Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA | Glassdoor

Microsoft Redmond Reviews

Updated June 23, 2017
5,566 reviews

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Redmond, WA

3.9
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  1. Helpful (8)

    "If you are thinking about MS - think again."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Architect in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Architect in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Once upon a time it was a company that encouraged people to think outside the box. This spirit drove the company to it's high level. During that time we as a company acted as one company, with all groups pulling together into a single unit.

    In the past the compensation was an exceptional piece of what made it fun to work at Microsoft. However at the same time the ability to influence products, change the direction of MS Services and contribute to making customers better was a critical factor in the "fun" of working at Microsoft. Sadly that is no longer the case.

    Cons

    It is now a big company - and the pay hasn't really grown as fast as the orgizational profits. Its sad that the joy of working at Microsoft is now gone. I've been with the company more than 10 years and during that time have watched the fun factor drip out of my job. During that time i have held three or four other positions within the company. In every case the reality of where we are is consistent. Our field teams don't communicate as well as they should. Our corporate teams don't communcate as well as they should. Sad, all the way around.

    Advice to Management

    Time to go back to the "Old Microsoft"


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Only good for parents' bumper stickers "My child works for Microsoft""

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

    Pros

    Microsoft is this world's largest software development company, this looks good to future employeers. Employees receive discounts when purchasing normally overpriced software.

    Cons

    You have to pay for food and snacks. Not a comfortable work environment, they discourage peaceful and collaborative working. They do not promote based on quality of work instead they promote based on popularity and their review system. Hard work is NEVER rewarded here, instead employees are promoted when they do less work and leave early. At Microsoft, if one person in management, regardless of their direct connection to you, doesn't like you, your next review will be damaged. I've received only one 0.5% raise in nearly 5 years of service. Microsoft has horrible retention of long term employees. Management is free to ridicule employees. They 'claim' raises and promotions can happen any time but I have never seen anyone recieve a promotion or raise outside of once a year.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the survey feedback provided by employees, not just the management feedback. Attempt to correct salary and level mistakes as soon as possible. I have seen many highly talented people leave Microsoft after a couple years because Microsoft fails to appreciate employees.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Post-BillG Microsoft is great employment - for HR and Lawyers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead+ Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Lead+ Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Microsoft is the new government job with better pay, better benefits, nicer offices, free starbucks coffee, flexible hours and fewer hours overall ... as long as you don't actually want to build software that serves a purpose, or make it work for customers. If you really just don't care about software or customers, this is the software company for you.

    Microsoft today is an exercise in political correctness run amok, with leaders desperate for approval and well-sold (note I did not say GOOD) ideas and happy to throw money at them. If you understand that kind of environment and want to either run at the new-style Brass Ring or simply surf along the edges - this is the company for you. Go for it. If you can sell it, Ballmer will buy it. (If you need a primer, buy a copy of "Big Blues, the unmaking of IBM".)

    Now, if you are a marketer and believe that actually building product is "someone else's problem" then this is absolutely the right place for you. Because Mr. Ballmer and all of his directs - believe the same thing. (unfortunately all the "someone else's" left with Bill). It's also a fantastic place for HR and PR, with it's high turnover and need to pretend to be an upscale software company and a great place for technical people to work, and nirvana for corporate lawyers. Check out the close links between Microsoft and Odell Guyton - the lawyer trying hardest to make "ethics" mean "legal compliance". (ie, if you're not actually breaking a law - right now, exactly - it must be ethical, right?)

    To recap, MS is a great place for anyone in the business of PRETENDING to build software. Sad but true.

    Cons

    What? You actually have to build the things you advertise and make them work?

    If you're a technologist and can't get hired directly into a research group - you really don't want to work for Microsoft today. Microsoft has suffered horribly since Ballmer took over. He's a marketer. He was always the guy who'd come stomping down the hallway going "I WANT WHAT I WANT". We'd explain that the products couldn't actually do that and the reaction would be along the lines of "AND WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?" If it was important, we'd take the technical facts to Bill, and Bill would intervene and shut him down. It was a decent balance of power. Ballmer's drive to do the impossible would get Bill to do things he wasn't inclined to do, but only if they were POSSIBLE. Yes, there was a time when I loved Microsoft and worked with great enthusiasm in that niche of the "not technically impossible". I did a lot of risky things knowing that I could always count on Bill to rein things in when I could prove they weren't technically possible, or so difficult they simply weren't practical.

