Microsoft - If you are very ambitious, user research in Microsoft is not the place to be - try program management | Glassdoor
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Helpful (1)

"If you are very ambitious, user research in Microsoft is not the place to be - try program management"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - User Experience Researcher in Redmond, WA
Former Employee - User Experience Researcher in Redmond, WA
Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Experience working for a large enterprise and the usefulness of having Microsoft on your resume. Also experience working with a few very talented people. However, Microsoft is a very developer led company where user experience is not well placed to make big impact on the product or get big rewards from execs (because it is seen as a peripheral discipline not a core discipline). If like me, you had great reviews and got great bonuses them you will be frustrated by the middle managers above you who usually do not come from the discipline and who you have to try to work around rather than with. Ultimately it is a frustrating place to work if you believe that design and usability should be a major driving force in product development, rather than resources that get called in when the teams think they need them (which is almost always too late). I got out because my ambitions could not easily be met in the lumgering giant that Microsoft has now become, where so much time is wasted on products by poor integration of disciplines such as program management, marketing, product management, development and test that once design and usability get involved too many bad descisions have already been made. If you want to work in a company like Microsoft was, find a medium sized company that is up and coming - a company that is agile and a company where you can sit in the room with the people who run the company (or at least your group) and who can recognize your good work when you do it.

Cons

In the User Research discipline, Microsoft is not very forward thinking and the user research groups are poorly organized and are not well placed for impact

Advice to Management

Get rid of middle managers :)

Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Refusal to Change: Microsoft Tries the Same Tactics 30 Years Later"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Stability. Microsoft isn't going anywhere for a quite a while, and as long as you don't totally screw up, if they do close down your division or restructure, they are good about placing you somewhere else within the company. Working conditions are generally good. It's really hard to get fired from Microsoft, which is great for the employee.

    Cons

    Microsoft is made up of so much bureaucracy and red tape that it's difficult to really feel like you make a difference until you're higher up the chain. There are so many layers of management and so many silos that it's very difficult to get anything beyond trivial tasks done in a decent length of time. This leads to huge investments of time and money that probably aren't truly necessary.

    Advice to Management

    Sr. Management needs to pick a direction and go there. The age of being everything to everybody (mom & pop as well as huge enterprises) is very different now, particularly with the rapid growth of competing platforms and browsers. Instead of having a clear, concise mission statement, Microsoft's only goal appears to be to identify a market that already exists, spend truck loads of money getting in to the market, try to change that market to their own favor (rather than adapt to the market), and then squeeze everybody else out. While this proved quite successful for them in the past, consumers are much smarter now. And as NPD numbers show, they're starting to vote with their wallets. And the Vista debacle was a huge contributor to that.


  2. "Work at Microsoft if you don't mind being stressed out"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Editor in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    For my field, the compensation ($$) can't be beat. There is a good amount of stability also.

    Cons

    Very stressful, long hours, don't agee with some of decisions MS makes on a large scale.

    Advice to Management

    Be more in tune with what people are doing and respond to problems more readily.

There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

See Most Recent

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