Microsoft Employee Reviews

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A great place to learn and grow in software development
Software Developer/Engineer in Test (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WANovember 21, 2014
A typical day started off with reviewing, sorting, and when needed - respond to over-night emails. In addition to team and company correspondence, they also consisted of automation test results and testing done over-seas. Next, I would review my bugs in the database to see what needed follow-up on for that day. In my last position, we would have a daily scrum to sync up with all our teammates on where we all were in our tasks and goals for the project. This is also where we would make agile decisions on our workforce and re-assign folks or create new tasks to help keep the project on track for its determined release date.
Before working at Microsoft, I was a video editor and award winning 3D animator. However, I didn't know very much about software development - just how to manipulate it to get my work done. Working at Microsoft, I learned on the job about how to perform software testing - specifically manual UI. In addition, I picked up a lot of general information on the use of Microsoft products and devices. I also learned a lot about corporate networking. Because I served on many teams, I got to understand on a deep level the following products: My Sync II, Point of Sale OS, Hyper-V, Zune, IE, and CE OS and many portable devices over the years.
Microsoft is a big company, so my experience won't represent the company so much as just a small part of it that I worked with. My managers were all great and very helpful. Because I started after the company had matured, the managers were very good about work/life expectations. That made it a very safe environment to work in. They
  more... all were hands-off management style - no micro-management. I flourish when left alone to solve issues on my own and they knew to mange me that way.
I loved working with my co-workers. We were all very curious people and driven to get our jobs done. Now, this varies from person to person, but I found a wide range of people to learn from and later to help each day.
The hardest part of the job was the commute each day - lots of traffic. However, they allowed for flexible work hours which eased this most of the time. One other thing, when I was working there full-time, I found great waste in the tasks needed for the one-on-one meetings with my manager. The tasks were rarely looked at before rankings were set and yet that was the reason for the tasks. I found it a great waste of time. It was forced into the work that was needed to get done - which got in the way. When, in fact if the managers had a better understanding of how to better integrate this process - I wouldn't have wasted so much time. Coming from a background where I was pumping out TV commercials on a very strict deadline - I found the one-on-one process a huge waste of time. However, I do recognize the need to generate some sort of measurable results for employee reviews - this just didn't work well for me. I was used to my end product representing my usefulness, not side tasks. Fortunately, this last year they modified/dropped this practice. I don't know what replaced it - that was being still worked out before my contract ended. In the end, I found doing contract work there a better fit.
Innovation and the people were my most enjoyable parts of my job. It was fun to be a part of the process to develop new solutions for people's needs and the sharing of that experience with my co-workers. It was also a great environment to learn in - it was encouraged. Another side benefit was the global exposure to other people from around the world - I loved that.
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Pros
the people, flexible work hours, remote from home work days, free sodas, coffee, and tea
Cons
inconsistent work - as a contractor the waits between jobs can be too long
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Cool tech, challenging politics, and good friends
Operations Program Manager (Current Employee) –  Irving TexasJune 2, 2014
I largely worked remotely, and a typical day for me involved a lot of emails, several meetings in the afternoon (all attended virtually via Lync), and the occasional IM. When not wallowing in administrivia, I spent a lot of time thinking about and documenting ways we could do things better, and then working through others to put the changes in place.

Microsoft really matured me as an employee, as I learned to work at a level of professionalism that I had not before. It wasn't enough to be smart; I also had to be articulate and persuasive; I had to be strategic and understand how my work not only solved the problem at hand but set us up for future success.

Generally, I found management to be supportive. They existed to facilitate my work, trusting me to do the right thing, and working to cut down obstacles or provide air cover so that I could deliver my work.

I had some of the best co-workers here that I've had anywhere, and I consider them friends more than co-workers. At a company as large as Microsoft, there is a mix of personalities, and occasionally I'd run into that other employee who rubbed me the wrong way, but I figure that I've probably got my own quirks that bug people, too. Largely, though, I found people to be professional and smart, but also fun and friendly.

