Microsoft
3.6 of 5 7,024 reviews
www.microsoft.com Redmond, WA 5000+ Employees

Microsoft Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 7,024 reviews

                             

84% Approve of the CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

(276 ratings)

77% of employees recommend this company to a friend
7,024 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber"
    in 609 reviews
  • "Some smart people in pockets but not many of them great at politics so marginalized"
    in 845 reviews
Cons:
  • "Work-Life balance can easily get out of whack if you don't actively manage expectations"
    in 443 reviews
  • "The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist"
    in 358 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • No Opinion of CEO

4 people found this helpful  

Money and status minded professionals

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

I worked at Microsoft as a contractor for less than a year

ProsNice offices.
Nice beverage and food support.
If you're a drinker you can have alcohol in your office and social meetings have beer and wine.
Coworkers are productive. Any personality conflicts are handled with minimal drama by a protocol.
Very diverse staff. Lots of women and people from all over the world. There were 3 women and people from at least 4 countries on my team of 10. In my building there was a guy that wore a kilt every day. This atmosphere breeds acceptance.
Every software developer (SDE) has a tester (SDET). If you like well defined roles this is your place.
Guidelines for software style are strict and tested before check ins which makes for very readable code.

ConsPeople are there to make money and/or to have the prestige of working at Microsoft. I prefer to work with people that like what they do more than they care about money or prestige. They have a ranking system to determine end of year bonuses that ranks everyone, regardless of job, against each other. This means that you need to do your own PR, answering (not kidding) over a hundred emails a day and taking every opportunity to say what you did and what you know. This also means that people are professional but not quite as willing to help as working in a smaller company or in a university environment.
All the emails means less time for productive work.
These are reasons I turned down a full time job there at the end of my contract. The work experience varies by team.

Advice to Senior ManagementTake on some of the burden of PR for the SDEs and SDETs so they can create better products.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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269 people found this helpful  

Thoughts after 10 years....

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA

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

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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3 people found this helpful  

An innovative and employee friendly company!

Usability/Playtest Coordinator (Former Employee)
Redmond, WA

I worked at Microsoft as a contractor for more than a year

ProsEmployees are given the freedom to grow and learn more skills as well as advance in their career. Microsoft is always on the cutting edge of technology so the work environment is constantly changing to accommodate growth. It was a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to work for such a highly regarded company.

ConsThere are so many others competing for the chance to work at Microsoft, it is more difficult to find permanent employment there.

Advice to Senior ManagementPerhaps, consider contract employees who go above and beyond job requirements to show their dedication to their job and the best interest of the company.

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  

Awesome career experience

Senior Software Development Engineer In Test Lead (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

ProsVery impactful to global software and impacting everyone in the world in software that you've made and design and sell. It really allows you to do your great work if you are ambitious and if you are creative. Also, it is not limited to doing the traditional test work that testers are supposed to do. You are only limited by your imagination.

ConsLarge company is complex and you need to navigate your way through. You are only limited by your imagination. It really takes time to build trust and establish credential. It may take some time and effort for multiple people to appreciate your work. So you need to be self motivated. If not, you may not make it. You need to believe in yourself at times.

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  

Challenging, fun, great people

Program Manager (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA

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

ProsVariety of technologies and products to work on, benefits, quality of employees

Conssize, cross-group coordination, agility and time to market

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

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Perfect place to work at

Principal Software Development Engineer (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA

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

ProsAt Microsoft, you get to work on cutting edge technologies and compensation is more than satisfactory. Maintaining a work-life balance is completely possible. Time off is ample and health benefits are among the best ones offered in the industry even with the recent changes due to spiraling costs. What you do can affect literally millions of people and you have the opportunity to bring about change for the better.

ConsIf you are aiming to become a multimillionaire fast, Microsoft is not the place to work at. (OTOH if you've actually matured into a multi-dimensional person, you realize that you can have a fulfilling life and career at the same time and Microsoft is one of the better places to do that).

The constant second-guessing by the industry wears you down. Work politics can make your life hard but the feeling is that it's going to be much better -- and much more different -- with Satya.

Advice to Senior ManagementKnow your engineers.

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

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Challenging, but rewarding position

Senior Financial Analyst (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA

I have been working at Microsoft as a contractor for more than a year

ProsIt is well established global company that is the leader in its field. You will find some of the brightest minds in the world working here. The experience will help you wherever you decide to go with your career.

ConsAs a large company goes, it can be quite overwhelming to work here. And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance. But, if you can manage it, you will be fine.

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

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Great Company to Start Out With

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Microsoft

ProsGreat internship opportunities! You are able to get a great background with this amazing experience at Microsoft. It is just amazing!!

ConsMaybe, hard to be selected.

Advice to Senior ManagementNone

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

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Great work life balance

Software Development Engineer (Former Employee)
Bellevue, WA

I worked at Microsoft as an intern for less than a year

Prosgreat work life balance, personal office space

Consless career advance opportunity, nothing else that i can think of

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great

Senior Program Manager (Current Employee)
Redmond, WA

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

ProsGreat, fun place to work at. Good benefits, good work life balance. A lot of flexibility to move within the company. Microsoft was fumbling for a while, but they are now aligned to a single vision, and have high potential to execute.

ConsSometimes it can be daunting to move at this behemoth's speed. This is changing, should get better. If you are a leader, there is opportunity to make a difference.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe culture is changing, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The company feels now like 3-4 companies - a huge improvement over the 8 companies it used to be, but still not executing on a unified, single vision. Bing, MSN, search all your online offerings feel disjointed to product roadmap.

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

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