Microsoft - Spent a third of my life working there, enjoyed the first ten years | Glassdoor
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"Spent a third of my life working there, enjoyed the first ten years"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Mountain View, CA
Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Mountain View, CA
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

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

Pros

When I started there it was a company full of wickedly smart people who all worked tirelessly, and sometimes isolated, to move the company forward. It was always a meritocracy and I was ok with that as you got to work on cutting edge technologies. The career development there was stellar and I was presented with multiple international opportunities that allowed me to make my home in the USA with stints in Europe and Asia to round out my experience.

Cons

Over the last few years the changes to the review model killed collaboration, you became pitched lock step in battle with your peers fighting for a review score that you could apply a dollar amount to. I understand that has gone now and that is the only reason why I give it three stars now as there is a chance that the changes will fix this.

The company has too much middle management and a lot of it is mediocre. Sadly I became one of those mediocre middle managers because I could not connect the work that my 80+ person team was doing with the success of the company and my game face wasn't good enough to help motivate my team. So I got out and haven't looked back since. I just learned my team is about to get cut by 75% as they are being 'merged' with another one.

Advice to Management

With the new CEO at the helm there is a big opportunity for change. He needs to kill as much of the tired, hapless middle management as possible and restructure the company so teams are rewarded for their progress and failing teams are penalized appropriately. Keep it a meritocracy but reward the high performing TEAMS not individuals.

Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft

  1. "Excellent company to work at, with talented people continuously working at improving for the world."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer II in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are lots of talented people here, and it's a company that has the resources to support you in achieving your goals. The company also has many, MANY teams that can give you more opportunities than a lifetime if you desire to change things up.

    Cons

    There are many layers of management. Sometimes those management layers will make decisions that completely change the course of your work without ever coming to personally talk to the affected teams about it. This has been the cause of frustration for some extremely talented people.
    There's no free food provided.

    Advice to Management

    Connect more with all the reporting chains below you. Ask them for a perspective from the lower rungs, as well as how your decisions will honestly affect them.


  2. "Even though they're a large company, they go to great lengths to make it feel small (at least in my part of the company."

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Amazing benefits, great support networks, and an increasing desire to innovate. The 2010's are a great time to join the company, both to make substantial impacts to a new strategy, and bring fresh ideas to the table.

    Cons

    Because of the strenuous interview process, the culture thrives off type-A personalities. The environment is extremely competitive, and if you're not a task-oriented go-getter, it can be hard to shine, even if innovating is the company's new focus. There are also cases when young employees, in their new high-responsibility roles, might let the power get to their head a little. However, managers do make an effort to counter this self-centered behavior.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to stress the importance of improving the whole rather than improving the self. Also, informal check-ins can sometimes be more helpful than formal check-ins, as these tend to raise the stakes and make it harder to bring up seemingly small issues.

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

See Most Recent

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