For me, there were a few challenges that seem intrinsic to the company. First, I found it to be very political in nature. Recent changes (e.g. One Microsoft) may gradually change that, but there are still people there who have been there 20+ years and known only Microsoft who are likely to slow progress
  more... in change. Visibility was key, and every review period required me to express my accomplishments just right to maintain the balance of honesty and sensationalism needed to prove my value. It didn't help that, thanks to the way reviews were scheduled over the year, a review basically covered only 6 months of work, the first three of which passed before I even had set-in-stone commitments for the year.

Second, despite the global nature of its business, it remains Redmond-centric and the best chances of career development, particularly for technical types like me, exist in Redmond. In fact, it was this obstacle that really has led me to look elsewhere for work, as I'm unwilling to move at this time.

All that said, I wouldn't trade my time at Microsoft. I got to work with some of the best technology available, got to work on the cutting edge, and grew professionally. I had great coworkers who made the job fun, even when the work wasn't.
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Pros
good coworkers, cutting-edge tech, professional growth
Cons
political landscape, redmond-centric
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Evolving to the future with lots of cool opportunities, engineering culture still a work in progress
Program Manager (Current Employee) –  Redmond, WAMarch 21, 2015
If you want to impact people using technology in their lives and work, literally everywhere in the world, Microsoft is the best place to be. If you are entrepreneurial, this is a spirit that jives with the future direction of the company but current engineering culture is still figuring out how to embrace this spirit given the need to maintain and bring forward legacy products and processes. Microsoft is a work in progress, yet again.

A day in the life depends on what your role is, and many of us wear many hats. Expect to exchange opinions and take feedback, sometimes harshly delivered, on a regular basis. When you work on something important, which is most everything, there are always others who care deeply about getting it right and getting it out on time.

If you are lucky enough to interact with customers on a regular basis, expect to spend time trying to get their voices heard. This is more and more a value in the company and everyone will spend time on forums like UserVoice, Reddit, and other forums for direct customer and partner contact.

Some degree of politics and many layers of management in this huge company still make it hard to move and respond quickly even though there is a strong push towards One Microsoft. Top leadership at the company has the right ideas, some of the engineering leaders are better at technology, others better at product vision, some care a lot about people, some don't do as well in any of the above categories.

The benefits are amazing and the opportunities for learning endless. You can work on almost any kind of product and technology in
  more... the software, services or devices world. The products coming soon are indicative of the evolving culture and business, but there is more work to do to make this an awesome place again, in tune with the rest of the industry.

If you want to work with some of the smartest people on the planet, build a great career and work on some of the coolest products of the future, MS is a good bet. You need to be wiling to put up with some big company irritations to get the big company rewards though. It is a great place for many, but not for everyone.
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Pros
smart people, great benefits package, free drinks, career/subject matter versatility
Cons
unpredictable rewards system, cronyism, inconsistent quality of senior leadership
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Excellent company; challenging work, fast paced, great resoureces to do your work, very good compensation and excellent benefits.
Senior Program Manager Americas Operating Center (Former Employee) –  Fort Lauderdale, FLFebruary 5, 2014
Excellent company. Work is very challenging, complex programs and projects, and the pace is very fast. Very diverse work environment. There is international contact even for positions that are domestic in nature. Provides opportunity to work with and learn from colleagues in other regions (Europe, Asia, Latin America, etc.). Almost all work is cross functional; matrix environment.
Great benefits (variety of free drinks and some snacks). Many jobs allow for flexibility to work remotely (e.g. from home, remote offices, etc.). Much is expected of the employees including long days and sometimes weekends. Co-workers (mostly) great to work with. They are driven yet easy to get along with. One tough situation is that performance is not only measured against objectives, but against your colleagues. At yearly review time, it creates a bit of a tense environment, but it's manageable.
Management: in a 100,000 employee and approximately 30-40,000 contractors, the talent varies. The process for establishing performance objectives is very well established so "self-management" is very important. In addition, there are constant re-organizations so that could be distracting. There is a constant effort to minimize bureaucracy given the size of the company.
Lots of virtual team work with regular progress reviews. Weekly for run operations and core teams, monthly and quarterly with management. A lot of interdependence with other groups so cross group collaboration is a must. Managing a large volume of email is a must as receiving dozens of emails a day is standard; in busy periods over 100 emails
  more... a day is not uncommon nor 60+ hour weeks.

