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1 person found this helpful  

Great opportunity, challenging environment.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Director in Redmond, WA (US)
Current Employee - Director in Redmond, WA (US)

I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

Pros

Opportunity to impact at global scale; compensation and benefits; opportunity to do many different jobs within one company; global opportunity.

Cons

Frequent and disruptive re-organizations; employee calibration system forces a ranking curve so every year 20% of employees receive a low ranking regardless of their contribution.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

8429 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Great work environment!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Redmond, WA (US)
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Proactive people, supportive to interns! The movie night was great, too.. The university coordinators are friendly and helpful! :) The shuttle system is extremely good.

    Cons

    The conference rooms are always booked.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Had great health care... "Senior+" level jobs are all about politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time

    Pros

    - ProClub membership
    - Health care used to be excellent, now is pretty comparable to any A-grade employer
    - SSDP (same sex domestic partner) health care which is good for some
    - Lots of different areas so you can basically change job and it's just like changing company
    - Divisions are almost run as their own enterprises - so moving from Windows to Office or SQL is like a totally different experience
    - There are a lot of smart people @ MS (and some not so smart, see below comment)

    Cons

    - Performance review is bell-curve based
    - The new (1-5) versus 20/70/10 rating system really blows
    - From "Senior" band (L63) and above the job is more politics and less working - found that you need to spend almost 50% of your time on "influence" especially the 6 months before review/stack ranking on ensuring your name is "out there" to make sure you don't get screwed at review time
    - For an IT company, a lot of the internal IT systems totally suck so you can spend half a day just to order a new keyboard
    - Your career's trajectory is closely aligned to your managers and your managers manager (skip level), if you join a group where the principle / director has already been at MS forever and is on cruise mode then expect your career isn't going to go very far
    - If you don't like the job you are in, you need manager approval (I've never seen it given) to switch jobs in your first 18 months in the role. Even for new hires, you can just quit and join another company without repaying sign-on etc after 12 months, so this leads to a lot of people leaving after 366 days
    - no motivation of your manager to find the "best job" for you in Microsoft, they only focus on who is in their team... so, some star performers join the org but get trapped in a job that isn't the most suited for them which gets them disgruntled and out the door: rather than fighting for them to get a job where they could make a real difference and impact for MS
    - lots of Program Managers, lots of Marketing speak, lots of perception management and a lot less engineering than I expected.
    - Microsoft doesn't pay stellar wages and as such you may find you're not working with the sharpest tools in the shed in some teams... although there ARE _some_ really smart people around
    - a lot of old timers just hang around because they have >$20k annual stock vests and don't have the hunger or motivation to do great things... it's very 9-5, which is good if you just want a cruisy job, but not if you want to go to a pumped up tech company: in this case go with Google or Facebook.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - abolish stack ranking
    - employee perfomance should be agreed and measured over 3 years (like Amazon)
    - more focus on engineering and test.. although steveb famously said "developers, developers, developers", it's more like PM, PM, PM... and SDETs (test) should be on-par with dev rather than being considered 2nd class citizens.. I think a ratio of 1xPM:5xDEV:5xSDET would be a much more suitable mix... currently it's anywhere from 1xPM:1xDEVx1xSDET to 10xPM:2xDEV:0.5SDET :(

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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