Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 14 September 2014
Updated 14 September 2014
8,061 Reviews
3.8
8,061 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
893 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 688 reviews)

  • Tons of super smart people working for the right reasons - to make a difference (in 893 reviews)


Cons
  • And there are times when the workload may impede on your work-life balance (in 476 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 369 reviews)

More Highlights

3,324 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 343 people found this helpful  

    Thoughts after 10 years....

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    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. 3 people found this helpful  

    SDE II

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Microsoft cares for you and wants you to be successful

    Cons

    Sometimes your peers are better at doing politics vs programming which is unfortunate but I guess any place with this many number of people is bound to have this.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Comfortably Uniique

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

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

    Pros

    With the diversity in Microsoft and the ability to move across teams, disciplines and geographies is liberating. For all the hate Microsoft may get it has mostly positive, smart and understanding leaders.

    Cons

    Roles can sometimes be confusing. A program manager can end up handling too many things internally and focus very little externally. This leads to product confusion.
    Also even though its a very large company, it competes with hyper focused competitors where the leadership is crystal clear on the are and the number of people working on it may be much more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue being open and help people understand the strategy internally. There are far too many cynical people inside the company who do not understand the strategy and this is something that is extremely harmful.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    20 Years at Microsoft

    • 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 for more than 10 years

    Pros

    When I joined Microsoft in 1992, it was one of the most innovative companies in the world. Lots of fascinating work with very talented people who had a very strong drive for results. I was extremely well compensated with stock options, stock grants, salary and bonus. I created 8 new products and was awarded 36 patents that generated over $2 billion in verifiable incremental revenue for Microsoft.

    Cons

    Microsoft's strategy and focus were much clearer in the early 1990s. Opportunities for personal growth existed everywhere. Today there are fewer opportunities today for people who want to be major contributors. Some of this is part of becoming a larger company and reaching the end of the PC era, but much of it is risk aversion. The PC era is ending. A new era is also beginning. This is opportunity. If you want to be great you have to take chances. I am all for mitigating as much risk as possible. However, you will get the same outcome if you keep using the same old strategies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The changing role of the PC and Windows is an opportunity to create a new and even stronger company. However, it means change. Microsoft has many valuable assets to leverage to create the next generation of Microsoft. I believe that you have the talent and opportunity. Now execute on it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    One of the best places to work as a Software Engineer

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    + People are insanely smart, some of them legendary.
    + There is virtually no limit in terms of learning opportunities, professional growth and career advancement.
    + Everyone gets own office!
    + Benefit is one of the best in the industry, period.

    Cons

    - Performance review used to be based on stack ranking and fixed curve.
    - Skill set may become irrelevant if not actively kept up with the industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Comfortable Working Environment and Smart Fellows

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

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Microsoft does great work not only in industry but also in academia. I'll only talk about Research part here. To do research, the first reason to be here is to work with the people. Microsoft has lots of top-notch computer scientists, and their work plays a very important role in the whole academia realm. Moreover, their researchers work seamlessly with industry as well, which makes their work benefit mankind at a much faster speed than any other institute ever.

    Cons

    Lots of information to catch up in short period for summer interns, especially in the research team. Sometimes goal is not clear.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to learn cutting edge technology and improve software development skills

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

    I worked at Microsoft as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Very advanced technology. Work life Balancing is great. Compensation is also satisfying.

    Cons

    As a big company, you might experience a bit politics. Every FT employer will get a private office but only the senior employers get the windows ones.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Should be in a good team with great people, else don't bother

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    If you are in a good team with established people, you will learn a lot and you will feel your life is enjoyable. If not, you are just wasting your time here. Make sure you talk to a bunch of folks to identify whether the team and group you are going into is a good one or a bad one.

    Cons

    Company is trying to change direction to move fast. Upper management is playing around with the lives of high performers making them not productive and stealing away their fun.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop screwing around and decide what you want to do instead of spending an year thinking about it and screwing up the fun of Software Engineers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great people to work with

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people to work with if you can live with bureaucratic management.

    Company care about people and it is one of few Software Company i have seen people working for more than 15 year in the company.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic management. Management has no vision for the future

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have vision and develop goals and then act on them

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    SDET II

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

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

    Pros

    Great company
    Excellent benefits
    Encounter great minds.

    Cons

    Learn how to do politics.
    If you dont know how to project yourself well, You wont last long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review system needs improvement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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