Overall, an excellent company. Challenging work with aggressive targets.
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Pros
challenging work, fast paced environment, very diverse, excellent benefits, flexible schedule, excellent resources to do your work.
Cons
constant reorganizations, work-life balance does not exist adjust or look for other work, very competitive environment measured versus colleagues sometimes impact true teamwork.
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Extremely well managed company but very hard and very fast
Principal Development Lead (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WAMay 12, 2015
You would think any company as big as Microsoft would have plenty of resources and plenty of places to hide where you could just go in, do your job and live your life. Not so at Microsoft. This is a performance-extraction machine: it is very well managed and you are measured, evaluated, stack-ranked and pushed very hard every single day. Work life balance is a joke. People work insanely hard and long hours, and they are some of the best and brightest from all over the world. Working at Microsoft is an absolutely great way to start or advance your career, but it's no cake walk. The performance review process is very telling (I was a manager so I saw how this works). All employees within a group (has to be bigger than 6 or 8, normally is about 14 - 20) get stack-ranked, literally, and put into top, medium, and bottom-ranked buckets. Someone (or several people) must fall into the bottom bucket. Those folks get a bad review. This means if you have a team of 14 absolute rock stars, there will be 2 or 3 rock stars who are shocked to receive a bad review and no bonus. Many of them leave. That's why so many really great people used to work for Microsoft. Also re-organization happens at a dizzying pace. All this said, I think very highly of Microsoft and learned a staggering amount in the 3 years I worked there. It's a bit like working on your PhD except you don't have an advisor fighting for you. In particular, if you are young, smart, hard-working and eager to soak in a fire-hose environment, Microsoft is a great place to work. I honestly think the more senior you are, the harder  more... it is to work at Microsoft. Although I've heard Amazon is worse...  less
Pros
In the crossroads of technology; countless learning opportunities
Cons
Very intense. No work-life balance. Fiercely competitive.
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Diverse company that offers scope to expand breadth of knowledge
Technical Program Manager in Microsoft (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WAAugust 20, 2013
As a technical program manager, my role was to break down requirements into features and spec them out. Working together with Dev/test on design and driving the project to completion. Collaborating heavily with partner teams to meet the project goals, unblocking dev/test, providing visibility to upper management through presentations, demos, ship room status, emails. Forward planning for next release and external partner interactions.

Learned a great deal technically as well as how to deal with different people and teams with varying goals, technical knowledge and personalities.

In my tenure at Microsoft, I've had some great managers who have strived to do the best for the customers and also for the team. They completely trusted my skills in all my projects and stood behind me when I needed any support. Have also experienced the flip side where the manager had their own agenda with little regard for customer needs or team morale. Needless to say, it was very rewarding and satisfying to work with the first set of managers.

In general, co-workers were very nice to work with. In some teams, depending on the culture being driven by management, there wasn't much cooperation and collaboration among devs and PMs. But most times, co-workers were willing to work towards a common goal and help each other out.

Hardest part of the job was not being able to release a feature due to clashing goals and personalities in the org.

Most enjoyable part of the job is to work together as a team of talented individuals and ship a feature/product to end users.
Pros
working with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, learning from some smart and talented people
Cons
reducing benefits, less focus on work life balance, internal politics in some teams
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Novitex at Microsoft
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT/ RECEPTIONIST (Current Employee) –  Redmond, WADecember 10, 2015
I work for a vendor company called Novitex at Microsoft; the review above is for Novitex and not Microsoft. I very much enjoy working with the MS employees within my building, however my vendor company does have overly restrictive and illogical policies that interfere with ones personal and work life.

