Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 3,119 reviews

88% Approve of the CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

(217 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

3,119 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    317 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    Pros1. If you love tech, this is a great place. No doubt you'll talk tech (mostly the MSFT stack) from enterprise to consumer - from PCs to phones to Xboxes - from datacenter to desktop.

    2. What were GREAT benefits are now VERY GOOD (took a small step down) but still probably better than you'll find at 99% of large corporations. If you've got family - the value of the benefits is even higher. 401k match is nice.

    3. Even with it's struggles MSFT is still a cash printing machine. This means if you can keep your nose clean and do reasonable work, you can have a stable job, pay your bills, feed your family, and not worry (too much) about layoffs. The stock you own likely won't tank, but probably won't go up much either. You'll get a bonus each year and some stock. It's a decent life if you aren't looking to light the world on fire.

    ConsBrand on Your Resume: After many years of losing market share and struggling to be at the front end of innovation and the fact that there's 90,000 employees, don't think MSFT is necessarily going to be attractive on your resume to more agile and smaller companies.

    Managing Your Career: Make you say this out loud so it registers - 90,000 employees work there. Double that for vendors. It is VERY hard to "stand out" and move up in the company. Don't expect your manager to be much of an advocate or enabler to help you meet your career goals - they are basically trying to survive the stack rank every year too. Not familiar with the stack rank? Check out the 2012 Vanity Fair article called "Microsoft's Lost Decade".

    Advice to Senior ManagementI'll type it here - but I don't they are listening...
    1. Help proven talent move laterally in the company for new opportunities.
    2. Kill/evolve the stack rank. Here's basically how it's viewed:. 30% of the company gets 1s and 2s - and they are happy. 50% get 3s and that basically feels like getting a "C" in school. This sucks for talented people when a multitude of UNCONTROLLABLE conditions keep you from getting into 1 or 2 range. The 20% getting anything below a 3 are walking dead. In summary, 70% of the company walk away from the review cycle feeling like crap. This is no good.

    After 10 years, I'm leaving - it's just a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. I need to find a company spends 90% of it's time building technology experiences, as opposed to 90% of its time building PowerPoints. And I expect to refuse the exit interview - because if you really cared what I thought, you wouldn't ask me after I decided to leave.

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Microsoft - The future looks great and now is the best time to work for

    Software Development Engineer II (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsUnder CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is going in the right direction. I believe the senior leadership is doing the right things, making the Engineering changes like combined Engineering model, less management chain and focusing on the core strengths. As an employee, I get less tangled in processes and am free to do my stuff without micro-management. Great work gets noticed by not only by my manager but all the way up to the VP level and rewards follow. I am provided opportunities to take on additional responsibilities which paves the way for professional growth.
    Unlike other competitor companies, work-life balance is much better at Microsoft. I can manage to spend a lot of quality time with my family, take periodic vacations, and still maintain an Excellent rating at the performance reviews.

    ConsI don't have any cons to discuss at the moment but I am still not convinced about the Performance Review changes for 2014. We will get a better understanding by September 2014.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Huge challenges, scope and scale

    Principal Program Manager (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsSmart passionate people. Among the best HR/benefits and comp packages out there. Ease of mobility between roles. Puget Sound work environments are excellent - campus is top notch.

    ConsIt's become a VERY big place with a lot of fiefdoms. Advancing ideas requires willingness to not only make a case but in some cases extreme political gamesmanship. Too many eggs in one basket in terms of revenue generating products.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    Satisfying and rewarding with a dose of bureaucracy and misdirected leadership

    Senior Product Marketing Manager (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsBusinesses large and small, global and local roles and a multi cultural environment makes for a great place to work. Benefits are close to the best in the industry and mobility to different jobs internally lets you grow your experiences and build a solid career.

    ConsSlow to react to market opportunities and often disconnected from customer needs due to its size. Bureaucracy and accountability overlap makes for a place where if you're not persistent it's hard to get things done. Often the most aggressive are rewarded leaving a trail of less aggressive but smarter and better people behind.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLack of business understanding from some recent leaders is misdirecting some significant changes and growth areas.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    "One Microsoft" challenges employees to work together, but doesn't outline "One Vision".

    Senior Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsWith a scope like Microsoft's there are many very interesting problems to work on. The teams are very energized and passionate about what they do. Employees are mostly smart, dedicated and interested in doing the right thing.