    But Bill is gone now. Since taking over, Ballmer has promoted other similarly-minded marketers around him, so now he's completely cocooned in layers of marketing fluff with absolutely no basis in reality. He doesn't know the difference between an actual product and a picture of a product. And just to improve the whole customer-focus and employee-focus thing - he's imported old IBM (Kevin Johson) and legacy Wal-Mart (Kevin Turner).

    The company used to be better and simpler. Everything asking for millions of $$ went in front of Bill, who would look skeptically at everything at a technical level and go "um, I don't understand how this actually gets built at all, never mind on time or on budget. SHOW ME. CONVINCE ME." People dreaded Bill's reviews but he weeded out the crap and he fired the liers. Ballmer's a marketer. He believes the crap and promotes the liers.

    After 8 years of Ballmer, you get Vista, Office 7, and Yukon (SQL2005) ... a suite of products that took 5-6 YEARS to release and on seeing them, users are waiting for the next releases on the feeble hope that they'll be better.

    If you recognize this environment and you know how to manipulate it - you'll be in your element. But if you wanted to build software or do something positive, look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Bring back the harsh technology reviews (and the people who could do them). Let the managers and marketers lie. Then take every $$ they put on their slides and put it through review, and just fire the people who clearly didn't even try. You can start with the people who didn't even hire staff for projects they never intended to even start. Yes, it's that bad.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Where do you want to go today with your "passion"?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I really enjoyed the opportunity to work for a company that has all the technological tools needed to do my job.

    Cons

    Sad to say, but management really has no idea of what their possitions are for. All that they care is about to protect their paychecks and be in good standing with Human Resoruses, wich is a department that, as the employee does not sings their checks, the "HR" department will team up with management to ensure that employees that have an opinion are silenced "legally"

    Advice to Management

    Senior management needs to bring the passion for their jobs, the passion for technology, the passion that made this company a great company, the passion that is lost or replaced by the passion for promotions, wasteful spending, higher commision, lack of accountability, and lack of vission.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Future 'Softies Beware!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great brand name. A big place to work, so there are always lots of different opportunities and groups you can work for. Nice lifestyle in Seattle. It's a 9-to-5 kind of engagement so the work/life balance is great.

    Cons

    The culture and the people. There are a LOT of a**holes working there. Management just doesn't care about people, they just care about their own careers. No one wants to deliver "bad news", so real problems never get fixed. There's a ton of politics and in-fighting. Hard to get anything done.

    And, oh, yeah, the company just doesn't "get" this little thing called internet.

    Advice to Management

    Take your stock options and your millions and go somewhere else. You're just blocking people who want to do a good job and care for the company.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Hand the keys over to the kids...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development Director in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Business Development Director in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Build a wide variety of skills
    Pays the bill

    Cons

    Inept Management
    Nepitism amongst senior leaders
    The talent pool has been massively diluted over the years
    Decision makers are often completely ignorant of the market, especially in the web space

    Advice to Management

    Hand the keys over to the kids....

    I joined the company in 96. It was the most dynamic, exciting place in the industry. People Cared. they cared about the stock, about wastage, inefficiency, creating world class software, the stock price the travel budgets, they cared about a lot of things.

    Today, nobody cares. It's a day job. They check in, they check out. No cars in the car park in the evenings and weekends. No buzz in the corridors as we anticiapte a new major ship. No accountability. No rhyme or reason on promotions. It's the end of the empire and I'm on my way out.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "A good paycheck for selling your soul to corporate america"

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

    Pros

    Microsoft is so broad and encourages job switching so it provides a lot of opportunities to find new and interesting things to do. The benefits are great and the pay is not bad.

    Cons

    Extremely political, even compared to other F500 tech companies I've worked for. I haven't seen a lot of strong teams, just individuals trying to be super-star brown-nosers, but each group is probably different.

    Advice to Management

    Investigate tools and processes that might help managers to better understand the value/impact that employees are making beyond just the things they brown nose about. Encourage more teaming - and review how the current rewards system might impact teamwork.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Come join us - And spoil your career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    1: If you are laid back person and don't have any career ambitions in terms of growth, working on latest technology etc. then this is the place for you to work.
    2: There is no vision in this group so you will not be asked to do any challenging task :).
    3: Though working for this group does not add any value to your skills but you will still get the Microsoft tag in your back.
    4: Life is cool as there is hardly any work :)
    5: You get good benefits i.e. medical insurance etc.

