Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 29 September 2014
Updated 29 September 2014
8,174 Reviews
3.8
8,174 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
960 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 786 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 944 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 511 reviews)

  • The previous stack rank review system encourage a behavior that was very much individualist (in 388 reviews)

More Highlights

3,377 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 355 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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Corporate Reorganizations

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great work life balance, compensation, benefits, and potential bonus/stock based on performance.

    Cons

    Due to recent company wide reorganizations and layoffs there is big lack of job stability, questionable new leadership, and accountability in immediate management structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan ahead, do your homework on what accountability and actual structure means to all levels of the team or group. Be transparent of reviews to really reward star performers and hold management accountable on perceived "good ole boys" club mentality.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    • 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 full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Microsoft really cares about employees, growing them and setting them up for long term success. I spent over 8 years at Microsoft, worked with some of the smartest people I have met, had a lot of independence, and the work was really fulfilling. Hours were sometimes long but rarely crazy. Pay is excellent. Benefits are among the best in software companies (I would pick top notch health care, tuition reimbursement, prime discounts and legal plans over free dry cleaning and free food any day).

    Cons

    Different divisions at the company having different perspectives can be demotivating and disappointing for both customers and employees. It is hard to influence top level strategic decisions even if you're pretty senior. If there's one thing I'd change at Microsoft, it'd be to make it a requirement for different divisions to work collaboratively.
    In spite of being a great company that has transformed the world with its products and services and contributed to so many good causes, Microsoft was never perceived to be cool when I worked there and the press and the perception can sometimes make you feel bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please find a way to hire excellent people to Microsoft, especially experienced candidates. The company I joined seems to do a much better job of hiring and retaining experienced candidates. At Microsoft, I saw many people with years of industry experience really struggle to fit in with people who'd spent many years at the company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Test manager

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and access to tons of resources.
    Engineering teams are brilliant and fun to work with.
    Diverse set of products to work on.

    Cons

    A lot of politics, at times you don't know why the decision was made.
    Some the teams have worse corporate culture.
    The company is lethargic at times reacting to customer needs.

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

    Lots of change and the Lay-offs are making everyone nervous

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

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Satya is bringing in lots of change and it's too soon to tell whether it's for better or worse. Benefits are still excellent, even for an hourly employee like me. It's still VERY DIFFICULT to move from an Admin/Hourly job to a non-hourly role. It can take years to get promoted and there is a definite glass ceiling if you start(ed) as an hourly employee.

    Cons

    Lay-offs are freaking everyone out. I get that we need to make changes, but it's causing a lot of churn as the folks who (thankfully!) still have jobs are being shifted around like assets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep being transparent, as much as possible.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    great place to learn

    • 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 full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    company has global scale and dreams big - full of very smart, talented people. Great place to learn best practices in management and leadership development

    Cons

    new functional organization has decreased accountability, leading to some less than optimal decisions -

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Best corporate citizen ever! Best place to work in terms of work life balance and compensation

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours. You are able to make your own hours once you've proven yourself. Compensation is above average but work life balance is great- they're not tied up on any red tape either.
    Outstanding corporate citizen- best in class. Can't say enough about this- and it starts from the top...

    Cons

    Used to be that we didn't pay a dime for health care but now there are out of pocket expenses.
    Perks are not up to par with the rest of the software giants; free food, massages, maternity leave etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Free espresso and food goes a long way. Apart from that, keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Big corporation, but you will have options.

    • 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 10 years

    Pros

    Stable, benefits are (still, used to be even better) very good for people with families, many projects company is working on, so you can change things up without leaving the company

    Cons

    Company is huge and has many old corporate culture pieces in place, hard to stand out as an individual contributor.
    Review system used to be very contradictive, on words promoting collaboration and teamwork while in fact pitting you against your peers. It changes now, but too soon to tell if it's a new approach for real. Many things depend on your manager.
    Forget about work-life balance if you want to advance quicker than average.
    The more time you spend here the more you get stuck with MS technologies, which doesn't help much when you try to find similar class employers outside of MS.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Well done on engineering reorg, but still many things can be improved in terms employee career management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Dynamic but occasionally frustrating

    • 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 10 years

    Pros

    Dynamic company with a lot of innovative technology and interesting projects.

    Cons

    Hard to transition between disciplines. Can be challenging to get off of failing projects or out of troubled organizations.

    It appears that the company has decided to make a significant change in direction and strategy. However, many employees were not given an opportunity to see if they could adapt to the new role/culture (ex. de-emphasis of software testing discipline).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide opportunities for people to move to new roles. Give them a chance to apply for those roles (especially when the company has decided to make a significant change in strategy).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Has High potential but needs to change its culture

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of great products to work on, Diversity in culture, high potential because of the smart people in there, great integration story possible

    Cons

    need to eliminate lots of people who are resting & vesting here, needs to learn to be agile, needs to be more nimble and give more power to the engineers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do NOT micro manage, provide directions and let the creativity flow. Please remove a lot of unnecessary principal ppl who are sitting idle or trying to create random work. Reduce Test Managers and leads and give power to engineers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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