A typical day at work starts out at 8:00AM with unlocking and opening the desk, there's usually a bit of down time in the morning so that is when I spend my time responding to emails and booking meetings. Usually around 9:30AM-10:00AM, the main group of employees begin to arrive. Most of the time I have had a few visitors to check in by that point, but most of them arrive between 10:00-3:00 PM. Most of the day is checking in employees who have forgotten their badges, checking in visitors, answering the phones, paging shuttles to other buildings, booking meetings, and answering emails. After 3:00, the building begins to die down and people begin going home. By 5:00 PM almost everyone is gone and the building is quiet, I lock up and go home. The management is very unresponsive to emails and (besides one) very cold and sexist. They expect their employees to live up to a standard they do not themselves do. The hardest part of the job is assisting employees who feel entitled to a certain behavior or favors. It can be difficult at times to assist such ones when what they ask for is not within my means. The most enjoyable part of the job is working with the interns, they are hilarious and fun. I'm more than willing to help them out with the odd and obscure around campus.
Pros
Free soda, milk, tea, coffee, and snacks. Employees are very friendly to the reception staff.
Cons
Overly restrictive vendor company, low pay, low vacation, unresponsive managment.
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Awesome team, awesome work.
Build and Deploy Project Manager (Current Employee) –  Redmond, WAApril 1, 2013
My typical day at work is crazy. There are so many different projects going on with shifting priorities and timelines. It's really hard to stay on top of all of it. The team I work with makes the extra effort to be available and ready to support when extra assistance is needed. This makes the work environment really fun to be a part of. Even though it seems stressful to work on so many projects all at once, when you deliver on time, against tight timelines and high stakes, it feels great. I've been a part of some big wins within MS advertising operations and you can't match that kind of feeling working on smaller scale projects. The hardest part of the job is aligning priorities with the rest of the team and external teams. Too often it seems as if conflicting priorities will result in a less efficient separation of duties. Collaboration is the most important component in delivering quality products on time and aligning priorities is integral in driving alignment between business teams. These are the values I have observed and been a part of at MS. It's been one of the greatest opportunities I have ever had to work along side professionals of this caliber. The best part of the job was all the recognition and support I got from management. They never hesitate to call it out when some one puts in the extra effort. A lot of work places have systematic ways to evaluate performance, which is nice, but getting acknowledged in an environment with tried and tested professionals is often more rewarding than other forms of compensation.
Pros
awesome team, awesome project, cool campus, awesome company
Cons
variables, competing schedules/priorities, re-orgs
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Microsoft does follow through on it's commitment
Corporate Marketing Group - Microsoft Studios (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WAOctober 25, 2014
I liked working at Microsoft because it was impressed on all the new hires in 1995 that it's employees were it's most valuable asset. The quality and depth of information provided to every employee was unmatched to any other employer I had ever worked for. Microsoft was sincerely committed to developing its employees to their highest potential. All that was required was a fundamental curiosity and desire to figure out how to turn a mountain of data into useful information for the problem at hand.
Sadly a lot more intelligence went into figuring out how to game the compensation/review process. The results being a management style that rewarded never taking a risk and in those cases where risk was inherent to the project, make sure there were 'mitigating circumstances' or someone else to blame in the event of failure.
The biggest inflection points for Microsoft were when stock options were removed from the rank and file employees compensation. Then the DOJ and EU trials. Bill leaving the management to Steve was another change that reinforced a risk adverse corporate culture. Steve was great at exploiting markets and increasing market share but was not respected for his technical acumen or vision. Bill might have been repairing his personal brand by becoming a great philanthropist with Melinda, but Microsoft as a company suffered mightily as a result.
Pros
will provide access to all the information available on any given technical subject.
Cons
review process is a subjective farce
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A Psychological Sweatshop
Tech Support (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WAFebruary 9, 2012
It feels like a great place to work at first, but the constant pressure and chaos begins to take its toll. I've heard stories of a few good departments, but the majority of the people I know who currently work there, or who have worked there, are deeply unhappy and constantly stressed to the point that their health was impacted and they ended up in hospital. In 8 years as a full-time employee, I had 11 changes in who I reported to. In addition, the yearly performance reviews are graded on a curve and there are quotas to give a number of "bad" reviews. Managers 2 levels about your own, can affect your score. Your individual success is usually at the cost of someone else. You are also penalized if you stay with the same team for more than about 4-5 years. This results in lots of employees transferring around and becoming masters of nothing. I've also worked with the worst managers of any company in my career. Little to nothing is done to remove bad managers either. I've seen a manager fired, and then hired back as a contractor. You may see great reviews about Microsoft being a great place to work, but keep in mind that many employees have never worked for other companies and are also afraid to tell the truth.
Pros
most buildings have cafeterias, the current medical benefits are top notch.
Cons
no work/life balance, re-orgs twice a year, poor review system, lots of bad managers
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Work hard, customer focused, driven for success, how can I enable my Executives to be successful?
Administrative Assistant to the General Manager (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WAAugust 23, 2014
Each day is driven by the Executives calendar. I plan an entire fiscal year mapping to his/her Managers' Rhythm of the Business calendar. I schedule the Executives' calendar a year out and more to include typical meetings. This includes all of the work-back meetings to prep with Directs, to ensure no surprises or fire drills. We team together to ensure the success of our Executive.

