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3 people found this helpful  

Review stack rank undermines culture.

  • 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 (more than 5 years)

Pros

Cutting edge technology, smart peers, great pay and benefits. Great for career in the industry.

Cons

The review system is a stack rank. This means that good employees must be put into the bottom rung... someone's got to be in the bottom rung. I always did well come review time, but just the fact that it is run this way really undermines the collaboration and creativity that could exist at Microsoft. A very small number of folks are self serving jerks that will step on folks to work this system. Everybody else is just unsure of who to trust and fearful of making mistakes that will be held against them. People play it safe or work crazy hours to offset the failure associated with prototyping.
Every talk I have with every manager I've ever had there is all about how I can 'get visibilty'. It's not about how I can do a better job, or learn something new.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Get rid of the stack rank!
Embrace a bit of failure as the price for innovation.

Positive Outlook
No opinion of CEO

9020 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Still a good place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of worldwide internal opportunites. Good place to work if you want varied experiences. Excellent pay and benefits compared to other companies out there. Sure there are exception to this but on the whole I think it is true.

    Cons

    Company's strategy may leave you scratching your head at times. Large company means team cultures can vary greatly. You may get stuck on a lousy team or you may be fortunate to work on a great team - likewise with management. Seemingly constant reorgs and office moves. Performance rating system enforces some will get low scores and low or no bonuses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Learned a lot of things but did see some ugly politicking.

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits
    Smart people
    Your own office
    Security (vs a startup)

    Cons

    Stack ranking
    You have to be very vocal to get your way (isn't that the same everywhere?) and to get a good ranking.
    Office politics or intra-company politics.
    Developers are valued more than testers (reflected in schedules where the testing schedule is shortened if developers are late with features)
    Lots of dependencies with other groups can make it hard to change direction on a product.
    Sometimes you do things just for show but they don't contribute to the product.
    Hard to move to development if you started as a tester.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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