Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews

Updated January 24, 2015
Updated January 24, 2015
8,984 Reviews
3.7
8,984 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,449 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Decent place

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    “The best reasons to work at Microsoft are that you get to work with a group of exceptionally talented and motivated people, you have almost limitless career growth, and you will always be working with the latest and greatest technology that is available. Senior management is very competent and will give you feedback on a regular basis that you can use for personal as well as professional development. The people you meet in the hallway usually seem happy to be there (minus the guys that are late to their meetings and coding on their laptops while trying to hit the right elevator buttons) and you can almost always strike up a good conversation with someone interesting at lunch (we're not all antisocial nerds, well at least not all the time =P)
    If you are a fresher like myself, I have found the environment to be very nurturing yet at the same time there is plenty of challenge so you will feel proud of your work when you are done. At my previous company when management said I did a good job on a project I just shrugged it off, but when someone says you're doing a good job at Microsoft it is really something to be proud of!!”

    Cons

    “The downsides are that sometimes you will put in long hours if you are close to release in the software development lifecycle. Occasionally I hear about people having incompetent middle manager/leads which I believe is partly due to the "if you can code, you can manage" philosophy. If this happens be diplomatic about it, give feedback to your leads and senior managers and remember that sometimes they are still learning too. Also, as a downside to having high career growth you can be put in a situation where they will give you more responsibility than you asked for. This is great for experience but it can be stressful if you are not used to it. The way I see it, that is just part of the training and what is life without a little challenge anyway?”

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    NA

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 451 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

  3. 3 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 Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Company is very forward-looking with the new leadership (Satya). Culture is rapidly evolving to be caught up with, or ahead of, the competition. Wide reach, with lots of opportunities to make an impact on the world.

    Time-off is very flexible. Work-life balance is well managed on most teams.

    Cons

    Lots of legacy/historical process slowing down the company, making work frustrating at times. Currently a lot of churn to reach "ideal state" as quickly as possible (as mentioned in the pros). Company culture is still not very in-tune with the rest of the market and how competitors do their business at a tactical level, but this is improving in the last year.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A decent place to work in

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    work life balance is good

    Cons

    too much re-org
    leadership changes too often

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company but is moving slowly

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Great products and smart people

    Cons

    not so good management hierachy and review system

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to learn for life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    I don't think there is anyplace I could have worked and learned so much and felt like I made such a big impact to the world of technology. I grew at Microsoft in so many ways.

     - It is a wonderful place to become immersed in multiple game changing technologies.
     - Few places offer such a rich and diverse workforce allowing you to learn how to work with people better. Something that is more valuable and will last longer than any technology.
     - Microsoft allows you to take training, stay on top of new trends and grow you strengths.
     - There is always someone who can help. There is a vast wealth of material on hand for research to get you started on new projects quicker, pointed in the right direction, or help you out of a jam.
     - Good corporate values

    Cons

    - If you are in a group that is in a cost center, and particularly if costs are being cut, then the only way you can grow is often for someone else to shrink. This has incented poor behavior in some places.
     - There is no end to work, that is making your project and yourself better. Balance that with your management. You need to balance work/life or it can get out of control.
    - it is not a meritocracy, you will need to network and sponsors to protect and promote your career just as much as doing good work.
    - rewards are very tied to making your direct management chain better. If you helped another team outside your direct managements unbrella do well, you often are not rewarded for that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Let's hope the changes in the review system foster collaboration, focus on the customer, and focus on external competition. Too often the system in place and management that relied on it to make high level decisions forced the company into internal competition versus external competition or enabling innovation.
    - To de-invest requires and up front investment. Too often the ask to cut back comes before there is an ability to simplify or automate first thereby allowing for a de-investment that is painless to the customer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Outstanding company with great career opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant

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

    Pros

    Very intellectually stimulating environment. Constant opportunities to learn and grow. Many career opportunities.
    Great benefits. Diversity is highly valued within the company culture with opportunities for everyone. Lot of flexibility in work arrangements.

    Cons

    The biggest challenge is that success within the company has significant demands that can be a challenge to maintain a good work/Life balance.
    Recent health benefits changes have resulted in significant increase in healthcare costs for employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More focus on ability to manage work/life balance, especially for employees who must travel regularly
    Reconsider health benefits, which have become costly and complex.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    good

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    great environment very good opportunities

    Cons

    lack of focus no clear objectives

  10.  

    Interesting place

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many different disciplines and experiences to be had

    Cons

    It's so big that the different organizations do not always have common goals and objectives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Somebody needs to actually lead

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great company that is making the right changes

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Microsoft is a large company that is a collection of small business units that operate fairly independently. lots of opportunities to work in multiple businesses with multiple models.

    Cons

    large companies like MS can move slower and be more political. also, lots of smart people work here, so be prepared to deal with massive egos in some cases. overall, i had a great time working here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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