Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
8,773 Reviews
3.7
8,773 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,340 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 859 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 991 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 552 reviews)

  • Performance review system basically encourage competition inside the team (in 400 reviews)

More Highlights

3,590 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Development Manager in Office Division

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunities to gain breadth and depth of experience in software engineering on industrial-strength applications like the Office suite. Breadth means you can move from desktop apps to mobile apps to server apps to web apps all within Office over several product cycles without having to change companies. Depth means really understanding a platform's "engine" by writing code that must meet high bars on performance, security, robustness, and stepping into many layers of code that isn't your own to track down problems. Learn all the best practices from working on long-lived industrial-strength apps, then do the start-up thing writing throwaway apps so when you take shortcuts to meet tight schedules and budgets, you do so knowing the trade-offs in maintainability, security, scalability, etc.

    Cons

    Insufficient "transparency" in work done by people in a group makes it hard at review time to know where you rank in terms of production and impact. As a manager, my hands were tied by privacy rules when I tell someone they produced less than the group average but could not identify their peers who did so much more than them, especially if their peers were folks in another team in the group.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    good

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

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

    Pros

    1) a lot of smart colleagues, great oportunity to impove your skills
    2) salary && benefits - they really take care about employees

    Cons

    1) work-life balance
    2) no free lunches

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    continue to make this company more open, reduce bureaucracy, provide free meal on campus (like Google or Facebook do)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good experience

    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dynamic, perks, office culture, flexibility, training

    Cons

    Stack ranking, overworked, compensation, people putting in face-time

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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great until Senior levels, dirty politics after Senior(63) level and above

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

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

    Pros

    If you are a junior, out of collage, Microsoft is a great place to start your career. Lots of smart people and mentors to learn from, lots of trainings and resources. Good pay and benefits. No major disturbances.

    Cons

    After senior (63) and above, you spend most (literally easily 60%) dealing with politics, making sure you look good, watching out for yourself, covering your back, building alliances. If you choose to stay blind, you may survive if you have good management and they do these for you. Otherwise, no matter how good you are, how much great work you do, you may find yourself thrown under bus very fast, very unexpected and even your manager may not be able to save you. Politics are everywhere, don't get me wrong. However, since only people highly political can survive, senior and above is dominated and ruled by people who have their political empires and what matters most (and sometimes what only matters) is where you are in this political map. A minefield for technical people. It also kills your technical savvy by time and makes you irrelevant for the rest of the industry. If you choose to stay at MS at senior levels for extended periods, make sure you are still marketable or you become the slave of this system.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Laying off ICs does not solve the root of the problems. Resolve the sick culture in middle management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    happy working for an excellent manager, but probably would have quit if I had to work for someone else

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    decent salary and benefits, connector shuttles around the Seattle area

    Cons

    hard to move around within Microsoft, ex-MSFT folks have a bad reputation around Seattle, lots of process and red tape, SO many meetings

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    morale is in the toilet after multiple rounds of layoffs over the past 6 months. Everyone I've talked to recently who's still there complains nonstop about how unhappy they are, and how they're trying to find new jobs ASAP.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7.  

    Traditionally great company, but perhaps times are changing.

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

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

    Pros

    Microsoft is overall a great employer. The remuneration and benefits are very good - even with recent changes - and the company provides a broad range of support and services to employees. You have the opportunity to work on a diverse set of areas and often have the opportunity to work on projects that have real scale and impact.

    Cons

    Microsoft isn't immune from the drawbacks of working at a large company. It's bureaucratic, it can be slow moving and decision making can be tortuous and often risk averse. The two biggest cons in my experience are that firstly your success will often be decided by who your manager is. Finding a great manager is probably the most important thing you can do. The second thing is that the company is focusing on younger, cheaper workers, so if you're getting into middle age and working in middle management levels or below, this probably is not the long term company for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Microsoft still remains one organization made up of many disparate and disconnected organizations. While there's been a lot of positive change recently, there's been no change to that issue. The company remains unwieldy and slow, and from a HR perspective the lack of a standard (and implemented) HR system (outside of SMSG) means employees have a very different experience from group to group, and from manager to manager.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Business Development Manager

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great company, great benefits, a lot of options and career paths

    Cons

    Large company, too many layers, people worried about themselves and not the teams

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get leaner, and get more feedback from the field

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    A mixed bag

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    1. You are working at a world class company. Good on resume
    2. Lot of opportunities for career growth
    3. Comparatively stable job and good benefits
    4. you can be an individual contributor forever.

    Cons

    1. Your focus becomes too narrow and you get insulated from the world thereby become obsolete in the real world
    2. Too much politics.
    3. Microsoft gets work of 10 people from 6 people. It is a coal mine and will suck your life out of you.
    4. if you get a jerk as your lead, your are stuck with him/her and that is the end of your career at Microsoft.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. The review process sucks. It is a "who is more popular" contest rather than real review of one's contribution or the amount of work one puts in.
    2. Promoting "go getter cocky" people is bad - such people have no people skills and people under them suffer as the newly minted lead/manager wants to show how great he/she is. Develop some policies about what kind of people should be promoted
    3. Get rid of most of the leads and managers. They are useless and making life of real workers miserable. Then promote properly trained people to be leads/managers.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company if you get a great manager

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits other than health (which I now consider a con) are great such as software discounts, bus passes, on campus cafeterias with great food.

    Cons

    Health benefits are more costly ever since Obama care was announced a few years ago.
    Work life balance can really suffer in some areas, especially where I am in the core Azure and dealing with excessive feature development due to 'playing catchup' with AWS.
    Some areas can still be super competitive despite being 'One Microsoft'.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Not the same old microsoft anymore

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, great benefits and work life balance (on some teams)

    Cons

    Lots of changes going on, team and product changes, roles changes

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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