We work hard and play hard, to accommodate different work-styles and the work/life balance each person's schedule requires. From am to post work, to during work hours: 1) Brownbag meetings; 2) Morale events; 3) All Hands meetings, where our attendance includes global team members; 4) Mentor meetings; 5) Key Management meetings and work-back meetings so that there is significant work time blocked to hold these annual/semi-annual review meetings.

The most challenging job, where it happens at every company, is managing space. This is while ensuring seniority dates and manager requirements are respected and adhered to.
I've managed moves from 40-800 people, from 5 buildings into one building, and scheduled 6 months to a year out. Each move has been a success.

The most enjoyable part of my job is have my Executive and Team successful all up. Everyone loves coming to work and at the end of the day, everyone is a successful contributor and they feel a part of a work family.
Pros
work hard/play hard mentality. we all get it done together for a win/win.
Cons
it's a challenge to schedule time off, but my executives have all endorsed time off and it is indeed enjoyed.
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Senior PM Manager
Senior PM Manager (Current Employee) –  Las Colinas, XJune 20, 2014
I evolved my role this year into a Portfolio Manager to manage ideas that came through our work intake pipeline. There were total 10 project all at a global scale, spanning offshore and onshore resources that were delivered under my direct or indirect supervision.

I extended my role to managing organizational activities that fall in the Business Management function. I managed:
1.Offsite (Team formation)
2.Team Commitments
3. Executive Review
4.Stakehlder Buy in
5.Timeline targets
6.Budget for the team (Travel/Training)
7.Vendor and FTE Hiring
8.SOW Management
9.Invoice Management
10.ROB (Monthly Newsletters and Reviews)

I supported all my team members within and across the organizations whenever I was asked to help out either in the capacity of managing programs, as a SME or to mitigate risks and put projects back on track. I also initiated a SCRUM Certification effort for all Senior PM's within the Organization and completed that effort in 60 days. Our PM Team are Certified Scrum Masters. Additionally, I have maintained by PMP Certification and my Application for Agile Program Manager Certification has been approved by the Project Management Institute.

I love working as a team, the collaboration and feeling of accomplishing things together. Helping each other and team members succeed is what I enjoy most.

I am challenged by non-value add process and systems and places where there is a lack of ownership to solve problems.
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An excellent Workplace with a great work life balance
Test Automation Consultant (Current Employee) –  Irving, TXJuly 14, 2013
While I absolutely love a lot of things about Microsoft, having worked here for close to 8 years now, what really stands out is it's ability to present you with opportunities to learn and grow in your career.
In my current role, I can't be more thankful to my lucky stars what I have learnt working as a consultant with the MCS (Microsoft Consultancy Service).
Multiple opportunities to work with Fortune 500 Microsoft customers who call us in for training their internal teams, delivering workshops, hand holding them and evangelizing our technologies etc.
I have conducted multiple Performance & Scalability Testing Labs for many mission critical projects for very large customers. Helped guide them with Microsoft Recommended practices and methodologies. Also worked in various compete situations where we helped win an account by converting them from an existing tool set to helping evangelize our new tool set.
Almost all customer call us when they are dealing with an internal crisis. That can training their teams to cover be skill gaps, help in remediation of production performance outages, helping implement test plans and writing Test Frameworks and harnesses.
Going in then and partnering with customers at such situations helped me learn a lot. I treasure this greatly.
Pros
excellent medical benefits, good work life
Cons
consultant role at this point in time is not working out very feasible
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Cbre
Receptionist (Current Employee) –  Mountain View, CAMarch 13, 2015
I arrive here at 7:40am and start powering up the computer and unlocking the drawers.

