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Microsoft Reviews

Updated September 22, 2017
16,101 reviews

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  1. Helpful (1217)

    "Thoughts after 10 years...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

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

    Pros

    1. If you love tech, this is a great place. No doubt you'll talk tech (mostly the MSFT stack) from enterprise to consumer - from PCs to phones to Xboxes - from datacenter to desktop.

    2. What were GREAT benefits are now VERY GOOD (took a small step down) but still probably better than you'll find at 99% of large corporations. If you've got family - the value of the benefits is even higher. 401k match is nice.

    3. Even with it's struggles MSFT is still a cash printing machine. This means if you can keep your nose clean and do reasonable work, you can have a stable job, pay your bills, feed your family, and not worry (too much) about layoffs. The stock you own likely won't tank, but probably won't go up much either. You'll get a bonus each year and some stock. It's a decent life if you aren't looking to light the world on fire.

    Cons

    Brand on Your Resume: After many years of losing market share and struggling to be at the front end of innovation and the fact that there's 90,000 employees, don't think MSFT is necessarily going to be attractive on your resume to more agile and smaller companies.

    Managing Your Career: Make you say this out loud so it registers - 90,000 employees work there. Double that for vendors. It is VERY hard to "stand out" and move up in the company. Don't expect your manager to be much of an advocate or enabler to help you meet your career goals - they are basically trying to survive the stack rank every year too. Not familiar with the stack rank? Check out the 2012 Vanity Fair article called "Microsoft's Lost Decade".

    Advice to Management

    I'll type it here - but I don't they are listening...
    1. Help proven talent move laterally in the company for new opportunities.
    2. Kill/evolve the stack rank. Here's basically how it's viewed:. 30% of the company gets 1s and 2s - and they are happy. 50% get 3s and that basically feels like getting a "C" in school. This sucks for talented people when a multitude of UNCONTROLLABLE conditions keep you from getting into 1 or 2 range. The 20% getting anything below a 3 are walking dead. In summary, 70% of the company walk away from the review cycle feeling like crap. This is no good.

    After 10 years, I'm leaving - it's just a matter of time until I find the right opportunity. I need to find a company spends 90% of it's time building technology experiences, as opposed to 90% of its time building PowerPoints. And I expect to refuse the exit interview - because if you really cared what I thought, you wouldn't ask me after I decided to leave.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Be ware of which Team/Org/Group you join"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Undoubtedly, one of the best places to work at.
    - work life balance
    - benefits
    - work on products used by millions

    Cons

    - can be very political depending which team/group you join, so do your homework before you accept the offer, else you'll have to deal with mental agony or join the political order
    - avoid MSEG at any cost, its one of the most political orgs within Microsoft

    Advice to Management

    Weed out Leads and GPMs who feel entitled to bully new joinees, and don't hesitate to ruin careers.
    Bring in progressive managers, who have the empathy and the conscience to be righteous, and who lead by example.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Im RIFed, but still a great company"

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

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

    Pros

    You get to work with really smart people
    Benefits are very good. As some noted they used to be outstanding but like all companies they've had to cut HC costs. Still they continue to work on improving benefits where they can, like increasing company matching on 401k contributions and accelerating stock vesting...both relatively recent improvements
    relatively flexible work options, home, office, customer site, mobile. Note: I was in a field office not Redmond, but I believe it's still flexible at campus

    Cons

    While I believe in Satya's vision for the company, the new reality of Microsoft at least for the next few years will be a constant risk of RIFs. You have to be really adept at knowing which group to be in. It's like a giant game of whack a mole, you can get hit at any time for no reason regardless of how good your performance is.
    I personally know someone who won Platinum Club (highest sales honor) and less than 2 months later was RIFed. There is ZERO consideration of the individual or talent when it comes to a RIF. While they do allow you to interview back in, it's sort of an empty welcome as you are booted out of the company and treated like a new hire, at least from an access and interview perspective. Also you are only given 2 months...not nearly enough time given the glacial speed with which MSFT recruiting teams move. I've been on both sides of this now. I've interviewed and hired in dozens of great people at MSFT but the process is painful in my opinion.

