Microsoft - Great place to work, lots of different product groups, lots of different roles | Glassdoor
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Helpful (1)

"Great place to work, lots of different product groups, lots of different roles"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

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

Pros

The work culture is very open. There are a lot of different roles to choose from - developer, test engg, program manager, product management, marketing, etc. There are also a lot of different product groups you can join internally. Internal movement is very smooth and the process is pretty well understood. Pay is very competitive.

Cons

Most v1 products are a lot of fun to work on. When a product team gets bigger, then the processes that come with it are pretty tedious. With bigger groups, you also get a high level of office politics where folks start engaging in micro-one-upmanship that be pretty damaging to the long term health of the product.

Advice to Management

Run a lean product group by focusing on a few areas that you absolutely want to shine in. Ignore the rest. Do not try to please each and every customer in each and every market segment.

Microsoft Response

Nov 26, 2012 – Marketing Manager

Very thorough and articulate review, thank you very much for taking the time.

Best,
GEM

Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Surrounded by smart people, but way too competitive and not in a good way."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Group Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Group Manager in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart people
    Variety of positions, opportunities, locations to work
    Good salary
    Good benefits
    Interesting work

    Cons

    Employees too competitive contributing to a very tense work environment
    Horrible appraisal process
    Tendency to pigeon hole people in roles and responsibilities, thus limiting their opportunities
    Recruit the "best" people, very bright and hard workers, and then tell them they are average

    Advice to Management

    Throw out all aspects of the appraisal process and start over! It is currently antiquated and horrible and does not contribute to a healthy work environment
    Too much focus on "high performers" rather than the other "70%" that are doing 90%+ of the work and are great employees


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Microsoft's Dynamics division is not the same experience as the rest of Microsoft"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Various in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Various in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Unparalleled Healthcare - everything is free (no premiums, no deductibles, no copays) however employees may start contributing to their health premium costs due to Obamacare in 2013 or 2014.

    Very sharp people work there. The general attitude of my former colleagues is to think proactively to new trends and technologies and not be a follower. I have worked for competitors who always consider what Microsoft is doing with regards to adopting something new

    When you work for Microsoft the respect you feel in a room among others in the technology industry is a nice perk

    Cons

    The Dynamics division of Microsoft which represents the 2000 acquisition of Great Plains and 2002 acquisition of Navision has yet to completely feel like what I understand the experience to be in other divisions of Microsoft. The biggest thing I noticed is the leadership. There are many that are not the caliber of professional you would expect from a VP or GM of Microsoft.

    The strategy of the Dynamics division is like dealing with an ADHD child. High-level strategy can change as soon as every six months and mid-level strategy can change as often as every quarter.

    I have worked at Microsoft twice. The first time was as an employee of one of the above-mentioned acquisitions they made. It was one of the worst experiences of my professional career mainly due to the fact that Microsoft executive management allowed only one of the two ERP companies they acquired to manage the entire division and did not police them at all. My supposedly strategic team of 18 was laid off a few years later.

    About 5 years later I found myself back at Microsoft Dynamics division with information that the internal product fighting was gone, so I thought it would be safe. Unfortunately the top management of my particular group was horrible and after two years I decided to leave again. I recently heard that HR finally acted on three years of negative feedback on these managers from their employees and removed them from power, but it was too late for me and many others.

    The worst thing that applies to all of Microsoft is their annual review methodology. Each team manager is required to pick a percentage of their team for a high score, a percentage for a medium score and another percentage for a low score. Even if a manager had a team of superstars they would be forced to grade this way. It creates a lot of back stabbing and politics.

    One last irritating thing is the blind loyalty they expect everyone to have toward their products. I understand the importance of supporting your employer by purchasing their products, but what if they produce inferior products? When the iPod first came out it was an unspoken taboo to own an iPod and not a Zune or some other MP3 player. Later when Microsoft got into the cell phone business they became very anti iPhone and Android. If they caught you with one you would no longer get your monthly $100 phone allowance even though Microsoft has absolutely sucked in this market.

    Overall Microsoft is not the worst place to work and is probably great for some people (it certainly looks impressive on a resume), but I will not return there.

    Advice to Management

    Top management needs to get back to being the industry innovators instead of following Google and other cloud providers and Apple and Google in the cellular field. Everyone over there is very focused on getting into "the cloud", but it seemed reactionary.

    The number one thing that needs repair is the method of annual employee evaluation. In addition they will need to start paying more competitive salaries if they begin to mess with the free health care benefit.

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

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