Then look at the email to see if the admin or engineers have requested any conference rooms, emailed me names of guest that he/she may be expecting, or any food deliveries for that day.

Then I check the mail/copy room to see if it is stocked with the right amount of supplies, and copy machines have paper.

Next I begin to greet employee's walking in as I work on my projects that have been assigned to me by Admin.

I go to lunch and run errands.

Come back and continue to work like crazy.

When the day ends I lock up shut the computer down forward the phones and leave wish everyone a good night.

I have learned a lot over the years of being a receptionist. Some is from trial and error. Other information has been taught to me by Admin or co-workers. I have learned how to improve myself on Windows, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint.

My co-workers are team players and are always there to assist me with anything that I may need to ask for help with.

The hardest part of my job is that I have become so popular here that I am given so many projects.

The most enjoyable part of my job is knowing that I have made some life easier by taking on projects for them.
Pros
great co-workers
Cons
95 miles both directions to drive
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Toxic review system, but smart people, big impact, and interesting tech
Program Manager II (Current Employee) –  Redmond, WAMay 29, 2012
The review and compensation system is a product of upper management culture, and is toxic at all levels. Benefits are great, so good for family oriented types, but work/life balance isn't great, so good luck spending any time with your family.

Middle management gets almost no people-management training. Terrible at onboarding new people - it's sink or swim, especially for mid/senior industry hires. They're good at the engineering part - just not the human part.

Some groups more cut-throat than others. Best advice for anyone planning to stay long-term is to push until you get a good review or promotion on your current team, and then immediately start looking for a new team/group internally. You'll get a grace period where you're bringing new ideas and making impact, and then after a year or two, move again.

Timing is everything. Pay close attention to when management starts thinking about review calibrations, and try to hit your stride at the right time. (Late spring through June/July)
Pros
smart, friendly people. diversity. great charity matching and perks. killer health plan.
Cons
competitive, lumbering, process-heavy, many silos, narrow product vision, waterfall cycles, overly date-driven.
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Learning and Growing in your Position
Services Advisor (Current Employee) –  Los Angeles, CAAugust 22, 2015
Having the pleasure of including a name as powerful as Microsoft in your resume is an absolute pleasure and honor. Having learned a lot, and maintaining your learning ability in this position, even though it's within a retail environment, has contributed miles into furthering my knowledge in technical aspects and more importantly in communication skills, whether it's in working individually and as part of a group, and in interfacing with customers with a very diverse collection of backgrounds.

Management has been absolutely cooperative in guiding myself towards furthering my career goals beyond imagination and creating all of that under a tangible goal that doesn't stop at a glass ceiling, with powerful resources at any employee's disposal, especially within Microsoft related products.