    There are many great work benefits available such as training, internal conferences, and cross-company discussion groups on any imaginable topic.

    Excellent health benefits and work schedule flexibility help provide for a good work-life balance most of the time.

    There is a strong company value in making life better or easier for people. Most engineers think of the users. At other companies I saw more focus on managers, executives, or businesses as customers.

    The engineering focus is on building things for the long term, and on enabling scale to huge numbers of users.

    ConsThere is a tradition of open discussion, and your ideas can get heard - no matter what your position in the organization. The other side of this is the debate never stops, so decisions are rarely explicit, and often not completely followed. This causes a good deal of chaos for employees and for customers.

    People are willing to collaborate when invited, but there's not a great culture of inviting collaboration. Many times I found engineers view reinventing on their own as easier alternative to finding the right people to collaborate with and starting a dialog. Similarly, people have their own ideas about priorities, and aren't always willing to listen or collaborate on aligning priorities.

    Often teams build what they want to build rather than figure out what customers need and how to work with other teams to deliver that.

    There is a culture of only solving problems by programming. I saw problems that were non-programming problems get ignored, or addressed as if they were programming problems.

    Many of the leaders are engineers who understand the engineering and processes very well, but are less effective as leaders of people.

    There is often an arrogant attitude that we know this business and what's needed better than our competitors or users.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake the culture explicit. Name the change we are leading for the world.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Unparalleled - If you have a chance to work there, take it

    Group Manager (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsSmart people
    Big goals
    Tremendous opportunity to grow
    Products have huge impact on the market and on people's lives
    Great compensation package
    Opportunity to learn in one of the most successful companies ever

    ConsMany employees have been there so long that they may have lost some context about the real world. In Office, for example, they were unwilling to incorporate mobile devices as a 1st experience until way too late - despite multiple voices calling for it. And you can see a similar delay with Office apps for IOS. This self-centeredness also extends to management. When someone is doing well, that person is golden. When someone isn't doing well, there's no safety net. It's extremely Ayn Randian. I was there nearly 20 years - I started as an individual contributor contractor, and worked my way up to group manager (managing managers). I believed in the review system and the company for at least 15 of those years - complainers just couldn't hack it, I thought. But I honestly realize now that there is a blind spot with regard to human performance. People can still be great performers and contributors even after they've failed to deliver in a particular circumstance. Perhaps Satya will impact that for the better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe next time you need to deal with a poor-performer, really ask yourself if you've "flipped the bit" internally too soon. Try imagining this person as your star performer and consider how you would be treating them. If it's different, remember that our expectations are a huge predictor of others' success.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great learning and personal growth

    Principal Enterprise Strategist (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    Proslove of technology
    wide career options

    Constoo large and now a bureaucracy.

    Advice to Senior Managementfire 50% of middle management

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Challenging work, work/life balance achievable depending on your team and function

    Legal Support (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsOpportunity to exand you knowledge and skills. Great amenities like free soda, transportation assistance, including private Connector busline. Flexible work schedule. Technology to support mobility (i.e., conference calls, work from home, business travel, etc.) Autonomy. Great people and lots of diversity.

    ConsSilos within work groups. Average pay. Politics and no transparancy in reviews. Some areas are not amenable to upward mobility. The company is so big that it has lost its agility to respond quickly to the changing technology landscape.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore transparancy in review process. Truly LISTEN to employee feedback! Get a great marketing team!!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good company, treats employees well, tough turnaround situation

    Senior Program Manager (Current Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsGreat work-life balance, excellent pay and benefits, smart people, it is best to work in a core business (Azure, Office, Windows)

    ConsFrustrating politics and indecisive management can make things rough. Lots of work left to do to change the engineering culture to modern standards, but I think Satya is up to the challenge.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    My first employer after university, it was a great experience

    Software Development Engineer (SDE) II (Former Employee) Redmond, WA

    ProsFrequent promotions, many smart people to learn from, very good salary and bonus, 401k etc, opportunities to change role, huge library and learning opportunities, opportunity to do something great with huge impact, great for CV, had insurance with 100% cover, 0 deductible

    ConsSome managers were not open minded and did not understand the technologies they were trying to develop tools for. Lots of time wasted in meetings.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen you want to build tools for some community, you must have try to understand that community, not expect the community to adjust to your tools.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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