Microsoft Program Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Microsoft Program Manager Reviews

Updated January 4, 2019
1,796 reviews

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Program Manager

4.1
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Pros
Cons
  • "Certain groups can have poor work-life balance" (in 1189 reviews)

  • "Outdated review system which is anything but fair" (in 530 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Microsoft is a great company with great benefits, great managers, and interesting work. It's a large place, so it's hard to generalize across all teams. Once within Microsoft, it's easy to move.

    Cons

    Older product teams have challenging businesses and may come across as less agile than some of the newer products.


  2. "Good company too hierarchical"

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

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

    Pros

    Great company, learn lots, big teams, big opportunities to work together

    Cons

    You will work inside a box as long as you are there but gain worldwide practices

    Advice to Management

    Tell HR to calm down tenfold, because they are really aggressive and make it hard to switch teams and make you feel like you are doing something wrong for wanting to grow yourself, but act extremely fake like they care about you and your future.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Work life balance okay, unless you have a working spouse and kids!"

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

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

    Pros

    Compensation is good, you will put in extra time to get it.

    Cons

    Bonuses and raises really only go to the top 1% that spend 60+ hours per week. Does not support a dual-career family structure. Plan to be there from 8am to 8pm if you want to succeed.

    Advice to Management

    It's true that hungry college grads will put in the hours, but most will burn out and move to another company. Invest in your mid-level workforce who are likely to stay for the long term.


  4. "Never worked at a company this one"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The room for growth is phenomenal. You can be starting out anywhere from corporate, and go anywhere you'd like. From engineering support to marketing, software engineering to product planner, finance to hardware engineering. Anything is possible given you put into the time and effort to reach out and network with the people currently working in where you'd like to go, as well as developing the necessary skills for these jobs. Everyone is super busy (as expected), but they're all willing to put down what they're doing to give you some pointers or answer your questions, even if it's only for 15 minutes. There's no feeling of animosity towards your growth because people feel threatened by you; your growth is their growth too.

    Outside of that, the company hosts many events for the employees and their families, the food is decently priced, and there are many on-campus services, from tech support, barbershops, live music, farmer's markets, happy hours, and more. The work/life balance is top-notch for a company that has so much on their plate. But while, no one ever expects you to come in and go at ungodly hours, there are some days where extra hours is needed to meet a deadline, though that's the exception and not the norm.

    Overall a fantastic place to work in: impactful products, great co-workers, big room for growth, and great perks.

    Cons

    Being a big company, a lot of processes are slow. If you're used working in environments where things can be done in a blink of an eye, that's usually not what will happen here. And while everyone wants you to grow and will help you grow, there's still a lot of people who are aspiring to do the same things you are, so it is still competitive.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Can't go wrong when you're making your employees feel at home, while shipping great products.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Sr. Program Manager"

    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 10 years)

    Pros

    Challenging work and collaboration with brilliant coworkers.

    Cons

    Many horrible managers who are more focused on politics and their own self being.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in good people managers


  6. "Good Overall"

    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 a year)

    Pros

    Company with a clear purpose

    Cons

    a large share of workforce close to retirement and doesn't incur curiosity in day to day work


  7. "Autonomy and opportunity for impact. Define what and why and help guide how working with engineering managers."

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

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

    Pros

    Great work life balance. Impactful work.

    Cons

    Organizational decision making and prioritization can be problematic depending on the org and how your team fits into the org charter.

    Advice to Management

    Organize the teams with core competencies in the right units to promote opportunities for integration and give more purpose to ICs.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Global Program Manaer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Program Manager
    Current Employee - Global Program Manager
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Truly a global company.
    Satya Nadella
    Great coworkers.

    Cons

    Cost savings means less collaboration. Teams will just stop doing a function, not considering the impacts to other teams and then upper management gets upset at teams delivering services on why they can't perform.

    Tools and processes are blockers big time. More tools and processes are created to try and help the old processes and tools making for a complicated interrelated matrix with minimal cooperation between teams

    No advancement outside of Seattle and if you are good at a role, its hard to "be allowed" to move on.

    Advice to Management

    Listen when employees say they are burned out and get them help. Many people area afraid this will be used against them (and yes that happens)

    Pay more attention to the tools used to run the businesses. we are a


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Average culture; great benefits; great career stepping stone"

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

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

    Pros

    I was at MSFT back in 90's when Bill G was still in charge. Returned to the company in 2010 about the time Steve B left and Satya N took over.

    Great Benefits for a family!
    Great place to get experience and then move on.

    Cons

    Mid-level management is horrible. Too many people trying to protect their cushy MSFT jobs.

    MSFT has gone way to far down the political-correctness rat hole. Culture is difficult to navigate now.

    Advice to Management

    Fire or demote half of your middle management.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great company with interesting work and good culture"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Culture, Work, Comp. Allowed to have life outside of work. PM role is shifting to more product focused role while still maintaining technical nature. PMs are not "dev babysitters" here, which is fantastic! I feel like I can be myself coming into work everyday, which is a great & motivating feeling.

    Cons

    It seems it's 50/50 on if you like where you get placed or not. Half love where they are and half do not. Also, as with working at almost any large company, decisions are usually top down, and it's pretty meeting driven. Meetings are not inherently a bad thing, but it's especially apparent here.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on the customer. Make sure to represent your own core values and do the right thing when confronted with people vs profits.