    Advice to Management

    I get that Microsoft needs to restructure, but you are doing an awful job at it right now. All your top performers if they aren't looking for new jobs are definitely looking over their shoulder or are left in an awful position as their vteams are getting RIFed and nobody is explaining why, or how they are going to get the resources to support their goals. MSFT is a very collaborative place and when you suddenly lose 1/4 of your vteam that leaves the remaining employees with the same lofty goals and 1/4 less people to get it done. Even the managers are beside themselves and can't explain what's going on or how they are going to support the teams with the resources they have.
    While I agree with the big picture of the restructuring, leadership has to know and understand that they are releasing some of their most talented people into the market for their competition to scoop up. It feels very much like a person who has no knowledge of Microsoft business or a group of lawyers trying to keep MSFT out of harms way is making the RIF decisions. There is a massive amount of tribal knowledge going out the door. Some of the RIFs eliminated whole teams of people who were the only ones with a key skillset (a skill noted by our CEO on stage as important). My manager was beside himself when I was RIFed, he's like you are the only one on our team who knew how to do this. I'm like sorry man, and by the way, everyone else I knew in MSFT who was good at what I do was RIFed as well, so you are going to be left with the blind leading the blind. good luck. This may sound like a vindictive rant, but I've spoken off the record with extremely senior Partner level Engineering execs in Microsoft who don't understand some of the RIF decisions and are challenging some of the decisions made. For me, too late but hopefully they can stop the bleeding.
    Also on my CEO performance, my rating is based on what he's done for the stock, which is largely due to headcount reductions IMO.


  4. "Most fulfilled I've felt professionally in years"

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

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

    Pros

    Challenging work, great people and culture, inspiring leaders, work/ life balance

    Cons

    Not super clear how to get promoted, lots of stakeholders which can slow or stall work, 520 bridge traffic can be soul crushing

    Advice to Management

    The Connect system makes it unclear on how you are measured against other people at your level and can't identify what to focus on for promotion


  5. "Great place to work"

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Lots of resources for learning and growth

    Cons

    Company culture is still a little back-scabby due to people who have been there so long


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Wonderful place to work, if under age 50 or less than 20 yrs there"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Solution Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Principal Solution Manager in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Challenging. Always something to learn. Great people to work with. Fast paced but fun atmosphere. Flexibility, ability to work from home

    Cons

    Extremely long hours (70 hr week norm) takes its toll; they appear(ed) to lay off people who hit 50 yrs of age or older, or who had worked there 20 years (or close to it) - assumingly because it would be cheaper to hire younger folks than continue to pay the higher salaried experienced ones.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at those senior (50+ age) experienced folks and don't discount them just because they get to their 20 yr anniversary.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "11 years and counting, one person's take..."

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, competitive salary (at least at senior level and below), bonus and stock on top of salary, plus additional perks like commuting alternatives (bus pass or Microsoft's Connector service--coach-style bus service from prime locations throughout the area), Prime discounts, competitive parental leave for mothers or fathers. 401K match (or something retirement related) is a must-have in this post-pension world.

    The Switch from no out-of-pocket health care to a high deductible plan with an HSA was tough, but I personally understand that the former wasn't sustainable. Note that Microsoft feeds the account and for a healthy family with not much more than regular maintenance health services, you can spend less than the company's contribution. This means the savings will grow and be available in retirement years.

    Cons

    The usual baggage that comes from a long-established company, like overuse of internal tools instead of industry standard tools, as well as entrenched processes and bureaucracies that can hinder agility and efficiency. This, varies from team to team, but several data points I've collected make this feedback relevant. There's progress being made, but in a company this big and old, it takes time.

    Competing against others who don't maintain a balance between work and life can leave you on the outside, and that's not uncommon here. Working hard and long hours can get you rewarded with opportunities and promotions, and it's hard to argue against this (if you're doing the work, I guess you should get rewarded). It's just demoralizing when choosing not to de-prioritize family can work against your upward trajectory.

    Advice to Management

    Keep pushing toward modern practices and tools. Find ways to remain current in developer technologies and methodologies and ensure it is easy for developers to find time to advance their skills. If developers feel they are lagging behind the field, they may leave to avoid becoming irrelevant or obsolete (or unhireable).

    If your portfolio is your greatest asset, this is moot, but if you agree that your people/talent are your greatest asset, liberate managers from the burden of having to "deliver or else" (or more softly stated, the high pressure to meet the bottom line at the expense of some flexibility for the employees) and allow them to keep talent (their employees) thriving. See if this doesn't keep the portfolio healthy and the talent happy at the same time. I had managers who exemplified this in the past, but they've all moved on to new companies.

  8. "Finance Manager"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Work with smart people, variety of Finance roles under one umbrella

    Cons

    ever changing environment, Certain teams can be too fast paced


  9. "Gone through a lot of managers, but overall great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    Great resources, people (mostly), training, good benefits.

    Cons

    I've averaged 1 manager per year, maybe a little less. Makes career growth more difficult when you have to start a new relationship with your manager every year.

    Advice to Management

    Plan the org changes more thoroughly to minimize impact on employees.


  10. "Microsoft"

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

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

    Pros

    Great pay, benefits, and experience. Many locations with lots of opportunities for movement. Depending on your manager it can be a great place. There is a wellness fund you can use to buy fitness related items that is $800.

    Cons

    Consistent layoffs, high stress, lack of work life balance. If you get a bad manager you will be micromanaged and have no growth. The environment is very political and cut throat.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with employees and don't spout just the company line.


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