There are newer employer reviews for Microsoft

Great experience over the last 6 years

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

I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

Wide Diversity of Technology. Can move to a different team to gain a different experience.

Cons

Too much hierarchy - this sometimes takes too long to make a decision.

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  1. Helpful (1)

    hit it and quit it

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Valuable political and product design skills that will serve you well as long as they don't poison the culture at future employers. Stay there long enough to get a promotion or two, see how a big company ships large complicated pieces of software then leave.

    Cons

    There is no company mission except make more money. Career management basically means developing a useless skill of positioning yourself to have "visibility" and "impact". Especially pronounced at GPM or equivalent level.

    If you're in the big groups (Windows/Office/STB), the build systems knowledge doesn't carry over very well. They use a hacked up version of perforce for source control and branching and integration is extremely expensive. Continuous integration simply isn't feasible yet on a system of that size (though private builds and replacing individual DLLs at certain layers is possible).

    Advice to Management

    Why?

  2. Helpful (1)

    Not as good as it once was.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic exposure to technology, people and cultures--great diversity.
    There are a few shining stars for product lines and people.
    Competitive salary, benefits packages, employee discounts.
    Large company offers many opportunities in other business units, different products or different roles.

    Cons

    Too much of the all smaller product lines exist to help sell the larger product lines mentality. Stack ranking is creating a culture of people that do not work together, but instead work just to get ahead of their colleagues.
    Too Redmond focused--field promotions and opportunities are harder to find outside of there.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the stock price over the last 10 years--why is Steve B. still there? Clear out the middle management--their only purpose is to track things and act as Yes-men/women to upper level management. Change the culture and how you look at people as new ideas or different approaches are misconstrued as not being a team player so good talent is leaving all the time. Stop pouring money into bad products (or at least those that aren't competitive); pull the plug and invent something better rather than continuing with minor new releases--Zune, Bing, Vista, Windows Mobile, and the jury is still out on Windows 8. Stop the layoffs--you are not in financial jeopardy..

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