Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews

Updated February 28, 2015
Updated February 28, 2015
9,244 Reviews
3.7
9,244 Reviews
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,574 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  

    Not Worth It

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    Good Pay, good benefits, the physical office is nice, great cafeteria.

    Cons

    Unwillingness to listen to any suggestion. There is good reason Bing is far behind Google. Off shore team was culturally clueless about American cultural which is important for search and advertising.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring people that have never heard of Martha Stewart or think that "50 Shades of Grey" should be classified in home furnishings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Great mission, dysfunctional organization

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

    I worked at Microsoft as a contractor

    Pros

    TEALS (Technology Education And Literacy in Schools) is a grassroots program that recruits, trains, mentors, and places high tech professionals from across the country who are passionate about computer science education into high school classes as volunteer teachers in a team teaching model where the school district is unable to meet their students’ computer science (CS) needs on its own. You will admin a program that affects lots of students.

    Cons

    In all my professional years in and out of the tech space, I've never seen such dysfunctional leadership. The organization was founded by this software engineer with a great idea but that is where his talent ends. This is not a case of 'pockets of poor leadership and lack of accountability.' You will face day-to-day extreme harassment - bullying, screaming, inappropriate jokes and eventually you will leave because you are a professional. If you are thinking of joining, reach out to employees for the full scoop. They will be more than happy to tell.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build accountability.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    They may no longer use stack ranking, but the people managers and the culture haven't changed

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

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

    Pros

    I was able to work on many different projects and many different teams using many different technologies, and I worked under many different managers. They offer a lot of ways to continue your education and foster ways of working on your career goals.

    Cons

    I found that the company does not know how to address politics and the associated conflicts with collaboration properly - especially managers. As a result you find yourself in situations where you simply cannot resolve these political issues and management cannot do anything. It becomes just a matter of time before it gets out of control, dysfunction sets in and it impacts the delivery of projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build trust with your employees by showing them that you take their political conflicts and concerns seriously and that you will follow up and resolve them. Doing this could be the single greatest way to unlock the potential productivity that seems to elude many teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Use to be a good company to work for.

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

    I worked at Microsoft

    Pros

    good benefits and work-life balance

    Cons

    Unskilled managers with large egos that lack accountability and only care about themselves. Very toxic environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    find the job

    • 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 10 years)

    Pros

    Good Skills and good communications

    Cons

    Waiting for the good news...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Non...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    VERY STRESSFUL - Not worth it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Support Engineer in Irving, TX
    Former Employee - Support Engineer in Irving, TX

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    You learn a lot by force and stress. They put you through the fire and the obvious is that you grow thick skin to stress and you are force to learn quickly. After a year it prepared me to run out of there and get a good job.

    Cons

    They do not train, they over work you, which you end up working like 55 hours. They add so much responsibility and its all about backstabbing politics in order to keep your job. If you get to an interview, I would recommend asking a lot of questions! They say they pay you good but in reality if you are working 60 hours, you do the math.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is really no cure for the whole issue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't work here

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

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

    Pros

    None that I can think of, unless you consider being verbally assaulted and bullied by your Manager on a daily basis.

    Cons

    HR is faulty if you have an issue with your Manager they turn it around on you and make it your fault. Managers are horrible they are allowed to pretty much bully you until you decide to quit or have a mental break down.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better work life balance, better MANAGERS, better HR system.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    System Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Systems Engineer in Bellevue, WA
    Former Contractor - Systems Engineer in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Microsoft as a contractor (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great place to learn technologies but limited breadth to utilize in an end to end scenario..... Given a section of a project to complete but depend on others to do there job effectively, and that is where the rub comes...

    Cons

    Worked as a Contractor for 8 years. Lots of promises but nothing comes of it. I saw FTE's jumping to other teams. No faith in management. No real direction, follow thru, and too many doing not much of anything. Contractors hold up the company.

    Don't get me wrong there are some very smart and motivated people at MS, but management does not pay attention to those not pulling the wagon...

    Not a happy union between contractors and FTE's...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to those who you are paying and not earning a living. Appreciate those who really try to make a difference.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    My experience as a PM with Bing

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits package. Also, the company generally keeps their promises w.r.t. visa/green card sponsorship. This about exhausts the list of pros (all of which are generic/Microsoft-wide). I don't see any concrete pros to Online Services / Bing as a particular division within Microsoft.

    Cons

    In a nutshell: horrible management, horrible culture. Unless you are a clueless straight-out-of-college kid willing to work ridiculous hours (mostly due to poor planning and incompetent management, not because you'll be building the greatest technology ever) and kiss arse to your management chain, my advice is: stay the heck away from Bing. I worked in companies big and small (as well as in academic research), and this was by far the most outrageous and aggravating experience of my career. The culture is just horrible -- endless back-stabbing, dirty office politics of the worst kind, people being de facto pitted against each other (both in terms of an idiotic review/"bucketization" system, and actually being encouraged by usually incompetent and sometimes outright abusive management chain), bad planning and execution practices, both individuals and entire teams playing against each other instead of working together towards the shared goals -- the list goes on and on. Insofar as the "peer feedback" system, if it weren't sad, it would have been a complete joke. For those who ever read F. Kafka, I often felt like Joseph K. from "The Trial". It doesn't matter if what somebody said about you has any credibility or corroboration, if your manager doesn't like you, you won't really be told WHAT was said or be given any chance to defend yourself or refute bs. And if a coworker said good things about you, well again if your manager(s) don't like you, they can hand-pick which portions of feedback to use when evaluating you, meaning they can (and from my experience, actually do) exclude whatever they (don't) like.

    Also, that delivering releases is all (or most) of what matters is a myth; I know this from a personal experience. When confronted my skip-level manager asking, what on the long laundry list of my deliverables I actually failed to deliver, the 'handsome' response was that (specifically, for PMs, although I suspect similar bs lines can be conveniently applied to anyone they dislike) "it's not just about WHAT was delivered, but also about HOW". Now my further inquiries about the HOW part didn't receive any specific response, clearly indicating it's a completely arbitrary category that the management applies in accordance with their personal (dis)liking. Let me also add that, in the world outside of Msft, I was way more senior and accomplished than anyone in my management chain below the Partner level, but I was new to Msft (and on h1 visa) -- and they knew it. This is why they did not even feel much of a need to pretend to treat me fairly, let alone be fair, provide genuine career growth opportunities, and all those fairy-tales from my interviews and subsequent conversations with HR hiring.

    In a nutshell, if you are a decent human being and a decent engineer/applied researcher of any kind who is interested in doing challenging work and not playing dirty politics, you will do best by staying the heck away from Bing (under whatever name they may be operating nowadays).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The whole culture needs to be overhauled, and all the damage by S. Ballmer and people around and below him needs to be undone. This will take years, assuming there's any good will to start to begin with.

    Two concrete steps: many of your lower and mid-level managers should have never gotten into positions to manage people. Ever. If they excelled as individual contributors, they should have either been trained (those who are trainable among them) in basic people's skills, or else rewarded as senior/principal ICs, not put into positions for which they had neither maturity nor people skills nor anything else necessary -- while screwing both projects and their subordinates' lives and careers. And two: it does not take deep expertise in either human psychology or game theory, to realize how harmful and idiotic the performance "bucketization" system really is -- get rid of it, if you care at all. No wonder Google is light years ahead of Bing (and it's not b/c they have that much better engineers or researchers, obviously).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Program Manager II

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

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

    Pros

    Mostly good peers. Always something new to learn. Fast pace.

    Cons

    No mechanism to challenge a bad manager review. Top down management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the great people you hire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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