Microsoft - Work with some of the smartest people around. | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

See Most Recent

Helpful (1)

"Work with some of the smartest people around."

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Seattle, WA
Former Employee - Senior Business Analyst in Seattle, WA
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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

Pros

The best part about working for Microsoft is the smart talented people you get to work with. Excellent training for CS under-grads getting started in their career. Microsoft is also mostly merit-driven in the lower levels of the company with flexible career paths for people wanting to stay in the Individual Contributor roles.

Cons

Company has lost direction recently and the old guard is too set in its ways to turn the ship around to the recent changes in tech. Many middle managers are focused on their own careers than company's success. Some of this stagnation is frustrating when you are especially trying to develop or launch new products.

Advice to Management

Need more customer focus. Lose the attitude of 'not built here'.

Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft

  1. "Highly political atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Beautiful campus.
    If someone just wants any job, this is the place to be.
    It has the cash cows to continue despite mismanagement.

    Cons

    Highly politically charged environment
    It's hard to express facts without first considering who in the room might not like the truth to be told.

    Advice to Management

    Don't kill this company by only focussing on your own career


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Good place to go to retire"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Pay and benefits are great. Not excellent, but great.

    2. If you don't have great ambitions, you can maintain a good work-life balance. Once you get to the "Senior" level in the career ladder, it's easy to just relax and get lost among the cracks. Management is going to assume that you "plateaued", and let you stay where you are.

    3. Company pays a lot of importance to ethics and being a good world citizen. Pays generously to charities and has a great charity donation matching program.

    Cons

    1. The company is too big and too slow. I don't know what exactly the reason for this is, but everything in the company just seems to happen so slowly, even down to minor everyday tasks such as getting a single bug fixed.

    2. People in the company are nowhere near as smart as some people think, particularly the new hires. In a market where companies like Google, Facebook, etc. are soaking up the cream of the crop, Microsoft has certainly lowered their standards and is settling for those who cannot make it into such companies. The really smart people are those that have been around for a decade or so, from back when Microsoft could attract those kind of people. The rest are probably still better than your average code-monkey, but nowhere near as good as they need to be to turn this company around. On rare occasions you come across some surprisingly incompetent people.

    3. Performance system is broken:

    - Rewards are tied to how much visibility the work you do has, i.e., the more the number of people who know what you are doing, the better your chances of a favorable performance rating. This may seem justified on paper, because the higher the "visibility" of your work, the more important it is. However, what ends up happening is that it basically becomes a popularity contest. You may be working on something that might be the most important thing for your immediate team, but since no one outside your team knows that, it is very unlikely you will be rewarded for your work. The "new" review system that was announced recently doesn't change any of this.

    - No matter what they tell you, there is definitely a minimum time period you need to be in each level before you get promoted to the next, no matter how good you are.

    - It's all about being in the right place at the right time. Good opportunities are hard to come by, and they keep moving around the company. Currently it looks like all the good opportunities are in the Windows Phone group. People there are getting promoted like crazy. Whereas in Windows, there is a huge dearth of good opportunities. And since the average seniority of employees in Windows in much higher, the few good opportunities go to the senior folks, leaving the junior folks with very little, making it hard to progress up the career ladder.

    4. Lack of good vision from leadership: Given the mess we are in right now, we need a Steve Jobs to turn us around.

    5. Ancient engineering practices: When I left school, I was eager to get into some actual software engineering and learn cool things like TDD, unit-testing, UML, etc. I am saddened to say that my co-workers and I are still writing code like it is for a class project. I think Microsoft relies more on a strategy wherein junior developers are just not given much important and complicated work until after they have gained a few years of experience. That's no way to do software engineering in today's world. While SDETs churn out huge, complicated, and heavy test frameworks for testing products, the reality is that these tests usually never catch any bugs, and most bugs are found in production.

    6. You better be prepared to spend the rest of your life working with Microsoft technologies: They avoid OSS and non-Microsoft solutions like the plague, which, to be fair, might be justified because of the potential for legal troubles. But if you are coming to work here, be prepared to say goodbye to the rest of the technology world.

    Advice to Management

    I honestly don't know what to say.

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

See Most Recent

Work at Microsoft? Share Your Experiences

Microsoft
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
 
Click to Rate
or