I have been working at Microsoft full-time (More than 5 years)
Work-Life Balance: They stick to this promise as much as possible, even still making the attempt when business causes the request for increased flexibility from the employee during busier times.
Learning And Career Development Opportunities: Many areas of the business that allow for increased knowledge of how the technology business works and help with career development when time makes it available.
Opportunity to see and work with the latest and greatest technologies out there.
Alot of networking face-time with industry partners both big and small.
When it comes to career advancement, sad to say the stack system is still ever so apparent. Alot of times, advancement either becomes a who you know or cultural bias. Alot of people do not want to say it, but trust me, it is there.
Sometimes, as said above, this can lead to a career development stall with your reporting supervisor. In some areas, there is hidden favoritism being played with groups of staff.
Advice to Management
No matter race, gender or who that particular staff member is "buddy buddy" with, great talent (or rising stars if you will), is exactly that, great talent. Develop them to be an even better asset to the business, and give them the same opportunity to advance and grow as everyone else, making an even playing field. This is something that plagues the industry as a whole, so don't be part of the whole, be different and set the company apart from the rest.
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