Microsoft

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  www.microsoft.com

Microsoft Reviews

Updated December 15, 2014
Updated December 15, 2014
8,764 Reviews
3.7
8,764 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,335 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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good Benefits, Smart People, High "taxes"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Development Lead in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Development Lead in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Microsoft engineers are VERY smart. Depending on the group, this can be a huge benefit. You'll find yourself learning from those around you (a good thing, unless you've got more ego than you deserve), and will be amazed at the capacity.

    Cons

    Microsoft is VERY heavy on process, generally. Some of it is understandable. Microsoft probably has more paying customers than any other tech company on the planet. This results in very high day-to-day 'taxes' involving enduring processes that are rarely reviewed for usefulness. This can be very frustrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A little more attention paid to true agility (not some mish mash of agile development practices layered over the top of the existing software processes already in place) would go a VERY long way.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 421 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  

    Fasten Seatbelt for Change

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, security, but experience 100 percent dependent on your manager and workgroup. There is no such thing as One Microsoft from a personal experience perspective. If you don't like your group, move. It's a well resourced company with a lot of smart people and some of the world's most interesting challenges to work on. Good opportunity to work globally and learn a ton about business if in the right role.

    Cons

    Massive change at mid-senior management level right now. Very little direction can make it hard to see big picture at the functional and workgroup level. All old systems seem to be scrapped and tagged "bad" without anything to replace them which can be touch with such a large beast to maneuver, new CEO, lots of new people in charge. Will take another year for changes to net out to really evaluate what it's like as a place to work. Disappointing to see last round of layoffs - lots of great people and not a lot of explanation. Morale at risk in many groups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lock your org charts for awhile. Teach new managers how to manage AND lead. Get more granular than current vision. Value people.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Microsoft Laid Off

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Technology - exposure to many different technologies and opportunities to dive deeply
    Benefits - time off, stocks, health care, company store products
    Diverse businesses - you can find many cultures across teams, many areas to focus on, different work life balance
    Flexibility - generally, doing your work and doing it well, regardless of where you are doing it from, is all that is expected
    Civic minded - the company's Giving Campaign with the 100% matching fund and interest in giving back to community
    Immigration help - a generally stellar legal team to walk you through the process

    Cons

    Inflexibility - Large company so slow to respond sometimes
    Sometimes too process heavy
    Cronyism can thrive in teams as a result of the large size of the company
    Recognition and Rewards system encouraged backstabbing and was generally an unhealthy process
    Lack of diversity - women, people of color

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more agile, invest in STEM and minority groups and recruit from this population.
    Continue to tweak the Rewards and Recognition system and make it more transparent

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Program Manager, MACH

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

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

    Pros

    Got to experience multiple roles and work in multiple teams as part of the MACH rotational program. Its a valuable experience in gaining skills in different roles quickly and learning how various teams work. It also allowed me to understand the breadth of Microsoft.

    Satisfaction of working on projects that eventually do impact many people. You can find great mentors and smart colleagues here to learn from and work with. The culture is very respectful and completely non-discrimanatory.

    Cons

    Political bureaucracy holds ups projects, everything moves slow because the company is too big and cannot move things fast enough, not through through decisions like removing FTE testers and PMs only to replace them with vendor testers and PMs because their teams were not prepared to switch to the new model of just developer and few PMs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In a company of 1:4 ratio of women:men, its important to focus on the behavioral tendencies of women and men. Its hard for women to deal with the sometimes aggressive way men talk in meetings and how managers wrongly perceive females to be performing not as well as males because women are not as out-spoken.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sr. Solution Mgr

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

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Career Opportunities, fast paced, great benefits, and innovative

    Cons

    lots of change in culture and direction from Sr leadership

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Premier Field Engineer

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits and perks are exceptional and endless amount of resources for training. No pension.

    Cons

    Too many reorganizations. Changed management several times over the past few years. Company is huge and you are a small part. Several managers are too technical and do not know how to manage. It is a cut throat environment and highly competitive, which doesn't allow for good team dynamics.
    The company does not focus on customer service. Field engineers are highly technical, but lack the soft skills. Performance reviews are not based off customer reviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your subordinates and stop being yes-mans to upper management. Look at the gray area and not just the metrics.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Management cares about employees, great benefits, room for advancement.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Microsoft

    Pros

    Benefit and opportunity for advancement.

    Cons

    Location parking can be difficult depending on time of year and day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company to start your career

    • 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

    * It's a more senior company. So you have a much higher chance working with people much older than you. I personally feel I learn quite a lot from those people. They are more patient, and not pretentious.
    * Come on. You are working at once the best software company in the world (and maybe still is)! There are a lot of reasons why this company stands here for as long as 30 years and still moves fast.
    * Great culture. People are genuinely willing to help you when you ask them. Don't believe too much about politics inside Microsoft. It's the same across any big companies.

    Cons

    * No free food.
    * The software is big so it takes a lot of time to compile and run tests.
    * Minimal training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to new hire and get them at least one month or two training before they jump into the code base. This will make them much more productive and they can make more friends here too.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good company in the Pacific Northwest

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

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

    Pros

    Free pops and drinks, good professional environment. Bill Gates is the greatest man on earth.

    Cons

    None. This company has been very generous to its employees to the spoiling points. God bless you Microsoft.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I worked in the hardware team so my advice to those managers is simple: Play less politics. You rose to your career level from a technical background, not political science background. So, do your job and take care of your hard-working employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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