    Cons

    1: You will work with most in-competent management.
    2: You will not be promoted or get a good raise unless you know someone in the group. So basically there is nothing called "fair review".
    3: Product group or all other groups always treat you as a second class citizen so basically "no respect". When I using word "no respect" means no respect.
    4: After working couple of years in GFS, your resume will not be entertained in other groups within Microsoft as you will be marked as "In-Competent". So you will see people here who spent their entire life i.e. 8-10 years. It does not mean that they love the group or have vital knowledge about the system but it means that they know very well that if they moved out of the group, they will be on the road.

    Advice to Management

    We need some leaders in this group who can get rid of incompetent management. Starting from Directors onwards, no one has a clue what are they doing. They are spending well earned Microsoft money foolishly. At least have one vision and stick to it for couple of year. You guys make commitment every year and don't even look back how much did we achieve last year. Interesting fact is that - we acheived only "0%" commitments that we set last year. Better utilize your resources. Hire right people - but lately it is so happening that the people from other groups who were non-performer come and join us and make it more dirty. Some guys who were hired from outside, ran away because they could not deal with this place and buddy-buddy management. Break those barrier where all friends report to each other and spend microsoft money in the expansive moral events. Just stop it and try to bring this group back on track.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "A company drunk on money that sees us as numbers; but there are pockets with good coworkers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are extremely smart, motivated and fun to work with.

    Cons

    The company is not truly invested in growing employees to be what they want. Rather, they want to grow us to be more efficient where we currently are. For example, there is a long dry gulch between the the SDET and SDE roles. Even though some people have made the transition successfully, there is active discouragement by test leadership when attempting to make this transition.

    The company is lost trying to make money and has become scared to do anything innovative.

    The coolest products are handcuffed to profitability expectations before the idea is even baked, causing the best ideas to never bubble to the top.

    Since there is such a high technical bar, incompetence moves into leaderships to survive, which leads to the laziest workers in the middle.

    The review process is a joke, can you say bell curve?

    Advice to Management

    Ballmer is running the company in to the ground. The .com bubble was recovered from, but the MS stock never rebounded and I hold him responsible.


  10. Helpful (31)

    "Ballmer and his Microcannibals must go!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Love the healthecare insurance, ride share, health club, legal, and other perks such as reimbursement offered for those really late nights on campus that last beyond public transportation. I have had to take a cab home a couple of times at 2:00am and was reimbursed 100%. I also like the speaker series that are very educational. There are eduacational reimbursment benefits as well but overal they are pretty light at 7K a year I think for an approved program at a local university and not sure how far 7K would go at the university of washington but it is something.

    Cons

    The secret society that exists between those that have been at Microsoft the longest. It is a tough click to crack. There is no clear roadmap to parnter and I honestly do not know of anyone from the outside that makes it from entry level now days to partner. There are far too many people in line that have been at microsoft forever what are waiting for those spots. And, the comp model does not promote teamwork. Instead it promotes hundereds of redundant teams, roles, and products all competing against eachother to the finish line. There is little rationalle behind who wins. It is a subjective process that looks objecive on paper but often the paper reviews actually do not match the true work that is delivered. Those who are new to the culture or are from the outside really get taken advantage of by the old timers. They speak two different languages and the old timers expect you to adapt or leave and sometimes adapting to their ways lacks business ethics.

    I personally have been asked on more than one occassion to do things like "fudge the numbers, make it up, etc" and when refused to do so diplomatically and carefully was then demoted and given a poor perforamnce reveiw despite winning several awards throughout the year that were an obvious contrast to what was in my review. One of the awards in fact was for Engineering Excellence for what of the best projects of the year awarded by Bill Gates so it was intersting to receive my fourth award that year and then on my review be told that I was in the bottom 10%. Previously to that year under other managers, I was always in the top 10% and on steve's "One to Watch List." Yup, there is a list - I'll bet a lot of you softy's did not know that.

    Things like this though happen all the time, you hear it everywhere and things never seem to change. Worse for wear thought is that if you take something like this to HR, they really have not ability to do anything except for an investigation that can make the indivudal emploee look bad, the repercussions cintinue against the employee and HR and the GM's with poor ethics continue on.

    In the end, I will leave due to the poor business ethics I have seen here as that is the beginning of the end for microsft when at this size and scale they have lost complete control og the emplyees, sr managers, and HR.

    Advice to Management

    I'll be looking at you through the other side of the google glass but will not ask the technology gods to give you mercy as you do not deserve it.


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