who are not really contributing anything. But some of them are getting promoted due to office politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay hungry, stay nimble

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good company to work in

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

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

    Pros

    Variety of products and teams to move around. Ease of moving across test/dev/PM roles.

    Cons

    Some teams are still struck to obsolete development practices and are changing slowly but steadily.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    They treat you well, but have no direction, constantly changing direction, and lousy metrics for measuring performance

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

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

    Pros

    They really take good care of you. Work life balance is great for a tech job, they care about your health and well being and take your feedback seriously.

    Cons

    Lousy management. They have no focus or direction at all and are too concerned with raw numbers and quarterly results instead of company direction or quality. Things look like they are improving under Satya N. but it is difficult to undo so many years of mismanagement quickly.
    Their assessment process is terrible: they rely on numbers, e.g. number of tests, lines of code instead of what those numbers represent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better mentorship programs, improve review process, stop making everyone compete with each other.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Microsoft is an Excellent Employer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Test Lead II  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Test Lead II in Mountain View, CA

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

    Pros

    Whatever be the outside impression of Microsoft, I should admit Microsoft treated me very well as its employee. I was very happy with the several perks, matching programs, review processes, training sessions, health insurance etc etc. Microsoft matches up to 12,000 dollars for out contributions to any non-profit organizations. HSA program is the best in the Bay Area.

    Cons

    You will be stuck at using mostly Microsoft internal tools. Opensource and latest technology in the market will be hard to use.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Decent pay and excellent benefits

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

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

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are very good.
    Have vast educational resources to enhance your tech knowledge

    Cons

    Favoritism
    work life balance was not there
    changing schedules all the time
    senior mgmt did not know what they were doing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Exciting future for the company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Developer Evangelist  in  Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Developer Evangelist in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good work environment, get to play with latest in tech, feel like you're making a difference.

    Cons

    Corporate doesn't always understand what goes on in the field.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Dying Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Design Engineer  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Design Engineer in Mountain View, CA

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

    Pros

    There isn't a lot. The overall package is perhaps a little over market. The health insurance used to be excellent, but has since been abandoned.

    Cons

    This company has failed in almost every way it could. With its stack ranking system it aggressively pitted its own people against each other and wholly sacrificed any software company's most critical asset - cooperation. Amazingly, in their greed to squeeze out more productivity, senior management failed to predict that this would happen. This is supposedly a company of exceptionally bright people, and yet management could not predict something as obvious as that? Along with cooperation, they lost morale, enthusiasm, innovation and team spirit. Working for Microsoft is like being in the Mafia, where every team and every individual is looking to take each other out. This is a verbatim quote from my former manager: "When you talk to someone from {Team X}, smile, but hold a knife behind your back". Those two teams, which needed to work closely together to achieve any modicum of success, were locked in an epic WAR which was dysfunctional, ultimately laughable, and most of all *typical* at Microsoft. Neither side shared an ounce of information about their system, critically needed for the other side to integrate their software into, and the result was an execution failure as absolute as the disregard for the final product that each contributor shared. Like a Big Brother-style reality TV series, Microsoft brings out the worst in people, and not surprisingly, in the software they need to produce as a team. Also, do not think that you will be able to innovate at Microsoft. They talk (read: lie) a big game about innovation, but the fate of new ideas is that they take a long (several years), winding and highly political campaign path and ultimately always end in the trash bin. Unless, of course, Google releases the same idea in the meantime, then there might be a chance. Why? Because Microsoft does not innovate. It never has. Its MO is "embrace and extend". Wait for others to invent, copy the successful inventions with more resources, and try to steal those inventions away from others. The other great failure of this company was not to recognize that that model could only have success in the slow-moving 20th century. I remember being brought into an all-hands meeting where it was explained to us that we need not worry about Google's acquisition of YouTube. Now that we've seen its success, we were told that Microsoft was going to come into the market second and trounce the competition, as it always does, with its new product "MSN Soapbox". Yea, OK. Has anyone ever heard of that? If you work at Microsoft, you will be told that they want you to innovate, but it is literally only an internal propaganda campaign. Lying to the troops ultimately does not inspire them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My primary advice to senior management is this: If you have been there during the bulk of the company's "lost decade" then you should resign - in shame. How does a company that dominates the market of software, with a billion in revenue and hundreds of millions in the bank, that owns the OS of 90% of computers on earth, with a solid grasp on the hearts and minds of computer enthusiasts worldwide, coming into the 21st century in which the synergy of computers and the internet are about to create a new technical revolution even bigger than the last - the industrial revolution, lose all of that, and barely register a blip next to the century's new giants Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook? It isn't easy. It takes so much more than severe incompetence. It takes a profound human failure. It takes the conscious choice of greed over vision, of profit over your people, of internal competition over cooperation, of theft over innovation, of lying over being candid with your employees and the outside world. After the Vanity Fair article "How Microsoft Lost its Mojo" exposed the failure of the stack ranking system, Microsoft officially abandoned it. Forgetting for a moment what it says about the caliber of senior management that it takes its advice from Vanity Fair, it was a good move. They really should have come up with that on their own. But it is too little too late. The damage has been done. If you are newly-employed management and you genuinely want to change things, then place cooperation and true innovation at the core of your values, and it is possible that Microsoft will escape the fate of IBM, whose PE ratio incidentally hovers right around that of Microsoft's today.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) II  in  Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) II in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, and great compensation and benefits.

    Cons

    Too many processes hampers agility and causes many teams to release code at a pace that's considerably slower than our competitors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager  in  Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of talented people to learn from and great training programs for college hires. Excellent company to learn product management. Ideal work/life balance.

    Cons

    Very risk averse, and a culture of "I" and not "we". Also, a culture of doing 80% or 90% instead of 100%.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stay away from the Microserf Brainfarm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Hardware Engineer  in  Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Hardware Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Free drinks
    - Reasonably good benefits (Although these are being eroded now)
    - Can attend training courses (If you ever find available time to do it)

    Cons

    - This is a burn and churn environment. The culture is one in which they want to work you 24x7 schedule and criticize or reprimand many on the most tiniest things. The repressive culture will erase any professional confidence you have over time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Managers here are out for themselves and not their employees so I have no advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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