Microsoft Reviews in Redmond, WA

Updated 30 October 2014
Updated 30 October 2014
8,453 Reviews
3.7
8,453 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
1,147 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

3,494 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 382 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  

    Exciting place for young professionals to build their career

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    - A lot of support for young college hires to gain experience and get your foot into the career
    - Culture is changing. Satya is really getting our culture direction is the right direction

    Cons

    - People don't believe in us.. frustrating to see it in the media
    - PMs...... too many of them doing mindless / useless features for their own job security
    - MSIT absolutely sucks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think management is going on the right direction - removing stupid "processes"

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    All companies in one company

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

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

    Pros

    Lot of technical areas to work on, Lots of new projects, good benefits, work life balance

    Cons

    Big & Mature company means low agility some times

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Absolutely the best experience I could hope for. I have an amazing team!

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Comprehensive benefits - Stock options, 401k matching, etc.
    - Great bonuses
    - Not many 80-hour weeks
    - Managers respect your time off

    Cons

    - it rains a lot :(
    - Lots of meetings

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Can't you do anything about the rain?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good company, bad management

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

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

    Pros

    Good place to work: location, compensation, smart good people, interesting job and lots of high paced innovations in many teams. Pro Sports Club is awesome and paid by company.

    Cons

    Review system forces people to focus on their personal goals in the competition against team members instead of working towards common goals.
    No matter of your contribution or how well you work with feature crew the personal relationships with your manager and further in the chain of management are crucial to the formal success. Team often loses technically strong people due to this non-technical reason.
    Many of the office spaces do not have windows. This is an awful experience not to see a glimpse of the natural light during the whole day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    work out review system that would promote teamwork

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent place to work for developers!

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

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

    Pros

    The company really values top talent. if you are smart and driven to prove it YOU WILL BE REWARDED!
    So many intangibles Microsoft employee discounts, many cafeterias on campus, etc.

    Cons

    Health insurance used to be top notch now it pretty much isn't.
    Extremely political.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Software Engineer

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

    I worked at Microsoft full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of new projects. Lots of fun. The people were nice and friendly.

    Cons

    Lots of movement recently, probably not good for new comers or people looking to stay long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Changing and Inspiring for the Future

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    New review structure involves clear, simple, quarterly discussions with the manager. CEO is inspiring. New direction for cloud and devices makes sense. Long term strategy is good -- execution is going. Great HR perks -- Get Fit (Health) is fantastic! Tuition reimbursement is solid.

    Cons

    A big company and still can take long to try and get things done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thanks for making work-life balance possible. Thanks for valuing employees and customers. Please continue to invest in current employees and value the team work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company to work for for a long time. Product units vary greatly in culture - choose wisely.

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

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

    Pros

    Diverse, a lot of opportunities, a lot of good talent to learn from, good opportunities for career growth as an IC and as a manager.

    Cons

    Microsoft still has work to do to fully embrace the new cloud-first world. Its extensive legacy is a relative guarantee of revenue, but is also a huge deadweight that hinders innovation.
    Not as sexy to work in as it once had been, so it may not be attracting the top-most talent anymore.
    Compensation is less that some of the competition.
    The entire technological stack is proprietary, which means that technical skills you learn will not be immediately applicable in Open Source shops without some adaptation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learns more from new leaders of the areas we're entering. New CEO, however, already seems to be turning company in that direction.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    20+ year career, varied experiences, the company where I "grew up"

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

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

    Pros

    Large company with large number of opportunities to gain experience, excellent compensation package, Challenging environment pushes you to produce good work.

    Cons

    Depending on the team, can be overly political and slow. Culture is very entrenched and slow to change. Performance model legacy leads to negative behavior

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Performance Model is the biggest negative for working at Microsoft. It discouraged teamwork, and was demoralizing for personality types that do not enjoy self-promotion. The new model is heading in the right direction, but implementation is unclear and it doesn't appear management is totally bought in.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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