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Microsoft Seattle Reviews

Updated February 22, 2018
7,298 reviews

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Seattle, WA Area

4.0
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7,298 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Certain groups can have poor work-life balance (in 1124 reviews)

  • Mid level management, review system (in 522 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "UX Design Intern"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Really great work place environment!

    Cons

    Not indicative of what it'd be like to work for Microsoft


  2. Helpful (1317)

    "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.

  3. "Great team, culture and work"

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

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very open team, full of highly intelligent people. You can get ideas bounced between yourself and management very easily. Great place to learn and grow

    Cons

    Very few downsides overall. Personally would have preferred offices with a little more personality.


  4. "Category Marketing - Xbox"

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

    I have been working at Microsoft as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great atmosphere, positive environment, intellectual individuals , Highly competitive salary packages, great work/life balance, management receives feedback

    Cons

    Some campuses have open floor plans


  5. "Changing for the better"

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

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

    Pros

    Company culture is changing. People work together across divisions.

    Cons

    Limited locations in Seattle. Somewhat aging employee base.

    Advice to Management

    Go Satya!


  6. "Amazing place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Learning tools is provided to be a successful employee

    Cons

    Work life balance needs improvement


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work. May not last long as a leader."

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

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

    Pros

    Experience gained and positive working experience highly dependent on immediate team culture, management chain and product. Some teams are more assigned with industry standards, have a faster development cadence and more open development stage.

    Cons

    Others are stuck in legacy mode, with entrenched management chains and practices.
    There is a lack of focus on quality as PM teams are inventivized to ship features with low quality, low customer engagement and no long term quality improvements. There's very poor integration of web clients with workflow in almost all Microsoft properties. The worst offender is Windows. Rather than aggressively pushing web based development they are still pushing UWP- a Direct result of not built here mentalit and the same applies to office with desktop apps. The web based alternatives exist but are woefully inadequate in terms of feature quality and performance. The only teams that may have a hope are Azure and Xbox, the former because of more modern management chains and the latter because of a renewed emphasis on customer needs.

    Advice to Management

    Legacy desktop apps, especially office have no future. Move everything to the web. Focus every resource there.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Love this company!"

    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

    Smart people, great work life balance, company matches charity donations.

    Cons

    It all depends on who you work for - would NOT work in the WDG group


  9. "Very good opportunity when doing a PhD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - PhD Intern in Redmond, WA
    Former Intern - PhD Intern in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern

    Pros

    As a PhD intern at Microsoft Research you get to publish which is pretty good thing when you are doing your PhD. Also you get to connect with pioneer people in the field.

    Cons

    I think the projects are not well defined in advance, but I guess that necessary is not a bad sign. That is how a pure researchy place looks like.


  10. "Solid, flexible, with many opportunities"

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting and challenging work with impact. Opportunities for lateral moves and advancement. Smart, motivated co-workers. Stable, respect for work/life balance and flexibility to work at home. Positive, optimistic atmosphere without a lot of office politics. High compensation potential.

    Cons

    Frequent re-organizations, management changes, office moves. Demanding performance expectations. Occasional need to work longer hours. Management styles and expectations vary greatly across the company and even within groups.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure we're innovating and not just copying what other companies are doing. Make more effort to preserve knowledge retained only by senior people and not written down anywhere systematically. Respect older technologies and build off them, don't just let them stagnate.


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