Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA | Glassdoor

Microsoft Redmond Reviews

Updated June 14, 2017
578 reviews

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Redmond, WA

2.0
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578 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Review refers to the "Ballmer Era""

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Perks
    Microsoft Give campaign led my community service hours to donate 4K to a non-profit

    Cons

    Seattle Area (the gloomy ness)
    Stack Ranking (which still exists in 2017, they just call it something else)
    Toxic Work environment for some teams (very hit or miss)


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Meh"

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

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

    Pros

    The money is great. The benefits used to be much better. You might love it or you might hate it. It all depends which group or boss you have.

    Cons

    Don't expect to have the impact you hope for when you show up. Everyone is worn down and jaded and all your big ideas have already been pitched and shot down a hundred times. They're going to continue doing things that seem crazy and you probably won't stop it. Better to go with the flow than be a troublemaker.

    They will say the stack rank system is gone but there are x dollars for x people and the top 10% are going to get most of it.

    Advice to Management

    Fire anyone who has been there more than 15 years. They're holding the company back with old mentality. Stop importing workers by the thousands pretending that there are no Americans available.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    One of the best places to have a worldwide positive effect on software. There's opportunity here that, while rare and viciously fought over, is uniquely powerful.

    Cons

    Extremely negative environment with common backstabbing and misrepresentation. Stack ranking is more hidden, but still drives evaluations where success is not so much based on good software, but on image management and popularity. There's too much fear and really not much far reaching innovation.

    Advice to Management

    Stop evaluating individuals and start evaluating resulting software. The Vanity Fair article that spotlights the failed culture that results from stack ranking should be studied.


  4. "Great Benefits, horrible work/life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits. Work with smart/bright people

    Cons

    Not conducive work environment for someone with a family. Long hours, little recognition for time put in, family life suffers greatly.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Take time to look for team and project that suit you"

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

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

    Pros

    Good compensation and benefits. Company has lots of resources allocated to R&D. Great place to start one's career out of college. Tons of interesting projects that can be found with some effort.

    Cons

    Heavy-weight processes / middle-management. Lack of agility, wasteful in terms of engineering resources. Some organizational culture that encourages staff to be passive-aggressive. Some decisions are made by politics instead of data-driven. Career growth may be limited depending on team / project. Work-life balance takes back seat in organizations that build and support online services.

    Advice to Management

    Make serious effort to reduce waste in R&D resources. Build teams that are highly agile.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Meh"

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, some interesting projects, freedom to move around the company

    Cons

    Massive politics - it's no longer about the work, it's about how you're seen by others. Not to mention pleasing higher-ups who get the idea they need to check the "social media" box and start handing out ludicrous busywork just to check that box. Then the strategy changes. Microsoft: Never again.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the leadership who are resting and vesting, quit making us pursue ridiculous fire drills because one SVP wants to outdo another, and create some kind of workable, simple, all-company strategy that we can all adhere to.


  7. "Changes keep on coming..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - General Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will work with some of the brightest minds in the industry. The technology is amazing if you are passionate about seeing the future, this is a great place to do it. Satya is a good leader who is genuinely trying to change the company for the better.

    Cons

    Its a big ship that takes a long time to turn, so many of the old mindsets are still highly prevalent in the organization. The key ones are:
    1) Arrogance: Yes, there are bright people here, but sadly people tend to believe their own press too much.
    2) Lack of customer centricity: Linked to #1, people believe they know more than customer do. Frankly, customer is a concept on a ppt slide. Part of the problem is that all global roles are a) based in Redmond b) rarely leave Redmond c) not directly linked to the field where the work actually happens d) spend their time building playbooks and strategy videos NO ONE actually reads or cares about.
    3) Linking words with action: the follow-through is non-existent. You sit in a meeting and the person will say, I will drive that and come back. They rarely do. Its such a large company and globally you are disconnected from the business in many groups so the accountability is not there.
    4) Leadership gaps: Leaders tend to be very isolated, at the CVP and GM levels, you engage them through their business managers who filter information to them. Most leaders also are more focused on making partner than developing their teams, sadly.
    5) You have to be in the Enterprise side, the consumer side is a trainwreck, led by people who have no clue what they are doing. Its also not a focus (outside of Office) for Satya. If you are a strong retail person, you will quickly see many serious challenges.

    Satya is driving change and its the right change, but the challenge is that while he has replaced many of the Senior Leaders who didn't buy into his game plan, the next level of management (GM) is still firmly entrenched in the ways of the past so will take a long time to make Microsoft a customer-centric, people-focused, agile organization and by that time, the market will have already moved on.

    Advice to Management

    Move from box checking to real accountability that starts with a genuine consideration for the customer, who you have neglected for a long time. Embrace a direction, either in or out of the consumer business, devices or just become an enterprise services company. If we were a person, we would be committed for our erratic behavior.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Recruiting is a 'black hole.'"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    As an FTE, the benefits were great. The people you get to work with are great. The projects you get to work on are impactful and interesting.

    Cons

    Since the 2008 layoffs, which had nothing to do with performance, I receive no callbacks when submitting resumes for positions I am qualified for. Changes to the vendor policies have made it difficult to make a stable living at Microsoft. People don't feel as if their performance will increase their chance of keeping their job.

    Advice to Management

    Former FTEs who were let go for non-performance reasons should be given priority in hiring. The severance packages were generous, but employees are constantly looking over their shoulders worrying about when they will be let go. This isn't a good way to develop loyal, happy, productive employees. It's unfortunate that experienced (often middle-aged) employees are shunned in favor of recent graduates (often on H1B).


  9. "SWE"

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

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

    Pros

    Good Benefits, large company usually means a lot of places to transfer without having to leave.

    Cons

    A lot of politics internally means a lot of time spent working on things that get axed at the last minute. I lot of managers spend most of their time working outside their teams for political reasons and promotions and often aren't there for their team.

    Advice to Management

    Get your politics sorted out.


  10. "Proud to Pay Poorly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Systems Engineer III in Redmond, WA
    Former Contractor - Systems Engineer III in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Unemployment insurance in Washington State is excellent
    It looks good on your resume
    You can see MS OS's and products first

    Cons

    They proudly pay contractors worse than the regional average
    Contractors benefits are generally poor
    Utterly dreadful management - projects planned with serious gaps, inconsistent or arbitrary management styles, no serious company-wide management development and the culture engenders no expectations for middle managers

    Advice to Management

    Read an off-the-shelf book about how to manage staff -- in my experience MS managers thought they were good at managing, but were actually terrible and purblind


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