Microsoft - Great place to start a career | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft
There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

See Most Recent

"Great place to start a career"

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

Pros

High salary, cool technology, genius co-workers, good work/life balance, great work conditions (my own office, 2-3 monitors, multiple top-of-the-line development machines, etc.). Health benefits are AWESOME*!

*for the next 2 years

Cons

Work/life balance is highly variable from one team to the next. Seattle is REALLY expensive, so the starting salary is deceptively low if you hope to ever own a home here. A lot of co-workers are really caught up in having money and owning things (lots of BMW's, Porsches, etc.) which might not be your thing.

Advice to Management

DON'T REDUCE HEALTH INSURANCE!!!

Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to learn, if you are active about managing your career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test II in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test II in Redmond, WA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are excellent. Access to technology (anything you want to work on or play around with) is essentially unlimited. If you can luck (or maneuver your way) into a good manager who is open and honest, you have a good chance to manage your career, and have a good time. You won't get rich, but you'll be well taken care of.

    Despite the cons I list below, if you can be confident in what you do, have regular, honest conversations with your boss about your career, you can learn to ignore the silliness, and just have fun getting your job done. And get fairly well paid to do it.

    Cons

    The compensation system at higher levels is designed to get people to not play nice together. At lower levels, the difference in compensation between a great review and a mediocre one really isn't that much - you can work collaboratively, learn from your coworkers, mentor newer coworkers, etc.

    The differentiation in compensation at higher levels is extreme, and leads to ... shall we say ... sociopathic behavior being rewarded exorbitantly. It's possible to do well, while still being a good person who respects the opinions and work of your coworkers. It's easier to do well if you can pretend to do that, while making sure you get the credit for good things, and none of the blame for bad things.

    *****

    MS only really gets serious when a market is threatened, and then it takes time to spin up the machine. Once the train is rolling, we're pretty unstoppable, but it can seem to take a *lot* of effort and public embarrassment to get the train rolling. I still recall the day some VP announced that MS's opinion was that development of the browser was essentially done - there was nothing new left to do. So, the IE team was being disbanded. And now, 6 years later, we're trying to catch up. Same with phone - "the iphone will never amount to anything". I've seen internal talking points passed around about how the iphone wasn't as good because it didn't have a *tasks* app - that's the kind of internal propaganda you'll have to deal with.

    Advice to Management

    SteveB is undoubtedly a really smart guy, and cares more about MS than anyone else there. But he just doesn't seem to "get" technology. His focus is on the business plan. Always. (I suspect he would consider this a compliment.)

    But, sometimes you do stuff, just because it's cool, and it wins you credit with the right crowd - Google gets this - many things they do make no money directly, but build up Google's excellent name with influential people. This is what turns engineers on. We like making money, and we like the share of it that gets passed to us (we have cars to buy and student loans to pay down, and kids to send to school, after all). But, we are happiest working on something for its own sake. We certainly need someone figuring out how much of that we have the money to do, and trying to figure out how to monetize the cool stuff. But, I'm not entirely convinced that person has to be the CEO.

    If we show love to our users, they will love us back. No matter how many times we insist that our brand is the most valuable, thus users love is, it's easy to point to things we do, that prove we don't really care about the users, once we have their money. I think we can have both.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Lots of opportunities if you can tolerate the culture and extreme workloads"

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

    Pros

    Microsoft Library - Access to resources - research data, journals, books, studies.
    Benefits - Medical, stock
    Smart people - there are a lot of really intelligent people with interesting backgrounds & experience
    Diversity - people from all over the world

    Cons

    Limited teamwork - people are rewarded for seeking credit as individuals, not teams. Internal competition is still fostered over teamwork. This creates suboptimal solutons. Even the 'collaboration' award has been awarded to an individual in the past few years.
    Self-promotion is critical to getting a good review - self-promotion is a virtue here; being humble wouldn't be a good career strategy.
    Culture to work fast and avoid input that might slow you down - even if it is input needed to improve the outcome. It is worse to deliver late than it is to deliver badly or to deliver an ineffective solution.
    Lack of effective leaders in many senior positions - success as a technician does not make for success as a leader.

    Advice to Management

    Promote teamwork, reward teamwork and recognize that better work happens in effective teams.
    Get rid of the current contingent staff model (both a- and v-) which cannot be achieving it's intended benefits. A different strategy for a contractor model could fix current issues.

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