Microsoft Reviews in Seattle, WA | Glassdoor

Microsoft Seattle Reviews

Updated November 14, 2017
2,883 reviews

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Seattle, WA Area

4.0
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2,883 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • One of the best places to work for with great work life balance (in 1947 reviews)

  • Working with really smart people who readily share their great insights is a humbling experience where everyone is treated as equals by all employees (in 1682 reviews)

Cons
  • Sometimes working hard means disrupting one's work/life balance for periods (in 1093 reviews)

  • Review system was not the greatest (in 519 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1272)

    "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. "job sat"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Principal Development Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Development Manager in Redmond, WA

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

    Pros

    pay and benefits, turn around after Satya, enterprise products are very strong

    Cons

    politics, out of touch with end users, biased review model

  3. "Great company"

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

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

    Pros

    Tons of opportunities to learn

    Cons

    Sometimes culture is too self centered

    Advice to Management

    Be aggressive, take on more challenges


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Office org provides great work-life balance with technical and political challenges"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Can't beat the work life balance with a low stress environment, high brand recognition, product audience means your work can have impact (if you can fight the technical and political challenges to make meaningful progress)

    Cons

    Deep hierarchy with not much variation in promotion velocity (people get awarded titles for tenure length), employees tend to ignore emails from junior employees without impressive titles, very political, high complacency, a lot of apathy and "rest and vest"ers

    Advice to Management

    Fire poor performers, don't let them hang around for decades doing minimal work accumulating high titles solely based upon tenure length and then abusing those titles to force poor decisions on aspiring up-and-comers who get tend to get demoralized.


  5. "Great work, fine location"

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

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance
    Great challenges at work

    Cons

    Location - not as many options to switch company without switching the location


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Loved Microsoft--Hated Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Pay, Perks, most of the people

    Cons

    Review Model and Review Process

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the stack ranking


  7. "Great company to work for"

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

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

    Pros

    Microsoft offers amazing learning and development opportunities. For people who like to operate in a high-powered and fast-paced environment, this is a great employer. For people who are not comfortable with constant change, not so much.

    Cons

    Constant reorganization of the company can be disruptive on many levels. Multiple rounds of layoffs lead to a culture where people do not feel encouraged to take bold risks. On the other hand, this has also changed Microsoft's culture for the better. Gone are the combative rivalries, and the dreaded employee stack review system.

    Advice to Management

    A decent amount of frustration occurs due to politics.
    Saw good careers stagnate due to chaotic leadership.

  8. "Communications Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work-life balance and benefits

    Cons

    Internal politics, including around selecting one PR agency for all of Microsoft. Difficult to get new relationships and skills that would let you work in PR elsewhere as they rely completely on agency for pitching.


  9. "software engineer intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Redmond, WA

    I worked at Microsoft (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great benefits, location, very good tech

    Cons

    old and not exciting in some parts

    Advice to Management

    invest in AI and cloud


  10. "Partner Development Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Really great culture and environment

    Cons

    Challenges within organization in terms of direction


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