Microsoft

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Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 21 November 2014
Updated 21 November 2014
8,619 Reviews
3.7
8,619 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,264 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good work-life balance compared to other tech companies of the same caliber (in 833 reviews)

  • You will get the opportunity to work with smart people solving real world problems (in 975 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is not good in some places but it really depends on your role (in 543 reviews)

  • Review system that pushes people to look out for themselves instead of being team focused (in 398 reviews)

More Highlights

3,545 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 405 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 (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  

    Good Pay, Good Co-workers, Talent everywhere

    • 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 10 years)

    Pros

    Working with the brightest and hard working people
    50% of the company is sales, marketing, operations; so you don't have to be an engineer to work at Microsoft
    Lots of resources to get your job done
    Life on campus is excellent, including a health clinic
    Women are paid equally
    The pay is better than many others

    Cons

    No talent management: Each group is an island. If your job is eliminated, HR doesn't look to see where in the company you might be able to find a similar job, they just say goodbye to you, and loose incredible talent, knowledge, and institutional knowledge. This should really bug stockholders that realize this churn is expensive. There is employee development, just no talent management.

    There is a bit of ageism. Not by factor of age, but by factor of tenure longevity. Supposedly there is a finance formula that creates targets of longevity, pay, grade, and other factors when a reduction is needed. In the recent job eliminations in 2014, this theme of more tenured, therefor older, employees are let go, and evident just looking at the people carrying out their boxes. It was just too obvious.

    Women seem to have much slower speed in advancement. Paid the same, but men move through the ranks quicker. It is easy to see, if 29% of the company is made up of women, then why aren't 29% of Midlevel to senior managers women? The company isn't a startup there are established people of both genders. The company has 50% sales, marketing, operations, these are not traditionally male centric roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work to keep employees moving into available jobs, versus paying severance etc. Only depart the poor performance employees. It is bad on morale to loose great employees. I hate seeing great talent not moved to other places that the company could benefit from their knowledge.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Technical PM

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

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

    Pros

    Work along side smart, dedicated people.
    A tremendous fresh focus on customer experience and everyone can engage directly with customers for feature, design or other feedback.
    Flexibility (for the most part) on work schedule with core hours from 10-6pm.

    Cons

    Re-orgs happen a lot at MSFT where you find yourself with a new boss or part of another organization. That experience means your the expert in your area and having to educate, prove your worth to the new manager.
    In the services world, it's pretty much 24x7 with email constantly flowing and there are on call rotations for everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Working across teams to implement a feature takes more time to talk about it and get alignment than to write & test the code. Become more agile in decision making and reduce the amount of PPT decks that essentially create a 2 month planning cycle. Train all managers on diversity (not just cultural but also style).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great place to learn and grow

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

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

    Pros

    * Great benefits
    * Lots of smart people
    * Great opportunity to learn
    * Some excellent managers that build your career

    Cons

    * Too many organization changes
    * Some managers are terrible and should not be managers
    * Some Leaders lack vision.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your reports and guide and build their careers. Don't be self-inflating and only care about your own career. Great reports make great managers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Fast paced corporation

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

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

    Pros

    Great career opportunities & flexibility to work in different areas. Very talented people & high diversity across teams. Team members generally quite collaborative.

    Cons

    Too many leadership & org changes over the last year; new HR rating system in place still need to be tested.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    The constant change at Microsoft

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Cool technology, decent amount of freedom to move around the company if desired and beautiful campus

    Cons

    Constant changes in the organization structure makes it hard to stay focused on anything for more than a year. Hard to build expertise because of that.
    Decline of benefits over the past 6-8 years has made the company's morale decline substantially.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the re-orgs and let people focus on the work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    A Great Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    Microsoft offers the best of everything, and you'll have the opportunity to work on world-class problems to create world class solutions where ever you work. Amazing smart people.

    Cons

    Its big, it can be tough, and it isn't always a clear path in terms of work or your career path. Often you not the first to market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck with all of the organization changes. Don't forget what makes Microsoft great. Be good to your people, they are your greatest asset.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    It was a great experience with extraordinary people!

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

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

    Pros

    -> professional people, passionate about their work
    -> relaxed working environment
    -> a culture based on the quality of the product more than a fast release

    Cons

    -> sometimes too slow
    -> bottlenecks may appear which keep you from smoothly develop your product

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Service Engineer II at Microsoft

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Creative place to work
    Exciting on the edge of technology

    Cons

    Poor review structure
    Encourages competition over teamwork

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't give up on your products so quickly. Keep improving them even after you have marketed them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great place to work and learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • 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 (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Big network of groups and teams to reach out to, lots of learning opportunities.

    Cons

    It is a big company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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