The hardest part of my current job is when facing a customer with a major issue that needs to be resolved within a very short timeframe, especially when it involves critical data that must be retrieved back, lost wither it's due to user error or just pure circumstance, but all of that is countered with thankfulness and gratitude from a relieved person who is back in business after a clear identification and hopeful resolution of the issues faced to begin with.
Pros
Flexible workflow management, educational resources
Cons
Retail environment, not satisfactory as a long term posittion
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Great place to explore your passion
Sr. Program Manager (Current Employee) –  US , Redmond WAJuly 11, 2014
My first assignment was to deliver a “Big Bet” project for the Learning domain for partners. This was delivered on time within budget with an excellent feedback from all stake holders increasing the CPE by 20 % which gave the India team end to end ownership of the learning domain. This project set the path for next assignments that landed on my plate – to transform the “Partner Dashboard” application and the “Partner Portal” to the next generation system to scale up to the business needs.
Some key recent assignments were to migrate Partner Portal on SharePoint 2013 which not only increased the customer partner experience, but also reduced business cost by 30 % by not having to have dependency on engineering cycles for content changes and reducing the publishing pain with older process. My other assignments were on Key area in the Sales and Marketing division – which is on the Lead to Order process which is a key project to enables revenue for Microsoft IT. This is on Dynamics CRM technology and a combination of other technologies like sliver light and SQL server to complement the diverse business needs. Some of the recent programs was again on SharePoint platform (MASS, Partner PORTAL, Membership. Next and OEM Portals, building complex BI and Operations reports for the OEM partners and sales force) with business critical functionality to be delivered as per the POR.
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The Compensation & Benefits Were Great, However. . .
Senior Operations Engineer / DC Project Manager (Former Employee) –  Chevy Chase, MDMarch 15, 2014
Working for Microsoft, I learned that they like to TALK a lot about work/life balance. But in reality, the job always comes first, no matter what. If a project or certain tasks needed to be done in the evenings or over the weekend, then regardless of what else you have planned, you were expected to change or cancel your plans at the drop of a hat and work. The most enjoyable part of the job was working with great team members. The hardest part was watching that team get broken up in what appeared to me to be nothing more than pursuit of the almighty dollar. Prior to being acquired by Microsoft, our team was focused and dedicated to the principles of helping others, saving lives and making the world a better place. We all LOVED what we did, because we knew we were making a difference. However, after the acquisition, the focus quickly changed from helping others to selling software and making as much money as possible. In my opinion, success doesn't come from making empty promises and pushing software on clients. It comes from being genuine in your desire to help them and then delivering what you say you will deliver.
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Great work place with an amazing manager.
Area Program Manager (APAC, JAPAN, GCR & INDIA) (Current Employee) –  Redmond, WAJuly 31, 2015
I'm very pleased to have a wonderful manager who gives me both creative freedom and supports my extended learning! Working at Microsoft is probably one of the best firms to work for because you have an abundant supply of resources; in terms of access to the latest and greatest technologies; e.g IoT, Infrastructure Modernization, Azure Hybrid Platforms etc.

The co-workers that are FTE are just amazing as my manager. They are very open minded and welcome ideas and tactics to better Microsoft as One.

The only issue I'd have is meeting the right consulting firm if you're entering as a a- or v- with the new 18 month policy being exercised (only in the US) your consulting firm needs to win the MSA to 'manage a service' if this isn't awarded to your consulting firm, you'll have to leave MS for 6 months to reinstate your credentials.

Job security is very limited as my direct manager has very little visibility into vendor budgeting as our Senior Director+ handles the logistics regarding our internal department.

Regardless, MS is a great place to work not only for its prestige but it's resources!
Pros
Extended Learning, Cafe, Work-Life Balance
Cons
18 month policy
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Company has gone downhill
Production Engineer (Former Employee) –  Redmond, WAApril 27, 2015
Jobs at Microsoft can be good and bad, and the management chain can make all the difference. My first 8 years at Microsoft I had wonderful managers, and the job was great, a whole team working hard together and really caring about the product we put out.

At some point after several re-orgs our team got relocated under a very toxic management chain, people who'd worked for microsoft for over 20 years were quitting or getting laid off. I wound up in a management chain of career climbers who didn't care as much about the customers as they did abour producing metrics to get themselves raises and promotions. That really made the job miserable. Plus the HR department at Microsoft is terrible. Terrible policies, and clearly no understanding of how quality work gets done. They were almost as much to blame for the poor work environment as the toxic management. My first 8 years and last several were okay but there was a horrible 3-4 year stretch in there where live was miserable.
Pros
12 years ago Microsoft treated it's employees very well.
Cons
Somehow people who were willing to screw over other people to succeed in management, did just that.
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