Microsoft Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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3.7
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
764 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is what you make it; always been fine for me (in 859 reviews)

  • You will work with some incredibly smart people (in 991 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can be very bad (in 552 reviews)

  • The performance review system is broken (in 400 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

3,986 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (607)

    Thoughts after 10 years....

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    1. 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.

    Cons

    Brand 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 Management

    I'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.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Microsoft Apprenticeship Program

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great opportunity to learn and network. You will have Microsoft on your resume in high school which is unheard of. It will allow you to get tons of internships your freshman and sophomore year in college which is very difficult.

    Cons

    I heard they have a new manager that runs the entire program who is not very good. Sometimes the work they give you is not important and remedial (prinitng, shipping, looking up things).

    Advice to Management

    I would rehire the old manager for the program. She is what made this program so fun and successful. I would also encourage the managers of the apprentices to be more interactive with them.


  3. Good company

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities, smart people, good work life balance.

    Cons

    Too many layers of management, lots of people in the comfort zone and not agile enough.


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  5. I love my job

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I love the people I work with on my immediate team, and I love my management chain 2 levels up. Our benefits package keeps shrinking, but is still pretty good. I love the flexibility in my work schedule. I think most of this has to do with the team that I'm on, not all my peers have it as good as I do

    Cons

    Our packages keep shrinking every year and once you're in a track there's not a lot of chance to skip tracks. It's hard to find a different type of position where you may function at a different skill level. It's easy to downlevel to try a different position, but it's impossible to level up to a different position even though you may be exceptionally qualified for the new position. The only way to get compensated at a higher level is to leave and get hired back, negotiating a new level in the process.

    Advice to Management

    cut the red tape, stop cutting our package. Satya is new, he's not a panacea. We still need to get agile and stop following the market


  6. I Miss Microsoft

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I really miss Microsoft. It was a great company. It wasn't without it's own set of problems, but overall it was a great place to work. The people were generally dedicated and for the most part people there cared about others.

    Cons

    Microsoft has a lot of "not invented here". It limits the creativity and growth engineers can have inside of the company.


  7. Nice place with good people

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to work. Flexible hours and collaborative teams.

    Cons

    Some disconnect with brand messaging across product development stages.


  8. Great Company but being on the right team is important

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Competitive base pay
    - Good bonus and stock for higher levels (Senior band and above)
    - Excellent benefits - probably close to the best around
    - Product organizations are highly respected and easy to move around
    - Product organization are interested in your career and will help you succeed and treat failure as a learning experience (just don't keep failing)
    - Work-Life balance is pretty good most of the time (there are some exceptions)

    Cons

    - Bonus is OK for lower level bands but stock is minimal
    - IT organization (MSIT) has a bad reputation in Product organizations (if you go into IT it's hard to get out)
    - IT org is much too political and if you show poor performance during a review they'd rather get rid of you instead of helping you succeed
    - IT org engineering groups rely too much on off-shore vendors and are vendor heavy.
    - IT org engineering FTE employees don't get to code as much as Product groups so your skills will atrophy if you don't do something else to supplement.
    - Culture is deteriorating because Microsoft is just too big.

    Advice to Management

    I've spent most of my career in Product organizations (Exchange, Office, Windows, Azure) and never had an issue until I joined an IT engineering org. My experience is not isolated and is common. I will either be leaving IT and going back to a Product group, or I'll be leaving Microsoft. The IT org needs to be fixed.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Good company

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

    I worked at Microsoft (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The company provides good technologies that help organization improve productivity and collaboration.

    Cons

    work life balance not ideal


  10. software engineer

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

    I have been working at Microsoft (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work/life balance
    Nice, smart people
    There are many teams you can transfer if you want to learn new things.
    Huge user base for products
    Nice campus.

    Cons

    Career move is slow
    the company is huge, so it is not easy to turn direction
    Old or Microsoft-only technology
    Legacy enterprise product


  11. Helpful (1)

    SDET

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

    I worked at Microsoft (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    * Good work life balance
    * Good work culture

    Cons

    * Slow growth
    * Only uses Microsoft technologies, no other technologies



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